THE BALLY | THIS WEEK

SCREEN GUIDE: What’s on in London this week [17 to 31 DEC 2021]

Our RADIANT CIRCUS guide to what’s on in London this week across DIY, indie & alternative cinema, including one-off screen events, film seasons, film festivals & new releases.

By RADIANT CIRCUS // Twitter @radiantcircus / Instagram @radiantcircus


This is the last of my screen guides for 2021, and it’s a bumper edition, taking you all the way through until the end of the year. As ever, I hope it helps you find something great to do in the darkness. I’ll be looking forward to taking a break from compiling these guides – and their daily updates – but will be back with a January 2022 roundup sooner than you can say “Power to the people who punish bad cinema!“.

Filmscope start your screen week with the best of the Batmans, BATMAN RETURNS, whilst Screen25 shares a festive treat I’ll talk more about in a short while… (17 DEC). The Laurel & Hardy Society returns to The Cinema Museum for their quarterly meeting, The Live Ghost Tent, and World Wide Weird! stages another All-Dayer to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer, including a rare screening of PULGASARI, described by wikipedia as a “North Korean dark fantasy-action kaiju”, and you really don’t get many of them (18 DEC). To celebrate the festive season, you could do a lot worse then head to The Castle Cinema where you’ll find the last of Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club’s screenings of THE SNOWMAN (19 DEC) and Zodiac Film Club’s excellent Fairytale Christmas Special featuring THE WHITE REINDEER and some stunning animated shorts by Lotte Reiniger (21 DEC).

As well as an ever-expanding lineup of festive film seasons, this is also the time to look back on the screen year. Bertha DocHouse presents an excellent roundup of documentary films, BEST OF 2021, and ArtHouse Crouch End offers their FILM PICKS OF THE YEAR. Picturehouse takes a broader look at FILMS WE LOVE, and The Prince Charles continues to get everyone in the mood for a much anticipated new release with THE FILMS OF PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON from 35mm. MilkTea Films conclude their short run of film events with CLOSE-KNIT followed by a knit-in at Picturehouse Central (19 DEC, part of THIS IS WHAT A FAMILY LOOKS LIKE).

Speaking of Paul Thomas Anderson, the release of LICORICE PIZZA completes a strong run of new releases either side of Christmas. There’s a special 35mm preview screening at Everyman Screen On The Green (27 DEC) and the Picturehouse chain shows the film from both 70mm and 35mm for a limited run (from 27 DEC). Elsewhere, I really like the look of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s THE LOST DAUGHTER, Mark Cousin’s THE STORY OF FILM: A NEW GENERATION, and Benjamin Cleary’s SWAN SONG. And let’s not forget Julia Ducournau’s TITANE and Joel Coen’s THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH. Find them all listed below.

For our Featured Attraction of the Week, I’ve chosen Frank Capra’s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE that’s showing from a variety of formats almost everywhere and at any time of any day. Why choose something so ubiquitous? Well, it’s my own little way of saying a huge thank you to everyone who has worked so terribly hard to keep cinemas and film events going throughout this enduring pandemic. Every single venue showing this much-loved and well-worn film is thoroughly deserving of the love and support your ticket purchase provides. Go see it somewhere really special with someone special or, if like me, you go to the cinema a lot on your own, settle down in the darkness with a bunch of strangers for the ultimate festive sharing experience.

Of course, if you can’t see films in venues this Christmas, you can can still give the gift of cinema by treating your loved one to a gift membership. The cash in hand will be a huge source of support to the venue as box office takes another battering, and your loved one* gets to indulge their love of the silver screen throughout the year ahead. There will be much to enjoy.

That just leaves me to sign off for the year by saying a huge thank you to everyone I have met in the darkness and particularly all my monthly subscribers at Patreon who keep me listing. This last year has been no less uncertain, worrying and, at times, terrifying than the year before. To have the companionship of such loyal fans of cinema has been hugely reassuring, empowering and blog-affirming.

By the end of January 2022 I will have been blogging about London’s indie cinema scene for a full five years. It will be time to celebrate but also to put this work on a sustainable footing. If you have ever found something great to do in the dark from these pages, the New Year would be a brilliant time to start a subscription. I know my other Patrons will welcome your company and I will really welcome your support.

Stay safe and see you in the darkness again soon,

Richard // RADIANT CIRCUS

* You know I mean you, right?


IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1946 at indie cinemas across London (see listings):

After George Bailey wishes he had never been born, an angel is sent to earth to make his wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there.


FRIDAY 17 DEC

ONLINE

SATURDAY 18 DEC

SUNDAY 19 DEC

MONDAY 20 DEC

  • ELF d. Jon Favreau, 2003 at The Cinema In The Arches (20 DEC 15:10).

TUESDAY 21 DEC

  • COMFORT & JOY d. Bill Forsyth, 1984 with special guest, actor Bill Paterson presented by Tufnell Park Film Club at The Lord Palmerston (21 DEC 20:00).
  • Fairytale Christmas Special featuring THE WHITE REINDEER aka Valkoinen peura d. Erik Blomberg, 1952 + Animated shorts by Lotte Reiniger presented by Zodiac Film Club at The Castle Cinema (21 DEC 19:00).
  • IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1946 at Catford Mews (21 DEC 11:00).
  • IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1946 at The Lexi (21 DEC 14:00).
  • IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1946 at The Cinema In The Arches (21 DEC 17:45).
  • THE LAST BUS d. Gillies MacKinnon, 2021 at The David Lean (21 DEC 14:30).
  • THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER d. Ernst Lubitsch, 1940 at The David Lean (21 DEC 19:30).

WEDNESDAY 22 DEC

THURSDAY 23 DEC

CHRISTMAS EVE 24 DEC

BOXING DAY 26 DEC

  • AMELIE aka Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain d. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001 at The Prince Charles (26 DEC 17:45 / 27 DEC 14:35 – 35mm / 29 DEC 18:15 – 35mm).
  • THE BIRDS d. Alfred Hitchcock, 1963 at Picturehouse Central (26 DEC 16:10).
  • SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN d. Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly 1952 at The Prince Charles (26 DEC 15:15 – £1 Members’ Screening).

27 to 31 DEC [BY DATE]


35MM PRESENTATIONS at The Prince Charles

A CLASS OF HIS OWN: THE FILMS OF JACK CLAYTON at BFI Southbank

ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS… at Picturehouse Cinemas

ALT. XMAS at The Prince Charles

ANNIVERSARY SCREENINGS at The Prince Charles

BEST OF 2021 at Bertha DocHouse

BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: CHRISTMAS ON SCREEN at BFI Southbank

BOGARDE AT 100 at BFI Southbank

CHRISTMAS at ArtHouse Crouch End

  • Includes (check venue for listings): IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1945 (17 DEC 14:00 / 19 DEC 17:00 / 23 DEC 17:30 / 24 DEC 15:15); ELF d. Jon Favreau, 2003 (18 DEC 15:30 / 21 DEC 15:15 / 22 DEC 15:00); HOME ALONE d. Chris Columbus, 1990 (20 DEC 12:00 / 23 DEC 11:45).

CHRISTMAS at Catford Mews

  • Includes (check venue for listings): DIE HARD d. John McTiernan, 1988 (17 DEC 20:30); ELF d. Jon Favreau, 2003 (18 DEC 11:30 / 19 DEC 15:00); IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1946 (21 DEC 11:00 / 22 DEC 14:00 / 23 DEC 20:00 / 24 DEC 17:00).

CHRISTMAS at Chiswick Cinema

  • Includes (check venue for listings): IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1946 (18 DEC 15:00 / 21 DEC 18:00 / 23 DEC 15:00); FROZEN: SING-A-LONG d. Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee, 2013 (19 DEC 14:30); DIE HARD d. John McTiernan, 1988 (26 DEC 18:00).

CHRISTMAS at Genesis Cinema 

CHRISTMAS at Olympic Studios

CHRISTMAS at The Prince Charles

CHRISTMAS MOVIE NIGHTS at Rivoli Ballroom

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): ELF d. Jon Favreau, 2003 (17 DEC 16:30); DIE HARD d. John McTiernan, 1988 (17 DEC 20:00).

CHRISTMAS ON 35MM at Everyman Screen On The Green

CULT CLASSIC FILM POP UP at Design District

EYES ON SPIES at Ciné Lumière

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): LE PROFESSIONNEL d. Georges Lautner, 1981 (18 DEC 13:40).

FILM PICK OF THE YEAR at ArtHouse Crouch End

THE FILMS OF PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON at The Prince Charles

FILMS WE LOVE at Picturehouse Cinemas

JAPAN 2021 at BFI Southbank

JAPAN 2021: ANOTHER GAZE at BFI Southbank

JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO LE MAGNIFIQUE at Ciné Lumière

MOVIE MARATHONS at The Prince Charles

THE PRECIOUS THINGS at BFI Southbank

THIS IS WHAT A FAMILY LOOKS LIKE at Rio, ActOne & Picturehouse Central

  • Includes (check venues for listings): CLOSE-KNIT aka Karera ga honki de amu toki wa d. Naoko Ogigami, 2017 + Intro by Stranded Dyeworks & post-screening knit-in at Picturehouse Central (19 DEC 14:00).
  • Programmed by MilkTea Films.

THE WORLD OF WONG KAR WAI at The Prince Charles

  • Includes (check venue for listings): CHUNGKING EXPRESS d. Wong Kar Wai, 1994 (28 DEC 21:00).


THE LOST DAUGHTER d. Maggie Gyllenhaal, 2021:

THE STORY OF FILM: A NEW GENERATION d. Mark Cousins, 2021:

SWAN SONG d. Benjamin Cleary, 2021:


RADIANT CIRCUS is powered by monthly subscribers. Get great rewards & help #ReviveTheDark. JOIN US!


*THE SMALL PRINT: Opinions author’s own. // As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version only. // Event dates/times/formats are subject to change by the venue/organiser. Events may already be sold out at the time of posting, so please click quickly. // We try to list as many original format screenings as we can (8 to 70MM), but sometimes formats change due to age of the print, availability, logistics etc, so please check ahead with your venue if the format is your thing. // All images are used in the spirit of fair use for reporting & review – no ownership is implied or intended / unless otherwise credited to RADIANT CIRCUS as the original rights holder. We will remove any images immediately upon request – just get in touch. // We don’t filter our listings by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should therefore be 18+. // Finally, we always try to follow The Carny Code by “not screwing up anyone else’s game”, but everyone can make mistakes… If something does go wrong, we will always do our best to put it right. //.