This is a film still from: STE. ANNE d. Rhayne Vermette, 2021.

THE BALLY #133: What to see in London this week [10 to 16 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

And so it goes… from today (10 DEC) face coverings are mandatory again inside cinemas (unless you are eating, drinking, or otherwise exempt). Many cinemas have been asking their audiences to respect the practice of wearing face coverings before this point, so hopefully this won’t be too much of a wrench. Stay safe out there…

Two classic horror films get new scores this week, starting with composer Jason Frederick’s new backing track for Bela Lugosi vehicle WHITE ZOMBIE at The Horse Hospital (10 DEC), followed by Dritëro Demjaha’s live accompaniment for silent scarer, NOSFERATU at Screen25 (15 DEC). For fans of genre cinema, a silent adaptation of Owen Wister’s novel THE VIRGINIAN aka “the granddaddy of all westerns” screens from a 35mm print with live piano score from John Sweeney and intro by Bryony Dixon at BFI Southbank (12 DEC).

In other special events, Kush Films starts the screen week with a UK exclusive screening of new body-swop comedy ON THE OTHER FOOT at Genesis (10 DEC), Women & Cocaine celebrates “Hollywood’s Queen of Cool, Marlene Dietrich” with DISHONORED at The Cinema Museum (11 DEC), and Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club brings the festive joy with THE SNOWMAN at The Castle (12, 16 & 19 DEC). No Bollocks Film Club presents Jan Svankmajer’s animated ALICE (also at The Castle, 14 DEC), and Sands Films Cinema Club completes their series of online and in-venue screenings of Ealing comedies with the first of the lot, HUE & CRY (14 DEC). Continuing a busy Tuesday, specialist exhibitors New East Cinema present WAKE UP ON MARS with a Q&A with director Dea Gjinovci at Barbican, and Austrian Cultural Centre hosts a rearranged screening of WOHIN UND ZURÜCK PART III – WELCOME IN VIENNA (both 14 DEC).

On Wednesday, the IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE matinee is accompanied by a performance from legendary Ida Barr, “serving pearly queen realness” at Rio Cinema (15 DEC), and The Final Girls host a special screening plus panel discussion of Julia Ducornau’s TITANE at the same venue (15 DEC). For something equally terrifying (to many), Pinc film club presents SPICE WORLD: THE MOVIE at The Castle Cinema (15 DEC). Concluding your screen week, Nick Walker will hold your hand (at a safe social distance!) through Cult Classic Collective’s presentation of Takashi Miike’s AUDITION at Genesis (16 DEC), and Highgate Film Society presents THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (16 DEC, followed by an online discussion 17 DEC).

The Christmas season pretty much sets the pace for repertory programmes this week, with Catford Mews, Chiswick Cinema, Genesis Cinema, and Rivoli Ballroom amongst many others all joining the festive throng. BFI continues JAPAN 2021 with a series of expert introductions for rarely screened titles (some from 35mm) and MilkTea Films continues the national celebration of Japanese screen culture with THIS IS WHAT A FAMILY LOOKS LIKE, a series of three events that explores what it means to be a family (11, 12 and 19 DEC).

NFTS MA student Ryan Ninesling was set to conclude his fascinating HUMAN RESOURCES season with Brandon Cronenberg’s unforgettable POSSESSOR at Genesis this week (14 DEC), but a power cut on Brick Lane prevented Close-Up from screening opener ARAYA on 03 DEC. That screening has now been rearranged for 13 JAN 2022 (check venue for details). NFTS classmate Emily Wright takes over Close-Up’s screening room this week for a new season all about “premonition, belief and disaster”, THE EDGE OF BELIEF (10 to 16 DEC), which becomes our Featured Attraction of the Week. Of course, you could pair this largely experimental programme with new release DON’T LOOK UP for a cinematic lesson in startling contrast…

See you in the darkness,


PS – This is our penultimate Screen Guide of the year, with the final edition coming out on 17 DEC when we will take our bow and say our thanks for everyone’s support through another turbulent year in the darkness.


  • “A collection of feature-length and short films that explores how faith, myth and belief have shaped the landscape and the experience of those who live within it, often foretelling disasters to come. The programme invites viewers to ponder the ways in which our society dwells between past and future catastrophes: from the precarious relationship forged between a village and its volcano, to a community in the highlands of Lesotho threatened with resettlement to make way for a dam, to a suite of parables on disaster and dispossession in the American mid-west.”
  • THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION d. Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, 2019 + Short: SPIRITS & ROCKS: AN AZORIAN MYTH d. Aylin Gökmen, 2020 (10 DEC 20:15); Short Films Part 1 + Part 2 (12 DEC 18:00); THE ILLINOIS PARABLES + SENSEMAYÁ d. Deborah Stratman, 2016 + Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, 2021 (15 DEC 20:15); STE. ANNE d. Rhayne Vermette, 2021 (16 DEC 20:15).
  • Curated by Emily Wright. Presented in partnership with the National Film & Television School.
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WHITE ZOMBIE d. Victor Halperin, 1932 + Live score by Jason Frederick at The Horse Hospital (10 DEC 19:30).

This is a film still from GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES aka Hotaru no haka d. Isao Takahata, 1988.


GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES aka Hotaru no haka d. Isao Takahata, 1988 + Draw-a-long workshop with artist Ellen Li presented by MilkTea Films at Rio Cinema (11 DEC: Workshop – 15:00 / Film – 15:30) / Part of THIS IS WHAT A FAMILY LOOKS LIKE.

This is a film still from THE DEMON aka Kichiku d. Yoshitarô Nomura, 1978


THE DEMON 35mm aka Kichiku d. Yoshitarô Nomura, 1978 + Intro by season co-programmer Alexander Jacoby (12 DEC 14:50) / Part of JAPAN 2021.

This is a film still from BORSALINO: 4K RESTORATION d. Jacques Deray, 1970.


BORSALINO: 4K RESTORATION d. Jacques Deray, 1970 at Ciné Lumière (13 DEC 17:50) / Part of JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO LE MAGNIFIQUE.

This is a film still from POSSESSOR d. Brandon Cronenberg, 2020.


POSSESSOR d. Brandon Cronenberg, 2020 at Genesis Cinema (14 DEC 18:20) / Part of HUMAN RESOURCES.

This is a film still from NOSFERATU d. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1922.


NOSFERATU d. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1922 + Live score by Dritëro Demjaha at Screen25 Cinema (15 DEC 19:45).

This is a film still from: STE. ANNE d. Rhayne Vermette, 2021.


STE. ANNE d. Rhayne Vermette, 2021 at Close-Up (16 DEC 20:15) / Part of THE EDGE OF BELIEF.

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.


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

BEING THE RICARDOS d. Aaron Sorkin, 2021:

DON’T LOOK UP d. Adam McKay, 2021:

LAMB d. Valdimar Jóhannsson, 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. //.