This is a film still from THE SEA HAWK dir Frank Lloyd, 1924

THE BALLY #169: What to see in London this week [02 to 08 SEP 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 continues with Stewart Thorndike’s LYLE starring Gaby Hoffman at Genesis Cinema (14 SEP 18:30).

Welcome to another screen week!

It’s definitely getting busier out there… either start your screen week on Friday with a night of funny at The Garden Cinema featuring stand up from Jordan Gray ahead of a screening of DR. STRANGELOVE, or choose something rather more serious with Stow Film Lounge for a special screening of WHITE RIOT that includes a conversation with co-founder of Rock Against Racism, Roger Huddle at Gnome House (both 02 SEP).

On Saturday there’s a special presentation of the 4K restoration of Sarah Maldoror’s SAMBIZANGA as part of African Odysseys at BFI Southbank (03 SEP), which is also part of the Cinema Rediscovered on Tourprogramme (in venues and online). A 10 week course Celebrating 15 Years of African Odysseys starts at BFI Southbank from 07 SEP. Rebel Reel Cine Club continues their creative presentation of cult films with an interactive screening of GREY GARDENS at Rio Cinema on Sunday (04 SEP), followed a little later in the week by the same venue’s Pink Palace presentation of THAT SUMMER which continues the saga (07 SEP).

On Monday, The Prince Charles screens a rarely seen title picked from their famed Request Board, Diane Kurys’ PEPPERMINT SODA. On the same night, The Cinema in the Arches launches a new short film showcase event for emerging filmmakers, The Short List (both 05 SEP). On Tuesday, Tufnell Park Film Club screens a favourite of mine, Elia Kazan’s WILD RIVER (06 SEP), whilst your Wednesday should be very well taken care of by our featured attraction of the week… (see below). Conclude your screen week with either CLI-FI SHORTS, the first night of FRAMEBURN from The Social Cinema at Hackney Brewery High Hill Taproom, a series of events “that reflect on climate change, dystopia and activism through the lens of science-fiction”, or THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF at Sydenham Film Club, part of their local Artist Trail 2022 (08 SEP).

It’s the start of September, so some new rep seasons have started to come into view. Options include CHANNEL 4: 40 YEARS OF REVOLUTION and SOUND AND VISION at BFI Southbank and IMAX, as well as two chances to see the amazing films of PAM GRIER at both BFI and Picturehouse Cinemas. I’ll be posting our full season roundup, including these and more new season titles, over the weekend. After a quiet period, it’s great to see so many film festivals in town this week… (just as the outdoor event season is starting to fade).

The inspiring slate of new releases and restorations continues, with my picks this week including John Michael McDonagh’s THE FORGIVEN, Alex Pritz’s THE TERRITORY, George Miller’s THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING, and Bretten Hannam’s WILDWOOD. But the restorations of David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY and Nicholas Meyer’s cut of STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN also standout. See this week’s Screen Guide for full GRIND SHOW listings.

Of course, what with Saturday being National Cinema Day, you really can get out there without doing too much damage to the bank account… tickets pretty much everywhere for £3. Show your local indie screens some love, or try heading somewhere new.

I’ve chosen the next Kennington Bioscope screening – 1924 buccaneering epic THE SEA HAWK – as my Featured Attraction of the Week for two reasons. Firstly, it sounds like a fascinating film and the Bioscope presentations are some of the best value cinema nights in town. But also, the esteemed champions of silent cinema recently put out a survey asking for audience feedback about their cinema-going habits and ongoing concerns after the pandemic. Their ambition is to rebuild audience numbers to where they were before COVID (with shows routinely selling out) in dialogue with their audience. If the worsening ‘cost of living’ forecasts are anything close to the reality we will all face this winter, we will need to find yet more creative ways of sustaining the alternative screen culture we love.

See you in the darkness, and stay safe.


THE SEA HAWK d. Frank Lloyd, 1924 + Intro, Cartoon short & Live piano accompaniment by Colin Sell & John Sweeney, presented by Kennington Bioscope at The Cinema Museum (07 SEP 19:30).

“Based on Rafael Sabatini’s 1915 novel, THE SEA HAWK was adapted for the screen by J.G. Hawks and produced and directed by Frank Lloyd. The story – about an English baronet (Milton Sills) who is framed for murder by his half-brother (Lloyd Hughes), becomes a galley slave then escapes to reinvent himself as the buccaneering Sakr-el-Bahr’ – is set amid the high-seas piracy of the late 16th century. 

Aware that audiences had learned to recognise the use of scale models, Lloyd spent $200,000 for the construction of authentic-looking sea vessels, hiring Buster Keaton’s prop designer Fred Gabourie – who had previously built replicas of Stephenson’s Rocket and a hobby-horse bike for Keaton’s OUR HOSPITALITY – to create wooden cladding that would convert modern ships into those suitable for the period setting. The results were so convincing (the New York Times considered it far and away the best sea story that’s yet been done up to that point’) that Warner Brothers subsequently re-used the footage in the Errol Flynn vehicles CAPTAIN BLOOD (1935) and the nominal remake of THE SEA HAWK in 1940.”

“Because of the length of THE SEA HAWK it was released theatrically with an interval. We will begin the evening with a Felix The Cat cartoon from the mid 20s, followed by a short introduction to the main feature and the first half of the film. There will then be a 15 minute interval, and then the second half of the feature.”

The Kennington Bioscope is a regular cinema event featuring live accompaniment to silent films that takes place at the Cinema Museum.

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#QueerHorrorNights presents a very special event at the historic Rio Cinema – our Halloween Monsters Ball: NIGHTBREED (28 OCT 22:00+).


WHITE RIOT d. Rubika Shah, 2019 + Q&A with Rock Against Racism co-founder Roger Huddle in conversation with Mark Hart, presented by Stow Film Lounge at Gnome House E17 (02 SEP 19:30).


African Odysseys: SAMBIZANGA 4K Restoration d. Sarah Maldoror, 1972 + Recorded Intro/Q&A with host Mosa Mpetha & Annouchka De Andrade (daughter of Sarah Maldoror) at BFI Southbank (03 SEP 14:00).


GREY GARDENS d. David & Albert Maysles, 1975 + pre-show, stage show & farewell flag dance, presented by Rebel Reel Cine Club at Rio Cinema (04 SEP 15:45) / Also Pink Palace: THAT SUMMER (07 SEP 19:30).


PEPPERMINT SODA d. Diane Kurys, 1977 from the Request Board at The Prince Charles (05 SEP 17:50).


WILD RIVER d. Elia Kazan, 1960 presented by Tufnell Park Film Club at The Lord Palmerston (06 SEP 20:00).


Pink Palace: THAT SUMMER d. Goran Olsson, 2017 + Intro/discussion in the Rio Cinema Basement Bar (07 SEP 19:30).


CLI-FI SHORTS + Panel Discussion presented by The Social Cinema at Hackney Brewery, High Hill Taproom (08 SEP 19:00) / Part of FRAMEBURN.

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.
THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES d. Abbas Kiarostami, 1994


  • Includes (check venue for full listings): AND LIFE GOES ON d. Abbas Kiarostami, 1992 + Intro by Ehsan Khoshbakht (02 SEP 20:15); THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES d. Abbas Kiarostami, 1994 + Intro by Ehsan Khoshbakht (03 SEP 20:15).
More rep seasons listed in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.

THE TERRITORY dir. Alex Pritz, 2022

WILDWOOD dir. Bretten Hannam, 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. //.