RADIANT CIRCUS hunts out the best independent movies, film events & gallery screenings in London for the week ahead*. Here’s our SCREEN GUIDE for the week 17 to 23 NOV 2017.
This week, there’s a wonderful array of feature length documentaries, some excellent Q&As with directors carving new paths and some deep dives into the archives for black & white wonders.
Lovers of short film will have a very tough choice with festival programmes of all shapes and sizes springing up across the city. Thursday is particularly ripe…
Film London’s JARMAN AWARD WEEKEND (18 to 19 NOV) at the Whitechapel Gallery gives good insight into a new generation of film provocateurs. We’re going on Sunday, but both days look great. Pair it with Pat O’Neill’s WHERE THE CHOCOLATE MOUNTAINS at Tate Modern (23 NOV) for a full week of artists’ film.
Our FEATURED ATTRACTION of the week is WEST OF THE JORDAN RIVER (23 NOV, ICA), the UK premiere of a new documentary about how Israeli and Palestinian citizens are discovering their own “local initiatives for peaceful coexistence” (Variety). We hope to see you there.
Let us know what you’ll be seeing – and anything we’ve missed – in the comments.
NOW SHOWING: SINGLE-O EXHIBITS
ONE-OFF MOVIE NIGHTS, FILM EVENTS & GALLERY SCREENINGS (by date/venue)
FRIDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2017
ArtHouse Crouch End: DARK DAYS (20:30)
A documentary about the homeless communities living in train tunnels beneath New York City. Part of the national Homeless Film Festival.
DocHouse: THANK YOU FOR THE RAIN + SPECIAL INTRO by producer Hugh Hartford and editor Adam Thomas (18:30)
Kenyan farmer Kisilu’s five year record of his family, his village and the effects of climate change on them both.
Everyman King’s Cross & Screen On The Green: THE FLORIDA PROJECT + Q&A with director Sean Baker (17:20 & 18:10)
Moonee and her mother Halley live in a motel close to Disney World but can only dream of going there… There’s another chance to hear from Sean Baker tomorrow at Curzon Soho (18 NOV 13:00).
ICA: GLITCH SHORTS (18:30)
A screening of short films followed by a discussion on Glitch Feminism. Stay a while for Glitch @ Night (20:00), an evening of performances and visuals.
SATURDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2017
The Cinema Museum: HOME MOVIE DAY (11:00)
A worldwide celebration of amateur films and filmmaking dedicated to preserving our film heritage.
Everyman Screen On The Green: THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (23:30)
Catch yourself some sublime late night chills.
Moth Club: EL TOPO & THE HOLY MOUNTAIN (15:00)
Deeper Into Movies offers up the crowning glory of cult movies, a double bill of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s western and its followup, an “epic hallucination filled with weirdness and wonder”.
Whitechapel Gallery: FILM LONDON JARMAN AWARD 2017 WEEKEND (13:00 to 18:00)
Bringing together the six artists shortlisted for the 2017 Jarman Award to address topics ranging from sound and memory, Botox, gender, future censoring of language, the cloud, snow and ‘queer wilderness’. Continues tomorrow (19 NOV) – each day a different programme.
SUNDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2017
Barbican: COOL CATS (14:00)
A documentary about Jazz legends Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster and their trip to Copenhagen in the mid-1960s in search of a better life. Part of EFG London Jazz Festival.
Barbican: THE SINS OF LOVE + LIVE SCORE (16:00)
The UK premiere of a restored 1929 Czech classic about “a rural actor whose life is destroyed by a theatre engagement in the big city, and by his obsessive love”.
BFI: PANDORA’S BOX + INTRO by writer Pamela Hutchinson (15:00)
Lulu (the wonderful Louise Brooks) breaks hearts and causes chaos in this 1928 silent classic.
Close-Up: LEWD LOOKS BOOK LAUNCH + VIBRATIONS (17:00)
Launching her new book Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s, Elena Gorfinkel presents a screening of Joe Sarno’s late 1960s sexploitation gem VIBRATIONS.
Genesis Cinema: L’ULTIMA SPIAGGIA aka The Last Resort (15:30)
A documentary by Thanos Anastopoulos and Davide Del Degan about beach-goers at a popular beach located in Trieste, where a wall still separates men from women. Presented by CinemaItaliaUK.
Continuing Oleksandr Dovzhenko’s silent masterpieces, fully restored with new soundtracks by contemporary composers. After last week’s ZVENYHORA (16 NOV), it’s time for ARSENAL. EARTH completes the trilogy (25 NOV).
ICA: THE CHURCH OF EXPANDED TELEPATHY (16:00)
The Church of Expanded Telepathy present recent collaborative film works addressing telepathy and queer theory. The screening is followed by a discussion with the artists.
Prince Charles Cinema: THE VENGENCE TRILOGY (16:30)
Featuring Park Chan-wook’s thematic threesome SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, OLDBOY and LADY VENGEANCE.
Prince Charles Cinema: LAZER TEAM 2 (20:30)
A YouTube Red original.
MONDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2017
Barbican: THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES + ARENA + SCREEN TALK (18:30)
The always popular Architecture on Film strand continues with documentaries about the physical and mental architecture of prison.
Everyman King’s Cross: SWEET VIRGINIA + Q&A with actor Imogen Poots (18:30)
A former rodeo champ befriends a young man with a propensity for violence.
TUESDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2017
BFI: CAT PEOPLE + THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE + INTRO by Anna Bogutskaya (20:15)
The BFI’s SCREEN CLASSICS strand projects a B-Movie landmark and its ‘lyrical’ sequel.
ICA: JANE + Q&A with director Brett Morgen (18:30)
A documentary about conservationist Jane Goodall hewn from over 100 hours of unseen footage and a score by Philip Glass. For a great double, Morgen will also introduce his previous film COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK (20:45) later this evening. We love a content warning:
“We are pleased to exhibit COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK at the director Brett Morgen’s chosen volume level, creating a vibrant concert atmosphere to the presentation.”
WEDNESDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2017
BFI: JOURNEY TO ITALY + INTRO by Geoff Andrew (18:20)
Roberto Rossellini’s masterpiece follows a middle-aged English couple taking a break in Italy.
Frontline Club: CONFLICT + SKYPE Q&A with director Nick Fitzhugh (19:00)
A documentary about how some of the world’s best conflict photographers captured their most powerful images – from war to domestic violence, gang violence and rape.
Shorts on Tap: FAB FOUR – THE VERY BEST FROM YEAR FOUR OF SHORTS ON TAP (19:00)
The regular short film night celebrates its fourth birthday with their pick of the best of the year so far. Follow the link for the full programme.
THURSDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2017
Bernie Grant Arts Centre: OUVRIR LA VOIX EST aka Open The Voice (19:30)
A documentary about black women from European colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean.
Ciné Lumière: POLINA + Q&A with directors Angelin Preljocaj & Valérie Müller and producer Didier Creste (20:45)
Based upon a graphic novel by Bastien Vivès, POLINA “recounts the fall from grace of a promising ballet dancer who turns her back on the prestigious Bolshoi”.
Curzon Chelsea: HAPPY END + Q&A with director Michael Haneke & actor Toby Jones (18:15)
Haneke’s latest is “an incisive and bitingly satirical exploration of middle class life”.
Genesis Cinema: THE SHINING + WORK & PLAY + INTRO/DISCUSSION with Nick Walker (18:15)
The screening will be introduced by Walker and followed by a salon discussion.
Haringey Independent Cinema (at Park View School): 13TH (19:00)
Taking its title from the 13th Amendment to the US constitution, this documentary from Ava DuVernay offers a devastating analysis of race and the law in the USA.
ICA: WEST OF THE JORDAN RIVER + Q&A with director Amos Gitai (18:30)
UK premiere of a new documentary about the efforts of citizens, Israelis and Palestinians, who are trying to overcome the consequences of ongoing occupation.
Tate Modern: PAT O’NEILL: WHERE THE CHOCOLATE MOUNTAINS (18:30)
Experimental “film maverick” Pat O’Neill presents the UK premiere of his latest feature. O’Neill is known for his technical and artistic innovations in visual effects and optical printing.
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.
Tate Britain: DEREK JARMAN: BLUE (until AUTUMN 2017 – FREE, check for times)
Jarman’s single-shot masterpiece with a score by – amongst others – Simon Fisher Turner and a soundscape by Marvin Black screens on perpetual loop. Read our writeup here.
Tenderpixel: A GESTURE TOWARDS TRANSFORMATION (until 23 NOV – FREE, check for times)
An exhibition about the erosion of trust in verbal communication and the pursuit of meaning in other forms – sound, tone, gesture, movement, rhythm, resonance and repetition.
Whitechapel Gallery: GABRIELA GOLDER AND WOJCIECH BAKOWSKI (until 03 DEC – FREE, check for times)
The latest selections from the gallery’s Artists’ Film International partnership screen on perpetual loop. Gabriela Golder is selected by Fundacion PRÓA, Buenos Aires; Wojciech Bakowski by Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw.
NOW SHOWING: MUSEUM SHOWS
SEASONS & FESTIVALS (by venue/event)
BFI: Headline programme WHO CAN YOU TRUST? is all about the thrillers. Events this week are: DR. MABUSE, THE GAMBLER (18 & 26 NOV) Fritz Lang’s visionary – and, at 270 min, lengthy! – conspiracy thriller; continuation of ALAN PAKULA’S PARANOIA TRILOGY with KLUTE (19 NOV) and THE PARALLAX VIEW (22 NOV); and, a double bill REAR WINDOW // BODY DOUBLE (18 NOV 18:20 & 20:45). Other seasons are plentiful… GOOD AT BEING BAD: THE FILMS OF GLORIA GRAHAME continues with: CROSSFIRE (18 NOV 18:30) for which Grahame won an Academy Award; and, THE GLASS WALL + INTRO by season curator Jo Botting (20 NOV 18:20) about “a woman who forms a bond with an illegal immigrant”. INDIA ON FILM focusses on DEATH & DECEPTION with SAIRAT (19 & 26 NOV), dealing with some of the sub-continent’s enduring taboos. TEARS & LAUGHTER: WOMEN IN JAPANESE MELODRAMA continues with: THE BLUE SKY MAIDEN aka Ao-Zora Musume (17 NOV 20:40), a “satirical Cinderella story”; AN AFFAIR AT AKITSU aka Akitsu Onsen (19 & 21 NOV), a “hauntingly intense melodrama of unrequited love and post-war disillusion”; and, THE SHAPE OF NIGHT (23 & 29 NOV) about a woman pushed into prostitution by her Yakuza boyfriend.
Close-Up: CLOSE-UP ON ANDREI TARKOVSKY (07 to 21 NOV) has proven to be very popular. SOLARIS sold out once, so grab tickets for a repeat (17 NOV 19:00) and follow it with NOSTALGHIA (21 NOV 19:30). SOHRAB SHAHID SALESS: EXILES (18 NOV to 09 DEC) features the almost wordless films of the Iranian filmmaker starting with UTOPIA (18 NOV 16:00) and ORDER (22 NOV 19:30).
Crystal Palace International Film Festival (until 18 NOV): The South London festival enters the home straight with SHORT FILM NIGHT 3 (17 NOV 19:30) and a closing night gala of COMEDY SHORTS + AWARDS with Mark Steel (18 NOV 19:00 – “dress to impress”).
Deptford Cinema: A tribute to AGNÈS VARDA continues with LE BONHEUR (21 NOV 20:00). CHILD’S EYE VIEW concludes with the London premiere of 69 MINUTES OF 86 DAYS (19 NOV 19:00), “a vital, poetic portrait of a young migrant’s journey”. THE NEW INDIAN CINEMA continues with TEMPLE aka Deool + SHORT: I CANNOT GIVE YOU MY FOREST (22 Nov 19:30), “a satire of blind devotion, the commodification of religion and the dangers of corruption”.
Doc’n Roll Festival (until 19 NOV): The music documentary festival has a packed programme in its final few days. Choose from: RESIDENTE (17 NOV 18:30, Picturehouse Central) about Latin America’s most acclaimed artist, Rene Perez, aka Residente, pursuing his ancestors and an album; DEATH BY METAL (18 NOV 15:30, Hackney Picturehouse) about one of the most influential groups in hardcore heavy metal; SYL JOHNSON: ANY WAY THE WIND BLOS + Q&A (18 NOV 15:30, Ritzy Picturehouse) about the soul singer who left the music business to open a Chicago fried-fish chain; and, L7: PRETEND WE’RE DEAD (19 NOV 17:30, Hackney Picturehouse) about the fierce pioneers of American grunge punk.
Fringe! Queer Arts & Film Fest (14 to 19 NOV): Several programmes of queer shorts have sold out, but there still appears to be room for LEZ BE HONEST – DIY SOCIAL CONSCIENCE FILMS OF CATHERINE GUND + Q&A (17 NOV 20:45, Hackney Showroom) and FLEETING GLANCES, TAKING CHANCES (18 NOV 15:00, Hackney Showroom – FREE). Of the other events, we like the look of: TOMCAT + Q&A with director with Händl Klaus (17 NOV 21:00, The Castle Cinema) about a well-off gay couple who lead an idyllic life in the Viennese suburbs with their tomcat Moses; WHO WILL FUCK DADDY? (18 NOV 21:30, Hackney Showrooms) “a psychosexual fantasy of pleasure and bodily autonomy”; CLUB DES FEMMES WITH FELICITY SPARROW: AN INVITATION TO JACQUI D (18 NOV 13:00, Rio Cinema) featuring the 16mm experimental dramas of Lesbian feminist filmmaker Jacqui Duckworth; and, UPROOTING GHOSTS: A QUEER “FANTASIA ON NATIONAL THEMES + Q&A (18 NOV 17:00, Hackney Showroom – FREE), a mash-up of banned and rare films that “unearths the frenetic, oppressive mood of political and social realities in 1952-1989 Poland and Hungary, through fragments of queer desire and the resistance of our very existence”.
GFEST (until 25 NOV): I’M NOT SICK! I’M GAY + SHORTS + Q&A (20 NOV 20:15) is the London premiere of a doc about one of the few out gay activists in Kazakhstan who manages to organise the first pride event in the former Soviet state. IF YOU DARE DESIRE + SHORTS (21 NOV 20:15, Rich Mix) takes real life starting point of the 2011 suicide of two young women in love in West Bengal and asks, what if they had run away and survived? FIRE SONG + BALLROOM BOYS (22 NOV 20:15, ArtHouse Crouch End) is about a gay teenager from the Canadian First Nation Anishinaabe who lives in Northern Ontario and struggles to support his family in the aftermath of his sister’s suicide. AN EVENING OF LGBTQI SHORT FILMS (23 NOV 18:15, ArtHouse CrouchEnd) is just that.
Made in Prague Festival (until 06 DEC): The 21st edition continues – after the first ever UK retrospective of Czech filmmaker Jan Němec – with a programme of recent Czech HIGHLIGHTS at Regent Street Cinema. The programme includes an exclusive premiere of the new HBO series WASTELAND + Q&A (17 NOV 19:00); and Czech nominees for a European Film Academy Award THE TEACHER (18 NOV 18:15) and for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Fiction Film ICE MOTHER (18 NOV 20:20).
Picturehouse Central: THE ENHANCTED SCREEN winter season continues with, LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE (19 NOV 13:00) and GINGERELLA (ROCKAFELA) + Q&A with director Alex Reuben (20 NOV 18:30), a new essay film exploring the meaning of dance (with a sprinkling of Cinderella). Other Picturehouses available.
Russian Film Week (19 to 26 NOV): If you can’t afford one of the Late Bird (i.e. expensive!) tickets for opening sci-fi red-carpet extravaganza ATTRACTION + PARTY (19 NOV 16:30, Science Museum IMAX), try the FREE screening of documentary RUSSIA IS BEAUTIFUL, SON (21 Nov 18:30, Russian Culture House). There’s an excellent programme at Regent Street Cinema where, keeping the sci-fi candle burning, we love the look of superhero saga GUARDIANS (21 NOV 20:30) as well as PAGANS (23 NOV 20:30), “set inside the confines of an apartment, a drama is played out between family members, mixed with a hidden blind faith in a miracle…”. Heading back into space, there are still (a few) tickets for the Cold War saga SPACEWALKER + Q&A with director Dmitriy Kiselev (22 NOV 20:30, BFI).
UK Jewish International Film Festival (until 26 NOV): The 21st festival is underway at venues across London with (really) strong programmes at JW3, Ciné Lumière and Phoenix Cinema. Odeon, Everyman and Picturehouse chains also get a good look in. Many events are sold out but we like the look of: THE GOVERNESS (19 NOV 15:30, Picturehouse Central); MONSIEUR MAYONNAISE (20 NOV 16:00, JW3); and, ED WOOD (21 NOV 15:30, JW3).
Underwire Festival (22 to 26 NOV): Underwire is the UK’s only film festival celebrating female filmmaking talent across the crafts. We like the look of special event TENTACLES ARE INCLUDED: THE SHORT FILMS OF KATE HERRON + Q&A with Kate Herron (23 NOV 20:40, BFI), mainly because we’re mugs for the T-word. For lovers of short film there are many more wonders: DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN (22 NOV 18:10, BFI); MEN BY WOMEN (23 NOV 18:30, Barbican); SHATTERBOX SHORTS (23 NOV 18:45, Curzon Soho); SCIENCE FICTION DOUBLE FEATURE (23 NOV 21:00, Prince Charles); and PERIOD PIECES (23 NOV 21:00, The Castle Cinema). This week’s feature film is LOST IN VAGUENESS + Q&A + PARTY with director Sofia Olins (23 NOV 18:45, Curzon Aldgate), a documentary about Glastonbury’s late night after party, Lost Vagueness.
We The Peoples Film Festival (until 24 NOV): We The Peoples screens new films on themes of human rights, development and peace. Now in its eighth year, the festival is run by the United Nations Association Westminster Branch. We like the look of RUPA’S BOUTIQUE + SHORTS (21 NOV 19:00, The Cinema Museum) about the survivors of acid-attacks.
NOW SHOWING: GRIND SHOWS
REGULAR RUNS & MAINSTREAM MARVELS (by title)
HEARTSTONE at ICA (17 to 23 NOV)
A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend.
SUSPIRIA at Barbican (17 TO 23 NOV)
Italian horror auteur Dario Argento unleashes the ultimate cult film, scrubbed-up and ready to shock all over again for its fortieth anniversary.
TROPHY at DocHouse / Curzon Bloomsbury (17 to 23 NOV)
DocHouse continues their ANIMAL KINGDOM with a regular run of the doc about game hunting vs conservation. Next up is JANE (from 24 NOV).
Join the hunt for adventurous moving pictures.
*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any mistakes. Updates & corrections to the online version. All readers & subscribers should be 18+. We only include events you can get tickets for at the time of posting. Please click quickly!
Featured image: WEST OF THE JORDAN RIVER (2017).