To help your hunt for adventurous moving pictures, RADIANT CIRCUS hand-picks London’s screen highlights for the week ahead*.
This week, there’s an excellent array of films about black lives, creativity and expression including MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE, KIKI, WHITNEY: CAN I BE ME, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, PARIAH and TONGUES UNTIED.
Our featured TV film of the week is PENDA’S FEN which is celebrated with a symposium and special screening at BFI (10 JUNE, 10:00 & 18:30).
FRIDAY 9 JUNE 2017, 19:00, BFI
Sonic Cinema presents THE UNFILMABLES – WRANGLER and FRANCESCA & MICA LEVI, an evening of “film, music and imagination” inspired by screen ‘masterpieces’ that never were – think David Lynch’s RETURN OF THE JEDI, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s DUNE, Stanley Kubrick’s NAPOLEON. THE TOURIST brings to life an unfilmed sci-fi script whilst the Levi sisters reinterpret a Soviet cinema classic – THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES – as a ‘lost’ British treasure, THE COLOUR OF CHIPS.
Looking for an alternative? Close-Up starts the Yasujirō Ozu: Noriko Trilogy with LATE SPRING (19:30), the Japanese master’s study of “the subtle conflict between traditional Japanese culture and contemporary modern values”. EARLY SUMMER (16 JUNE, 19:30) and TOKYO STORY (23 JUNE, 19:30) continue these themes. Across town, there’s a rare screening of Jonathan Glazer’s controversial film BIRTH in 35mm (21:30, Picturehouse Central) if you fancy something more jaw-slackening than Ozu’s subtle formalism.
SATURDAY 10 JUNE 2017, 19:30, BERNIE GRANT ARTS CENTRE
TONGUES UNTIED: A MARLON RIGGS RETROSPECTIVE begins with a screening of Riggs’ titular semi-documentary which ruffled feathers in 1989 thanks to its frank celebration of black male homosexuality. There’s also an evening of SHORTS (8 JULY, 19:30) and BLACK IS… BLACK AIN’T (12 AUGUST, 19:30), Rigg’s film about sexism and homophobia in the black community.
Looking for an alternative? SUGAR CANE ALLEY + PANEL (14:00), a coming-of-age story, set in Martinique under French colonial rule, screens at BFI as part of their UNBOUND: VISIONS OF THE BLACK FEMININE and AFRICAN ODYSSEYS seasons.
SUNDAY 11 JUNE 2017, 13:00, GENESIS CINEMA
CHALLAT OF TUNIS + Q&A gets a rare screening at Genesis Cinema. This state of the nation mockumentary sees a female filmmaker in pursuit of the truth behind a mysterious serial killer, “The Blade”. The screening includes discussion with film curator Rosa Abidi as part of Genesis’ ongoing #DIRECTEDBYWOMEN2017 series.
Looking for an alternative? THE CRAZY FAMILY (16:00) screens at Barbican as part of THE JAPANESE HOUSE: ARCHITECTURE AND LIFE AFTER 1945. Elsewhere, Cigarette Burns Cinema returns to Regent Street with a double bill of seminal horror: EVIL DEAD and EVIL DEAD 2 in 35mm (13:30). There’s a short break between the films to ease your pulse and discuss the films’ legacy.
MONDAY 12 JUNE 2017, VARIOUS, CURZON BLOOMSBURY
Why not leap out of work a little early (it’s Monday after all…) and forge yourself a DIY double bill of docs at Bertha Dochouse/Curzon Bloomsbury? Start your evening with KIKI (16:20) and then tackle either MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE (18:20) or I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (20:40) depending upon whether or not you like a break. All three films screen throughout the week (various dates/times).
Looking for an alternative? Following BIRTH at Picturehouse, The Alibi offers up a FREE screening of Jonathan Glazer’s extraordinary sci-fi film about alien visitation, UNDER THE SKIN (18:00). Scarlett Johansson absorbs humankind amidst simply stunning sound and vision.
TUESDAY 13 JUNE 2017, 18:20, BFI
Looking for an alternative? STRAW DOGS (20:45) gets set to tighten your sphincter one more time with its unflinching violence and challenging rape scene. See it on the big screen of NFT1 at BFI as part of their new DUSTIN HOFFMAN season (below).
WEDNESDAY 14 JUNE 2017, 20:00, STOW FILM LOUNGE
Spend A CINEMATIC EVENING WITH JOHN SMITH as part of BE MAGNIFICENT an exhibition about the history of the influential Walthamstow School of Art. THE GIRL CHEWING GUM, THE BLACK TOWER and BLIGHT demonstrate Smith’s “meticulously crafted films [that] playfully explore and expose the language of cinema”.
Looking for an alternative? MASTER AND TATYANA + Q&A (18:30) about Lithuanian photographer Vitus Luckus screens at Ciné Lumière followed by discussion with the doc’s director, Giedre Žickyte (tbc).
THURSDAY 15 JUNE 2017, 19:30, BERNIE GRANT ARTS CENTRE
REEL INJUN screens as part of Boarder Crossing’s ORIGINS FESTIVAL OF FIRST NATIONS 2017 (below). Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond’s doc about the representation of North American indigenous peoples “is a loving look at cinema through the eyes of the people who appeared in its very first flickering images and who have survived to tell their stories in their own way”.
FESTIVALS / SEASONS / TALKS
Architecture Film Festival London 2017 continues until 11 JUNE at ICA.
BFI hosts CHILD BE STRANGE: A SYMPOSIUM ON PENDA’S FEN (10 JUNE, 10:00) possibly one of the most striking pieces of television ever made. The day-long academic affair is followed by a special screening of PENDA’S FEN + READING (18:30) which includes a performance by Frances Grey of a new piece by screenwriter David Rudkin.
Border Crossing’s ORIGINS FESTIVAL OF FIRST NATIONS celebrates the world’s indigenous communities and runs from 10 to 25 JUNE, various venues.
Ciné Lumière continues their short season FOCUS BERNADETTE LAFONT which slots neatly into BOLD WOMEN OF FRENCH CINEMA. There’s a delicious double bill and screen talk on SUNDAY 11 JUNE, starting with LA FIANCÉE DU PIRATE (14:00).
Close-Up continues ABBAS KIAROSTAMI: EARLY WORKS (until 19 JUNE) with three screenings this week: SCHOOL FILMS (13 JUNE, 19:30), POLITICAL ALLEGORIES (14 JUNE, 19:30) and SECONDS (15 JUNE, 19:30). ON THE ROAD speeds down the highway with TWO-LANE BLACKTOP + THE FRENCH ROAD, DETROIT MI (10 JUNE, 19:30).
East End Film Festival continues in venues across, well, the East End…
JW3 hosts CINETALK NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – WHY LOVE HURTS (13 JUNE, 18:30).
Sundance London 2017 concludes at Picturehouse Central with a screening of international sport doping doc ICARUS (19:00).
More places to shelter from the storm in next week’s GUIDE.
*As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any mistakes.
Featured image: PENDA’S FEN (1974).