THE BALLY #132: What to see in London this week [03 to 09 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

It’s the start of a new screen month, meaning we’ve posted (and already updated!) our latest epic roundup of film seasons and festivals projecting across London. Check it out if you want to plan your cinema visits right through until the end of 2021. Of course, before we get to that point, Christmas is popping up all over and you’ll find plenty of festive offerings – both mainstream and more offbeat – this week. For the truly adventurous, there’s even an outdoor film festival on a pontoon at St. Katherine’s Dock…

BFI’s year-long, nation-wide focus on Japanese films has brought a huge amount of fascinating screen culture to all corners of the capital, often supported by National Lottery funding through the BFI’s FAN initiative. BFI Southbank’s own JAPAN 2021 continues this week, branching out with two great additions: ANOTHER GAZE features women-made films chosen by Daniella Shreir, editor of the feminist film journal, and at BFI IMAX you’ll find special presentations of SEVEN SAMURAIAKIRA and a brand new 4K restoration of BATTLE ROYALE on ‘Britain’s biggest screen’ (all 09 DEC). Also of note, Ross McDonnell’s UK retrospective of the works of RYÛSUKE HAMAGUCHI concludes at Close-Up this weekend with two of the acclaimed director’s latest offerings.

We’ve been covering the next generation of film programmers from NFTS for a while now, so it’s great to see another new season come into sharp focus this week: Ryan Ninesling’s HUMAN RESOURCES screens at Close-Up and Genesis, starting on Friday in Shoreditch with a rare screening of Margot Benacerraf’s “landmark work of Latin American feminist cinema”, ARAYA (03 DEC). Elsewhere, The Care-fuffle Collective continues their REPEATED APPARITIONS season at The Horse Hospital with a screening of Marlon Rigg’s TONGUES UNTIED (09 DEC) and I’ve chosen BFI’s A CLASS OF HIS OWN: THE FILMS OF JACK CLAYTON as our Featured Attraction of the Month. The complete run of Clayton’s directorial works celebrates the centenary of his birth and includes a certain title that’s irresistible to any self-respecting circus/sideshow-themed film blog.

In this week’s film clubs and collectives, The Gothique Film Society starts everything off with a double bill of 1965 rarities, DARK INTRUDER + THE GHOST OF SIERRA DE COBRE, introduced by Kim Newman (03 DEC). Exploding Cinema celebrates “three decades of flicks, light tricks and spilled beer” with a special 30th Birthday extravaganza (04 DEC) and Musical Sunday completes your weekend with a seasonal favourite, THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (05 DEC). You’ll find all these excellent events at The Cinema Museum.

Deeper Into Movies continues their multi-pronged attack with a series of events in both London and New York this week. Our pick of the local bunch is the 4K restoration of Dennis Hopper’s OUT OF THE BLUE which screens in partnership with BFI at Moth Club (06 DEC). You’ll have a tougher time deciding what to see on Tuesday (07 DEC). Cinesisters bring their latest collection of shorts to Genesis Cinema, Sands Film Club offers both in-venue and online screenings of Ealing comedy THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT, and Double Wonderful returns to Venue MOT with an international collab, Video Expert 1. In one of the most deliciously delirious listings I’ve posted in a long while (and I mean that in a very good way…), West Central London Fixers – who find volunteer repairers to fix people’s electronics for free! – present a special screening of WATERWORLD at The Tabernacle, including a presentation by ‘Extinction Rebellion scientist’ Dr Charlie Gardner (also 07 DEC). If Kevin Costner with gills doesn’t make the point about the climate emergency we all face, nothing will…

On Wednesday (08 DEC), T A P E Collective continues their run of events at Barbican with Trippin’ Over My Tongue and the folk at Kennington Bioscope do their beautiful silent cinema thing with a double bill of THE EAGLE’S MATE 35mm and THE ESKIMO BABY. Continuing their run of off-kilter titles, Pitshanger Pictures follows last week’s BORDER with SLACK BAY which they describe as “a truly Marmite film, loved by some and loathed by others!”. There are possibly too many delights to mention on Thursday (09 DEC), but my pick of the bunch would be Jellied Reel’s screening of Elia Suleiman’s CHRONICLE OF A DISAPPEARANCE at The Castle Cinema, and Jonetsu Nights’ takeover of Close-Up for a welcome screening of Takashi Miike’s 13 ASSASSINS. If you haven’t seen the awesome doc REBEL DYKES, this could also be your day…

In addition to the Christmas Floating Film Festival (29 NOV to 05 DEC)*, newcomers to our festival listings this week include Ealing Film Festival (04 to 05 DEC), London Film Week (06 to 12 DEC) and, representing both Japanese and Scottish screen culture, We Love Anime (04 to 05 DEC). I also want to make a special mention of Queer East’s work to memorialise the late Mickey Chen, including a weeklong free streaming programme of films (from 04 to 10 DEC, including NOT JUST A WEDDING BANQUET, BOYS FOR BEAUTY, MEMORANDUM ON HAPPINESS and SCARS ON MEMORY) and a live online panel discussion, Documenting Taiwan’s Queer History (08 DEC).

Finally, I’ve chosen Sam Enthoven and Arkadiusz Potyka’s performance of a live electronic score for Japanese silent A PAGE OF MADNESS at ArtHouse Crouch End (05 DEC) as our Featured Attraction of the Week. A special mention too goes to the wonderful people at BIMI/Essay Film Festival for their excellent programme at Goethe-Institut, ESCAPE ROUTE TO MARSEILLE (04 DEC), which is resurrected from last year’s cancelled event.

See you in the darkness,


*No connection to WATERWORLD I assume…

A PAGE OF MADNESS aka Kurutta ippêji d. Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926 + Live electronic score by Sam Enthoven & Arkadiusz Potyka at ArtHouse Crouch End (05 DEC 15:15).

  • “In Japan, a man (Masao Inoue) takes a job as a janitor at a mental asylum in order to be near his wife (Yoshie Nakagawa). Although his wife suffers genuine mental anguish, the man believes he can rescue her — but his attempt to break her out one night backfires when she panics. After she returns to her room, the husband again makes plans to try to take her out, only to be interrupted in the attempt by a doctor and several attendants, whom he attacks and believes he has killed.”
  • “A masterpiece of Japanese avant-garde silent cinema.” Silent London
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ARAYA d. Margot Benacerraf, 1959 at Close-Up (03 DEC 20:15) / Part of HUMAN RESOURCES.


ESCAPE ROUTE TO MARSEILLE aka Fluchtweg nach Marseille d. Ingemo Engström & Gerhard Theuring, 1977 + Discussion presented by BIMI/Essay Film Festival at Goethe-Institut London (04 DEC – Part 1: 14:00 / Part 2: 16:00 / Discussion: 18:00).


A PAGE OF MADNESS aka Kurutta ippêji d. Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926 + Live electronic score by Sam Enthoven & Arkadiusz Potyka at ArtHouse Crouch End (05 DEC 15:15).


OUT OF THE BLUE: 4K RESTORATION d. Dennis Hopper, 1980 presented by Deeper Into Movies at Moth Club (06 DEC 19:30 – FREE!).


Video Expert 1 short film programme presented by Double Wonderful at Venue MOT Unit 18 (07 DEC 19:30+).


THE EAGLE’S MATE 35mm + THE ESKIMO BABY d. James Kirkwood, 1914 + d. Heinz Schall, 1916 + Live piano accompaniment presented by Kennington Bioscope at The Cinema Museum (08 DEC 19:30).


CHRONICLE OF A DISAPPEARANCE d. Elia Suleiman, 1996 + Surprise short film presented by Jellied Reels at The Castle Cinema (09 DEC 21:00).

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

HUMAN RESOURCES at Close-Up & Genesis Cinema

  • “A season of films that charts a 60-plus year historical overview of the depiction of work and labour on screen. The shifting landscape of labour throughout the 20th and 21st centuries is shown through the evolution of its cinematic representation, ranging from manual labour’s forced adaptation in the face of industrialisation to threats to individual identity in the midst of the gig economy. This season paints an evocative, wide-ranging view of our complicated relationship with the jobs that provide for us and often define us.”
  • Includes (check venues for listings): ARAYA d. Margot Benacerraf, 1959 at Close-Up (03 DEC 20:15); BLUE COLLAR d. Paul Schrader, 1978 + Panel discussion at Genesis Cinema (08 DEC 18:10); LA PROMESSE 35mm d. Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 1996 at Genesis Cinema (09 DEC 21:00); POSSESSOR d. Brandon Cronenberg, 2020 at Genesis Cinema (14 DEC 18:20).
  • Curated by Ryan NineslingPresented in partnership with the National Film & Television School.
More rep seasons listed in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.
ENCOUNTER d. Michael Pearce, 2021.
THE HAND OF GOD aka È stata la mano di Dio d. Paolo Sorrentino, 2021.
THERE IS NO EVIL d. Mohammad Rasoulof, 2020.
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. //.