New Jonathan Glazer film 'Strasbourg 1518' to debut on BBC Two

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
The first image from Jonathan Glazer's Strasbourg 1518. (BBC)
The first image from Jonathan Glazer's Strasbourg 1518. (BBC)

Surprise! Acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Glazer has made a brand new film during the coronavirus lockdown and it’s coming to BBC Two very soon.

The world premiere of Strasbourg 1518, the latest film from the director of Sexy Beast, Birth, Under The Skin, The Fall will take place on BBC Two at 10pm on Monday, 20 July and will be available on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

Featuring a soundtrack by the Oscar-nominated composer Mica Levi (Jackie, Under The Skin, Monos), Strasbourg 1518 is inspired by a powerful involuntary mania which took hold of citizens in of the French city of just over 500 years ago.

It’s billed as being “a collaboration in isolation with some of the greatest dancers working today.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 25:  Director Jonathan Glazer and composer Mica Levi attend the premiere of A24's "Under The Skin" at The TheatreaAt Ace Hotel on March 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 25: Director Jonathan Glazer and composer Mica Levi attend the premiere of A24's "Under The Skin" at The TheatreaAt Ace Hotel on March 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

Strasbourg 1518 was co-commissioned by Artangel and Sadler’s Wells and produced by Academy Films for BBC Films and BBC Arts.

The film is part of BBC Arts Culture In Quarantine; bringing the arts into the homes of the nation at a time of national lockdown.

Read more: The best British films of the 2010s

In July 1518, a woman started a dancing vigil in the streets of Strasbourg that is said to have lasted between four to six days. People began joining her and, according to reports, after a month she was joined by up to 400 people. Dozens of people are said to have died of exhaustion from the so-called dancing plague that gripped the city.

A still from Jonathan Glazer's Strasbourg 1518. (BBC)
A still from Jonathan Glazer's Strasbourg 1518. (BBC)

In his book A Time to Dance, A Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518, historian John Waller said “that the event took place is undisputed."

"These people were not just trembling, shaking or convulsing; although they were entranced, their arms and legs were moving as if they were purposefully dancing," he said.

Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer's deeply unsettling <i>Under The Skin</i>. (Studiocanal)
Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer's deeply unsettling Under The Skin. (Studiocanal)

British filmmaker Glazer hasn’t directed a feature film since 2013’s critically acclaimed Under The Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson, but is currently developing a drama about the Holocaust, set in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

He released a short film, The Fall, in 2019 on BBC Two. Watch it here.

Strasbourg 1518 will air on BBC TWO at 10pm on Monday, 20 July.