MAEVE d. Pat Murphy, 1981
THE BALLY

THE BALLY #138: What to see in London this week [28 JAN to 03 FEB 2022]

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


From 27 JAN, face coverings are no longer a legal requirement in England in shops, restaurants and public transport but are still required by TFL. Screen venues too continue to operate their own individual rules, but the number of socially distanced screenings is on the decline, and the frequency of screenings is on the up (for example, the Rio is now offering a more extensive daily programme than in recent months). For what it’s worth, I’ve gotten used to my fabric face hugger, and after my own recent brush with Omicron, will be keeping my mask on for the time being (when I’m not consuming something from the concession stand of course…). 

In other venue news, The Prince Charles has installed a shiny new 4K projector in their downstairs bowl and will be screening crystal clear images in this space. We’ve adjusted our format listings accordingly (see SEASONS for full listings) and look forward to sampling their wondrous moving pictures soon.

In film clubs, sadly, Talkies Community Cinema’s 200th screening – due to be THE BLUES BROTHERS with a live band – has been postponed (was 29 JAN). Let’s hope their projection bulbs are re-lit soon. Looking to the rest of the week ahead, The Gothique Film Society kicks everything off with a double bill of adaptations of Nikolai Gogol’s short story Viy at The Cinema Museum, including Maria Bava’s “liberal” version BLACK SUNDAY, starring the immortal Barbara Steele, and Konstantin Ershov and Georgiy Kropachyov’s more “faithful” version, VIY (both 28 JAN). Newham Community Cinema celebrates Chinese New Year with a free screening of SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS on the same day (28 JAN).

Chinese New Year celebrations continue the next day at Genesis Cinema with a double bill of Stephen Chow’s A CHINESE ODYSSEY presented by Focus Hong Kong (29 JAN). Irish Film London start their St. Brigid’s Day celebrations the same weekend with events at both Kiln Cinema (HERE BEFORE, 29 JAN) and Rio Cinema (MAEVE, 30 JAN). You could also spend your Saturday with our friends at The Twelve30 Collective for Perry Henzell’s THE HARDER THEY COME at Riverside, or take another horror deep dive for the re-arranged World Wide Weird All-Dayer 4! featuring that hitherto elusive North Korean kaiju, PULGASARI (both 29 JAN)

On Sunday, Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club looks to be sold out for their final screening of Peter Bogdanovich’s PAPER MOON at The Castle (30 JAN), but there’s still room at time of posting for Only True Cinema‘s screening of THE STREET at Whirled Cinema (also 30 JAN). Never on Sunday is a new series of screenings of “rare classics, archive masterpieces, obscure delights and forgotten gems” curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht and taking place the last Sunday of each month at Close-Up. The series starts with Mikko Niskanen’s 1966 film UNDER YOUR SKIN from 35mm in collab with Finnish Institute in London and Finland’s National Audiovisual Institute (also 30 JAN).

Deeper Into Movies have one of their ‘double Mondays’ with AMERICAN MOVIE at Moth Club and LAST NIGHT IN SOHO at Farr’s Dalston (both 31 JAN). Tuesday sees Tufnell Park Film Club screening Jim Sheridan’s THE BOXER  at The Lord Palmerston, and Sands Films Cinema Club presenting James Ivory’s SHAKESPEARE WALLAH online and in their venue (both 01 FEB). Kennington Bioscope gives you great midweek cinema with a 35mm BFI Archive Print of Michael Curtiz’ A SOUL IN TORMENT at The Cinema Museum, and Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema celebrates LGBT History Month with THE ICE KING about out gay Olympian, John Curry (both 02 FEB). Busy Newham Community Cinema – this time in collab with Women Over 50 Film Festival – ends your week with a free LGBT History Month screening of REBEL DYKES (03 FEB), and Hitchcock Film Club gives you the master’s ‘single shot’, queer inflected psychodrama ROPE at Fontaines (also 03 FEB, also FREE!).

As this week tips into a new calendar month (full epic roundup coming soon!), we will also see some new rep seasons illuminating London’s indie screens, including THE ABC OF ASTA NIELSENEXPERIMENTA FOCUS: STEPHEN DWOSKIN and SEEN & HEARD at BFI. The Southbank venue also devotes their BIG SCREEN CLASSICS to LGBT History Month and shifts their focus on FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT to examine how Hitchcock influenced his career. Also of considerable note this week is HOMELAND: FILMS BY AUSTRALIAN FIRST NATIONS DIRECTORS at Barbican and The Prince Charles takes a fresh look at the multifaceted career of MARTIN SCORSESE. Apologies to student programmer Galya Stepanova and NFTS for not spotting the ATLAS OF BELONGING season earlier, which concludes this weekend at ICA.

In new releases, Pedro Almodóvar’s latest, PARALLEL MOTHERS, is the all-conquering heroine of the indie scene, but we also love the look of restored silent epic SOUTH complete with new score by Neil Brand, and Salomé Jashi’s doc, TAMING THE GARDEN. See our GRIND SHOWS section for full venue-by-venue listings.

For my Featured Attraction of the Week I’ve chosen Irish Film London and Birds’ Eye View’s joint presentation of Pat Murphy’s 1981 film MAEVE at the Rio (30 JAN): “a powerful take on the issues of feminism and nationalism, a film rich in debate and disruption, and a landmark of 1980s independent filmmaking.”

See you in the darkness, and stay safe.

Richard // RADIANT CIRCUS


MAEVE d. Pat Murphy, 1981 + Q&A with Birds’ Eye View presented by Irish Film London at Rio Cinema for St. Brigid’s Day (30 JAN 14:30).

“Widely regarded as Ireland’s first feminist feature, it was also the first film to be cast and shot in Belfast. In the film, Maeve (Mary Jackson) returns to Belfast after being away for several years, and she stays in the family home with her sister and father. Being back in Belfast allows Maeve to comment on the state of things around her with a perspective all of her own – the Troubles, Irish nationalism and much more are dissected through her in the film.

Pat Murphy describes her film as being ‘composed of a series of episodes in conversation with each other’. Formally adventurous, it borrows from Brecht and Godard to present a modernist polemic on a difficult period of recent Irish history.” (Irish Film London)

The Q&A will include host Melanie Iredale (director, Birds Eye View) and panelists Christine Molloy (director, Desperate Optimists), Selina Robertson (researcher and curator at Club Des Femmes) and Dr Emmie McFadden (academic at Sheffield Hallam Uni, contributor to notes for MAEVE’s recent BFI DVD re-release).

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FRIDAY

BLACK SUNDAY + VIY d. Mario Bava, 1960 + Konstantin Ershov & Georgiy Kropachyov, 1967 presented by The Gothique Film Society at The Cinema Museum (28 JAN 19:00).

SATURDAY

A CHINESE ODYSSEY: A DOUBLE-BILL presented by Focus Hong Kong at Genesis Cinema for Chinese New Year: PANDORA’S BOX d. Jeffrey Lau, 1995 (29 JAN 14:00) + CINDERELLA d. Jeffrey Lau, 1995 (29 JAN 15:50).

MAEVE d. Pat Murphy, 1981

SUNDAY

MAEVE d. Pat Murphy, 1981 + Q&A with Birds’ Eye View at Rio Cinema (30 JAN 14:30).

MONDAY

LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN d. Max Ophuls, 1948 (31 JAN 20:45) / Part of BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: THE FILMS IN TRUFFAUT’S LIFE at BFI Southbank.

TUESDAY

TIMES FOR d. Stephen Dwoskin, 1970 + Discussion with actor Jenny Runacre & writer Dr Sophia Satchell-Baeza (01 FEB 18:10) / Part of EXPERIMENTA FOCUS: STEPHEN DWOSKIN at BFI Southbank.

WEDNESDAY

THE DROVER’S WIFE: THE LEGEND OF MOLLY JOHNSON d. Leah Purcell, 2021 + Live video Q&A with the director (02 FEB 19:00) / Part of HOMELAND: FILMS BY AUSTRALIAN FIRST NATIONS DIRECTORS at Barbican.

THURSDAY

THE ABYSS + THE ABC OF LOVE d. Urban Gad, 1910 + d. Magnus Stifter, 1916 + Intro by season curator Pamela Hutchinson & Live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne (03 FEB 20:30) / Part of THE ABC OF ASTA NIELSEN at BFI Southbank.

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

SPEAR d. Stephen Page, 2015

HOMELAND: FILMS BY AUSTRALIAN FIRST NATIONS DIRECTORS at Barbican

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


SOUTH: SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON’S GLORIOUS EPIC OF THE ANTARCTIC d. Frank Hurley, 1919.

TAMING THE GARDEN d. Salomé Jashi, 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. //.