THE BALLY #130: What to see in London this week [19 to 25 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

There’s a busy start to this screen week with Black Ink Cinema presenting a ‘Surprise Screening‘ of a Black-led new release at Genesis Cinema (…the tennis racket graphics might be a spoiler!), T A P E Collective continuing their But Where Are You Really From? short film tour at Screen25 Cinema, and Crofton Park Pictures presenting Antonioni’s BLOW-UP at Rivoli Ballroom (all 19 NOV). 

Then, The Habibi Collective continues their run of events dedicated to FILM COLLECTIVES & POLITICAL LIBERATION at The Castle Cinema (20 NOV – see SEASONS for details), and World Wide Weird! presents an evening dedicated to Sergio Martino that’s also raising funds for MacMillan Cancer Support (also 20 NOV). Those glorious people at Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club celebrate their 10th Anniversary of – occasionally precarious – original format screenings with SUNSET BOULEVARD at The Castle (21, 25 & 28 NOV) – Happy birthday boysNo Bollox Film Club presents Bergman’s AUTUMN SONATA also at The Castle, Tufnell Park Film Club presents legendary Rolling Stones doc GIMME SHELTER, and Wimbledon Film Club make their contribution to the Ukrainian Film Festival with a special screening of Agnieszka Holland’s MR. JONES (all 23 NOV).

Other value-added screenings that have caught our magpie eyes this week include FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES with an intro and free shot of sake at Riverside Studios (20 NOV), THE AMERICAN SECTOR with directors Q&A as part Architecture On Film at Barbican (23 NOV), Soviet sci-fi silent AELITA: QUEEN OF MARS with Juliet Merchant performing her new score at Ciné Lumière (25 NOV), and Nick Walker soothing away your trauma with a post-screening discussion of SALÒ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM at Genesis (also 25 NOV).

Film festivals wrapping this week include EFG London Jazz Festival (12 to 21 NOV), From Venice To London (18 to 22 NOV), Irish Film Festival London (17 to 21 NOV), London Korean Film Festival (04 to 19 NOV), Native Spirit Festival (12 OCT to 20 NOV), and Ocean Film Festival (16 to 24 NOV). Festivals joining our listings this week include Frames Of Representation (25 NOV to 04 DEC), London Migration Film Festival (25 NOV to 01 DEC), and Ukrainian Film Festival (22 NOV to 06 DEC). See FILM FESTIVALS for all the links.

Three gala/special presentations from this year’s BFI LFF get their general releases this week: Jane Campion’s THE POWER OF THE DOG, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s KING RICHARD, and Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s DRIVE MY CAR. The only one of these I’ve seen (so far…) is the Campion film which was one of my absolute highlights of LFF2021 and a film I can’t wait to see again (for reasons of its gorgeous score, stunning visuals and, well, spoilers…). A rare season of Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s work also starts this week with CLOSE-UP ON RYÛSUKE at Close-Up (from 19 NOV). For some reason Céline Sciamma’s PETITE MAMAN was more plainly presented at LFF (in their ‘Love’ strand), but the TOMBOY director’s latest certainly seems to have found the attention it deserves since… The other significant release this week – with a regular run at the Prince Charles and a few recorded Q&A screenings across town (24 NOV) – is surely a ‘director’s cut’ that very few people were asking for…? The ROCKY IVclamour had certainly passed us by… See GRIND SHOWS for details.

For our Featured Attraction of the Week we’re heading back to The Prince Charles to welcome the return of two of London’s most inspiring exponents of 35mm. If I wasn’t away celebrating my Mum’s 80th (Happy birthday Mum!), I’d already be powering-up my busker’s battered sound system amidst the preternatural scrum of Leicester Square to celebrate their return… First up, after a two-year hiatus, The Badlands Collective presents William Wyler’s THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (21 NOV), “winner of seven Oscars, including Best Picture [and] to this date, one of the top ten UK box office champs in terms of tickets sold”. Then, The Celluloid Sorceress concludes her “alternative trilogy celebrating the early superstardom of BACK TO THE FUTURE’s Michael J. Fox” with a truly special screening of DOC HOLLYWOOD complete with Q&A with director Michael Caton-Jones (25 NOV). You really can’t ask for more than that!

See you in the darkness,


THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 35mm d. William Wyler, 1946 presented by The Badlands Collective at The Prince Charles (21 NOV 12:25).

  • “Made shortly after the end of World War II, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES follows three servicemen as they return home from overseas and attempt to re-integrate into the new normal of a changed society, while struggling with the physical and psychological trauma of war.”

DOC HOLLYWOOD 35mm d. Michael Caton-Jones, 1991 + Q&A with the director presented by The Celluloid Sorceress at The Prince Charles (25 NOV 18:00).

  • “Benjamin Stone is on his way to L.A. where he is going to make big bucks as a plastic surgeon. But when he takes a detour through a small town he finds himself attached to the place and people there.”
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PASSION d. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2008 at Close-Up (19 NOV 20:15) / Part of CLOSE-UP ON RYÛSUKE.


Sergio Martino in Action! presented by World Wide Weird! Talk by Eugenio Ercolani + double bill: SILENT ACTION (1975) + 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK (1983) at The King & Queen (20 NOV 18:30 – FREE/ Donation requested for MacMillan Cancer Support).


THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 35mm d. William Wyler, 1946 presented by The Badlands Collective at The Prince Charles (21 NOV 12:25).


NAKED: 4K RESTORATION d. Mike Leigh, 1993 at Genesis Cinema (22 NOV 20:45).


THE AMERICAN SECTOR d. Courtney Stephens & Pacho Velez, 2020 UK Premiere + Q&A with the directors & Dr Martin Brady at Barbican (23 NOV 19:00) / Part of Architecture on Film.


WALCHENSEE FOREVER d. Janna Ji Wonders, 2020 at Goethe-Institut London (24 NOV 19:00).


DOC HOLLYWOOD 35mm d. Michael Caton-Jones, 1991 + Q&A with the director presented by The Celluloid Sorceress at The Prince Charles (25 NOV 18:00).

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.


  • “With a pair of new features premiering to immediate international acclaim – anthology WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY awarded the Silver Bear at February’s Berlinale and the epic DRIVE MY CAR subsequently winning the Prix du Scénario and FIPRESCI prizes at July’s Cannes Film Festival – writer-director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi has at last been rightly recognised as one of the most talented, fascinating filmmakers of his generation. Curated by Ross McDonnell, this programme is the first UK retrospective of this prolific filmmaker, and a rare opportunity to explore a uniquely-thrilling body of work.”
  • Includes (check venue for full listings): PASSION d. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2008 (19 NOV 20:15); THE DEPTHS d. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2010 (20 NOV 20:15); INTIMACIES d. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2012 (21 NOV 18:00).
More rep seasons listed in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.
DRIVE MY CAR aka Doraibu mai kâ d. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2021.
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. //.