To help your hunt for adventurous moving pictures, RADIANT CIRCUS hand-picks the best movies, film events and gallery screenings in London for the week ahead*.
This is a great week for real and suggested double bills with excellent back-to-back screenings available at Close-Up, ICA and Regent Street Cinema.
Our featured film event of the week is Kevin Jerome Everson’s THE ISLAND OF ST. MATTHEWS at Tate Modern (08 SEP), part of Open City Documentary Festival (below).
> Let us know where you’re seeking shelter in the comments below!
FRIDAY 08 SEPTEMBER 2017, 19:00, TATE MODERN
There are two chances to see American artist Kevin Jerome Everson’s work at Tate this month, starting with tonight’s screening of THE ISLAND OF ST. MATTHEWS (2013). Part of the Open City Documentary Festival (below), the evening also includes shorter works, OLD CAT (2009) and GRAND FINALE (2015). There’s a full-blown WEEKENDER (29 SEP to 01 OCT) later in the month, although Tate doesn’t call it that… Read our preview for more.
Looking for an alternative? Attempt a DIY documentary double with ALMOST HEAVEN (18:15) + BROADWAY, BLACK SEA (20:15) at Regent Street Cinema. These tales offer fresh perspectives on the lives of migrant workers: ALMOST HEAVEN chronicles the life of 17 year old Ying Ling who finds work in a large funeral home, despite her fear of ghosts, whilst BROADWAY, BLACK SEA looks at the residents of a temporary holiday resort in Russia. Both films are part of Open City Docs (below).
SATURDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2017, 18:00, CLOSE-UP
Close-Up gets into fictional double trouble with TAKE TWO: NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE & NOSFERATU, part of their WERNER HERZOG season (below). See both beautiful versions of this blood-sucking saga for £18.
Looking for an alternative? “Dystopian documentary-style science fiction thriller” BORN IN FLAMES (19:30) screens at Bernie Grant Arts Centre. This tale of feminist activists who call upon the women of New York City to defend themselves against male aggression gets another outing at Genesis Cinema later in the week (12 SEP 18:45).
SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2017, VARIOUS
One day, two more double bills…
ICA screens MIMOSAS + THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRIAD AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS (14:00). MIMOSAS is both a contemporary Western and a stunning odyssey through the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It is also a counterpart to its sister film by Ben Rivers, the one with the really long title… ICA has the words: “Oliver Laxe’s MIMOSAS (2016) intersects with Rivers’s THE SKY TREMBLES… (2015) and is in fact the film within a film depicted by Rivers, with both features sharing occasional scenes and perspectives in a dichotomous entanglement”. Got that? See both for £12 and solve the riddle yourselves.
Whilst not an official double, Close-Up offers back to back screenings with PROGRAMME 3: RETURN TO VIENNA (18:00) and PROGRAMME 4: PAPER BRIDGE (20:00) as part of their RUTH BECKERMANN retrospective (see below). Both films look at the lives of Central Europe’s Jews and the complex histories of Austria and its peoples through two World Wars.
Looking for an alternative? Curzon Soho stages a SAM SHEPARD TRIBUTE: THE RIGHT STUFF in 35mm (14:00). The film includes visual effects by legendary artist Jordan Belson: read the writeup of his work that got us into hot water, here.
MONDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2017, 19:00, THE INSTITUTE OF LIGHT
Science Fiction Theatre returns with pre-apocalytipc drama MIRACLE MILE. The screening will be preceded by a talk from Writer/Director Mark J. Blackman who will be examining the film’s long road to production, its slow burn to cult status, and how its success is crystallised by the panic-stricken love story at its core.
Looking for an alternative? Regent Street Cinema hosts another teaser screening for the Korean Film Festival (26 OCT to 19 NOV) with THE VILLAINESS (11 SEP 19:30). This “kinetic flurry of hyper-stylised action” will also launch the programme for the 2017 festival.
TUESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2017, 18:20, BFI
We wouldn’t be true to ourselves if we didn’t squeeze in one final recommendation for MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (also 09 SEP 18:10). Stephen King’s only turn in the director’s chair, this tale of machinery brought to psychotic life is our favourite of his onscreen works. Just be glad we didn’t make it our featured film of the week… (yes, we love it that much…).
WEDNESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2017, 20:15, ICA
Visionary filmmaker Karel Zeman’s THE FABULOUS BARON MUNCHAUSEN + INTRO by Terry Gilliam screens in a splendid new restoration by the WE’RE CLEANING UP THE WORLD OF FANTASY project (which isn’t nearly as censorious as it sounds). ICA has the words:
“Karel Zeman is treasured by generations of filmmakers worldwide. His groundbreaking innovations in the use of live action and animation mark him as one of the great masters of 20th century fantasy cinema. THE FABULOUS BARON MUNCHAUSEN is perhaps Zeman’s most beloved achievement.”
Looking for an alternative? BEAU TRAVAIL + INTRO by writer Sophie Mayer screens at BFI (18:20). Inspired by Herman Melville’s Billy Budd (and using music from Britten’s opera of the same story), Claire Denis’ “extraordinary film concerns the jealousies (sexual, professional, even spiritual) aroused in a Foreign Legion sergeant (Lavant) when a new recruit seems to be favoured by their commanding officer.”
THURSDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2017, 20:45, BFI
HAUNTED BY CINEMA continues BFI’s adventurous EXPERIMENTA strand with an evening dedicated to “films that harbour a violent transcendental desire”. It should be the perfect bone-chilling companion to their STEPHEN KING season (below).
Looking for an alternative? Close-Up continues celebration of artist film label Filmarmalade with THE INCREDIBLE SIMULTANEITY CONSOLE (07 SEP to 26 OCT). Next up in this season of twenty-eight films and videos is PROGRAMME II (14 SEP 19:30), including work from Jenny Stark, Claudia Joskowicz and Francisca Benitez.
FESTIVALS / SEASONS / TALKS (A-Z)
Barbican opens COLLECTIVE VISIONS (10 SEP to 26 OCT) looking at cinema that brings people together. Films this week include STRIKE + LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT (10 SEP 16:00) and OLYMPIA, PART 1: FESTIVAL OF NATIONS (14 SEP 18:30).
BFI continues JEAN-PIERRE MELVILLE. Elsewhere, STEPHEN KING ON SCREEN gets in yer face with giant screenings at the BFI IMAX of CARRIE (11 SEP 18:25), THE SHINING (11 SEP 20:30) and PET SEMATARY (13 SEP 18:30). Read our full season preview here. STEPHEN KING’S PICKS gets uber creepy with THE VILLAGE OF THE DANMED (10 SEP 15:50 & 13 SEP 20:40).
The Horse Hospital continues BLITZED, a short season about British men, masculinity and the 1950s, with CAST A DARK SHADOW (13 SEP 18:30). EXPLODING CINEMA returns (09 SEP 19:00) with an evening of short films, experimental cinema, artists moving image and DIY video. Then, it’s time to head back to school with THE MISKATONIC INSTITUTE OF HORROR STUDIES. The new semester begins with VIRGINS & VAMPIRES: GOTHIC DAMSELS AND FINAL GIRLS IN THE CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN (14 SEP 19:00). Read our full preview here.
Open City Documentary Festival (05 to 10 SEP) continues to focus on new voices in non-fiction story telling. There are plenty of features, shorts and industry events to choose from (browse the full programme here): we’ve made some recommendations above.
Scalarama is a nationwide festival of DIY film culture that runs for the whole of the month. Participating LONDON venues include some of our favourites. Head to your local picture palace to find out what’s going on.
Whitechapel Gallery hosts the 10TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING ARTISTS’ INTERNATIONAL (07 to 17 SEP), giving you a chance to catch up with a decade of artists’ film and moving image works. We had trouble seeing the films at the advertised times on opening day, so best check in advance…
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. Click quickly.
Featured image: THE ISLAND OF ST. MATTHEWS (2013).