THE BALLY #131: What to see in London this week [26 NOV to 02 DEC 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

In this week’s film clubs, Kush Films presents the second event in their revival of the lost art of Late-Nite Kung Fu at Genesis Cinema (26 NOV) and Rebel Reel Cine Club takes it outdoors with ANNETTE (26 NOV). If you’re after something a little calmer, warmer! and more reflective, Filmscope presents a free screening of Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN at The Yellow (also 26 NOV). Catford Film presents a free Christmas screening of NATIONAL LAMPOONS CHRISTMAS VACATION at Ninth Life (28 NOV), and Ciné-Real complete their run of 10th Anniversary screenings of SUNSET BOULEVARD 16mm at The Castle (also 28 NOV)*.

Deeper Into Movies will have what can only be described as a ‘manic Monday’ with a free screening of Julia Ducournau’s RAW at the Sebright Arms and ticketed screenings of KUSAMA: INFINITY at Farr’s Dalston and JODOROWSKY’S DUNE at Moth Club (all 29 NOV). On Tuesday, Tufnell Park Film Club continues their weekly events with Milos Foreman’s THE FIREMAN’S BALL at The Lord Palmerston (30 NOV), and Sands Cinema Club presents Terence Davies’s THE LONG DAY CLOSES as both a free in-venue and online event (also 30 NOV, donations requested). Pitshanger Pictures returns to more intimate screenings with BORDER (01 DEC), whilst Hitchcock Film Club wrap your week with a free screening of REBECCA at Fontaine’s (02 DEC).

Keeping step with the start of London International Animation Festival (26 NOV to 05 DEC), this is also a good week for anime (which hardly ever happens…). The Japan Foundation presents a Q&A with director Mamoru Hosoda after a screening of his latest BELLE: THE DRAGON & THE FRECKLED PRINCESS at Picturehouse Central (27 NOV). Then there’s a chance to see one of his earlier works, SUMMER WARS, at a special ‘gay gaming’ extravaganza organised by Fringe!, London Gaymers and Gayming Magazine at The Two Brewers (02 DEC). The Prince Charles projects two classic titles as part of their ongoing seasons: GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (27 NOV) and TOKYO GODFATHERS (02 DEC).

Speaking of anime… Ghibliotheque podcast host Jake Cunningham presents a rare 35mm screening of early Robert Zemeckis’ Bealtemania movie I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND at The Prince Charles this week (29 NOV). Whilst I’m not a massive Beatles fan – the thought of watching Peter Jackson’s latest three-part epic fills me with some trepidation – I do love me some Eddie Deezen!

Looking to seasons, Christmas is popping up all over. I particularly like the look of ALT.XMAS at The Prince Charles, mainly so that I can enjoy compiling a festive listing without making endless reference to HOME ALONE et al. Having said that, their CHRISTMAS programme proper also begins this week and we simply must give the West End indie kudos for more than thirty scheduled 35mm screenings of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (daily, all the way to Christmas Eve, just not 05 DEC).

In addition to their own Christmas season of BIG SCREEN CLASSICS, BFI welcomes two new extensions to their phenomenal JAPAN 2021 season starting with ANOTHER GAZE featuring women-made films chosen by Daniella Shreir, editor of the feminist film journal. Then, a little later in the month, they takeover the BFI IMAXfor special presentations of SEVEN SAMURAIAKIRA and BATTLE ROYALE on ‘Britain’s biggest screen’ (all 09 DEC). Also starting this week is A CLASS OF HIS OWN: THE FILMS OF JACK CLAYTON which celebrates the centenary of the visionary director’s birth.

Other notable seasons this week include the continuation of Ross McDonnell’s unique UK retrospective of the works of RYÛSUKE HAMAGUCHI at Close-Up, the Habibi Collective continuing their presentation of FILM COLLECTIVES & POLITICAL LIBERATION IN THE UK at The Castle (27 NOV), and another celebration of once-lost TV tapes at BFI, MISSING BELIEVED WIPED (also 27 NOV).

It’s your last chance to catch the complete MIKE LEIGH season that’s been running at BFI Southbank, featuring many on-stage appearances by Leigh and his collaborators. You can also catch a Q&A with the directer and a screening of the 4K restoration of NAKED at Ciné Lumière this week (27 NOV). Performing similarly energetic duties, Reggie Yates kickstarts his directing career by making numerous appearances across town with the cast of his directorial debut, PIRATESSee our SINGLE-O EXHIBITS section for these and more one-off events.

Film festivals continuing from last week’s opening nights include Frames Of Representation (25 NOV to 04 DEC), London Migration Film Festival (25 NOV to 01 DEC), London Palestine Film Festival (19 NOV to 03 DEC), and Ukrainian Film Festival (22 NOV to 06 DEC). Festivals joining our listings this week include London Baltic Film Festival (27 to 28 NOV), London International Animation Festival (26 NOV to 05 DEC), Russian Film Week (28 NOV to 05 DEC), and Soho Horror Film Festival (26 to 28 NOV). See FILM FESTIVALS for all the links.

For our Featured Attraction of the Week, I’ve chosen Kirsten Johnson’s Sundance Special Jury Prize winner DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD which screens at ICA with the director in Q&A (02 DEC). Mainly because it addresses an issue that’s been on my mind.

See you in the darkness,


*PS – We couldn’t push Ciné-Real’s previous screenings of SUNSET BOULEVARD because they’d sold out faster than Turbo-Man. But, there are/were some tickets left for this screening at the time of posting, so please form an orderly queue to celebrate one of the finest film clubs in town!

DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD d. Kirsten Johnson, 2020 + Q&A with the director at ICA (02 DEC 18:10).

  • “Toggling between observational documentary and fictional fantasy, Johnson peels back layers of moviemaking as she and her eighty-something father face his death by enacting it in countless ways – with her father playing himself throughout. Dick’s growing dementia makes their quest even more of a challenge, but it doesn’t deter the pair’s commitment to explore the unlikely ways in which we might know and love one another all the way to the end. Innovative, joyous and heartbreaking all at once, DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD is a cinematic love letter unlike any other.”

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Late-Nite Kung Fu: THE 7 GRANDMASTERS d. Joseph Kuo, 1977 + Short: BLACK SALT d. Ben Ramsey, 2018 + Gaming, DJs & Film Clips presented by Kush Films in Bar Paragon at Genesis Cinema (26 NOV 20:30 bar / 22:30 films).


BELLE: THE DRAGON & THE FRECKLED PRINCESS d. Mamoru Hosoda, 2021 + Q&A with the director presented by Anime Limited and The Japan Foundation at Picturehouse Central (27 NOV 15:00).


Ciné-Real 10th Anniversary: SUNSET BOULEVARD 16mm d. Billy Wilder, 1950 at The Castle Cinema (28 NOV 13:30).


I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND 35mm d. Robert Zemeckis, 1978 presented by Jake Cunningham at The Prince Charles (29 NOV 20:30).


THE FIREMAN’S BALL d. Milos Foreman, 1967 presented by Tufnell Park Film Club at The Lord Palmerston (30 NOV 20:00).


SKY, WIND, FIRE, WATER, EARTH + BIRTH/MOTHER aka Kya ka ra ba a + Tarachime d. Naomi Kawase, 2001 + 2006 at BFI Southbank (01 DEC 18:15) / Part of JAPAN 2021: ANOTHER GAZE.


DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD d. Kirsten Johnson, 2020 + Q&A with the director at ICA (02 DEC 18:10).

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.


More rep seasons listed in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

THE FIRST WAVE d. Matthew Heineman, 2021.
REBEL DYKES d. Harri Shanahan & Siân A Williams, 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. //.