RADIANT CIRCUS hunts out the best independent movie nights, film events & gallery screenings in London for the week ahead*. Here’s our SCREEN GUIDE for the week 01 to 07 DEC 2017.
This week is full of fascinating festivals covering a range of subjects from animation to migration, experimental, Irish, French and Portuguese film. There’s also a smorgasbord of short seasons: take your pick from Finnish independence (Barbican Centre), individual filmmakers (TRINH T. MINH-HA at ICA), and new German cinema (Goethe Institute & Close-Up).
We’re delighted to see one of our absolute favourites from this year’s BFI FLARE return for a tentacular run at Whirled Cinema. THE UNTAMED is brilliantly unusual…
Our FEATURED ATTRACTION of the week is #SUGARWATER (03 DEC, Genesis Cinema), a 2016 doc about the first ever performance by pioneering Deaf and disabled theatre company Graeae at the National Theatre.
#SCREENGUIDE: Each week we highlight up to three SINGLE-O EXHIBITS (one-off screen events) each day and offer a roundup of others. There’s a summary of MUSEUM SHOWS (exhibitions // seasons & festivals) and GRIND SHOWS (regular runs & mainstream marvels) below the line. Follow date & section links to find what you want. Use your ‘back’ button to return here.
NOW SHOWING: SINGLE-O EXHIBITS
ONE-OFF MOVIE NIGHTS, FILM EVENTS & GALLERY SCREENINGS (by date/venue)
FRIDAY 01 DECEMBER 2017
Bernie Grant Arts Centre: THE WATERMELON WOMAN (19:30)
A black filmmaker finds a reflection of herself in cinema history.
BFI Southbank: ONE MAN’S MADNESS + Q&A with star and subject of the film, saxophonist Lee Thompson (20:45)
BFI’s SONIC CINEMA returns with a new documentary charting the rise of one of Britain’s best-loved bands.
The Cinema Museum: LEBANON FACTORY + Q&A + MUSIC (18:30)
Four Lebanese film makers + four international producers = four films offering a unique perspective on Lebanon. Presented by South Social Film Festival.
SATURDAY 02 DECEMBER 2017
The Cinema Museum: THE LIVE GHOST TENT (15:00)
The quarterly general meeting of The Laurel and Hardy Society. Non-members are welcome (with a requested £5 donation).
The Horse Hospital: EXPLODING CINEMA (19:00)
Another night of independent, underground, and experimental short film.
Moth Club: STALKER (13:00):
Andrei Tarkovsky’s final Soviet feature is a “metaphysical journey through an enigmatic postapocalyptic landscape, and a rarefied cinematic experience like no other”. Presented by Deeper Into Movies.
SUNDAY 03 DECEMBER 2017
Barbican Centre: LITTLE WING (16:00)
Celebrate a centenary of Finnish Independence with this “touching and funny kind-of-road-trip movie, about a young girl on a personal quest”. Part of a programme curated by the Midnight Sun Film Festival (until 03 DEC).
Genesis Cinema: #SUGARWATER + Q&A (13:30)
A eye-opening doc about the first ever performance by pioneering Deaf and disabled theatre company Graeae at the National Theatre. Part of the ticket proceeds go to Graeae.
Phoenix Cinema: PANDORA’S BOX + LIVE PIANO + INTRO (14:00)
Author Pamela Hutchinson introduces this 1929 tale of a free-loving, status-climbing dancer who takes up with a succession of lovers leading to her own doom.
MONDAY 04 DECEMBER 2017
BFI Southbank: HUMAN FLOW (20:10)
Controversial artist Ai Weiwei’s take on the global refugee crisis.
TUESDAY 05 DECEMBER 2017
BFI Southbank: DANCING WITH FRED ASTAIRE (18:00)
BFI’s EXPERIMENTA strand treats us to a book launch, screening and Q&A with legendary director Jonas Mekas (05 DEC 18:00).
The Cinema Museum: KETTLING OF THE VOICES + Q&A with Chester Yang (18:45)
An documentary exploring the events and aftermath of the student protest against the rise in tuition fees in winter 2010. Presented by BECTU.
DocHouse: KARL MARX CITY + Q&A with co-directors Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker (18:20)
A “powerfully personal voyage through former East Germany” investigating Epperlein’s father’s suicide and the possibility that he may have worked as a spy for the Stasi security service.
WEDNESDAY 06 DECEMBER 2017
The Castle Cinema: #SOUNDTRACKS World Premiere (21:00)
Tristan C. Anderson launches his new #SOUNDTRACKS project, the world’s first music video documentary album.
The Cinema Museum: PAVEMENT BUTTERFLY in 35mm (19:30)
A 1929 German English co production directed by Richard Eichberg and starring Anna May Wong. Accompanied by guest pianist Stephen Horne and presented by Kennington Bioscope.
Tate Modern: ALSO KNOWN AS JIHADI + Q&A with artist Eric Baudelaire (18:30)
Produced in the wake of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, Baudelaire’s new film traces a young man’s path to radicalisation through landscapes and court transcripts.
Also screening: CONFLICT ON SCREEN: BEST OF IWM SHORT FILM FESTIVAL + INTRO/Q&A (18:30, Picturehouse Central) // THE FLORIDA PROJECT (19:45, Stanley’s Film Club) // OPEN BETHLEHEM + Q&A with Sara Apps, Open Bethlehem Campaign (19:30, The David Lean Cinema) // WAKOLDA aka The German Doctor (20:00, Deptford Cinema).
THURSDAY 07 DECEMBER 2017
The Independent Cinema Office Archive Day features two archive events including a rarely seen UK noir and woman’s Faustian pact to regain her youth.
Curzon Soho: ASUNDER + Q&A with director Esther Johnson and writer Bob Stanley (18:45)
The story of what happened to a quintessential British town during the First World War, with virtually all of its men abroad fighting and its women and children left behind.
Hither Green Cinema: CAMERAPERSON + Q&A/Discussion (19:00)
Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson exposes her many years behind the camera through a memoir made up of decades of footage shot all over the world (wikipedia).
NOW SHOWING: MUSEUM SHOWS
EXHIBITIONS (by venue/event)
Barbican: PURPLE (until 07 JAN 2018 – FREE, check for times)
British artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah’s “immersive six-channel video installation addressing climate change, human communities and the wilderness”.
Barbican: Vincent Moon & Priscilla Telmon: HÍBRIDOS (until 31 DEC – FREE, check for times)
A site-specific film installation featuring the spiritual rituals of Brazil.
Whitechapel Gallery: Last chance to see GABRIELA GOLDER AND WOJCIECH BAKOWSKI (until 03 DEC – FREE, check for times)
A new selection of moving image works from Artists’ Film International opens 05 DEC and loops until 28 JAN 18: LUIS LAZARO MATOS + ZHENG MAHLER + NGUYEN PHUONG LINH.
SEASONS & FESTIVALS (by venue/event)
BFI: Headline thriller season WHO CAN YOU TRUST? includes contributions from SILENT CINEMA (THE FOUR JUST MEN + INTRO, 03 DEC 16:20). AFRICAN ODYSSEYS returns with THE CEO + Q&A with actor Wale Ojo (02 DEC 20:10). GOOD AT BEEING BAD continues the Gloria Grahame season with THE BIG HEAT (various dates) and ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (02 DEC 16:10).
Ciné Lumière: TRIBUTE TO JEANNE MOREAU continues with JOURNAL D’UNE FEMME DE CHAMBRE aka Diary of A Chambermaid (03 DEC 14:00) and a special screening of LES VALSEUSES + LIVE MUSIC (03 DEC 16:00) which gives you a young Depardieu and a jazz concert with John Etheridge. A new FOCUS ON MARCEL PAGNOL (04 DEC to 28 JAN) begins with JEAN DE FLORETTE (04 DEC 18:30).
Close-Up: Short season IL CINEMA RITROVATO: THE SHOCK OF THE OLD concludes with TRANCES (01 DEC 19:30). There are then three evenings of experimental animation as part of London International Animation Festival curated by Edge of Frame. Choose from: YOU< ME< THEM (02 DEC 19:30) and then an AFTER NATURE double bill (03 DEC 18:00 & 20:00). PETER NESTLER SHORTS (07 DEC 19:30) begins a new collar with the Goethe Institute (see below)
French Film Festival (London dates until 12 DEC): Celebrating its 25 year, the francophone festival returns to London with a run of screenings at Regent Street Cinema. We like the look of: CORNICHE KENNEDY (04 DEC 20:15); and GOLDEN YEARS (06 DEC 18:00).
Genesis Cinema: #DIRECTEDBYWOMEN continues with screenings of BRAKES + Q&A with director Mercedes Grower (07 DEC 18:30).
Goethe Institute: Short season NEUE WELT: RADICAL VISIONS IN NEW GERMAN CINEMA (04 to 13 DEC) is a fresh collab with Close-Up and the National Film & Television School. First up are: YESTERDAY GIRL (04 DEC 19:00, Goethe Institute); THE CHRONICLE OF ANNA MAGDALENA BACH (05 DEC 19:00, Goethe Institute); and, PETER NESTLER SHORTS (07 DEC 19:30, Close-Up).
ICA: Short season TRINH T MINH-HA (02 to 09 DEC) follows the sold out UK premiere of FORGETTING VIETNAM at Tate Modern (01 DEC). Hugely influential in the fields of feminism and postcolonial studies, Vietnamese-born writer, theorist, composer and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha will be present to speak about her work. Other events on The Mall include two screenings of work by Satyajit Ray: RABINDRANATH TAGORE + SIKKIM, 02 DEC 13:40 and KANCHENJUNGHA, 06 DEC 20:45).
Irish Film Festival (until 03 DEC): The 7th edition continues with a strong programme of screenings at Regent Street Cinema. There are three selections of short film, PROGRAMME 1 (01 DEC 17:00), PROGRAMME 2 (03 DEC 12:45) and GAZE @25yrs, LGBT shorts in celebration with the Dublin Festival (02 DEC 15:00). We also like the look of the following features with Q&As: THE SECRET SCRIPTURE + Q&A with director Jim Sheridan (02 DEC 19:30); animated THE BREADWINNER + Q&A with director Nora Twomey (03 DEC 15:00); IN THE NAME OF PEACE + Q&A with director Maurice Fitzpatrick (03 DEC 17:00); and, THE FARTHEST + Q&A with director Emer Reynolds (03 DEC 19:00) – read our writeup of that one HERE.
London Experimental Film Festival (03 DEC, 15:00 to 19:00): The platform for progressive art screens in an old Tube carriage at the Pumphouse Museum.
London International Animation Festival (01 to 10 DEC): The festival focuses on the whole spectrum of creative animation and has programmes at Barbican Centre, Close-Up and The Horse Hospital. Stepping away from the 126 films screening in competition, there are still tickets for OPENING NIGHT GALA: THE ABSURDIST NARRATIVES OF DAVID OREILLY (01 DEC 18:30, Barbican) and we like the look of BEST OF THE NEXT screenings of up & coming talent (PROGRAMME 1 19:00 & PROGRAMME 2 21:00) at The Horse Hospital (07 DEC). Special screening FEMALE FIGURES + SCREENTALK (06 DEC 18:30, Barbican) looks at the creation of complex and compelling female characters. Don’t forget the three evenings of experimental animation at Close-Up (above).
London Migration Film Festival (until 05 DEC): The festival’s mix of features and shorts screens at Deptford and Genesis cinemas. Of the excellent array, we like the look of: THE ART OF MOVING + SHORT: OKSHIJAN (02 DEC 15:30, Genesis); EL FUTURO PERFECTO + SHORT: TOPRAK (02 DEC 02 16:00, Deptford); THE DOG + SHORT: ABIGAIL (03 DEC 17:30, Deptford); and, FOR A SON + SHORT: AMBARADAN (03 DEC 18:00, Genesis).
Picturehouse Central: THE ENHANCTED SCREEN invites you to ‘enter the magical world of folklore and fairy tales’. This week’s stories are: TV wonder THE BOX OF DELIGHTS (02 DEC 15:00); THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (03 DEC 13:00); and, BLANCANIEVES (04 DEC 18:15). Other Picturehouses available.
NOW SHOWING: GRIND SHOWS
REGULAR RUNS & MAINSTREAM MARVELS (by title)
THE DISASTER ARTIST at Prince Charles Cinema (from 01 DEC)
See James Franco’s tragicomic true-story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau at the London home of THE ROOM!
DOLORES at Bertha DocHouse/Curzon Bloomsbury (from 01 DEC)
A DocHouse first – films that wouldn’t normally get a regular run in London – about “one of the most important, yet least known, activists in recent history”.
HAPPY END + MICHAEL HANEKE – IMAGE EVERLASTING at Picturehouse Central (01 to 06 DEC)
Like many, Picturehouse is screening Michael Haneke’s latest, but here it comes with an exclusive short film essay by Lewis Bond of YouTube Channel Criswell.
THE UNTAMED at Whirled Cinema (03 to 06 DEC)
Amat Escalante’s tentacular follow up to his critically lauded features HELI and LOS BASTARDOS. One of our (absolute) favourites of this year’s BFI FLARE.
Join the hunt for adventurous moving pictures.
*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any mistakes. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+. We only include events you can book for at the time of posting. Please click quickly!
Featured image: #SUGARWATER (2016).