Welcome to THE BALLY where we help you find what to see in London this week across DIY, indie & alternative cinema events, online, outdoors & in venues.
How’s your first week back in the cinema going?
Whilst not every venue has been able to reopen, and not every audience member feels safe or satisfied with the options available to them, cinema is definitely back. But I’m in no doubt that the government’s ambiguous health advice is playing a role in leaving people confused and concerned about the safety of cinema. For anyone who feels they can step back into the darkness, the pleasures have started to be plentiful.
Highlights for me across reopening week included a spontaneous round of applause after the first day/first film screening of JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH at The Prince Charles that reduced me to tears (17 MAY), my long overdue introduction to silent cinema sensation Josephine Baker with SIREN OF THE TROPICS at BFI (19 MAY), and a spectacularly sold out screening of RARE BEASTS at Genesis Cinema that featured an excellent Q&A with Billie Piper hosted by the trailblazing Mia Bays from Birds’ Eye View (20 MAY).
Looking ahead, I’ve focussed on original format screenings for my Featured Attractions of the Week. And you’ll see I’ve chosen two… Why? Well, the first is simply because SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY 35MM at BFI (24 MAY) is from one of my favourite filmmakers of all time, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Secondly, I’ve chosen a screening from one of London’s finest DIY exhibitors, Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club, who will be presenting DR STRANGELOVE 16MM at The Castle Cinema (27 & 30 MAY). I’ve got to be out of town later this week so can’t be there, but Ciné-Real’s shutdown screening of KING KONG was a highlight of a difficult year, so I’m envious of anyone who can join Ümit and Liam in the actual venue again (and those new seat cushions at The Castle seem just dreamy…).
To complete my roundup of original format projections, don’t forget The Prince Charles continues to sell out screenings of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 70MM in its ‘unrestored version’, and they’re also screening Éric Rohmer’s TALE OF SPRINGTIME aka Conte de printemps 35MM this week (27 MAY 18:00). The Prince Charles has added ‘encore presentations‘ of some of their most popular 35MM screenings to their programme for the months ahead (check with the venue for full listings if you’ve been disappointed in the rush).
See you next week, & stay safe,
Richard // RADIANT CIRCUS
SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY 35MM d. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006 + Pre-recorded intro by director Chaitanya Tamhane at BFI Southbank (24 MAY 20:30) // Part of Dream Palace:
“Inspired by the experiences of the director’s parents, who both worked as doctors in Thailand, SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY is set in two hospitals, one rural, one urban, at different points in time. Weerasethakul described it as ‘a film about heart. It’s not necessarily about love, it’s more about memory. It’s about feelings that have been forever etched in the heart’. Informed by a coherence that’s poetic rather than logical, this is a unique, visionary film by one of this century’s cinematic masters” (BFI).
DR STRANGELOVE 16MM d. Stanley Kubrick, 1964 presented by Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club at The Castle Cinema (27 MAY 19:30 / 30 MAY 13:30):
“Through a series of military and political accidents, a psychotic general – U.S. Air Force Commander Jack D. Ripper – triggers an ingenious, irrevocable scheme to attack Russia’s strategic targets with nuclear bombs. The U.S. President and Dr. Strangelove, a wheelchair-bound nuclear scientist who has bizarre ideas about man’s future, work with the Soviet premier in a desperate effort to save the world.”
STATE FUNERAL d. Sergei Loznitsa, 2019 at Ciné Lumière (21 MAY 18:00).
SURGE d. Aneil Karia, 2020 + Q&A with the director at Genesis Cinema (22 MAY 18:00).
Architecture On Film: INTO GREAT SILENCE d. Philip Gröning, 2005 at Barbican Cinema (23 MAY 14:00).
AKIRA d. Katsuhiro Ôtomo, 1988 at The Prince Charles (24 MAY 15:40 & 20:30 / 25 MAY 17:45 / 26 MAY 14:40 / 27 MAY 21:00 – SUB).
UK Asian Film Festival Opening night: RAAHGIR d. Goutam Ghose, 2019 + Skype Q&A with the director at BFI Southbank (26 MAY 20:45).
DR. STRANGELOVE 16MM d. Stanley Kubrick, 1964 presented by Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club at The Castle Cinema (27 MAY 19:30 / 30 MAY 13:30).
BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: THE TIMELESS BEAUTY OF BLACK & WHITE at BFI Southbank
- Includes (check venue for full listings): THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (Director’s Cut) d. Peter Bogdanovich, 1971 (21 MAY 20:30); STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. 4K d. Charles F Reisner & Buster Keaton, 1928 + Live piano accompaniment (22 MAY 12:00); CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 aka Cléo de 5 à 7 d. Agnès Varda, 1961 (22 MAY 21:00); THE BIG CITY aka Mahanagar d. Satyajit Ray, 1963 (23 MAY 12:10); THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW aka Il vangelo secondo Matteo d. Paolo Pasolini, 1964 (23 MAY 15:20); THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER d. Charles Laughton, 1955 (24 MAY 14:30); THE KILLERS 4K d. Robert Siodmak, 1946 (25 MAY 20:30); ALICE IN THE CITIES aka Alice in den Städten d. Wim Wenders, 1973 (26 MAY 17:50); ERASERHEAD 4K d. David Lynch, 1976 (27 MAY 18:20).
WINGS OF DESIRE d. Wim Wenders, 1987 at Picturehouse Central (daily until 27 MAY).
- Beyond Words: French Literature Festival (17 to 23 MAY)
- Chronic Youth Film Festival (01 APR to 03 JUN)
- Kinoteka: The 19th Polish Film Festival (06 MAY to 04 JUN 2021)
- UK Asian Film Festival (26 MAY to 06 JUN). READ MORE
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*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 are subject to change by the venue/organiser. We try to only list events you can book for at the time of posting: however, some events may still be sold out. Please click quickly! // 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+. // We 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. //.