To help your hunt for adventurous moving pictures, RADIANT CIRCUS hand-picks London’s best movies, film events and gallery screenings for the week ahead*.

As the summer holidays are in full swing, and things are a little quieter than usual, we’ve chosen some of our favourite back catalogue flicks to keep our lazy minds occupied.

Standout film events this week focus on creative women, with a brilliant documentary about Suzanne Ciani, A LIFE IN WAVES, and a night of bold experimental works, TINA KEANE: DEVIANT BEAUTY. Along the same lines, we’ve chosen Nina Paley’s SITA SINGS THE BLUES (Deptford Cinema) as our featured film of the week because of her stunning animation and rousing experiment in democratic image making.

Let us know what you’re planning to see in the comments below.

A LIFE IN WAVES + Q&A screens at Bertha DocHouse/Curzon Bloomsbury (28 JULY).


Following a night of Delia Derbyshire’s groundbreaking electronica earlier this month, there’s a chance to encounter another woman transforming the music we hear. A LIFE IN WAVES + Q&A with Suzanne Ciani (appearing via Skype!) explores the pioneering musician’s life and work from her early days learning the piano to her multi-million dollar advertising ventures and success in the world of New Age music. Brett Whitcomb’s doc screens all week (various dates/times) if you can’t make tonight’s Q&A.

“Suzanne Ciani’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious, so watching A Life In Waves isn’t just fascinating (especially if, like me, you don’t know your Buchla synths from your Moogs), but also a really enjoyable and entertaining experience.” Jenny Horwell, Bertha DocHouse.

Looking for an alternative?  Head to Tate Modern for a free loop of two short films by queer artist collective Boudry/Lorenz (18:30 – 22:00). SALOMANIA AND SILENT screen as part of July’s Uniqlo Tate Late. The focus this month is on queer arts, community and culture. Feature film enthusiasts should brave the great outdoors for CITY OF GOD (21:00) at Croydon’s The Lost Format Society.

SITA SINGS THE BLUES screens at Deptford Cinema (29 JULY).


The community cinema’s showing of SITA SINGS THE BLUES — aka “The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told” — is completely FREE but you could make a donation to their work (go on, you know you want to…). Not only is the movie an animated marvel but filmmaker Nina Paley made every effort to release her images from legal restrictions (the music rights are retained by other artists), “trusting you, trusting culture, and trusting in freedom” to treat both the work and her well. Head to the film’s website to find out more.

Looking for an alternative? Terrence Malick’s BADLANDS (23:00) goes on a late night killing spree at Everyman Screen on the Green. Its original 1973 pairing with BLAZING SADDLES by a confused Warner Bros. sounds like our kind of night (wikipedia).


SUNDAY 30 JULY 2017, 15:55, ICA

Ferocious Italian drama HANDS OVER THE CITY is about a very contemporary public housing crisis and the political corruption that gave rise to it (other dates/times available). If you need to recharge your batteries, take temporary shelter with Architectural Models on Film for their beautifully obsessive “quest to find as many architectural mock-ups in film and TV as possible”. You might even be able to help them out with some suggestions…

Looking for an alternative? Enochlophobic nightmare SOYLENT GREEN (16:00) screens as part of Barbican’s SCI-FI SUNDAYS. Elsewhere, Regent Street Cinema projects a blistering double bill of Lynch’s BLUE VELVET and his alternative skip down the Yellow Brick Road, WILD AT HEART (17:00 & 19:30). You can save yourself £7 by doing the double.

SEA OF PICTURES screens at Frontline Club (31 JULY).


Frontline Club partners up with the Ethical Journalism Network to look at how images are chosen and used by media outlets and if it is possible to control their release as they flood the internet. SEA OF PICTURES + Q&A (19:00) focuses on the heartbreaking images of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi and helps mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Looking for an alternative? THE CRAFT (19:00) screens for FREE at The Alibi Film Club. To get you in the mood, Thought Catalogue offers up 25 Little-Known Facts about everyone’s favourite floating wiccans.

NOW (Santiago Alvarez) screens at BFI (01 AUGUST).

TUESDAY 01 AUGUST 2017, 18:00, BFI

BEGINNINGS & BATTLES includes an extended introduction from Dunja Fehimović (Newcastle University) as a way of kicking off BFI’s new season, FOR AN IMPOSSIBLE CINEMA: CUBAN DOCUMENTARIES (below). Tonight’s programme features a clutch of works from the 1950s and early 1960s including innovator Santiago Alvarez’s early experiments with the newsreel, CICLÓN and NOW.

Looking for an alternative? VIRUS OF FEAR + Q&A (18:30) with director Ventura Pons screens at ICA. Elsewhere, THE LEVELLING is shown across the Picturehouse chain thanks to their DISCOVER TUESDAYS strand devoted to “stunning cinema” (various times).

FADED WALLPAPER (Tina Keane) screens at BFI (02 AUGUST).

WEDNESDAY 02 AUGUST 2017, 18:15, BFI

One day, two unique voices…

TINA KEANE: DEVIANT BEAUTY + DISCUSSION involves BFI’s Helen de Witt, film scholar and writer Lucy Reynolds, and filmmaker Sarah Turner. Tina Keane — “a founding figure of the women’s art movement and a pioneer of mixed media practice” — will be present to share this celebration of her experimental film and video work over the past 40 years.

Looking for an alternative? RENAISSANCE: WALERIAN BOROWCZYK
SCREENING, BOOK LAUNCH & TALK WITH AUTHOR DANIEL BIRD (19:00) is a FREE event at The Horse Hospital. Daniel Bird talks about his new book published to coincide with a major retrospective of painter, sculptor and filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. The evening includes a selection of Borowczyk’s short films, including RENAISSANCE, LES JEUX DES ANGES, ROSALIE and DIPTYQUE. If you can’t get to Paris, Arrow Films has been releasing the master’s work in spangly new editions for home cinema.

SILENT WATERS (aka Khamosh Pani) screens at BFI (03 AUGUST).

THURSDAY 03 AUGUST 2017, 18:10, BFI

Acclaimed Pakistani drama SILENT WATERS (aka Khamosh Pani) is about a woman who becomes worried that her 17-year-old son is getting radicalised by Islamic extremists. Sabiha Sumar’s film deals with the legacy of Partition and screens as part of INDIA ON FILM (below).

Looking for an alternative? THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE (18:05) gets another outing as part of BFI’s GROSS INDECENCY season (below). BFI has the words: “Beryl Reid and Susannah York star in this darkly-comic story of a lesbian TV soap star whose life starts to crumble”.


MR O’S BOOK OF THE DEAD screens at Barbican (01 AUGUST).

Barbican continues short season THREE LOOKS WITH TRAJAL HARRELL with Japanese butoh (“the dance of utter darkness”) film MR O’s BOOK OF THE DEAD (01 AUGUST, 20:30).

“[Kazuo] Ohno leads a troupe of strangely dressed, made-up and gesticulating dancers through a succession of landscapes alternately lush, desolate and surreal.”

BFI continues the GROSS INDECENCY, CHRISTOPHER NOLAN PRESENTS…, DUSTIN HOFFMAN (PART 2), and INDIA ON FILM seasons. New season FOR AN IMPOSSIBLE CINEMA: CUBAN DOCUMENTARIES screens throughout AUGUST: “this is not an excuse for nostalgia, but the rediscovery of a remarkable body of innovatory documentaries with attitude”.

EASY RIDER (James Benning) screens at Close-Up (30 JULY).

Close-Up concludes the CASSAVETES and ON THE ROAD seasons. Try double dipping with two very different takes on EASY RIDER (30 JULY, 17:30 & 19:30).

And finally…


ICA hosts a developmental workshop about film and the city, THE SELF AND THE CITY (03 AUGUST 14:00). To get you in the mood, there’s a screening of IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY about a filmmaker struggling “to depict the soul of a city on the edge” the night before (02 AUGUST, 20:00) which includes a Q&A with director Tamer El Said and actor Khalid Abdalla.

More places to shelter from the storm in next week’s GUIDE.

*As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any mistakes.

** We try to cover screenings & events you can get tickets for. Click quickly.

Featured image: SITA SINGS THE BLUES (2008).