This is a film still from THE HARDER THEY FALL, opening night of the 65th BFI London Film Festival.
THE BALLY

THE BALLY #123: What to see in London this week [01 to 07 OCT 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


More good news… One of London’s remaining dark indie screens, the glorious David Lean Cinema, has posted this notice on their website: “We have agreement from Croydon Council regarding our reopening plans!” No further details are given, but be sure to subscribe to their newsletter for programme announcements (or check back here of course…).

October is an unusual month as the normal rep programming routine gets knocked into a new orbit by three big hitters: Black History Month, London Film Festival and Halloween season. We’ll be posting our annual SCREAM GUIDE – the ultimate guide to what’s on in London this scary season! – and a special BHM roundup in the next couple of days. That will shortly be followed by our regular monthly roundup for the rest of October.

Speaking of scary movies, Michael Almereyda’s stylised vampire film NADJA 35mm was such a success as part of the LOST VAMPIRES season last week (continuing at The Prince Charles) that ICA has scheduled 4 more screenings (see this week’s SCREEN GUIDE for details). We’ve been impressed by these short seasons from the MA students on the NFTS’ Programming & Curation programme. Next up is Sophie Determan’s THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES IS MORE DEADLY THAN THE MALE, also at The Prince Charles as part of their HORROCTOBER season. Catford Mews joins the seasonal horror show with a wonderful season TWISTED FOLK: THE BEST FOLK HORROR FILMS FROM THE LAST DECADE, starting this weekend with Ari Aster’s MIDSOMMAR. Full details in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

Of course, the other juggernaut that’s rather taking over London’s indie screens is the release of a certain Bond movie… After so much famine, we can only hope that NO TIME TO DIE proves to be the box-office feast that TENET wasn’t. Good luck to all our venue friends for some serious box office bounty. We know you need it.

Given the emphasis on Bond, it’s surprising there isn’t more spy-related programming. Ciné Lumière leads the way with their EYES ON SPIES season, which starts with Mr Craig’s farewell (obviously…) and will continue later in the month with, amongst others, French cult comedy series OSS 117starring Jean Dujardin as the pride of French intelligence and Georges Lautner’s LE PROFESSIONNEL with the late Jean-Paul Belmondo. Full details coming soon.

Few film festivals go toe-to-toe with LFF, but you can still catch the amazing online programme at Women Over 50 Film Festival (until 02 OCT) and Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest launches their programme this week (05 OCT). Similarly, few new releases would dare to compete with Bond, but there are some serious alternatives including BELLY OF THE BEAST, Erika Cohn’s documentary about “the shameful and ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in California’s women’s prisons” at Bertha DocHouse, and EMA, Pablo Larraín’s “extraordinary spectacle, which highlights an intimate journey into the (night)lives and loves of troubled young people” at ICA.

As to our Featured Attraction Of The Week, we’re going all-in with the London-wide opening night gala of the 65th BFI London Film Festival … Jeymes Samuel’s THE HARDER THEY FALL is a new Western, and there simply aren’t enough of them, certainly not ones made by Black filmmakers, and inspired by the real-life stories of the Wild West’s African-American cowboys (and girls…).

See you in the darkness,

Richard // RADIANT CIRCUS

We made a zine! Order your copy now to give indie cinema a boost!

BFI LFF Opening Night Gala: THE HARDER THEY FALL d. Jeymes Samuel, 2021 (06 OCT):

  • Various venues, inc: Barbican (06 OCT 20:00); Catford Mews (06 OCT 19:45); The Cinema In The Arches (06 OCT 20:00); Curzon Cinemas(06 OCT various); Everyman Cinemas (06 OCT various); Genesis Cinema (06 OCT 19:45); The Lexi Cinema (06 OCT 19:45); Rich Mix (06 OCT 19:45); The Royal Festival Hall (06 OCT 19:00).
  • “Jonathan Majors, Regina King and Idris Elba lead a stunning cast in this fast, fun and ultra-stylish new Western from debut feature director Jeymes Samuel (aka The Bullitts). With incredible panache and detail, the film brings together legendary Black cowboys from across the ages to create an unabashedly rip-roaring story, with an excellent modern soundtrack, featuring Fela Kuti and Barrington Levy.”
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FRIDAY

POSSESSION d. Andrzej Zulawski, 1981 at The Prince Charles (01 OCT 20:15) / Part of HORROCTOBER.

This is a film still from THE DEER (1974), showing today at Close-Up Film Centre (02 OCT 2021).

SATURDAY

THE DEER d. Masoud Kimiai, 1974 + Intro by Ehsan Khoshbakht at Close-Up (02 OCT 20:15).

This is a film still from PRESENTING LILY MARS d. Norman Taurog, 1943 at The Musical Museum TW8 (03 OCT 14:30).

SUNDAY

PRESENTING LILY MARS d. Norman Taurog, 1943 at The Musical Museum (03 OCT 14:30).

This is a film still from FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, showing at the Prince Charles Cinema today (04 OCT 2021).

MONDAY

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN d. Terence Fisher, 1967 at The Prince Charles (04 OCT 18:10) / Part of THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES IS MORE DEADLY THAN THE MALE.

TUESDAY

GREENER GRASS d. Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe, 2019 presented by Double Wonderful at Venue MOT Unit 18 (05 OCT 19:30).

This is a film still from THE HARDER THEY FALL, opening night of the 65th BFI London Film Festival.

WEDNESDAY

BFI LFF Opening Night Gala: THE HARDER THEY FALL d. Jeymes Samuel, 2021 at various venues, inc: Barbican (06 OCT 20:00); Catford Mews (06 OCT 19:45); The Cinema In The Arches (06 OCT 20:00); Curzon Cinemas (06 OCT various); Everyman Cinemas (06 OCT various); Genesis Cinema (06 OCT 19:45); The Lexi Cinema (06 OCT 19:45); Rich Mix (06 OCT 19:45); The Royal Festival Hall (06 OCT 19:00).

This is a film still from EYES WITHOUT A FACE 35mm aka Les Yeux sans visage d. Georges Franju, 1960, showing at The Prince Charles Cinema (07 OCT 2021).

THURSDAY

EYES WITHOUT A FACE 35mm aka Les Yeux sans visage d. Georges Franju, 1960 at The Prince Charles (07 OCT 16:05) / Part of HORROCTOBER.


This is a film still from AS ABOVE, SO BELOW which screens at BFI Southbank today (08 SEP 2021).
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW screens at BFI Southbank (01 OCT 2021).

THE TIME IS NEW: SELECTIONS FROM CONTEMPORARY ARAB CINEMA at BFI Southbank (LAST CHANCE!)


BELLY OF THE BEAST d. Erika Cohn, 2020.

EMA d. Pablo Larraín, 2019.

  • Various venues inc: ICA

OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE d. Ric Burns, 2019.


THE PRINCESS BRIDE d. Rob Reiner, 1987 at The Luna Cinema at Wandsworth Park (03 OCT 19:30).



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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. //.