To help your hunt for adventurous moving pictures, RADIANT CIRCUS handpicks the best movies, film events and gallery screenings in London for the week ahead*.
It’s turnaround time across London as September segues into October and beyond. We’ll be publishing a GUIDE to the new screen month on Monday (02 OCT), but this is your last chance to catch the dying embers of current seasons at Close-Up, BFI and Bernie Grant Arts Centre (head below the line for more details).
The 61st London Film Festival (04 to 15 OCT) opens this week and we’ll be writing up our experiences as we go along (find our preview here). Accordingly, we’ve ignored Festival events for this GUIDE, focusing instead on the best of alternative screen culture.
There’s some outstanding science fiction across London this week, but our featured film event is Barbican’s new short season THE GRIME & THE GLAMOUR. We would be quite happy seeing everything in this season about “the wild days and nights of New York’s coolest era”. Some events are already SOLD OUT: click quickly.
> Let us know where you’re seeking shelter in the comments below!
NOW SHOWING: RADIANT CIRCUS RECOMMENDS
FRIDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2017, 19:00, TATE MODERN
Tate Modern kicks off their Kevin Jerome Everson weekender SO I CAN GET THEM TOLD (29 SEP to 01 OCT) tonight. Read our preview and writeup of THE ISLAND OF ST. MATTHEWS for more about this most prolific of artist filmmakers.
SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2017, 16:30 & 18:00, CINÉ LUMIÈRE
Put your moon boots on for a sci-fi double bill featuring influential French comic artists Jean-Claude Mézières and Pierre Christin. The event launches with the two in conversation with Paul Gravett about their work, VALERIAN & LAURELINE DISCLOSED (16:30), and continues with Luc Besson’s (controversial?) big screen adaptation VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS + Q&A (18:00). Grab a joint ticket for just £15/£13 conc.
Looking for an alternative? Whitechapel Gallery hosts THE LAST LONDON: A PURGE DAY OUT (12:00 to 18:00), “a cross-media explosion of counter-cultural creativity” from the people at purge.xxx. The riot of delights includes a rare appearance from writer Michael Moorcock along with various performances, readings and screenings.
SUNDAY 01 OCTOBER 2017, 15:00, ICA
For a DIY sci-fi weekender, head to The Mall for a restored screening of ON THE SILVER GLOBE + Q&A with director of photography Andrzej Jaroszewicz. The trailer alone contains enough startling moving pictures to last a lifetime. Screened in partnership with Kinoteka, the Polish Film Festival people.
Looking for an alternative? Two contrasting choices: Whitechapel Gallery projects an afternoon of recent artists’ films ANTON GINZBURG: AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND (15:00) whilst Barbican screens silent classic THE END OF ST. PETERSBURG + LIVE MUSIC (15:30).
MONDAY 02 OCTOBER 2017, 20:45, BARBICAN
VARIETY screens as part of new short season THE GRIME & THE GLAMOUR. Barbican has the words: “Emerging from the creative community on New York’s Lower East Side at the beginning of the 1980s, this fearless exploration of female erotic fantasy tells the story of a Midwest girl who takes a job at the ticket booth of the Variety porn cinema off Times Square.”
Looking for an alternative? Close-Up’s new season of works by Finnish filmmaker and acclaimed “cynic-at-large” AKI KAURISMÄKI (01 to 25 OCT) continues with CALAMARI UNION (19:30), an urban gang movie that is “part Scorsese, part Threepenny Opera”. Or, you could continue your sci-fi buzz with OUTLAND in 70MM (21:00) at the Prince Charles Cinema. Yes it’s ‘HIGH NOON in space’ but that’s never been a bad thing.
TUESDAY 03 OCTOBER 2017, 18:30, BERTHA DOCHOUSE
The Bloomsbury home of documentary cinema welcomes CHAVELA to the stage as part of Camden Flux. DocHouse has the words: “Chavela Vargas revolutionised music in Mexico and challenged the status quo with her openly queer lifestyle and hypnotic, raspy voice, singing music traditionally reserved for men.”
Looking for an alternative? In the same queer vein, FAGS IN THE FAST LANE (20:30) from Zombie Zoo, screens at Genesis Cinema. Screen Space described their latest opus as: “…a terrifically tawdry, gloriously distasteful celebration of giggly eroticism and punkish shock tactics.”
WEDNESDAY 04 OCTOBER 2017, 11:00-18:00, ICA
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, which is an absolute bargain.
Looking for an alternative? We’re trying not to stalk Kim Newman, but here he is again at Regent Street Cinema introducing CARNIVAL OF SOULS (19:30), scrubbed up in a fresh 4k scan by The Criterion Collection (the film we mean, not Mr Newman…).
THURSDAY 05 OCTOBER 2017, 14:00, BFI IMAX
Given our accidental urban / sci-fi combo theme of the week, it would be foolish to ignore the emergence of THAT sequel, BLADE RUNNER 2049. Catch it on the giant screen of the BFI IMAX to see if it measures up to size.
Looking of an alternative? THE INCREDIBLE SIMULTANEITY CONSOLE (07 SEP to 26 OCT) continues at Close-Up. PROGRAMME V (19:30) features two works by Sara Preibsch, Adam Roberts‘ REMAKE of Italian horror ATOM AGE VAMPIRE (aka Seddok, l’erede di Satana) and Maia Conran‘s TERM.
NOW SHOWING: FESTIVALS, SEASONS & TALKS (A-Z)
Barbican starts new short season THE GRIME & THE GLAMOUR (29 SEP to 05 OCT) about the wild days and nights of New York in the 1970s and 1980s.
Bernie Grant Arts Centre completes celebration of SIDNEY POITIER with TO SIR, WITH LOVE (29 SEP 19:30) before collaborating with Tate Modern for a screening of new shorts commissioned from black filmmakers, SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER (05 OCT 19:30).
BFI completes seasons dedicated to JEAN-PIERRE MELVILLE (try his final film UN FLIC 01 OCT 17:40 & 03 OCT 21:00) and STEPHEN KING. The horror maestro himself handpicked THE HITCHER (30 SEP 20:45 & 01 OCT 18:00) to put you off car sharing for life. As to adaptations of his work, we saw the IT remake the other day which really made us want to rewatch STAND BY ME. So why not do just that (30 SEP 15:45)? The BFI’s Reuben Library is home to THE RISE OF THE VIDEO ESSAY IN FILM STUDIES (02 OCT 18:30), a talk by Professor Catherine Grant about the growth of the audio-visual essay in academia.
The Cinema Museum hosts EXPLODING CINEMA’S DISPOSABLE FILM NIGHT (30 SEP 19:00) looking at films made with disposable technologies in the era of ultra hi-def. Author Jonathan Rigby launches his latest opus, AMERICAN GOTHIC (02 OCT 19:00), a revised overview of six decades of classic horror cinema. It’s a free event and you’ll get a £5 discount on signed copies just for rocking up.
Close-Up completes a WERNER HERZOG (01 to 29 SEP) retrospective with a rare screening of hypno-oddity HEART OF GLASS (29 SEP 19:30). A new season of works by Finnish filmmaker AKI KAURISMÄKI (01 to 25 OCT) launches with CRIME & PUNISHMENT (01 OCT 19:30) and continues with CALAMARI UNION (02 OCT 19:30).
The Horse Hospital and Oyster Shorts host an evening of JEAN-PIERRE JEUNET’S EARLY SHORTS (30 SEP doors 19:00/screening 20:00).
Prince Charles Cinema is the home of the all-nighter. WES ANDERSON: THE COLLECTED WORKS (30 SEP 21:00) is prepared to give you everything whilst the STEPHEN KING ALL-NIGHTER (30 SEP 23:30) is suitable for those that failed to catch up with him at BFI (or just prefer to binge-watch). For an earlier night, you can hang out with old reprobate Lloyd Kaufman for sci-fi, RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH: VOLUMES 1 + 2 (30 SEP 17:00).
Regent Street Cinema and the British Library invite you to “revisit the shock of symphorophilia” with J. G. BALLARD’S CRASH: ON PAGE & ON SCREEN (30 SEP 14:30). Will Self and Chris Beckett, editor of a new edition, talk about Ballard’s book before a rare chance to see the uncut version of David Cronenberg’s 1996 film.
More places to shelter from the storm in next week’s GUIDE.
*As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any mistakes. We aim to only cover film events you can get tickets for at the time of posting.
Featured image: LOS SURES (1984).