THE BALLY #154: What to see in London this week [20 to 26 MAY 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

#QueerHorrorNights continue with David Cronenberg’s THE FLY (1986) at The Castle Cinema (Friday 24 JUNE 19:00): booking now!

Welcome to another screen week! 

The Garden Cinema launches a new format – stand up comedians from the circuit introduce their favourite funny films! – with YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN on Friday (20 MAY), but you might also want to start your screen week with the new documentary about the socially distanced popsters A-HA (single date screenings at Catford MewsChiswick Cinema, and various Picturehouses as well as an extended engagement at ICA). On Saturday, World Wide Weird wishes the late Christopher Lee a Happy 100th Birthday by showing two of his venerated schlockers (and holding a fundraising raffle for Macmillan Cancer Support!), whilst Women & Cocaine celebrates Mae West with SHE DONE HIM WRONG at The Cinema Museum (both 21 MAY).

Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club projects a sure-to-be sold out BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S over three nights from Umit’s whirring beast at the back of The Castle Cinema (22, 25 & 29 MAY), and Kino Quickies concludes their series of podcast recordings at Kino Bermondsey with, suitably enough, BRIEF ECSTASY. On the same day, Sappho’s Cinema and Lesflicks create space to mingle at their monthly celebration of “the best of Lesbian Cinema!” with a film close to my heart, Kimberley Peirce’s BOYS DON’T CRY, and The Garden Cinema shows the first of two screenings this week of HANDS ON A HARDBODY (all 22 MAY).

On Monday, there’s a reasonably rare chance to see Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD at The Prince Charles (as part of their LONG-ASS MOVIES strand, it will also only cost you £1 if you’re a member!), and King’s College London continues their series of fundraisers for Ukraine with MY UNKNOWN SOLDIER (both 23 MAY). Tuesday heats up with Pinc x Black Ink Cinema presenting B*A*P*S at The Castle, Tufnell Park Film Clubshowing CHARLEY VARRICK at The Lord Palmerston, and Sands Films Cinema Club projecting Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack’s GRASS in-venue and online. I’ve also spotted a film club that’s new to me, Film Whitton presents THE INTOUCHABLES aka Untouchable at Whitton Library (all 24 MAY).

Wednesday continues the same pace with ANYBODY’S WOMAN x2 at ICA, Alison Kuhn’s THE CASE YOU at Goethe-InstitutBlack History Studies‘ presentation of I SEE YOU at The Lexi, and the continuation of the Pink Palace projections in the basement bar at Rio Cinema with TAXI ZUM KLO (all 25 MAY). If you’ve already seen the re-release of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s VAMPYR, then the fine folk at Kennington Bioscope are projecting another of his works, PRÄSTÄNKAN aka The Parson’s Widow, at The Cinema Museum (also 25 MAY). 

Thursday gets a little quieter for stand-alone presentations, so why not drop into Sydenham Film Club for their screening of HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (26 MAY), the day after Towel Day (25 MAY)? Or, if you like your sci-fi a little harder, maybe this is your chance to see the 4K restoration of ROBOCOP at the Picturehouse chain? Nick Walker aka Cult Classic Collective will also be hosting an intro and post-screening salon for IRREVERSIBLE, part of the GASPAR NOÉ season at Genesis (26 MAY 18:25).

The month’s ongoing rep seasons are joined by a brief sojourn to the CÔTE D’AZUR at Ciné Lumière, and a repeat run of ROBERT EGGERS‘ first two films at The Prince Charles. ANIME is back at the BFI IMAX, and The Garden Cinema continues their excellent deep dive into the life and career of SIDNEY POITIER with repeat screenings of many of his major screen works. If you’re a fan of Mike Hodges, there’s a Work In Progressscreening of his new self-directed documentary about his life and work screening for FREE at BFI Southbank as part of their RETURN OF THE OUTSIDER season: ALL AT SEA (26 MAY).

In the week that TOP GUN 2 previews and then shatters the box office sound barrier (hopefully, for all the still-struggling indie venues…), there’s a rich array of other delights, some significantly older than the lag on Mr Cruise’s latest… Of the new indie crop, I like the look of Terence Davies’ BENEDICTION, Eskil Vogt’s THE INNOCENTS, and the 90th Anniversary 2K restoration and re-release of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s sensational VAMPYR (which also gets a few single date screenings). If you’ve been dialling into the CRUEL FLESH season at BFI, then the weeklong run of Gaspar Noé’s LUX ÆTERNA at ICA is also worthy of serious note.

I’ve chosen The Machine That Kills Bad People’s presentation of ANYBODY’S WOMAN x2 at ICA as my Featured Attraction of the Week (25 MAY) because it sounds like a fascinating juxtaposition of two very different works directed by women (and I’m always in the mood for a double bill).

See you in the darkness, and stay safe.


ANYBODY’S WOMAN x2 d. Dorothy Arzner, 1930 35mm + Bette Gordon, 1981 digital presented by The Machine That Kills Bad People at ICA (25 MAY 18:45).

“ANYBODY’S WOMAN (1930) is a rarely seen pre-Code feature by Dorothy Arzner, the most prolific woman director of the classic Hollywood studio era. It charts the marriage of a chorus girl and a lawyer who find themselves coupled after a drunken night and proceed to make the unconventional marriage work.”

“Bette Gordon’s recently restored Super 8 film ANYBODY’S WOMAN (1981) is named after Arzner’s film. The precursor to her 1983 feature VARIETY, it features Wooster Group members Spalding Gray and Nancy Reilly recounting their experiences with pornography against the backdrop of images of New York’s Times Square and the surroundings of the Variety porn theatre.” (TMTKBP)

The Machine That Kills Bad People is held bi-monthly in the ICA Cinema and is programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz and Ben Rivers.

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YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN d. Mel Brooks, 1974 + Intro by Tim Renkow at The Garden Cinema (20 MAY 20:00) / Part of FUNNY ON FILM.


SHE DONE HIM WRONG d. Lowell Sherman, 1933 presented by Women & Cocaine at The Cinema Museum (21 MAY 19:30).


HANDS ON A HARDBODY d. S.R. Bindler, 1997 at The Garden Cinema (22 MAY 19:15 / 24 MAY 15:20).


KATZELMACHER d. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1969 (23 MAY 18:10) / Part of RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER at The Prince Charles.


B*A*P*S d. Robert Townsend, 1997 presented by Pinc x Black Ink Cinema at The Castle Cinema (24 MAY 18:45).


ANYBODY’S WOMAN x2 d. Dorothy Arzner, 1930 35mm + Bette Gordon, 1981 digital presented by The Machine That Kills Bad People at ICA (25 MAY 18:45).

This is a film still from IRREVERSIBLE dir Gaspar Noé, 2002 screening at Genesis Cinema (26 MAY 2022).


IRREVERSIBLE d. Gaspar Noé, 2002 + Intro/Salon with Nick Walker presented by The Cult Classic Collective at Genesis Cinema (26 MAY 18:25).

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

THE DEFIANT ONES dir Stanley Kramer, 1958.


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

#QueerHorrorNights continue with a double bill of PSYCHO II & PSYCHO III at The Cinema Museum (Sunday 24 JULY 18:30): booking now!


GET OUT dir Jordan Peele, 2017 at Rooftop Film Club, Stratford East (26 MAY 21:00).

More outdoor screenings listed in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

THE INNOCENTS aka De uskyldige dir. Eskil Vogt, 2021:

VAMPYR dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932:

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. //.