RADIANT CIRCUS is your handcrafted guide to London’s DIY, indie & alternative movie nights, film events & gallery screenings. Our latest SCREEN GUIDE helps you find moving image exhibitions, repertory seasons & film festivals in London this month [MAY 2018].
Welcome to our MAY roundup.
Each month we look ahead to what we like to call London’s MUSEUM SHOWS, places where you can find several attractions under one roof: including moving image exhibitions, repertory seasons and film festivals.
It’s a busy one. In addition to some outstanding exhibitions, we count 25 seasons screening at cinemas across the city and a further 13 film festivals. We will have missed something… We will keep you updated on all London’s one-off movie nights, gallery screenings and special events in our weekly guides and daily updates.
To the month ahead, anime continues to be a popular topic with a continuing season at Genesis Cinema followed by new programmes at House of Vans (CYBERPUNK ANIME) and BFI Southbank (ANIMATION 2018: JAPANIMATION). The big gun is undoubtedly the 30th anniversary screening of AKIRA at the BFI IMAX (14 MAY). Read our writeup of anime expert Helen McCarthy’s recent talk at the Japan Foundation about the art form’s enduring appeal, here.
Elsewhere, we really like the look of CREATURE FEATURES at The Prince Charles and Ciné Lumière’s TRIBUTE TO GASTON LEROUX which includes two double bills: TALK: THE PHANTOM ON FILM + PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (15 MAY); and, LE MYSTÈRE DE LA CHAMBRE JAUNE + LE PARFUM DE LA DAME EN NOIR (27 MAY).
As we head to the local elections, there’s considerable revisionist and revolutionary zeal about with an outstanding new season at Barbican – RETURNING THE COLONIAL GAZE featuring a double bill by René Vautier, the self-described ‘most censored director in France’ (09 MAY) – and thematically related programmes at Ciné Lumière (MAY ’68 & IT’S LEGACIES), BFI Southbank (UPRISING: THE SPIRIT OF ’68), and Regent Street Cinema (YOUTH ON THE MARCH!).
For singular cinematic voices, there are several excellent choices including LUCRECIA MARTEL at ICA and BFI Southbank, YASUJIRÔ OZU and JACQUES TATI at The Prince Charles, and JEAN-LUC GODARD at Close-Up. Our hearts are particularly taken by the PIER PAOLO PASOLINI retrospective, also at Close-Up, which features some of his best – and considerably lesser-known – works.
Indeed, PASOLINI would have been our Featured Attraction of the month if it wasn’t for the appearance of a certain Derek Jarman in the lineup at Deptford Cinema’s alternative ROYAL WEDDING (19 to 20 MAY) and Film London’s celebration of the JARMAN AWARD (from 15 MAY).
What are you going to see?
ROYAL WEDDING at Deptford Cinema (19 to 20 MAY)
The South-East London community cinema gives you a great place to #shelterfromthestorm of perpetual media coverage with a juicy bit of programming:
“Escape it all with our mini-festival of punk movies. From BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN to THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV, we chart almost a hundred years of filmmaking resistance to the monarchy.” DEPTFORD CINEMA
If Werner Herzog is our spirit animal at RADIANT CIRCUS, Derek Jarman is our Super8 godhead, so we are delighted to see his JUBILEE + LOCAL PUNK BAND (19 MAY 17:30) programmed on the big screen. Other films in this excellent weekender are: BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (19 MAY 16:00); RAN (20 MAY 15:00); and, THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV (20 MAY 18:30).
Looking for more Jarman? FLAMIN – the Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network – celebrates 10 years of the Derek Jarman Award for artists at the cutting edge of moving image with an exhibition (from 15 MAY) and a special screening of Jarman’s own films in conversation with Tariq Ali (26 MAY –see EXHIBITIONS). There’s also a brilliant new BFI box set of his early features.
FILMS IN LONDON THIS MONTH
MUSEUM SHOWS 1 // EXHIBITIONS
BL CK B X: GENTLEMEN – OLIVER PAYNE & NICK RELPH at LUX Moving Image (until 12 MAY – FREE, check for opening days/times):
LUX presents Oliver Payne and Nick Relph’s video work GENTLEMEN (2003) as part of the BL CK B X series of free monthly exhibitions of artists’ moving image. Coincides with the opening of Ian White: Any Frame is a Thrown Voice at Camden Arts Centre (until 24 JUN). Part of Cruising Ground II.
BL CK B X: MARY HELENA CLARK at LUX Moving Image (16 MAY to JUN– FREE, check for opening days/times):
LUX presents the first UK solo exhibition by American artist Mary Helena Clark, who has produced a new moving image work THE GLASS NOTE for LUX’s BL CK B X series.
FILM LONDON JARMAN AWARD: A Journey Through The First Decade at The Whitechapel Gallery (15 MAY to 10 JUN – FREE, check for opening days/times):
The Film London Jarman Award was named in honour of Derek Jarman (b.1942), whose imagination, singularity of vision and collaborative practice breathed fresh life into British filmmaking. This exhibition provides a survey of artists working with the moving image throughout the Award’s first decade.
The Whitechapel also hosts a special event, DEREK JARMAN NOW (26 MAY 13:00), that includes films GLITTERBUG, WITTGENSTEIN and BLUE plus producer Tariq Ali in conversation.
IAN CHENG at the Serpentine Galleries (until 28 MAY – FREE, check for opening days/times):
Artist Ian Cheng likens his live simulations to ‘a computer game that plays itself’, testing the capacity of humans to relate to continual change. Carrying on from his new AI species, BOB, the second part of the exhibition continues with his trilogy of simulations, EMISSARIES (2015-17).
JOAN JONAS at Tate Modern (until 05 AUG):
Hero to a generation of younger artists, Joan Jonas is a pioneer of performance and video who has pushed the boundaries of art for the last five decades. This is the largest exhibition of Jonas’ work ever held in the UK. Installations include Lines in the Sand, The Juniper Tree and Reanimation.
ROSA BARBAR, ROBERTAS NARKUS & JOKŪBAS ČIŽIKAS, DANIELLE DEAN at The Whitechapel Gallery (until 03 JUN – FREE, check for times):
A selection of artists from The Whitechapel’s ARTISTS’ FILM INTERNATIONAL partnership of moving image galleries. The 2018 edition focuses on the theme of truth. Each of the selected artists explore the relationship between fact and fiction.
SONDRA PERRY: TYPHOON COMING ON at Serpentine Galleries (until 20 MAY – free, check with the gallery for opening days/times):
The Serpentine presents the first European solo exhibition of American artist Sondra Perry who explores the intersection of black identity, digital culture and power structures through video, media, installation and performance.
TACITA DEAN: PORTRAIT at the National Portrait Gallery (until 28 MAY – Tickets £14/£12.50 concession, check with the gallery for opening days/times):
This major new exhibition will focus on portraiture primarily through the medium of 16mm film. The exhibition will be the first in the gallery’s history to be devoted to the medium of film, and also reveals Tacita Dean’s own longstanding and personal interest in portraiture as a genre.
TACITA DEAN: STILL LIFE at the National Gallery (until 28 MAY – FREE, check with the gallery for opening days/times):
STILL LIFE presents a diverse selection of works in a variety of mediums. Works by the artist herself – including a new film diptych made especially for the exhibition, IDEAS FOR SCULPTURE IN A SETTING and PRISONER PAIR (2008, 16mm) – feature alongside works by Dean’s contemporaries and paintings from the National Gallery Collection.
MUSEUM SHOWS 2 // SEASONS
ANIMATION 2018 at BFI Southbank (all year):
Turning its focus to ‘JAPANIMATION’, the BFI’s celebration of frame-by-frame motion continues with: MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO (06 MAY 12:45); MOMOTARO’S DIVINE SEA WARRIORS (06 MAY 15:20); BELLADONNA OF SADNESS (08 MAY 18:20); PRINCESS MONONOKE (12 MAY 12:30); CODE GEASS: LELOUCH OF THE REBELLION 1 – INITIATION (18 MAY 18:15); EUREKA SEVEN: HI-EVOLUTION MOVIE 1 (18 MAY 20:50); SPIRITED AWAY (19 MAY 15:00 & 26 MAY 12:30); MAQUIA: WHEN THE PROMISED FLOWER BLOOMS (19 MAY 20:30); LU OVER THE WALL (20 MAY 12:45); IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD (20 MAY 15:15); CARDCAPTOR SAKURA MOVIE 2: THE SEALED CARD (20 MAY 18:10); and, PAPRIKA (20 MAY 20:30).
The headline attraction is undoubtably the 30th anniversary screening of AKIRA on BFI’s very big screen: AKIRA (14 MAY 18:15, BFI IMAX – also at the Southbank 09 MAY 20:30). Stay seated in the big room for YOUR NAME (14 MAY 20:50, BFI IMAX – also at the Southbank 19 MAY 17:20).
ANIME APRIL becomes ANIME MAY at Genesis Cinema (until 10 MAY):
CHALLENGING PERCEPTIONS at Deptford Cinema (starts 24 APR):
CLOSE-UP ON JEAN-LUC GODARD at Close-Up (04 to 25 MAY):
“A pioneer of the French new wave, Jean-Luc Godard has had an incalculable effect on modern cinema that refuses to wane.” Films include: PIERROT LE FOU (04 MAY 19:30 & 25 MAY 19:30); LE MÉPRIS (10 MAY 19:30 & 19 MAY 20:00); and, BREATHLESS (18 MAY 19:30 & 24 MAY 19:30).
There’s also an incredible double bill with Carl Theodor Dreyer’s THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC + Godard’s VIVRE SA VIE (05 MAY 18:00 & 20:00). Or catch the duo a week apart with VIVRA SA VIE (11 MAY 19:30) and THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (19 MAY 18:00).
CLOSE-UP ON PIER PAOLO PASOLINI at Close-Up (03 to 29 MAY):
“Celebrated the world over as one of the central figures of the postwar Italian cinema, Pier Paolo Pasolini is recognized in his native land as arguably the most important Italian artist and intellectual of the twentieth century.” – Harvard Film Archive. Films include: OEDIPUS REX (03 MAY 19:30 & 20 MAY 18:00); MEDEA (07 MAY 19:30 & 20 MAY 20:00); THEOREM (08 MAY 19:30 & 22 MAY 19:30); THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW (09 MAY 19:30 & 27 MAY 19:30); LOVE MEETINGS (13 MAY 18:00); ACCATTONE (13 MAY 20:00 & 17 MAY 19:30); SALÒ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (23 MAY 19:30 & 28 MAY 19:30); SCOUTING IN PALESTINE (27 MAY 18:00); and, NOTES TOWARDS AN AFRICAN ORESTES (29 MAY 19:30).
CLOSE-UP: VALESKA GRISEBACH at BFI Southbank (until 03 MAY):
The season concludes with a few grind show screenings of: WESTERN (01 to 03 MAY).
CREATURE FEATURES at The Prince Charles (01 MAY to 23 JUL):
“From creepy crawlies and beasts from the deep to extra-terrestrials and towering goliaths…” Films include: BUG (01 MAY 20:45); CLOVERFIELD 35mm (22 MAY 20:45); PHASE IV 35mm (23 MAY 18:00); and, XTRO (25 MAY 20:45).
CYBERPUNK ANIME at House Of Vans (06 to 25 MAY):
A series showing “the best of the best in CyberPunk Anime”. Free entry – no booking required: ANGEL’S EGG (06 MAY 14:00 & 16:00); GHOST IN THE SHELL (12 MAY 15:00 & 17:30); ROBOT CARNIVAL (13 MAY 14:00 & 16:00); NINJA SCROLL (17 MAY 17:00 & 19:00); AKIRA (19 MAY 15:00 & 17:30); WINGS OF HONNEAMIS (20 MAY 14:00 & 16:00); MEMORIES (27 MAY 14:00 & 16:00).
D.I.Y. at House of Vans (05 APR to 05 MAY):
Celebrating “low budget flicks at their best”. Free entry – no booking required: LOST IN TRANSLATION (03 MAY 17:00 & 19:00); and, CONTROL (05 MAY 15:00 & 17:30).
FEMALE GAZE at Deptford Cinema (until 21 JUN):
The F-Rated season curated by Women In Film SE15 continues with: DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (13 MAY 14:30).
THE FILMS OF YASUJIRÔ OZU at The Prince Charles Cinema (26 MAR to 14 OCT):
Showcasing the films of legendary Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu, The Prince Charles is taking the English translation of his titles literally, screening them during the season in which they’re set. This month it’s: LATE SPRING 35mm (21 May 20:45).
JACQUES TATI Selectrospective at The Prince Charles (07 to 28 MAY):
A selection of films from the genius of legendary French filmmaker Jacques Tati includes: MON ONCLE (07 MAY 18:00); PLAYTIME (20 MAY 17:50); TRAFFIC (24 MAY 18:30); and, THE ILLUSIONIST 35mm (28 MAY 18:15).
JUST THE TWO OF US? at Classic Cinema Club – Ealing (04 MAY to 29 JUN):
“Couples, love triangles, friends, doppelgängers”: STRICTLY BALLROOM (04 MAY 19:30); THE WEDDING BANQUET (11 MAY 19:30); DELICATESSEN (18 MAY 19:30); and, THE LADY EVE (25 MAY 19:30).
LOST IN AMERICA: THE OTHER SIDE OF REAGAN’S 80s at BFI Southbank (MAY):
A season of films revealing “the real 80s America” begins with: OUT OF THE BLUE 35mm (01 MAY 20:40 & 05 MAY 20:50); MIKE’S MURDER 35mm (04 MAY 20:45 & 11 MAY 18:15); SUBURBIA 35mm (07 MAY 20:30 & 18 MAY 18:20); SOMETHING WILD 35mm (09 MAY 18:10 & 13 MAY 20:00); LOST IN AMERICA (10 MAY 20:50 & 21 MAY 17:45); SMOOTH TALK 35mm (11 MAY 20:50 & 19 MAY 18:20); CHOOSE ME (12 MAY 15:50 & 20 MAY 20:20); STREETWISE (13 MAY 17:50 & 22 MAY 21:10); CROSSING DELANCEY 35mm (17 MAY 20:45 & 26 MAY 18:00); PARTING GLANCES 35mm (18 MAY 20:45 & 29 MAY 21:00); RIVER’S EDGE 35mm (23 MAY 20:45 & 27 MAY 20:20); and, RUNNING ON EMPTY 35mm (26 MAY 20:30 & 30 MAY 20:40).
ICYMI at Science Fiction Theatre back in March, BFI’s Cult strand screens THE HIDDEN (04 MAY 20:40).
LUCRECIA MARTEL RETROSPECTIVE at ICA & BFI Southbank (20 to 27 MAY):
A complete retrospective of the work of Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, “celebrating her complex, unsettling cinema”: THE SWAMP + Q&A with Lucrecia Martel (20 MAY 18:00); THE HOLY GIRL (23 MAY 21:00); ZAMA (24 MAY 20:45); THE HEADLESS WOMAN (26 MAY 14:00); and, SHORTS PROGRAMME (27 MAY 16:00).
ZAMA enjoys a grind show run at BFI Southbank (25 MAY to 07 JUN).
MAY ’68 AND ITS LEGACIES at Ciné Lumière (04 to 23 MAY):
A season looking at 50 years of creation and ideas stimulated by the motto “Power to the Imagination”: THE DREAMERS (04 MAY 20:50); MILOU EN MAI (06 MAY 14:00); REDOUBTABLE (11 to 23 MAY); LE CHARME DISCRET DE LA BOURGEOISIE + INTRO by Nick Walker (13 MAY 14:00); and, SUMMERTIME (23 MAY 20:40).
ROLAND BARTHES: TELEVISION DEGREE ZERO + INTRO (16 MAY 18:30) is part of Radical Broadcasts: Theory On TV, curated by Matthew Harle and Colm McAuliffe, in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery and Verso Books.
READY PLAYER ONE SEASON at Picturehouse Central (09 APR to 15 MAY):
A season of retro sci-fi classics referenced in Ernest Cline’s pop-cultural odyssey. Films include: THE IRON GIANT (07 MAY 18:20); and, BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT (14 MAY 18:20). Other Picturehouses available.
RETURNING THE COLONIAL GAZE at Barbican (02 to 30 MAY):
After decades of being represented and ‘spoken for’ by Western directors, these films burst with the creativity of filmmakers reclaiming the right to take control of the camera for the first time. Films include: SOLEIL O (02 MAY 20:45); AFRIQUE 50 + TO BE 20 IN THE AURÈS (09 MAY 20:45); AFRIQUE SUR SEINE + LITTLE BY LITTLE + INTRO by Dr Barbara Knorpp (15 MAY 18:15); SI MOH, THE UNLUCKY MAN + THE EAST WIND (23 MAY 18:30); and, AN ADVENTURER’S HOMECOMING + TOUKI-BOUKI (30 MAY 20:45).
ROYAL WEDDING at Deptford Cinema (19 to 20 MAY):
See our Featured Attraction of the month for details (above).
TERRY GILLIAM at Deptford Cinema (until 09 SEP):
TRIBUTE TO GASTON LEROUX at Ciné Lumière (15 to 27 MAY):
A short season celebrating Gaston Leroux’s 150th birthday: DOUBLE BILL: TALK: THE PHANTOM ON FILM (15 MAY 20:00) + PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (15 MAY 20:50); A MONSTER IN PARADISE (27 MAY 11:00); and, DOUBLE BILL: LE MYSTÈRE DE LA CHAMBRE JAUNE (27 MAY 14:00) + LE PARFUM DE LA DAME EN NOIR (27 MAY 16:15).
Part of Beyond Words festival of French literature (14 to 21 MAY).
UPRISING: THE SPIRIT OF ’68 at BFI Southbank (MAY):
“The revolution will be projected!” A season of films embodying the defiant, outspoken spirit of ’68 includes: SAMBIZANGA 16mm + INTRO by Annouchka de Andrade (02 MAY 20:30 – also without intro 07 MAY 18:15); THEOREM (03 MAY 18:15, 24 MAY 17:45 & 30 MAY 18:20); LA CHINOISE (04 MAY 18:20 & 09 MAY 20:40); ANTONIO DAS MORTES 35mm (06 MAY 17:40 & 12 MAY 20:40); THE HOUR OF THE FURNACES 16mm (07 MAY 13:00 & 13 MAY 17:20); MAYDAYS 35mm + Q&A with director William Klein (08 MAY 18:10 – also 06 MAY 20:20 minus Mr Klein) followed by MR FREEDOM 35mm + INTRO (08 MAY 20:50 – also 12 MAY 18:10 ditto); THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS (13 MAY 14:30 & 27 MAY 17:35); WR: MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM 35mm (16 MAY 20:50 & 28 MAY 18:20); NO VIETNAMESE EVER CALLED ME NIGGER (19 MAY 18:10 & 21 MAY 20:50); ONE PLUS ONE (aka Sympathy For The Devil) 35mm + INTRO (22 MAY 18:15 – also without intro 05 MAY 18:00); IF…. + Q&A with actor David Wood (25 MAY 18:10 – also without Q&A 05 MAY 20:30, 09 MAY 18:00 & 28 MAY 15:50); and, MEDIUM COOL 35mm + INTRO (29 MAY 18:10 – also without intro 20 MAY 18:00).
Bolster your revolutionary zeal with opening symposium THE REVOLUTIONARY’S GUIDE TO CINEMA which includes a special screening and discussion of Frankie Dymon Jnr’s DEATH MAY BE YOUR SANTA CLAUS (05 MAY 11:00).
African Odysseys features THE YOUNG KARL MARX + DISCUSSION (12 MAY 14:00) whilst the Woman With A Movie Camera strand screens Humberto Solás’ LUCÍA – “the history of Cuba through the prism of three women” (24 MAY 19:50).
WE <3 GRETA GERWIG at The Prince Charles (until 09 JUN):
A selection of some of Gerwig’s best roles from recent years continues with: LADY BIRD (until 09 JUN, various dates); MISTRESS AMERICA (08 MAY 18:30); WIENER-DOG (22 MAY 18:35); and, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (31 MAY 18:20).
#WOMENINFILM2018 at Genesis Cinema (all year):
Films that have: a female director/co-director, a female writer/co-writer, or a strong/iconic female lead: THE DREAMED PATH in partnership with MUBI (10 MAY 18:50); WESTERN (13 MAY 14:45); and, REVENGE as part of #RECLAIMTHEFRAME with Birds’ Eye View (22 May 18:30).
YOUTH ON THE MARCH! at Regent Street Cinema (02 MAY to 27 JUN):
Kino Klassika Foundation’s new season dedicated to the rise of the Soviet New Wave starts with: FALLING LEAVES (02 MAY 18:30); WE’LL LIVE ‘TIL MONDAY (09 MAY 19:30); LONG GOODBYE (17 MAY 19:30); WOODPECKERS DON’T GET HEADACHES (22 MAY 19:30); and, COURIER (30 MAY 19:30).
MUSEUM SHOWS 3 // FESTIVALS
Film festivals projecting this month include:
- New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival (27 APR to 06 MAY)
- Sci-Fi London (01 to 07 MAY)
- Herne Hill Free Film Festival (01 MAY to 01 JUN)
- Canada Now (03 to 06 MAY)
- Chinese Visual Festival (03 to 06 MAY)
- London Georgian Film Festival (03 to 08 MAY)
- London Israeli Film & Television Festival (06 to 17 MAY)
- London Greek Film Festival (07 to 12 MAY)
- Everyman Music Film Festival (07 to 31 MAY)
- Reel to Reel: The Craft Film Festival (08 to 10 MAY)
- Cheap Cuts Short Documentary Film Festival (17 to 20 MAY)
- Offbeat Jazz & Cinema Festival (24 to 26 MAY)
- Sundance Film Festival: London (31 MAY to 03 JUN)
Hungry for more? Check out our Film Festivals In London A – Z
Join the hunt for adventurous moving pictures.
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*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Apologies if we have missed your event. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. Event dates/times are subject to change by the venue/organiser. Some events may already be sold out: please click quickly! We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+.
Featured image: JUBILEE (1978).