This is a film still from SLEEPING BEAUTY d. Julia Leigh, 2011, presented by Zodiac Film Club at The Castle Cinema (21 FEB 2023).

THE BALLY #189: What to see in London this week [17 to 23 FEB 2023]

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

BAR TRASH presents… TRASH OR TREASURE? Resurrecting “The Worst Films of All Time” – BOOKING NOW!

Welcome to another screen week!

LGBT(Q+) History Month is in full flow and there are plenty of great free and affordable pop-up screenings across town this week to celebrate. Titles that have caught my listing eye include: Hettie Macdonald’s BEAUTIFUL THING at Catford Mews (17 FEB); Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson’s KUMU HINA at the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre (19 FEB); François Ozon’s PETER VON KANT at The David Lean Cinema (21 FEB); Derek Jarman’s THE GARDEN at Genesis Cinema, Matthew Warchus’ PRIDE at Phoenix Cinema, and a short film programme from Women Over 50 Film Festival at St Margaret’s House (all 22 FEB); and, Newham Community Cinema’s presentation of Elegance Bratton’s THE INSPECTION at Stratford East Picture House (23 FEB).

Continuing their regular programmes, Transmissions presents Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM for their trans-majority audience at Dalston Superstore (20 FEB), and FAB Film Club show a personal favourite of mine, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s PARTY MONSTER starring Macaulay Culkin, Seth Green and a giant, talking rat at The Old Nuns Head (22 FEB).

Other highlights this week include an out of this world double-bill from The Gothique Film Society at The Cinema Museum, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD + IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (17 FEB), a sold-out screening of Agnieszka Holland’s MR. JONES by Talkies Community Cinema (18 FEB), Lost Reel’s 35mm presentation of HENRY AND JUNE at The Prince Charles (21 FEB), and a special anniversary screening of Joan Littlewood’s SPARROWS CAN’T SING at Genesis Cinema (23 FEB, which includes a celebratory glass of Prosecco). Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club’s projections of CASABLANCA (19 FEB) and PIERROT LE FOU (22 FEB) are both currently looking sold out! The Garden Cinema is staging a fundraiser for the Disasters Emergency Committee Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal with a special screening of HOLY SPIDER (21 FEB).

In seasons, the blockbuster show continues to be SIGHT & SOUND GREATEST FILMS OF ALL TIME 2022 at BFI Southbank. To help you take a deep(er) dive BFI is offering a ‘6 films for £60’ deal using promo code GREATEST (although the offer does not include BFI IMAX). This month the list descends from 63 to 30… Across town, I’m attempting to resurrect “the worst films of all time” from The Golden Turkey Awards with my TRASH OR TREASURE? weekly bar screenings at Genesis Cinema. The programme continues with Lee Frost’s 1972 blaxploitation title, THE THING WITH TWO HEADS (22 FEB).

Nipping back to BFI, their rather more compact season YOU BEAUTIES: NEW AUSTRALIAN CINEMA also comes highly recommended. The only festival I’ve spotted this week is the continuing Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at Union Chapel (16 to 25 FEB) where tickets are very limited (as usual…). Let me know if I’ve missed anyone!

Finally, I’ve chosen Zodiac Film Club’s presentation and Arty zine launch for Julia Leigh’s SLEEPING BEAUTY(21 FEB) as my Featured Attraction of the Week in recognition of their continued commitment to promoting complex, provocative work by women.

See you in the darkness, and stay safe.


SLEEPING BEAUTY d. Julia Leigh, 2011 + Arty zine launch, presented by Zodiac Film Club at The Castle Cinema (21 FEB 18:45).

Lucy, an impassive but wry student, works a series of manual jobs to support herself. Her constant search for employment leads her to a mysterious role as a ‘Sleeping Beauty’, an experience that requires her to be completely unconscious. Despite the monetary rewards, Lucy becomes obsessed with finding out what happens to her when she is asleep…

“Divisive in both its critical and commercial receptions for its perverse, opaque lead character and ambiguous depiction of female passivity, the film has nonetheless been lauded for its confident directorial style and unforgettable beauty. But it was particularly the film’s cult ‘Tumblr girl’ following that inspired us to explore the film more deeply. After months of analysing and deconstructing, we’re excited to share it with you anew.”

“Arty is a magazine edited by artist, gallerist and academic Cathy Lomax. For this special collaborative issue edited by Zodiac Film Club, SLEEPING BEAUTY is explored through commissioned essays, fan art and an interview with the film’s production designer Annie Beauchamp, along with director’s notes kindly contributed by Julia Leigh. Copies of the magazine will be on sale at the event for a special price.”

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Double bill: THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD + IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE d. Christian Nyby, 1951 + Jack Arnold, 1953, presented by The Gothique Film Society at The Cinema Museum (17 FEB 19:00).


ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED d. Laura Poitras, 2022 + Q&A with Nan Goldin at Picturehouse Central (18 FEB 17:00).


KUMU HINA d. Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson, 2014 presented by Queer Film Club at London LGBTQ+ Community Centre (19 FEB 17:30 – Donation requested!).


Preview: THE STRAYS d. Nathaniel Martello-White, 2023 + Q&A with the director & actors Ashley Madekwe, Bukky Bakray, Jorden Myrie, Maria Almeida & Samuel Small at BFI Southbank (20 FEB 18:15).


HENRY AND JUNE 35mm dir Philip Kaufman, 1990 presented by Lost Reels at The Prince Charles Cinema (21 FEB 18:00). 

This is a film still from HENRY AND JUNE dir Philip Kaufman, 1990 - presented by Lost Reels at The Prince Charles Cinema (21 FEB 2023).


PARTY MONSTER d. Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato, 2003 presented by FAB Film Club at The Old Nuns Head (22 FEB 19:45).


SPARROWS CAN’T SING – 60th Anniversary d. Joan Littlewood, 1963 at Genesis Cinema (23 FEB 18:45 + Glass of Prosecco).

Full daily listings in this week’s SCREEN GUIDE.
JAARA NYILAMUM dir Dr Lou Bennett AM (Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta) and Romaine Moreton (Goenpul Yagerabul Minjungbal Bundjalung), 2021.


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

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON dir. Dean Fleischer-Camp, 2022

NOSTALGIA dir. Mario Martone, 2022

THE SON dir. Florian Zeller, 2022

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. //.