THE BALLY #128: What to see in London this week [05 to 11 NOV 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

We posted our “invaluable monthly guide to the repertory scene in London” (thanks for those very kind words Tony Paley!) earlier in the week, so please check that out for a comprehensive overview of what’s on across town in November. We chose CINEMA OF THE SELF: PERSONAL DOCUMENTARY IN JAPAN presented by Wavelength Docs at Close-Up (13 to 14 NOV) as our Featured Attraction of the Month.

In venue news, Screen25 Cinema has posted some pictures of their new home at Socco Cheta Community Hub where construction continues at pace! New arthouse indie Garden Cinema in Covent Garden – which was just about to open when the pandemic plunged everyone into darkness… – has staged a test event featuring the gorgeous arancini of CinemaItaliaUK. More special events in their opening programme and an official launch date are promised soon.

Some updates… Last month, we invited your support for Jane Giles’ kickstarter campaign to complete her new feature-length film doc, SCALA CLUB CINEMA. We’re delighted to say Jane’s funding target of £25k was thoroughly smashed (reaching a grand total of over £40k!). Last week, we also asked you to show your support for The Cinema Museum who were close to their target of 60k signatories on a petition to help save their historic venue. That target was also smashed – 60,500 and counting at the time of posting! – but their future is a lot less certain. As this SCREEN GUIDE gets published, The Cinema Museum team will be submitting their petition to site owners/developers, Lifestory. We can only wish them well in their endeavours.

Looking to the week ahead, Women & Cocaine returns to public screenings at The Cinema Museum with Joan Crawford’s “gripping pre code romantic drama” POSSESSED (06 NOV), and Musical Sunday resumes their feel-good screenings at the same venue with HAIRSPRAY (07 NOV). Tufnell Park Film Club projects a tribute to the late Roger Michell with VENUS (09 NOV) whilst Jellied Reels continues their series of surprise double-bills (a feature and a short!) by going Down Bad Down Under at The Castle Cinema (11 NOV).

In seasons, 2007: A VINTAGE YEAR FOR CINEMA gets underway at The Prince Charles and African Odysseys launches a series of special events dedicated to DARCUS HOWE at BFI. Catford Mews concludes their excellent TWISTED FOLK horror season with THE VVITCH (a film we love…) and Habibi Collectivebegins FILM COLLECTIVES & POLITICAL LIBERATION IN THE UK (1963–2020) about just that, also at The Castle (07 NOV).

We’ve counted 19 film festivals across the capital this month, and will doubtless add more as the autumn unfolds. We’re particularly pleased to see our old friends Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest return to venues this week with an amazing lineup including features and shorts, arts and literature events, hands-on sex-positive workshops in their Love Hub, and a series of sensational party nights (09 to 14 NOV).

It’s a quiet week for new releases and revivals, with many indie screens still dedicated to the blockbusting triumvirate of NO TIME TO DIE, DUNE and THE FRENCH DISPATCH. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t treasures to be found… We like the look of 7 PRISONERS, the Marmite movie SPENCER, and a week-long run of Wong Kar Wai’s AS TEARS GO BY (which opens a season of his works at The Prince Charles).

For our Featured Attraction of the Week, we’ve chosen Lost Futures’ presentation of Shunji Iwai’s ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU at The Prince Charles (10 NOV). And we’ve chosen it for those simple, old-fashioned reasons… it’s a film we love and have never seen on anything bigger than a TV from DVD before. Exhibitor Matt Lloyd Turner reckons the film has hardly (if ever…) been screened cinematically since it premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in 2001. So this one should be a real treat.

See you in the darkness,


ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU d. Shunji Iwai, 2001 + Recorded intro by Joanne McNeil, author of Lurking, presented by Lost Futures at The Prince Charles (10 NOV 20:20).

  • “Made by the acclaimed director of LOVE LETTER and APRIL STORY, Shunji Iwai’s ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU is told through the eyes of Yuichi (Hayato Ichihara), an eighth-grader obsessed with the ethereal J-Pop idol Lily Chou-Chou, a character inspired by Canto-pop artist and actress Faye Wong and compared often to Bjork. Creating a fan-site through which a loyal coterie of ‘Lilyphiles’ trade gossip, information, and speculation, Yuichi takes increasing solace in this fictional world, using the strength of the community to overcome his crippling shyness and the harsh realities of the outside world, before meeting up with other devotees for real at a mega-concert.”
  • Lost Futures is a curatorial project by Matt Lloyd Turner, a series of films for unknown futures.
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V FOR VENDETTA 35mm d. James McTeigue, 2005 at The Prince Charles (05 NOV 15:45).

This is a film still from A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY d. Edward Yang, 1991 at Close-Up (06 NOV 15:15).


A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY d. Edward Yang, 1991 at Close-Up (06 NOV 15:15) / Part of ESSENTIAL CINEMA.


NIGHTCLEANERS d. Berwick Street Collective, 1975 + COUNCIL HOUSING IN BETHNAL GREEN d. Joan Littlewood, 1963 presented by Habibi Collective at The Castle Cinema (07 NOV 16:30) / Part of FILM COLLECTIVES & POLITICAL LIBERATION IN THE UK (1963–2020).

This is a film still from THE VVITCH d. Robert Eggers, 2015 at Catford Mews.


THE VVITCH d. Robert Eggers, 2015 at Catford Mews (06 NOV 20:30 / 08 NOV 20:30 / 10 NOV 20:30) / Part of TWISTED FOLK: THE BEST FOLK HORROR FILMS FROM THE LAST DECADE.

This is a film still from HI, MOM! d. Brian De Palma, 1970 at The Prince Charles (09 NOV).


HI, MOM! d. Brian De Palma, 1970 at The Prince Charles (09 NOV 18:05) / Part of BRIAN DE PALMA.


ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU d. Shunji Iwai, 2001 + Recorded intro by Joanne McNeil, author of Lurking, presented by Lost Futures at The Prince Charles (10 NOV 20:20).

This is a film still from AN ACTOR’S REVENGE 4k d. Kon Ichikawa, 1963, screening at BFI Southbank (11 NOV).


AN ACTOR’S REVENGE 4k d. Kon Ichikawa, 1963 + Intro by Jennifer Coates at BFI (11 NOV 20:40) / Part of JAPAN 2021.

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.
NIGHTCLEANERS d. Berwick Street Collective, 1975.


  • Includes (check venue for full listings): NIGHTCLEANERS d. Berwick Street Collective, 1975 + COUNCIL HOUSING IN BETHNAL GREEN d. Joan Littlewood, 1963 (07 NOV 16:30); BHANGARA JIG d. Pratibha Parmar, 1990, WHO TAKES THE RAP: IMMIGRATION d. Women + The Law Collective, 1986, YOU’ll NEVER WALK ALONE d. WiTCH, 1984 + BITTER WAGES d. The Woman and Work Hazards Group, 1984 (20 NOV 16:00); COOL CLUB DANCERS d. Joan Littlewood, 1963, COLLECTIVE HUM d. Black Obsidian Sound System, 2019, AUDRE LORDE IN CONVERSATION WITH… d. Late Start Film & Video Collective, 1985, HOW DOES AN INVISIBLE BOY DISAPPEAR d. Rehana Zaman, Liverpool Black Women Filmmakers, 2018, + DREAMING RIVERS d. Judah (Martina) Attile, Sankofa Film & Video Collective, 1988 (27 NOV 16:00).
  • Programmed by The Habibi Collective.
More rep seasons listed in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

7 PRISONERS aka 7 Prisioneiros d. Alexandre Moratto, 2021.

AS TEARS GO BY d. Wong Kar Wai, 1988.

More new releases in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

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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. //.