RADIANT CIRCUS hunts out London’s best independent movie nights, film events & gallery screenings. Find out what’s booking now in our OCTOBER roundup.
It’s the big one: the 61st London Film Festival opens this month (04 to 15 OCT) and we’ll be filleting the programme for adventurous screen content. We haven’t included it here but you can read our preview and follow our daily writeups. Our weekly LONDON SCREEN GUIDES will resume later in the month (w/c 20 OCT).
October is when things traditionally go bump in the night. We’ll be posting a special HALLOWEEN SCREEN GUIDE tomorrow night.
> Let us know what we’re missing in the comments below.
ARTHOUSE CROUCH END
ArtHouse Crouch End has some great screenings accompanied by filmmaker Q&As. THE STORY OF THE GREEN LINE + Q&A with director Panicos Chrysanthou (08 OCT 17:00) is a tale of Cypriot communities divided whilst documentary SCHOOL LIFE + Q&A with director and producer (15 OCT 17:20) looks at the lives of two long-serving teachers in an Irish boarding school.
New short season THE GRIME & THE GLAMOUR (to 05 OCT) is about the wild days and nights of New York in the 1970s and 1980s and started the month as our featured film event. COLLECTIVE VISIONS (to 26 OCT) explores how cinema unites people with the UK premiere of 4K restoration THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS (“Highly regarded as one of the best films of all time”, 12 OCT 18:30), documentary UNDERGROUND (19 OCT 18:30) and CHRONICLE OF A DISAPPEARANCE (26 OCT 18:30).
JOHN AKOMFRAH PRESENTS… is a series of four films that have inspired the artist. The short series includes a number of highly charged political works, kicking off with FAR FROM VIETNAM (24 OCT 18:15). Speaking of political, Kino Klassika rounds off the month with a special screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s masterpiece OCTOBER (26 OCT 19:30) fully loaded with a live score played by the LSO.
BERNIE GRANT ARTS CENTRE
The North London venue collaborates with Tate Modern for an evening of newly commissioned short films from black filmmakers, SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER (05 OCT 19:30). Regular programming includes outstanding features about black lives KILLER OF SHEEP (06 OCT 19:30) and BROTHER OUTSIDER: THE LIFE OF BAYARD RUSTIN (14 OCT 19:30).
BERTHA DOCHOUSE / CURZON BLOOMSBURY
We love special features and the Bloomsbury home of documentary cinema gives us more value-adding options this month. THE REAGAN SHOW + SKYPE Q&A with co-director Pacho Velez (06 OCT 18:30) is:
“an all-archival documentary that profiles Hollywood action man Ronald Reagan’s greatest role – leader of the free world”.
THE UNREST + Q&A with director Jennifer Brea (24 OCT 18:20) documents the filmmaker’s own diagnosis with M.E. and how she reached out online to others with the condition. THE UNREST VR EXPERIENCE in the Bertha DocHouse lounge takes you deeper. Finally, there’s BATTLE OF SOHO + Q&A with director Art Korol (28 OCT 16:00) about the gentrification of Soho and the wide reaching impact of the area’s redevelopment.
BFI Southbank has a plethora of moving picture delights wrapped around the London Film Festival (04 to 15 OCT). Headlining is new thriller season WHO CAN YOU TRUST? which includes a number of BIG THRILL DOUBLE BILLS (Fincher’s THE GAME & FIGHT CLUB is your October option – 28 OCT). Given this month’s horror theme, we’d also pick the HAMMER DOUBLE BILL: WHISPERING SMITH HITS LONDON + THIRD PARTY RISK: “Two rarely seen examples of Hammer’s foray into the thriller genre, with US sleuths and criminal underworlds” (18 OCT 18:00).
We also like the look of TEARS & LAUGHTER: WOMEN IN JAPANESE MELODRAMA (17 OCT to 29 NOV) – one of those seasons where we would be happy to see every darn thing. Try the opening SEASON INTRODUCTION to orientate yourself to the programme (17 OCT 18:15). Continuing the global theme, Film Africa festival opens with a gala screening of THE WOUND (27 OCT 18:20) whilst the BFI’s own INDIA ON FILM returns with TALVAR (17 OCT 18:10).
Lurking in the depths, the ever-rewarding CULT strand includes THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED (17 & 20 OCT), a Spanish precursor to Dario Argento’s SUSPIRIA, and a pedigree lineup for Halloween (THE EXORCIST and HELLRAISER double bill 31 OCT). For a calmer experience, the Reuben Library is home to talk THE LONG-FORM ARTISTS’ FILM looking at the challenges of funding, production and distribution (30 OCT 18:30).
Pay TRIBUTE TO JEANNE MOREAU (19 OCT to 26 NOV) with a special screening of ASCENSEUR POUR L’ÉCHAFAUD followed by a discussion with Nick Walker from the Rochester Kino Cinema Club (22 OCT 14:00). Later in the month, the Iranian Film Festival looks at culture across borders (27 OCT to 01 NOV).
THE CINEMA MUSEUM
We like our screens to be social and the Vito Project is designed to be just that: a series of FREE monthly screenings bringing generations of LGBT folk together. This month’s film is THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT in 35mm (25 OCT 19:00). The same vibe is in store for BEING OURSELVES 1967 – 2017, a day of LGBT themed “screenings, readings, and thought provoking discussion” about social progress (29 OCT 14:00).
Finally, there’s THE MISTY MOON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL showcasing the best short films from upcoming and established filmmakers (28 OCT 19:00).
CLOSE-UP FILM CENTRE
Close-Up begins a new season of works by Finnish miserablist AKI KAURISMÄKI (01 to 25 OCT) whilst celebration of artists’ DVD label Filmarmalade, THE INCREDIBLE SIMULTANEITY CONSOLE continues every Thursday until 26 OCT.
Other Shoreditch attractions include IMAGE INVERTS, an evening of recent 16mm and digital works from the Artist Film Workshop in Melbourne (16 OCT 19:30) and two nights of works by “the celluloid-wielding soothsayer of Nordic moving image”, MIKA TAANILA (20 & 22 OCT) – part of a London-wide survey of the Finnish filmmaker’s work (see also ICA and Whitechapel). The month ends with I DECIDED TO TURN LEFT, an evening of films shot in Hong Kong, Stoke-On-Trent and New Yorkby by artist Simon Liu (30 OCT 19:30).
The community venue continues its world cinema collabs with the Goethe Institute for ABSOLUTE GIGANTEN (09 OCT 20:00), an early feature from one-take wonder VICTORIA director Sebastian ScThipper, and the Korean Cultural Centre for GARAK MARKET REVOLUTION (which screens for FREE 25 OCT 19:30).
Native Spirit Film Festival includes RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS (13 OCT 20:00) and SHE SINGS TO THE STARS which comes F-Rated (14 OCT 19:00). THE TRAVELLING PLAYERS begins a brief look at the distinctive vision of Theo Angelopoulos (22 OCT 14:00) whilst 100 FILMS IN 100 MINUTES is an evening of extremely short films from the Kyiv International Short Film Festival (11 OCT 19:00).
If you have a nose for current affairs, Frontline’s screening programme is pretty much essential (and almost always sells out). Click while you can for THE ROHINGYA PEOPLE: “A SLOW BURNING GENOCIDE” + PANEL (25 OCT 19:00) and THE UNBROKEN SHORT FILM AWARDS (28 OCT 14:30) part of a ‘mini-festival‘ dedicated to raising awareness of mental health (28 to 30 OCT).
THE HORSE HOSPITAL
THE MISKATONIC INSTITUTE OF HORROR STUDIES – LONDON’s current semester continues with Kim Newman handing out keys to his VIDEO DUNGEON (12 OCT 19:00). Investigating HOW TO TALK ABOUT ‘PSYCHOTRONIC CINEMA’, the esteemed movie critic will cast his eye over cinematic oddities from:
“found footage and Bigfoot movies through the weirder appearances of Frankenstein and Dracula and group-of-random-strangers-wake-up-in-a-trap pictures to Weird Hippie Shit and made-for-cable CGI mutant shark or snake attack cinema”.
Our kind of night. We also like the look of SWINGEING LONDON: A TRIP BACK INTO THE 1960s (13 OCT 19:00), an evening with Harriet Vyner, Keiron Pim and John Pearse which features Pearse’s underground film, MOVIEMAKERS.
ICA opens a new exhibition of moving image works from America, SETH PRICE CIRCA 1981 (until 07 JAN 2018). We’ll give the show a separate write-up soon, but you can get in with an ICA day membership of £1 – a bargain.
NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE: RETURN OF THE ATOM + DISCUSSION (19 OCT 18:15) kicks off the London-wide survey of Finnish modernist artist Mika Taanila’s moving image work (see also Close-Up and Whitechapel). The evening includes a trio of UK premieres (RETURN OF THE ATOM, ZONE OF TOTAL ECLIPSE and MAN & SCIENCE) and a wide-ranging debate between the artist and curatorial researcher in nuclear culture (whatever the heck that is…), Dr Ele Carpenter.
Outside of the Mall gallery’s extensive LFF programme, we like the look of DINA + Q&A with co-directors Dan Sickles/Antonio Santini and protagonist Dina Buno (17 OCT 18:30), and THE ORNITHOLOGIST (06 to 11 OCT, various times).
THE INSTITUTE OF LIGHT
Start the month by making CONTACT with Jodie Foster (09 OCT – see Science Fiction Theatre below). Then, huddle under the Hackney railway arch for Cigarette Burns Cinema’s UK premiere of Super 8mm oddity LE ACCELERATOR (16 OCT 19:00). Complete the month by heading back to FILM SCHOOL with EVIL DEAD 2 (30 OCT 19:00).
CANNED short film festival comes to Moth Club (08 OCT 15:00), promising an “incredible showcase of short films, music videos, documentaries and video from new directors”. If you need convincing, two words: FREE pizza. For fright fans, Ciné-Real screens Wes Craven classic THE HILLS HAVE EYES in 16mm (15 OCT 19:45).
THE NOMAD CINEMA
Outdoor enthusiasts Nomad screen classic silent horror show NOSFERATU with a live score from The Cabinet of Living Cinema in the grounds of deconsecrated Old Street Church, St Luke’s (26 OCT 18:30/19:30). Should be spooky.
The Picturehouse flagship projects Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS for its 90th anniversary (16 OCT 18:30) whilst THE SHINING + Q&A features producer Jan Harlan (27 OCT 18:30). Director Sophie Fiennes will be in discussion after a screening of her doc GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT + BAMI + Q&A (28 OCT 18:00).
PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA
Going to hell for leather, Prince Charles has recast the month as HorrOctober (which we can’t quite get our nimble mouths around…). Highlights include CLASSIC (21 & 28 OCT), MODERN (21 OCT) and TEEN HORROR PYJAMA PARTY (28 OCT) all-nighters along with a selection of short films from The Final Girls, WE ARE THE WEIRDOS (30 OCT 18:45). There’s (much) more horror throughout – check our dedicated Halloween GUIDE for highlights – but you shouldn’t miss FRIDAY THE 13TH on, well, you know… (13 OCT 20:45).
Sometimes we fall in love with a film we shouldn’t (ref. MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE). Maybe there’s an undisclosed trucker theme from our youth, but we also have irrational affection for OVER THE TOP which gets a 30th anniversary screening (17 OCT 18:10).
REGENT STREET CINEMA
Heavenly Films screen VASHTI BUNYAN: FROM HERE THE BEFORE + Q&A (27 OCT 19:30) including a rare conversation with the legendary folk musician. We also can’t imagine a more luxurious screen for a Halloween all-nighter: INITIATION (28 OCT 23:00) beams direct from Cigarette Burns Cinema.
SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE
Science Fiction Theatre returns to The Institute of Light with Jodie Foster alien encounter CONTACT (09 OCT 19:00). The screening will be preceded by a talk from science fiction author Stephen Baxter, a member of the Post Detection Task Group, a committee that advises on the implications of the detection of alien intelligence. Baxter will explore the actual protocols that have been agreed in the event of a detection (so you can be well prepared).
SHORTS ON TAP
London’s regular appreciation of short film ups the ante with miniature movie marathon DRAMATHON (05 OCT 15:00) before returning to normal size with TALES OF PERSIA (11 OCT 19:00), an evening of Iranian shorts.
STANLEY’S FILM CLUB
Celebrate International Day of the Girl with a special screening of CREDIBLE LIKEABLE SUPERSTAR ROLE MODEL + Q&A with director Rebecca Brand (11 OCT 19:45). The doc follows award-winning performance artist Bryony Kimmings and her 10-year-old niece Taylor as they create their own alternative popstar role model. Stanley has the words:
“This feature-length documentary is as uplifting as it is irreverent. An inspirational film for anyone who cares about the impact of the media we consume.”
Garnering more headlines will be the opening of new Turbine Hall swinging sensation SUPERFLEX (ONE TWO THREE SWING!) which opens tomorrow (03 OCT to 02 APRIL 2018). To celebrate, Tate will be screening a FREE evening of SUPERFLEX SHORTS (which sound snazzy…) as part of the next Tate Late (27 OCT 18:30 to 22:00).
Tate’s excellent ARTISTS’ CINEMA strand presents a series of UK premieres starting with ANTON VIDOLKE: IMMORTALITY FOR ALL (06 OCT 19:00) and NEÏL BELOUFA: OCCIDENTAL (11 OCT 18:30). For a deeper dive, join the gallery for another immersive weekender in their PIONEERS strand with KARRABING FILM COLLECTIVE: SALTWATER DREAMS (28 to 29 OCT). You can grab a combo ticket for all three screenings by the indigenous Australian media outfit for £15.
The multi-functional place of worship cum cultural venue (and home of a unique organ) hosts the Ocean Film Festival On Tour for its London stop off (16 to 21 OCT). The programme of shorts – “a collection of the latest and best films from both above and below the ocean’s surface” – repeats each night. Putting the organ to good use, there’s also a special screening of THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (15 OCT 18:30) accompanied by a new score from “ambient drone mastermind” Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie.
The latest selection from the Artists’ Film International partnership, DESIRE MACHINE COLLECTIVE, ARJUNA NEUMAN & DENISE FERREIRA DA SILVA, continues to screen until 15 OCT (check for times). The programme then changes to feature works by GABRIELA GOLDER & WOJCIECH BAKOWSKI (17 OCT to 03 DEC).
Film screenings in the month include shorts and a reading from poet and filmmaker IRENE SOLÀ: BEAST (12 OCT 19:00), an OPEN SCREENING for new and established filmmakers (12 OCT 17:00), and BROADMEAD: THE MOVIE + Q&A, “a concrete ghostscape of Debenhams and John Lewis that reminds us of a future we once had, now sold” (19 OCT 19:00). THE FUTURE IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE (21 OCT 14:00 to 18:00) continues the London-wide screenings of works by Finnish filmmaker Mika Tanilla and includes a Q&A.
COMING SOON: Festivals opening in OCTOBER (by date)
A quick (incomplete?) summary of festivals playing in the city this month.
- London Film Festival (04 to 15 OCT)
- Canned Film Festival (08 OCT)
- Native Spirit Film Festival (12 to 21 OCT)
- Gangland Film Festival (14 to 15 OCT)
- Ocean Film Festival (16 to 21 OCT)
- Surf Film Festival (19 to 21 OCT)
- East Asia Film Festival (19 to 29 OCT)
- Iranian Film Festival (27 OCT to 01 NOV)
- Film Africa (27 OCT to 05 NOV)
- Misty Moon International Film Festival (28 OCT)
- Unbroken Festival (28 to 30 OCT)
WHAT HAVE WE MISSED?
No list would be complete without the ones we’ve missed… Let us know what should be included in the comments below.
If you’re a cinema and want to invite us over to see your screens and sample your artisanal popcorn/hotdogs/beverages (just saying…), contact us here.
Featured image: RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS (2013).