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*.
After a quieter summer, London’s screens have started to fill up again. THURS 24 AUG, in particular, is a real mosh pit of opportunity whilst TUES 22 AUG goes distinctly queer. We don’t know how this happens, but it does.
In a busy schedule, ICA is a great choice. Our featured film of the week is DARK NIGHT, a fictional tale based on all too real mass shootings in the USA. The art venue on The Mall holds several other options in its hat including THE UNTAMED (our featured film of the week in March, now on a longer run), and newbies LA SOLEDAD and MIMOSAS, both of which come supported by director Q&As.
> Let us know where you’re seeking shelter in the comments below.
FRIDAY 18 AUGUST 2017, 20:30, ICA
Begin your screen week with LA SOLEDAD + Q&A with director Jorge Thielen Armand. Set in headline grabbing Venezuela, this blend of documentary and drama about a rundown house that provides sanctuary to those that live there, offers “sharp social critique with the offbeat poetry of magical realism”.
Looking for an alternative? If co-ordinating your calendar with the anniversary of fictional atrocities is important to you, then head to Prince Charles Cinema for “date of the massacre” screening THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE in 35mm (18:30). Stay in your seat – if you can – to regain your strength in the overdeveloped arms of THE BARBARIANS (21:00). Legendary Cannon Films at their finest: (cue husky voiceover…) “AT THE DAWN OF TIME, IN A WORLD OF SAVAGE SPLENDOUR…”
SATURDAY 19 AUGUST 2017, 20:30, BFI
Join the London Feminist Film Festival (below) for this 40th anniversary screening of THE SEALED SOIL in 16mm + Q&A with director Marva Nabili. The first independent feature by a woman Iranian director, it tells the story of “eighteen-year-old Rooy-Bekheir as she struggles for independence and identity in her southern Iranian village”. The event previously sold out and has been bumped to BFI’s biggest screen (NFT1, General Admission). Also part of BFI’s ongoing WOMEN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA strand.
Looking for an alternative? DEAR DIARY (19:30) screens at Close-Up. Nanni Morretti’s “love letter to cinema, Italy and life” includes a naive encounter with HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. We did that once. It wasn’t pretty.
SUNDAY 20 AUGUST 2017, 16:00, BARBICAN
Barbican’s SCI-FI SUNDAYS comes to a screaming climax with “brilliantly weird piece of vintage Japanese sci-fi” WARNING FROM SPACE. Their programme then heads outdoors with more films linked to the excellent INTO THE UNKNOWN exhibition. Currently, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (25 AUG) and TRON (26 AUG) are listed as sold out. Tickets are still available for GRAVITY & LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (27 AUG 20:30). We’re not so excited about Bullock & Clooney, but George Méliès’ 1902 sci-fi blueprint is always worth seeing.
Looking for an alternative? Tap along to grittier than you’d expect musical 42ND STREET at the Picturehouse chain for one of their VINTAGE SUNDAYS. We’ve opted for East Dulwich (14:00) but other venues/times are available.
MONDAY 21 AUGUST 2017, 19:30, MOTH CLUB
Always provocative slice of Gallic violence IRREVERSIBLE is given another chance to offend. Roger Ebert had his own words on the matter: “a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable.” For completeness, we should also mention SUNDAY’S Ciné-Real screening of DEATH WISH in 16mm (20 AUG 19:30) at the same venue. It’s not a film we like overmuch … but you should know it’s on.
TUESDAY 22 AUGUST 2017, VARIOUS
If you felt handsome biopic TOM OF FINLAND turned cruising into an abstract gay apocalypse, LUX mounts an amiable counterpoint with an evening of “short films, guest speakers and poetry performance”, CRUISING COMMUNITY: Derek Jarman and Hampstead Heath (19:00). Gather round the camp fire to share Jarman’s love of Hampstead Heath and explore the heritage of cruising grounds as potent social sites. Part of LUX’s summer season CRUISING GROUND, which we almost missed (to 02 SEPT).
If you prefer having homo fun indoors, try adventuring through the pitfalls of modern queer dating with MIXED MESSAGES + Q&A with director Kanchi Wichmann at Genesis Cinema (18:45). Or, catch up with 1971 homo flesh fantasy PINK NARCISSUS (20:00) at Deptford Cinema where it screens as part of their DCQ strand.
WEDNESDAY 23 AUGUST 2017, 19:00, ICA
It’s time for our featured film of the week, DARK NIGHT (other dates/times available). Written and directed by up-and-coming director Tim Sutton, the film is a “harrowing retelling of a fateful day in an intense visual style that grips you from start to finish”. We will post a writeup soon.
Looking for an alternative? In keeping with some of this week’s throwback themes, why not catch Jacques Cousteau biopic THE ODYSSEY (Regent Street Cinema, 18:30 & 20:45) for a taste of the original life aquatic?
THURSDAY 24 AUGUST 2017, VARIOUS (A – Z)
With too many treats to choose from we’ve listed some for you to pick ‘n mix.
- Inspired by a student massacre, acclaimed Thai film BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK (Deptford Cinema, 20:00) returns after a sold out screening earlier in the year.
- EDWARD II + Q&A with Sir Ian McKellan (BFI, 18:00) combines Britain’s first TV gay kiss and a terrific performance of Marlowe’s play. Part of the GROSS INDECENCY season.
- LAST NIGHT IN PARIS CINEMA SOIREE (Screen on the Green, 22:00) returns “by popular demand” with a night of short films, DJ sets and live performances.
- MIMOSAS + Q&A with director Oliver Laxe (ICA, 18:30) is “both a contemporary Western and a stunning odyssey through the Atlas Mountains of Morocco”.
- PATTI CAKE$ (BFI, 20:50) gets previewed with an extended intro by director Geremy Jasper.
FESTIVALS / SEASONS / TALKS (A – Z)
Bernie Grant Arts Centre continues to be the home of the Breaking The Legacy film festival. This week’s film BEAUTY IS… (THUR 24 AUG 19:30) by guerrilla film maker Toyin Agbetu examines beauty through discussion of hair, skin shade, body image and character.
Cigarette Burns screens THE LOST BOYS in 35mm (SAT 19 AUG 18:30) from an archival print at Regent Street Cinema. It’s a 30th anniversary screening and you’ll get to hear from author Paul Davis about his new book, Lost in the Shadows – The Story of The Lost Boys (which has already sold (out) like hotcakes).
Close-Up continues their OUSMANE SEMBÈNE season. Skipping SAT 19 AUG (see DEAR DIARY, above), there’s something stellar every night of the week. All films begin at 19:30.
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: DARK NIGHT (2016).