BASQUIAT: RAGE TO RICHES documentary film BBC (2017)


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*.

In London this week, Raindance Film Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary with a run at Vue Leicester Square (until 01 OCT). We’ll post a separate GUIDE asap. Elsewhere, you get to peer behind the screens with two excellent ‘making-of’ documentaries: BURDEN OF DREAMS at Close-Up (24 SEP) and DEMON LOVER DIARY at BFI (26 SEP). You can also explore the way film shapes our lives with events at The Institute of Light, BFI and Barbican.

Our featured screen event of the week is BASQUIAT: RAGE TO RICHES. This new BBC documentary about the legendary New York artist officially premieres at Barbican (25 SEP), but will be sold out. Instead, join the lovely folk at Picturehouse Central for a screening + Q&A with director David Shulman and the ubiquitous Mark Kermode (26 SEP).

Don’t forget to check below the line for regular film strands, festivals and talks.

> Let us know where you’re seeking shelter in the comments below!

QUEER ART & FILM CLUB screens a night of short film at The Horse Hospital (22 SEP).


Start your screen week in a subterranean setting with tonight’s QUEER ART & CULTURE CLUB. The curated evening of short film from this year’s London Porn Film Festival promises to be “fun, fabulous and frisky as fuck”. No late entry allowed.

Looking for an alternative? KILLS ON WHEELS at Prince Charles Cinema (22 to 28 SEP, various days/times), is an “inventive, action-packed coming-of-age story of friendship, loyalty and revenge” from Hungarian director Attila Till. It’s also that all-too rare thing: disabled actors on screen.

FITZCARRALDO Werner Herzog film
FITZCARRALDO screens at Close-Up (23 SEP).


Close-Up screens Werner Herzog’s sublime Amazonian adventure, FITZCARRALDO (19:00). Follow it up tomorrow with two documentaries by Les Blank (24 SEP 15:30). BURDEN OF DREAMS looks at the perilous making of FITZCARRALDO whilst WERNER HERZOG EATS HIS SHOE shows the director honouring a commitment to fellow filmmaker Errol Morris to do just that.

PLAY screens at Deptford Cinema (24 SEP).


One day, two double bills…

Deptford Cinema screens a double bill about crime, TEENS IN THE CITY, featuring GIMME THE LOOT (17:30) + PLAY (19:30). Joint tickets are a bargain at £9.50/£8.00 concs (+ booking fee). Part of the month-long DIY film festival, Scalarama.

“Set in central Gothenburg, PLAY depicts the exploits of a group of boys aged 12-14 who persistently rob other children using an elaborate role-play set-up that was dubbed the ‘little brother number’. Based on a series of real-life incidents, Ruben Östlund’s film re-enacts a day in the life of these young thieves and their victims.” Deptford Cinema.

THE RED BALLOON + WHITE MANE shows that movie balloons don’t always need to be menacing. This double bill of two delightful short films from Albert Lamorisse is at BFI (13:10).

HELLRAISER new poster by artist Matt Ryan Tobin (2017)
HELLRAISER screens at Prince Charles Cinema (25 SEP).


One day, two horrific choices…

Prince Charles Cinema hosts an exclusive 30th anniversary screening of HELLRAISER (18:30) from a 35mm print. Apparently, the PCC hosted the first-ever public screening of Clive Barker’s film, so this is Pinhead and the Cenobites coming home to roost. This is also Mondo’s first film event and you can pick up an exclusive variant of their forthcoming soundtrack reissue on the night. To add to the gory delights, there’s a ticket bundle (£55) which includes a new poster by artist Matt Ryan Tobin (above).

Over on the Southbank, BFI continues the STEPHEN KING ON SCREEN season. Put together a DIY double bill of THE STEPFATHER (18:40) – one of the excellent STEPHEN KING’S PICKS – and acclaimed adaptation of the author’s own MISERY (20:30) for a night of genuine scares.

Looking for an alternative? For a FREE (and slightly campier) kick of King, The Alibi screens THE RUNNING MAN (19:00) as part of their regular Monday night film club.

DEMON LOVER DIARY documentary feature film
DEMON LOVER DIARY screens at BFI (26 SEP).


Our featured screen event of the week is BASQUIAT: RAGE TO RICHES + Q&A with director David Shulman and Mark Kermode. The new documentary gets its official UK premiere at Barbican (25 SEP) but that was 3 tickets away from being sold out when we wrote this. The screening acts as a curtain raiser to the Barbican’s already acclaimed exhibition BASQUIAT: BOOM FOR REAL which runs until 28 JAN 2018 at the Barbican Art Gallery.

Looking for an alternative? In the same spurting vein as their STEPHEN KING ON SCREEN season, BFI continues journeying deep into horror cinema with DEMON LOVER DIARY + DISCUSSION (18:10). Which means we’ve bagged our second eye-popping ‘making-of’ this week.



ICA invites you to ARTISTS’ FILM CLUB: TOBIAS MADISON which includes the UK premiere of DAS BLUT, IM FRUCHTFLEISCH GERINNEND BEIM BIRNENBISS. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the artist about creative collaboration.

Looking for an alternative? SCHOOL NO. 3 (18:30) gets its UK Premiere as part of Barbican’s NEW EAST CINEMA strand and screens in partnership with RUSSIAN FILM WEEK (19 to 26 NOV) and a host of others.

“Speaking directly to the camera, teenagers from a school in Ukraine’s Donbass region share their innermost hopes, fears, desires and memories in this heartfelt documentary.” Barbican.

FREAKS screens at The Institute of Light (28 SEP).


Illustrator Ricardo Cavolo launches his new book, 101 MOVIES TO WATCH BEFORE YOU DIE, along with a special screening of RADIANT CIRCUS favourite, Tod Browning’s FREAKS. The book is “a love story told in 101 episodes” about the films that have shaped Cavolo’s life and the lives of his generation.

Looking for an alternative? REVOLUTIONS + Q&A with director Laura McGann (19:30) will get your wheels in a spin at Regent Street Cinema. This is the UK premiere of a roller derby film the Irish Times called a “hip, lively, amiable bruiser”.


THE SPARROW screens at Barbican London
THE SPARROW screens at Barbican (28 SEP).

Barbican continues COLLECTIVE VISIONS (10 SEP to 26 OCT) looking at cinema’s ability to bring people together. The film this week is THE SPARROW (28 SEP 18:30). If you’re a Barbican Member and a fan of Sidney Poitier, Adrian Wootton from Film London will continue his HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS (26 SEP 18:45) series by talking about Poitier’s remarkable life and career.

Bernie Grant Arts Centre continues seasons dedicated to SIDNEY POITIER – GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (22 SEP 19:30) – and ASGHAR FARHADI, the Iranian director behind acclaimed hit THE SALESMAN (28 SEP 19:30).

A MOON OF NICKEL AND ICE Bertha DocHouse London
A MOON OF NICKEL AND ICE screens at DocHouse (24 SEP).

Bertha DocHouse brings HOT DOCS LONDON (21 to 24 SEP) to Bloomsbury, featuring the best films from Canada’s International Documentary Festival. In a packed programme, we like the look of THE ROAD MOVIE (24 SEP 16:00) made entirely of Russian dash-cam footage, and A MOON OF NICKEL AND ICE (24 SEP 18:00), winner of the Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Awards at Hot Docs 2017.

BFI continues an excellent season dedicated to JEAN-PIERRE MELVILLE whilst the ever evolving INDIA ON FILM is on temporary hiatus until 17 OCT. Elsewhere, STEPHEN KING ON SCREEN includes a #KingForADay WEEKENDER (22 to 23 SEP). BFI Members can also benefit from an exclusive (first ticket) FREE evening with Baroness Helena Kennedy QC as she introduces IF…. (28 SEP 20:40).

RAZORBACK The Cinema Museum London
RAZORBACK screens at The Cinema Museum (23 SEP).

The Cinema Museum hosts THE CELLULOID SORCORESS’S 35MM CULT SATURDAY (23 SEP 11:00) which includes INNOCENT BLOOD (11:30), TRICK OR TREAT (13:45), THE LAST STAR FIGHTER (16:25), MANHUNTER (18:35) and RAZORBACK (20:55).

Close-Up continues excellent retrospectives about WERNER HERZOG (01 to 29 SEP) and Austrian documentarist RUTH BECKERMANN (03 to 24 SEP). THE INCREDIBLE SIMULTANEITY CONSOLE (07 SEP to 26 OCT), a season of artists’ film and videos, continues with PROGRAMME IV (THU 28 SEP 19:30).

The Horse Hospital concludes BLITZED, a three-film season about British men, masculinity and the 1950s, with HELL DRIVERS (26 SEP 18:30).

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN The Institute of Light London
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN screens at The Institute of Light (25 SEP).

The Institute of Light goes back to Film School with screening and discussion of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (25 SEP 19:00).

Prince Charles Cinema screens CHECK THE GATE (22 to 24 SEP), a short season of films on film. Featuring mostly mainstream titles you know and love, there’s an as yet unnamed MYSTERY MOVIE…

Raindance Festival launched this week (20 SEP) and runs until 01 OCT. We’ll post a dedicated GUIDE to the event asap.

THE NEXT SKIN Ciné Lumière London Spanish Film Festival
THE NEXT SKIN screens at Ciné Lumière (24 SEP).

Spanish Film Festival gets underway for its 13th edition (21 to 24 SEP) with a selection of recent Spanish films. Screenings take place at Regent Street Cinema and Ciné Lumière. We like the look of THE NEXT SKIN (Ciné Lumière 24 SEP 20:30).

And finally…

Sydenham Film Club launches their new season with NOTES ON BLINDNESS + (tbc) Q&A with filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney (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: BASQUIAT: RAGE TO RICHES (2017).