Anxiety Arts Festival and Screenings at The Barbican, London,1 – 25 June

Running throughout June at London’s Barbican, and multiple venues across London, Anxiety Arts Festival aims to portray and examine the perceptions and experiences of anxiety on screen through film. Using the examples of both classic film and more recent interpretations The Barbican’s programme includes Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris and from more recent years Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher . It will also explores the psyche, with films such as Lucretia Martel’s The Headless Woman.

Curated by the Mental Health Foundation the festival itself is taking place at multiple venues throughout June. It aims to unite established and emerging artists to confront and examine anxiety from different perspectives: from medical, social and historical perspectives to individual, collective and contemporary viewpoints.

This multidisciplinary festival presents a dynamic programme of visual art, film, performance, music, dance, theatre and talks spanning venues across London. The film strand at Anxiety 2014 examines the image; the bodies, shapes, objects and forms that have represented anxiety throughout cinema history.

These are familiar figures and often stereotyped from the melancholy migrant to the madman and the over emotional housewife, subjects studied include the violent youth but also the objects rather than the people such environmental threat, knives, animals, even exterior factors such as aliens from space. From looking at the stereotypes and images that are so familiar the festival aims to deconstruct the history of our shared anxious fears and what this can teach us as well as its causes and how we can address the problems that come with it.

On 1 June there is a chance to see Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger with live music accompaniment by composers and musicians of the Guildhall School’s Electronic Music Studios. The film contains Hitchcock’s first signature cameo appearance and is one of the director’s earliest thrillers.

For more information about the festival, please visit:

1. Still from The Lodger, Alfred Hitchcock