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.
And here we go again with changes to COVID-19 regulations, by which I mean the announced death of Plan B on 26 JAN. Our bellwether venue, The Prince Charles, has confirmed they will be dropping their ‘proof of COVID-19 status’ requirement and seating restrictions from this date. Despite considerable support from their hugely loyal audience, they’ve also come under attack from some for their stance so far. As I stated in my comment on their IG update: “As many others have said, no need to apologise for anything. Your venue, your hospitality, your duty of care, your rules. Profound respect to all indie cinema crews for seeing this journey through (&, of course, best wishes for any further bumps along the road…). RCx”
In a similar vein, The Cinema Museum reopens this week after a temporary period of closure due to the pre-Christmas COVID situation. Tours of their fascinating venue and collections will still not restart before February 2022 but you can sample two on-screen delights this weekend: Women & Cocaine’s celebration of Barbara Stanwyck, LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT (22 JAN); and, Musical Sunday’s presentation of GYPSY in tribute to Stephen Sondheim (23 JAN).
In specialist cinema events, it’s interesting to note that there are considerably more ‘in-person’ Q&As and panel discussions this week than in recent times, which is probably a sign that the industry is picking up pace after so much pain. I can’t think of a better way to start your screen week than by going to see Benedict Cumberbatch introduce Jane Campion’s extraordinary THE POWER OF THE DOG at Curzon Soho (21 JAN), but you’ll find your own avenues to explore I’m sure. Also of considerable note is BFI’s epic presentation of the digitally remastered SOUTH: SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON’S GLORIOUS EPIC OF THE ANTARCTIC, screening at BFI IMAX with a live performance of Neil Brand’s new score performed by the Covent Garden Sinfonia (27 JAN).
Film Clubs seem to be on the march too. Joining those already mentioned, T A P E Collective starts their new Nolly Nights at Peckham Levels (22 JAN), Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club pays tribute to Peter Bogdanovich with three scheduled screenings of PAPER MOON from 16mm at The Castle (23, 26 & 30 JAN), and Balkans, Burek, Booze, Books concludes their run of free film events at Morocco Bound with 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS & 2 DAYS(25 JAN). On the same evening, Tufnell Park Film Club celebrates Burns Night with a rearranged screening of Bill Forsyth’s COMFORT & JOY, which comes packaged with a special guest, actor Bill Paterson (25 JAN). Keeping Tuesday night busy, Wimbledon Film Club presents another Members’ Choice title, Maria Schrader’s I’M YOUR MAN at Curzon Wimbledon, and New East Cinema presents a special screening of COURAGE including a Q&A with the director and the leaders of Belarus Free Theatre at Barbican (both 25 JAN).
There are a few films screening for Holocaust Memorial Day this year (27 JAN), including Newham Community Cinema’s special presentation of THE CHAMPION OF AUSCHWITZ, LOVE IT WAS NOT at JW3, and TACHELES – THE HEART OF THE MATTER at Goethe-Institut London (which is also available to stream online and will be followed on 28 JAN by an online Q&A with co-director Jana Matthes and subject of the film, Yaar Harell). Not officially linked on their website, but the BFI’s Experimenta strand is also showing The Surviving Films of Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, featuring their “legendary anti-fascist film EUROPA (1931), looted by the Nazis, recently discovered in the Bundesarchiv, Berlin and screened publicly for the first time in nearly 90 years in the 2021 London Film Festival” alongside three other of their works (27 JAN).
In festivals, London Short Film Festival continues to hold focus until 23 JAN and has been joined by Syrian Arts & Cultural Festival (20 JAN to 04 FEB). London International Mime Festival at Barbican (25 JAN to 05 FEB) and Night Of Ideas at Ciné Lumière (27 JAN) follow later in the week with film screenings dotted amongst their programs. To get you in the mood, Ciné Lumière also runs a short film season called, appropriately enough, BEFORE THE NIGHT.
I’ve highlighted Kenneth Branagh’s BELFAST, Matthew Fifer and Kieran Mulcare’s CICADA, and Guillermo del Toro’s NIGHTMARE ALLEY as my new releases of the week, but, amongst several other treasures, you can also enjoy extended runs of Wong Kar Wai’s 2046 at The Prince Charles and Joanna Hogg’s THE SOUVENIR across the Picturehouse chain this week. See GRIND SHOWS for full details.
Returning to COVID-19, I’ve been at home isolating with the virus for the last 10 days, so have missed a good chunk of new cinema… Please therefore forgive my repeat focus on one of my favourite filmmakers as I make 3+3: A PROJECT CURATED BY APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL at ICA (22 to 30 JAN) my Featured Attraction Of The Week (and my priority for getting back in the darkness…).
This short season of films handpicked by the director is both a celebration of his latest work – MEMORIA, which I’ve still not seen thanks to the virus – and an exploration of what makes the filmmaker tick, pairing three of his own with three films from other makers. Some of Weerasethakul’s early works are undergoing restoration, but it’s hard to complain about the choices on offer here: UNCLE BOONMEE… from 35mm, CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR , and the rarely screened MEKONG HOTEL. All of the companion titles are equally essential: Jacques Tourneur’s I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, Francis Ford Coppola’s THE CONVERSATION, and mystery film PURE BLOOD (well, it’s a mystery to Weerasethakul, as he hasn’t seen it yet…).
See you in the darkness, and stay safe.
Richard // RADIANT CIRCUS
“MEMORIA is the kind of animal that thrives in the dark, the cave, the cinema, or in dreams. It shares the same spirit as my past works made in Thailand, and I have selected three of them here to celebrate the release of MEMORIA. UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (2010) is a memory of a bygone time; MEKONG HOTEL (2012) is a lullaby for the river of generations, and CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR (2015) is a farewell to home. They are a path towards the reflection in MEMORIA, that of the shared consciousness beyond borders and time. I have chosen to accompany them with the three mysteries that vibrate around the new film: I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE , THE CONVERSATION and PURE BLOOD. They are the works that, to me, associate with the unknown.” (Apichatpong Weerasethakul / ICA)
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THE POWER OF THE DOG d. Jane Campion, 2021 + Intro by Benedict Cumberbatch at Curzon Soho (21 JAN 18:15).
LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT d. Howard Bretherton & William Keighley, 1933 presented by Women & Cocaine at The Cinema Museum (22 JAN 19:30).
MEKONG HOTEL d. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2012 (23 JAN 17:00) / Part of 3+3: A PROJECT CURATED BY APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL at ICA.
PAPER MOON 16mm d. Peter Bogdanovich, 1973 presented by Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club at The Castle Cinema (26 JAN 19:30 / 30 JAN 14:00).
Experimenta: The Surviving Films of Franciszka and Stefan Themerson + Intro by Jasia Reichardt at BFI Southbank (27 JAN 18:10).
Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.
- Includes (check venue for full listings): I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE d. Jacques Tourneur, 1943 (22 JAN 13:15); MEKONG HOTEL d. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2012 (23 JAN 17:00); THE CONVERSATION d. Francis Ford Coppola, 1974 (25 JAN 20:55); UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES 35mm aka Lung Boonmee Raleuk Chat d. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010 (27 JAN 18:15 / 30 JAN 16:20); CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR aka Rat Ti Khon Kaen d. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015 (29 JAN 19:00); PURE BLOOD aka Pura sangre d. Luis Ospina, 1982 (30 JAN 18:45).
More rep seasons listed in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.
- London International Mime Festival (25 JAN to 05 FEB).
- London Short Film Festival (14 to 23 JAN).
- Night Of Ideas (27 JAN).
- Syrian Arts & Cultural Festival (20 JAN to 04 FEB).
BELFAST d. Kenneth Branagh, 2021.
- Various venues, inc: ActOne Cinema / ArtHouse Crouch End / Barbican / The Castle Cinema / Catford Mews / Chiswick Cinema / The Cinema In The Arches / Curzon Cinemas / Electric Cinemas / Everyman Cinemas / Genesis Cinema / The Lexi Cinema / Olympic Studios / Peckhamplex / Phoenix Cinema / Picturehouse Cinemas / Regent Street Cinema / Rich Mix / Riverside Studios + Recorded intro by Kenneth Branagh
NIGHTMARE ALLEY d. Guillermo del Toro, 2021.
- Various venues, inc: Barbican / Catford Mews / Chiswick Cinema / The Cinema In The Arches / Curzon Cinemas / Electric Cinemas / Everyman Cinemas / Genesis Cinema / Kino Bermondsey / The Lexi Cinema / Olympic Studios / Peckhamplex / Phoenix Cinema / Picturehouse Cinemas / Regent Street Cinema / Rich Mix / Rio Cinema / Riverside Studios
More new releases in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.
- Lost Vampires presents the UK premiere of HABIT + Q&A with Larry Fessenden at ICA (20 OCT 2022)
- Fragments Festival returns to Genesis Cinema (29 SEP to 02 OCT 2022)
- The Vito Project presents IMITATIONS OF LIFE at The Cinema Museum (18 SEP 2022 to 22 JAN 2023)
- Crap Film Club presents ONE MAN FORCE at The Old Queens Head (03 OCT 2022)
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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. //.