THE BALLY #84: London’s indie screen news & daily highlights (07 to 13 AUG)

Welcome to THE BALLY, the free weekly newsletter about London’s alternative cinema scene produced by RADIANT CIRCUS. Featuring the latest indie screen news & our daily recommendations. Full listings at radiantcircus.com*

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NEWS FROM ACROSS LONDON’S ALTERNATIVE CINEMA SCENE.

The big news this week is that face coverings are required to be worn inside cinemas from 08 AUG, although you can take them off in the auditorium if you want to consume a snack or a beverage… We retweeted the announcement from industry body Cinema UK using #WeirdScience as the logic doesn’t stack up: if we need to wear a face covering in the foyer but not in the auditorium, how much protection is being offered, and to whom?

If the cinema industry’s job was to reassure a clearly reluctant public to step back into the darkness, we’re not sure this compromise of “safety vs snacks” does it (despite financial pressures on screen exhibitors). We’ll opt for wearing a face covering for the entire experience. It’s also a sensible time to read We Are Parable’s excellent audience research about the specific needs of Black, Asian and other ethnic groups when it comes to returning to the cinema:

“We believe that there should be a concerted effort to create communications that are tailored to Black, Asian and other ethnic groups as an attempt to increase confidence and certainty when going to back to the cinema. These groups are simultaneously the most frequent visitors to cinemas and at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19, and we believe that significant methods should be taken to protect them.” (We Are Parable).

Celebrating Black cinema, Black Ink Cinema film club returns to the Genesis this week with a special screening of SET IT OFF (07 AUG).

In venue reopenings, we welcome Watermans, Curzon Soho and Curzon Victoria back to full time screenings. Archlight Cinema and Rio Cinema return with limited weekenders. The Dalston local has also launched an online hub Rio Player for streaming films they might otherwise have projected in their gorgeous auditorium. The Castle Cinema has announced their reopening date (28 AUG) whilst The Prince Charles has set their sights on an October return (including 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 70MM, 16 to 21 OCT). Keep track of all new re-opening announcements with our venue A to Z.

Drive-ins continue to evolve as London’s pimped car parks hit a quieter patch. Rooftop’s Drive In Film Club is still going strong at Alexandra Palace as is The Drive-In at Troubadour Meridian Water (see our full listings for details).

In what looks like another reopening first, Genesis Cinema begins a new rep season, MODERN CULT CLASSICS (10 to 25 AUG). Films this week include WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (10 AUG), BAIT (11 AUG), and TALE OF TALES (13 AUG). Future titles include DONNIE DARKO (14 AUG), THE LIGHTHOUSE (17 AUG), SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (19 AUG), RAW (24 AUG), and THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY (25 AUG).

Speaking of seasons, BFI’s reopening programme (from 01 SEP) continues their commitment to showcasing the established canon (more Fellini…) alongside more diverse voices. We’re delighted to see Mathieu Kassovitz’s LA HAINE 4K (1995) profiled as part of season Redefining Rebellion programmed by Kaleem Aftab. Activity on the Southbank will be supplemented by FREE online events with guests including Matthieu Kassovitz and Riz Ahmed. Elsewhere at the BFI, there’s a chance to catch up with Unlocked: Recent Releases Now on the Big Screen and some live screenings from the London Indian Film Festival. Finally, BFI’s members have voted for Your Big Screen Classics where you can find such treasures as BOYZ N THE HOOD, MY OWN PRIVAE IDAHO, CLUELESS and A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH. Booking opens later this month.

Now that London’s screens are getting busier, our listings will gently morph back to their pre-COVID-19 form, focusing on London’s one-off film events, seasons, festivals & a selection of new releases. But we will continue to list on- and off-line events as we think this is how the alternative cinema scene will work for some considerable time to come.

This is a text block: "FEATURED ATTRACTION" - OUR HIGHLIGHT OF THIS WEEK'S ONE-OFF SCREEN EVENTS IN LONDON.
OUR HIGHLIGHT OF THIS WEEK’S ONE-OFF SCREEN EVENTS IN LONDON.
This is a film still from ELVIS: THAT'S THE WAY IT IS at Genesis Cinema (13 AUG).
ELVIS: THAT’S THE WAY IT IS across town (13 AUG).

You can tell cinema is starting to return to something like ‘normal’ as we’re getting a flurry of anniversary releases, revivals and restorations. One of this week’s standout offerings (to our minds anyway…) is ELVIS: THAT’S THE WAY IT IS (1970) which screens pretty much everywhere that’s open on 13 AUG (see listings). If you can’t get enough of The King, we’ve spotted a couple of his westerns heading to Everyman Cinemas a little later in the month: FLAMING STAR (17 AUG) + LOVE ME TENDER (18 AUG). 

Our featured attraction of the week is Nazim Abbasov’s FELLINI (1999) which concludes online season Tashkent Film Encounters from Kino Klassika Foundation (11 AUG – main featured image). There’s a beautiful irony in the current context that this streaming title is set in “the abandoned town of Karakalpakstan, [where] the old cinema is living out its last days”. Let’s hope that’s not overly prophetic… If you haven’t caught up with this wonderful season yet, the penultimate film, ANGEL ON THE RIGHT (2002), is available to stream until 11 AUG.

See you in darkness,

RADIANT CIRCUS

7 DAY SCREEN HIGHLIGHTS FROM LONDON THIS WEEK.
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SET IT OFF d. F. Gary Gray, 1996 at Genesis Cinema (07 AUG 20:30):

    • Black Ink Cinema presents: “For our first post lockdown return Black Ink Cinema will host the movie classic SET IT OFF (1996) Starring an all-star female cast! Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Vivica A Fox and Kimberly Elise, who take on a daring last score before they evade the law. We invite you to come along and enjoy this well loved movie classic within an intimate luxury private setting. Come along, have a great time, mingle and hopefully make some new friends!”

> FIND MORE GREAT THINGS TO SEE IN OUR WEEKLY DIGEST <

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#WOFFFWATCHALONG – Switchboard LGBTQ+ Virtual Pride – FREE Online Short Film Programme + Filmmaker Q&A (08 AUG 16:00+)

    • Women Over 50 Film Festival + Switchboard present: “Our LGBTQ+ WOFFF watchalong, co-hosted with Switchboard – The LGBT+ Helpline filled with a fabulous selection of films made by and about older queer women and a live online Q&A and discussion.”

> HELP REVIVE THE DARK WITH A SUBSCRIPTION AT PATREON <

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Sundance Film Festival: London online event (07 to 09 AUG):

    • BOYS STATE d. Jesse Moss & Amanda McBaine, 2020 – UK Premiere + Q&A with cast & crew (09 AUG 20:00): “A documentary about a thousand 17-year-old boys from Texas who join together to build a representative government from the ground up.”
    • SHORT FILMS available to stream on demand (from 07 AUG).
    • London Filmmaking Meetup FREE online event (09 AUG 18:00).

> FIND MORE GREAT THINGS TO SEE IN OUR WEEKLY DIGEST <

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WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN d. Lynne Ramsay, 2011 at Genesis Cinema (10 AUG 20:30):

    • “Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly dangerous things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.” Part of MODERN CULT CLASSICS season (10 to 25 AUG).

> HELP REVIVE THE DARK WITH A SUBSCRIPTION AT PATREON <

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FELLINI d. Nazim Abbasov, 1999 FREE to stream + Live Online Interview with activist, journalist & filmmaker Shahida Yakub (11 AUG 12:00+):

    • Kino Klassika presents: “In the abondoned town of Karakalpakstan, the old cinema is living out its last days. Once upon a time, here was the shore of the Aral Sea, full of life, and the local cinema flourished. But the Aral Sea has dried up and the country has changed. Fellini, the cinema’s current owner, does everything he can to keep the cinema alive.” Part of TASHKENT FILM ENCOUNTERS.
    • How it works: Film released online on 11 AUG 12:00 then available to watch for one week. Interviews broadcast from Kino Klassika’s Facebook Page (also at 11 AUG 12:00).

> FIND MORE GREAT THINGS TO SEE IN OUR WEEKLY DIGEST <

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INCEPTION: 10TH ANNIVERSARY d. Christopher Nolan, 2010 at Curzon Soho (12 AUG 20:30):

    • “Cobb, a skilled thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: “inception”, the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious.”
    • Also screening at: Everyman Cinemas, Genesis Cinema and Picturehouse Cinemas.

> HELP REVIVE THE DARK WITH A SUBSCRIPTION AT PATREON <

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ELVIS: THAT’S THE WAY IT IS d. Denis Sanders, 1970 at Genesis Cinema (13 AUG 18:30):

    • “To celebrate 85 years of Elvis Presley and 50 years since the film’s original 1970 release, the King returns to cinemas – remastered – with ELVIS: THAT’S THE WAY IT IS, an unmissable event for fans around the world.”
    • Also screening at: Curzon Cinemas, Everyman Cinemas and Picturehouse Cinemas.

> FIND MORE GREAT THINGS TO SEE IN OUR WEEKLY DIGEST <

STILL STREAMING FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS (A to Z).

> FIND LONDON’S COMING ATTRACTIONS IN OUR WEEKLY DIGEST <

THE LATEST NEW EXHIBITS & ATTRACTIONS AT RADIANTCIRCUS.COM
This is a marketing image from KING KONG (1933) showing Kong towering about the skyline of New York.
Screen Diary – KING KONG (1933) live from The Castle Cinema (30 July 2020).

This one was always & forever about the art of the projectionist… watching Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club spool KING KONG from an otherwise empty Castle Cinema was quite an extraordinary – not to say emotional! – experience. Read about what happened in our latest Screen Diary or browse our A to Z archive of events.


Main featured image: FELLINI (1999).


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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 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+. // > Remember, always try to follow The Carny Code by “not screwing up anyone else’s game” //.

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