THE BALLY #117: What to see in London this week [30 JUL to 05 AUG 2021]

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.

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

BOOKING NOW: Event sponsored by our monthly subscribers at Patreon to help indie exhibitors #ReviveTheDark.

After last week’s London-wide opening with THE SPARKS BROTHERS, Sundance London goes strong over three days at Picturehouse Central and continues across town thanks to some touring exhibits (see listings for details). I thought the festival would be massively sold out, but there are tickets so I’ve listed what’s on. 

It’s the start of a new month (pinch and punch if you fancy…) which means a bunch of new seasons, particularly at BFI where screen stars BETTE DAVIS and EARL CAMERON get their own retrospectives, as does ENNIO MORRICONE. Elsewhere, all-nighters resume at The Prince Charles with both DISNEY and JOHN CARPENTER variants (pick your room wisely…) and KOREAN FILM NIGHTS return in collaboration with Bertha DocHouse for a blended short season of docs. Carrying over from last month, both BFI and ICA have added extra screenings in their WONG KAR WAI seasons. Seems London just can’t get enough…

This week demands another shout out to London’s queer exhibitors who continue to deliver the juice. The Batty Mama presents JAMES BALDWIN: THE PRICE OF THE TICKET over several days and live events at Stanley Arts (01 to 04 AUG). Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest glams up for a LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS DRAGALONG screening at Colours Hoxton (04 AUG). Finishing off the week, Women Over Fifty Film Festival presents TWO OF US in partnership with Opening Doors, the charity for LGBTQ+ people aged 50+, at Genesis Cinema (05 AUG).

Our Featured Attraction of the Week marks a return to one of our favourite indies and a location that has provided RADIANT CIRCUS with some memorable two-handers…. Luchino Visconti’s DEATH IN VENICE and Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri’s doc THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD screen in a discounted double at Rio Cinema (01 AUG). If you can’t make it to the Rio, then there’s a special 35MM screening of DEATH IN VENICE as part of Sundance at Picturehouse Central (31 JUL), and the documentary opens across town (see our Grind Show listings for all the details).

See you in the darkness,


PS – I don’t know about you, but I have an enduring fascination for films that were released in the year of my birth. As I turn 50 this year, so do they… that means in addition to DEATH IN VENICE, I’ll make special mention of LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH 35MM (01 AUG) which also gets an outing on celluloid at Sundance.

PPS – LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH has an enticing link to an event we’ll shortly be announcing with our friends Last Frame Film Club as part of Leytonstone Loves Film 2021. Stay tuned if you’re up for some queer-inflected horror (19 SEP 16:00+)…

Double Bill: DEATH IN VENICE d. Luchino Visconti, 1971 + THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD d. Kristina Lindström & Kristian Petri, 2021 at Rio Cinema (01 AUG 14:00 & 16:30 – discount applies at checkout!).

  • DEATH IN VENICE // “After 50 years, Luchino Visconti’s adaptation of a Thomas Mann novel still arouses both passion and praise. Is it one of cinema’s most exalted literary adaptations, as sensually rich as it is allegorically resonant or, a corrupted and distorted gay reading of Mann’s original novella?”
  • THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD // “In 1971 at the world premiere of DEATH IN VENICE in London, its director, Luchino Visconti proclaimed Björn Andrésen, the teenage star of his latest film, “The most beautiful boy in the world.” Now 50 years later, Andrésen, once a dazzling international icon and even a Japanese pop star and Manga prototype, looks back on a life that went down many a dark road in what could be a last attempt to finally get his life back on track.”


BURNING AN ILLUSION d. Menelik Shabazz, 1981 at Screen25 Cinema at Harris Academy South Norwood (30 JUL 19:45).

This is a film still from IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS.


A JOHN CARPENTER MARATHON 5 Films, 1 Ticket at The Prince Charles (31 JUL 21:30-07:40).

This is a film still from THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD, part of a double bill with DEATH IN VENICE at Rio Cinema (01 AUG).


Double Bill: DEATH IN VENICE d. Luchino Visconti, 1971 + THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLDd. Kristina Lindström & Kristian Petri, 2021 at Rio Cinema (01 AUG 14:00 & 16:30 – discount applies at checkout).

This is a film still from JAMES BALDWIN - THE PRICE OF THE TICKET, showing at Stanley Arts (01 to 04 AUG).


JAMES BALDWIN: THE PRICE OF THE TICKET d. Karen Thorsen, 1989 presented by The Batty Mama at Stanley Arts (02 AUG 16:00 & 19:30).


MARKED WOMAN 35MM d. Lloyd Bacon, 1937 at BFI Southbank (03 AUG 18:10) / Part of BETTE DAVIS: HOLLYWOOD REBEL.


LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS d. Frank Oz, 1986 – A DRAGALONG SCREENING + Live Performance + Open Captioned/BSL presented by Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest at Colours Hoxton (04 AUG 19:30).


HAS THE FEATURE STARTED YET? d. Maurice Lemaître, 1951 + Recorded Intro by Professor Nicole Brenez (05 AUG 18:30) / Part of SPLASH, SCRATCH, DUNK! FILMS MADE BY HAND .

KOREAN FILM NIGHTS: IN TRANSIT at Bertha DocHouse (live & online)

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): WEEKENDS d. Lee Dong-ha, 2016 (online from 29 JUL 19:00 to 31 JUL 23:59 – FREE!); THE SEA OF ITAMI JUN d. Jung Da-woon, 2019 (01 AUG 18:00); SOUND OF NOMADd. Kim So-young, 2016 + Recorded Q&A (online from 05 AUG 19:00 to 07 AUG 23:59 – FREE!); TIME TO READ POEMS d. Lee Soojung, 2016 (10 AUG 18:30 – featured image).

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD d. Kristina Lindström & Kristian Petri, 2021

I AM DIVINE d. Jeffrey Schwarz, 2013 presented by Deeper Into Movies at Dalston Roof Park (02 AUG 20:00).

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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/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. //.