Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire film
Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire documentary

The Labia will host acclaimed director Tony Palmer, and present a selection of seven of his award-winning films over a two week season. Palmer will personally introduce three of his films: The Beatles and World War II; Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire; and Falls the Shadow… The Life and Times of Athol Fugard.

Movies screening Friday 20 October to Thursday 2 November:

  • The Beatles and World War 11
  • Margot
  • Falls the Shadow… The Life and Times of Athol Fugard
  • The World of Liberace
  • Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
  • Callas
  • Holst in the Bleak Midwinter
Tony Palmer & LennonThe Beatles and World War 11
Tony Palmer, Lennon -The Beatles and World War 11

Cream, Hendrix, Callas, Cohen, Fonteyn 

Palmer is one of the leading directors of documentaries about performers in the world. Among over 40 international prizes for his work are 12 Gold Medals from the New York Film Festival, as well as numerous BAFTAs and Emmy Awards. Palmer is the only director to have won the Prix Italia three times.

His vast filmography of over 100 films ranges from early works in the mid-sixties with The Beatles, Cream and Jimi Hendrix, to the famous portraits of Walton, Britten, Stravinsky, Maria Callas, John Osborne, Leonard Cohen, Margot Fonteyn and Menuhin. His seven hour and forty five minutes film on Wagner was described by the the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most beautiful films ever made”.

From Cambridge University, he joined the BBC. Following an apprenticeship with Ken Russell and Jonathan Miller, his first major film, Benjamin Britten and His Festival, became the first BBC film to be networked in the USA. With his next film, All My Loving, an examination of rock ‘n roll and politics in the late 60’s, he achieved overnight notoriety.

The World of Liberace
The World of Liberace

‘Occasionally outrageous’

In 1989, he was awarded a prestigious retrospective of his work at the National Film Theatre in London, the first maker of art films to be so honoured. His film on Liberace, included in this programme, opened South African TV.

In addition, Palmer has won various platinum and gold albums for the best-selling CDs of the soundtracks to his films. He has also written a number of books, and has successfully directed in the theatre and opera house. He became the first Western director ever to work at the Bolshoi in Moscow.

David Attenborough adds, “Palmer is thrilling, controversial, occasionally outrageous, but with profound musical insights”.

On Tony Palmer interviewing Athol Fugard – “Nothing quite prepares us for the ferocity and daring,and intensely subjective rapture of Palmer’s work” – David Thompson, The Biographical Dictionary of Film.

Akong: A Remarkable Life (2017, 96 minutes) also returns by public demand on Sunday, 15 October at 12pm. Exploring Consciousness and ROKPA present the screening, which is a a documentary about the inspirational life of Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Akong Ripoche. Tickets R60. Webtickets/Pick n Pay. See www.exploringconsciousness.org.za

What: Tony Plamer season
Where: The Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town, 021 424 5927
When: Friday 20 October to Thursday 2 November, 2017
Web: www.thelabia.co.za
Advance booking: www.webtickets.co.za, Pick n Pay
Web: www.thelabia.co.za