THE BALLY #78: What to see in London this week (virtual edition)

[26 JUN TO 02 JUL – UPDATED]: The free weekly newsletter from RADIANT CIRCUS about what to see on London’s alternative cinema scene (from a safe virtual distance). Covering London’s indie & underground venues, film clubs, popups, film festivals & new releases, restorations & revivals.

By RADIANT CIRCUS

Twitter @radiantcircus | Instagram @radiantcircus

Welcome back to another edition of THE BALLY. This continues to be a work in progress as we emerge from our own recent intermission. We aim to resume posting comprehensive weekly accounts of what’s on London’s indie screens (both real and virtual!) as venues start to reopen from 04 JUL. Stick with us and follow the links below for some amazing experiences.

Thank you to our small but steadfastly loyal community of subscribers at patreon.com for keeping us going through this challenging time. If you would like to support our work promoting London’s indie screens, we’d be very glad of your company (and we promise to send you all our listings)!

This is a text block for the section: SCREEN NEWS - NEWS FROM ACROSS LONDON'S ALTERNATIVE CINEMA SCENE.
NEWS FROM ACROSS LONDON’S ALTERNATIVE CINEMA SCENE.

After the news about cinema reopening in England from 04 JUL dropped, the main issue this week has been what will cinema-going be like, and which screens will audiences be able to shelter in? Scroll down for a link to our detailed look at the UK cinema industry’s guidelines for safe operation in these times of outbreak (and what they mean for the indie cinema experience). We’d also suggest you give We Are Parable’s powerful article a read over at The Bigger Picture where they address specific issues for BAME audiences and venue staff/volunteers.

In response to the announcement and guidelines, various London indies have confirmed their ambitions to open later in the year including Art House Crouch End (early September – links to their full statement) and The Prince Charles (not July – links to their full statement). Both venues have been far from quiet during shutdown with the PCC running an incredible digital campaign to keep their audience updated and engaged, and ArtHouse installing a beautiful new sculpture by Julia Clarke on the front of their building.

This is a photograph of the ArtHouse Angel, a new sculpture by Julia Clarke installed on the front of the ArtHouse Crouch End Cinema in North London.
The ArtHouse Angel by Julia Clarke at ArtHouse Crouch End.

We continue to keep a watching vigil for venue reopenings – as well as details of how you can support all London’s indie screens at this time of enduring crisis – in our venue A to Z.

As the ongoing battle for Rio Cinema and the vocal campaigns by staff groups in the national cinema chains show, cinema reopening continues to be controversial. The Rio is a battle of culture, between sections of the staff and membership who feel that the Board does not represent their views or their community, and a recent statement from the Board that attempts to explain their management of the challenges the venue faces. Over at Cineworld (owners of Picturehouse), staff groups are lobbying for compulsory face coverings for customers outside of auditoriums, despite this issue being rejected by the industry’s own safe-operating guidelines.

None of this is easy… To anyone getting frustrated that their favourite indie isn’t opening (yet), we ask you to think about how you can continue to support them through this crisis. We are now in a long term fight to make sure our indie cinemas remain viable and can reopen safely for all their staff, volunteers and audiences. With seating capacity reduced, the staff furlough ending and no further government support in sight, the pressure for indie screens to stand again on their own two feet will be immense.

We find it unrealistic to think audience support alone will be enough to grant venues a newfound resilience many of them did not have before shutdown. There will be screen exhibitors that go permanently dark as a result of this crisis. The theatre industry has been very vocal about the existential threat facing their sector. Relaxed lockdown procedures put screen venues under considerably more pressure. It’s up to all of us to speak up for the smaller venues and exhibitors who normally populate the darkness so that we can seek safe shelter in their stories for many more years to come.

Stay safe & see you again soon,

Richard – Barker-In-Chief, RADIANT CIRCUS

[VIRTUAL] SCREEN EVENTS FROM LONDON THIS WEEK.

These listings are about London-driven streaming events rather than those available globally. Our ambition is to continue to celebrate London’s alternative cinema exhibitors (because they rock).

> Got an event coming up? TELL US ABOUT IT!

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DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (d. Julie Dash, 1991) Free to view on Criterion Channel followed by Twitter Discussion (26 JUN 20:00):

  • Carol Morley’s #fridayfilmclub: “Julie Dash’s rapturous vision of black womanhood and vanishing ways of life in the turn-of-the-century South was the first film directed by an African American woman to receive a wide release. “Dares to place black females at the center of its narrative” (bell hooks).”
  • How it works: Watch the film together free online at 20:00 on the Criterion Channel then discuss on Twitter using #fridayfilmclub @_CarolMorley.

SOHO HORROR FILM FESTIVAL opens tonight (26 to 28 JUN on Facebook/various times):

  • Friday programme: SO HARD HORROR QUIZ (18:30) // HELLBENT watchalong with live commentary inc director Paul Etheridge (20:00).
  • How it works: All Intros, Q&As, Live Commentary & The Quiz are live-streamed through Facebook. Films available through private/time sensitive vimeo links. Access to the Facebook group required/by application.

WELCOME TO CHECHNYA: THE GAY PURGE Online Event + Panel Q&A (26 JUN 19:00):

  • Bertha DocHouse + BBC Storyville:This urgent documentary shines a spotlight on the LGBT railroad in Chechnya, and shows how difficult the path to Pride continues to be for many. Join us in hearing their story. The director David France will join us for an online Q&A panel after this screening. Joining him will be Olga Baranova of the Moscow Community Center and Paul Dillane of Rainbow Railroad. The discussion will be hosted by Shahmir Sanni.”
  • How it works: Click on the above link to register for the event. Instructions to follow.

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SOHO HORROR FILM FESTIVAL continues today (26 to 28 JUN on Facebook/various times):

  • Saturday Programme: THE FEAR OF LOOKING UP + THE PAIN WITHIN US + UNUSUAL ATTACHMENT (11:00) // DAVID S. SECRET + JEREMIAH (15:00) // I AM MONSTERS with Nicholas Vince (17:45) // AFTER DARK + THIRST TRAP + TEA PARTIES ARE FOR BABIES (18:30) // KILLER UNICORN + A HALLOWEEN TRICK + DEMONS (21:30).
  • How it works: All Intros, Q&As, Live Commentary & The Quiz are live-streamed through Facebook. Films available through private/time sensitive vim links. Access to the Facebook group required/by application.

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PRIDE & PROTEST (d. Blaise Singh, 2020) Online Screening + Live Q&A with filmmakers + Queer House Party (16:00 + 18:00 + 19:00+ FREE!):

  • BFI Pride House Party: “We kick off with a screening of a film originally slated for its world premiere in this year’s BFI Flare that was cancelled. Continue after the film with a Q&A with filmmakers & contributors plus a special edition of Queer House Party to celebrate Pride with others from the comfort of your living room.”
  • How it works: Each part of BFI Pride House Party is free and separately ticketed to help ensure the events are a safe space. After booking a ticket you will receive the event links.

SOHO HORROR FILM FESTIVAL concludes today (26 to 28 JUN on Facebook/various times):

  • Sunday programme: “An optional day of watchalongs – all on Shudder or Netflix.” // MONSTER HOUSE (10:00) // SCREAM, QUEEN (12:00) // SO HARD HORROR QUIZ – Answers + Results (14:30) // KNIFE + HEART (16:00) // THE PERFECTION (19:00) // SORORITY BABES (21:00).
  • How it works: All Intros, Q&As, Live Commentary & The Quiz are live-streamed through Facebook. Films available through private/time sensitive vim links. Access to the Facebook group required/by application.

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BELLE (d. Amma Asante, 2013) Watch the film beforehand on a platform of your choice + Online Intro + Zoom Discussion with Jon Davies (29 JUN 20:00):

  • Watermans No Ticket Required presents: “The feature film debut of director Amma Assante, BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of a soldier, posted to the Caribbean in the eighteenth century, who was brought back to England to be raised by her uncle. With the bigger picture of slavery and the struggle to abolish it in the UK, serious issues of race and identity are woven into a classical period drama structure.”
  • How it works: Watch Jon’s intro on YouTube and if it piques your interest, contact the venue to book for the Zoom, then view the film in advance (you will need to find your own source e.g. £3.49 to rent on Amazon Prime).”

BOTTLED-UP! online short film event (29 JUN 20:00 – 22:30 FREE):

  • Emerging Filmmakers: “An incredible line up of award-winning short films that explore people feeling… “BOTTLED-UP”! Films that capture the sense of feeling trapped and claustrophobic. That could mean people literally locked in a single location, but it could be broader than that, it could be a feeling of being trapped in a relationship, it could be the feeling of isolation or being trapped in your own head.”
  • How it works: Click on the above link to register for the event. Instructions to follow.

CHEAP CUTS DOC FEST 2020 // Opening day // (29 JUN to 05 JUL):

  • #CheapCuts2020: The only UK festival dedicated exclusively to short documentary film // 60 short films available on line for the duration of the festival + live scheduled events.
  • CHEAP CUTS DOC FEST 2020 Live Online Event // NEXT STOP: SPAIN I (29 JUN 19:00) // Live film programme followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers.
  • How it works:Pay what you can‘ for your festival pass then receive instructions about how to access the films & live events online. Pass gives you exclusive access to the event Facebook group.

DC ON DEMAND at deptfordcinema.org (FREE to stream every MON & THU):

  • Deptford Cinema: “A new streaming service curated by volunteers at Deptford Cinema. The platform features a wide variety of content each week from student and indie films to artists’ moving image and experimental practice. A new feature film is posted every Monday, with a new Shorts Collection posted every Thursday.
  • How it works: FREE to stream online. Current feature = SHADOWS IN THE BOX (2016) // Current shorts = RANG MAHAL (PALACE OF COLOURS) (2018) + THE OUTSIDE IN (2019).

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CHEAP CUTS DOC FEST 2020 Live Online Event // NEXT STOP: SPAIN II (30 JUN 19:00) // Live film programme followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers.

  • How it works:Pay what you can‘ for your festival pass then receive instructions about how to access the films & live events online. Pass gives you exclusive access to the event Facebook group.

LOVE AFFAIR (d. Leo McCarey, 1939) Watch on BBC iPlayer then discuss afterwards with Wimbledon Film Club on Facebook (30 JUN 20:00 + 21:30).

  • Wimbledon Film Club: “A French playboy and an American former nightclub singer fall in love aboard a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, after he has had a chance to earn a decent living.”
  • How it works: All you need is access to the BBC iPlayer to watch the film at 20:00 and then head to Wimbledon Film Club’s Facebook page to discuss the film afterwards at 21:30.

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CAMPBELL X: PRIDE TAKEOVER + special guests on the Bird’s Eye View website & Facebook Livestream (01 JUL 18:00):

  • Birds’ Eye View: “Join our next livestream when Campbell X, one of the most exciting LGBTQI filmmakers in the UK, will be taking over Birds’ Eye View for Pride 2020. Campbell will be joined in a live discussion with special guest filmmakers Tracy Heather Strain (Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart), Lucah Rosenberg-Lee (Passing), Topher Campbell (Homecoming), and Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother). See our Watch Now page for more Campbell X Pride takeover, where you can watch a selection of features and shorts chosen by Campbell X that explore the Black Queer experience.”

CHEAP CUTS DOC FEST 2020 Live Online Events // (01 JUL 15:00 + 19:00):

  • DISTRIBUTION DISCUSSION PANEL (15:00): “Join us for a discussion panel with professionals working in the distribution industry and get tips on how to get your work distributed online, how to pitch your stories and much more.”
  • WOMXN STRAND // FILMMAKER Q&A (19:00): “Join us after watching the Womxn Strand films (available online from 29 JUN) to discuss the process of making the films and interact with the filmmakers.”
  • How it works:Pay what you can‘ for your festival pass then receive instructions about how to access the films & live events online. Pass gives you exclusive access to the event Facebook group.

DREAM GIRLS (d. Kim Longinotto & Jano Williams, 1993) FREE online streaming (until 02 JUL) + Live Q&A (01 JUL 20:00):

  • Royal Anthropological Institute, RAI Film Festival & Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest present: “The amazing world of the Takarazuka Revue, the all-female theatre troupe in Japan. Q&A features guest speakers Kim Longinotto (director), ShayShay (drag artist) and Jennifer Coates (Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Sheffield).”
  • How it works: Watch the film for free HERE. Get your ticket HERE for the live Q&A. (Pay what you can, with a minimum donation of £1.00).

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CHEAP CUTS DOC FEST 2020 Live Online Event // LONDON STORIES Live film programme + discussion panel with all filmmakers (02 JUL 19:00):

  • #CheapCuts2020: “We might be online for now, but London is our forever home. We’re excited to share with you the work of young talented filmmakers based in this great city.”
  • How it works:Pay what you can‘ for your festival pass then receive instructions about how to access the films & live events online. Pass gives you exclusive access to the event Facebook group.

MISSISSIPPI MASALA (d. Mira Nair, 1991) Free to stream online for 24hrs (02 JUL) + Q&A with the director:

  • London Indian Film Festival: “Starring a young Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury, Mira Nair’s classic film explores issues of race, class and privilege as an Indian woman falls in love with an African American man.”
  • How it works: Films & Q&S are FREE to stream online. You will need to create an account by registering your email to see the films. If you would like to support the festival, click on the donate button on their homepage.

WOFFF Watchalong – ELLA FITZGERALD: JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS (d. Leslie Woodhead, 2019) on BBC iPlayer + Shorts/Filmtalk online at wofff.co.uk & chat on Twitter (02 JUL – various times/see below for running order):

  • Women Over 50 Film Festival & Reframed Film present: “Three films centred on older Black women’s art and lives in ROXIE by Marta Renzi, ELLA FITZGERALD: JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS and WOMAN OF LIFE by Alif Sankey.”
  • How it works: 19:00 Intro to the programme. 19:05 WOFFF film talk. 19:10 WOFFF short film ROXIE. 19:30 ELLA FITZGERALD: JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS available on BBC iPlayer until April 2021. 21:00 Join WOFFF for a Twitter chat about the films using #WOFFFWatchalong @WO50FF. 21:45 WOFFF short film WOMAN OF LIFE. All films are available with captions.
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GUIDELINES FOR SAFE CINEMA-GOING

This is a picture of Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, London.
Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, London.

The big news this week was that the UK cinema industry published their guidelines for the safe operation of indoor screen venues in England from 04 JULY. We took a detailed look & considered what the guidelines mean for the indie cinema-going experience (from our favourite seat in the auditorium…).

UNCONVENTIONAL STORYTELLING

This is a film still from THE FEAR OF DYING IN TRANSIT by Ian Purnell showing at Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020 (29 June to 05 July).
THE FEAR OF DYING IN TRANSIT by Ian Purnell at Cheap Cuts 2020.

RADIANT CIRCUS is proud to be a judge & awards sponsor for Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020 (29 JUN to 05 JUL), the UK’s only festival dedicated to short form documentary. Our sponsored award category is Unconventional Storytelling, so we thought we’d introduce you to the coming attractions!

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*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. Event dates/times are subject to change by the venue/organiser. We try to only list events you can book for at the time of posting: however, some events may still be sold out. Please click quickly! We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+.

Main featured image: BELLE (d. Amma Asante, 2013).

Radiant Circus