THE BALLY #121: What to see in London this week [10 to 16 SEP 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

London’s indie exhibitors continue to bring their shows to big screens across the city, and this week we see the welcome return of some favourites (even if it’s only after a well-deserved summer break!).

Tufnell Park Film Club present Chantal Akerman’s NEWS FROM HOME at The Lord Palmerston (14 SEP 20:00) and Wimbledon Film Club begins a new autumn season in some style with a special screening of Rose Glass’ shocker SAINT MAUD complete with Q&A with producer Oliver Kassman (14 SEP). Pitchblack Playback gives your their annual screening of “the most joyous, feel-good concert film in history”, Jonathan Demme’s TALKING HEADS STOP MAKING SENSE at Rio Cinema (15 SEP) and Lobotomy Room Film Club presents a free screening of Joan Crawford’s “gripping 1947 psychodrama” POSSESSED at Fontaines Bar (16 SEP). Richmond Film Society also return with a members’ only screening of Marielle Heller’s CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? this week (14 SEP) and we look forward to being back at one of their public events in their excellent forward programme very soon.

In seasons, everything continues very much as before with a couple of very welcome new additions. AUTISM AND CINEMA starts screening at Barbican and is looking very popular with several screenings already sold out. Then there’s an excellent season of BRITISH ANIMATION at Riverside Studios that we kinda, maybe (definitely!) missed the start of last week, but continues with COMING OF AGE: A NEW HISTORY OF BRITISH ANIMATION PART 2 (12 SEP). 

The re-emergence of so many film festivals is one further sign of the growing need to resume public projections, even if operating conditions continue to be challenging. We don’t have the capacity to take as deep a dive into their programmes as we like, but scroll down for a full list of every festival we’ve found this week (we’ve also updated our monthly roundup so you can see what’s coming up). Read our guides to Queer EastJapanese Avant-garde & Experimental Film Festival and Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festivalto see what RADIANT CIRCUS likes the look of. 

We have some of our own skin in this year’s Leytonstone Loves Film festival and hope we’ll see as many indie exhibitors, content creators and creatives as possible at the launch of our new indie screen culture networking event, WunderKammer Live (17 SEP – Free!). With some great speakers lined up, open mic networking and a surprise cult feature film to close, it’s looking to be a really special event which we hope will be the first of many opportunities to bring London’s alternative cinema community together.

Our Featured Attraction of the Week is the 25th anniversary of a BEAUTIFUL THING, with both indoor and outdoor celebrations of the queer classic that made Body Shop’s peppermint foot lotion (in)famous. Catch it in the open air with Sunset Screening Sessions (10 SEP) – a night that also celebrates the climax of their brilliantly British outdoor programme – and from 35mm with a special Q&A with playwright/screenwriter Jonathan Harvey presented by Unicorn Nights at The Prince Charles (12 SEP). 

In the spirit of all the things we hold dear at RADIANT CIRCUS, we urge you to get out there and make your own kind of music (even if nobody else sings along).

See you in the darkness,


BEAUTIFUL THING d. Hettie MacDonald, 1996 (10 SEP 19:30) / Part of Sunset Screening Sessions at The Homestead Cafe at Beckenham Place Park:

  • “Our final movie is a classic LGBT drama entirely set in South East London council flats bursting with passion, tenderness and music. Jamie (Glen Berry) is a teenager in love with his classmate Ste (Scott Neil), who is very reluctant about his feelings. He allows romance to blossom after visiting a gay pub, and realising that his sexuality was no longer considered an aberration. Linda Henry and Tameka Empson (both from EastEnders) also deliver unforgettable performances. Mamma Cass’s magnificent warble and upbeat tunes provide the final touch to this loving piece of Friday night entertainment.”
  • Also: BEAUTIFUL THING 35mm d. Hettie Macdonald, 1996 + Q&A with Jonathan Harvey presented by Unicorn Nights at The Prince Charles (12 SEP 17:25).
This is a film still from BEAUTIFUL THING, screening at Sunset Screening Sessions & The Prince Charles Cinema.


BEAUTIFUL THING d. Hettie MacDonald, 1996 (10 SEP 19:30) / Part of Sunset Screening Sessions at The Homestead Cafe at Beckenham Place Park.


NO PLACE LIKE HOME d. Perry Henzell, 1972 + Q&A with Justine Henzell presented by The Twelve30 Collective at BFI Southbank (11 SEP 14:00).


BEAUTIFUL THING 35mm d. Hettie Macdonald, 1996 + Q&A with Jonathan Harvey presented by Unicorn Nights at The Prince Charles (12 SEP 17:25).


PREVENGE d. Alice Lowe, 2017 at Picturehouse Cinemas (13 SEP various).


SAINT MAUD d. Rose Glass, 2019 + Q&A with producer Oliver Kassman presented by Wimbledon Film Club at Curzon Wimbledon (14 SEP 20:30).


ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS d. Julien Temple, 1986 + Q&A with the director & cinematographer Oliver Stapleton at BFI (15 SEP 20:25) / Part of NFTS AT 50.

This is a film still from POSSESSED (1947), showing at Lobotomy Room Film Club today (16 SEP 2021).


POSSESSED d. Curtis Bernhardt, 1947 presented by Lobotomy Room Film Club at Fontaines Bar (16 SEP 20:00 – Free/Email to reserve a seat).


COPILOT d. Anne Zohra Berrach, 2021.

THE SERVANT d. Joseph Losey, 1963.

SWEET THING d. Alexandre Rockwell, 2020.

TOP GUN d. Tony Scott, 1986 at The Luna Cinema at Royal Hospital Chelsea (16 SEP 19:30).

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. //.