Welcome to THE BALLY where we update you on the latest news from across London’s alternative cinema scene & recommend what to see in London this week. Find everything listed in our weekly screen guide at radiantcircus.com*
Some Vue Cinemas have now gone part time which might have an impact on indie screenings given the chain appears to have been the go-to place for DIY exhibitors relocating from shuttered Picturehouse venues…
And of course London will now be at Tier 2 from Saturday. What this means for the already struggling film exhibition industry is anyone’s guess at this stage… but we now aren’t meant to be mixing households indoors. Stay safe folks (and keep supporting London’s independent cinemas if and however you can // links to Film London’s list of cinemas).
In more joyous news, The Prince Charles reopens full time and mostly still doing their thing, albeit at 25% capacity and with no sing-alongs or movie marathons to allow for adequate cleaning. They now have added “hospital grade” air filtration… and plenty of SOLD OUT! original format screenings following a massive welcome back boost from their loyal audiences. Bravo!
On a similar theme the always popular Backyard Cinema has opened a second seasonal Wandsworth venue, adding The Snow Kingdom to the ongoing The Winternight Garden (see CINEMA+ listings for details / although everything is already looking pretty SOLD OUT!). If you like Rooftop Film Club’s popular style of programming – retro with a sprinkling of new releases – you’ll know what to expect.
For those with cars, the Troubadour Drive-in is offering half price parking for the entire month (which starts to look like a bargain – they can even accommodate you if you don’t have a car). See CINEMA+ for full listings.
We’re creeping towards Halloween season, so there are plenty of horror chills on London’s screens including a double bill of original format screenings from Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club (DRACULA on 16MM and TEXAS CHAIN SAW on 8MM – see daily listings for details) and the perennial HORROCTOBER season at the newly reopened Prince Charles (see SEASONS listing for all the gory details).
The BFI London Film Festival comes to a screaming climax this weekend with city-wide closing night screenings of Francis Lee’s latest, AMMONITE (17 OCT). We’ve tried to list as many in-venue screenings as we could find for the duration of the festival (until 18 OCT). We really like this distributed model for the festival and if films find their audiences maybe this could set something in train for future years.
Given the relative dearth of new releases, many smaller cinemas are flexing their jukebox programming muscles, with Genesis Cinema offering several splendid anniversary screenings (e.g. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE – 21 OCT) and venues like Electric Cinemas (e.g. THE HANDMAIDEN – 17 OCT), Olympic Studios (e.g. SUPERMAN – 18 OCT) and JW3 (e.g. ESKIMO DAY – 20 OCT) all bringing back-catalogue delights to our screens (see daily listings).
Our special mention of the week goes to the return of No Planet B Film Club with their timely eco-themed programme. John Chester’s THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2018) screens this week complete with an intro at Catford Mews (21 OCT – see below for details).
Our Featured Attraction Of The Week is the 35MM screening of Chih-Yen Yee’s BLUE GATE CROSSING (2002) at Genesis Cinema (22 OCT – see below) as part of the irrepressible Queer East Film Festival. Having moved online during shutdown, this excellent boutique festival is now taking to venues across the UK with a season-style programme of “rarely seen LGBTQ+ cinema from East and Southeast Asia”. BLUE GATE CROSSING is simply one of our favourites, but there are many delights in coming weeks.
See you in darkness,
BEING A HUMAN PERSON d. Fred Scott, 2020 + Live Q&A with the director at Curzon Bloomsbury (16 OCT 18:45):
- “This deeply moving documentary from Grammy-nominated director Fred Scott explores the life and work of acclaimed Swedish auteur Roy Andersson (A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH). Andersson’s latest film – ABOUT ENDLESSNESS – will be his last, and will thus mark the end of a major chapter in cinema. For when Roy stops making films, they will simply never be made in this way again.”
- See NEW RELEASES for other venues showing this film.
#LFF – AMMONITE d. Francis Lee, 2020 + Recorded Q&A at Archlight Cinema (17 OCT 20:30):
- “A fictionalised account of the life of the 19th century palaeontologist Mary Anning, Kate Winslet plays the pioneering scientist with Saoirse Ronan as the gentlewoman who falls in love with her while staying in Mary’s beloved Lyme Regis.”
- See BFI LFF listings for more venues showing this film.
I AM GRETA d. Nathan Grossman, 2020 + Q&A at Everyman Cinemas (18 OCT – various venues):
- “In August of 2018, Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old student from Sweden, starts a school strike for the climate. Her question for adults is this: if you don’t care about her future on this planet, why should she care about her future in school? Within months, her strike evolves into a global movement.”
- See daily listings for more venues showing this film.
MANDY d. Panos Cosmatos, 2018 at The Old Queen’s Head N1 (19 OCT 19:00 – CANCELLED!): Deeper Into Movies presents: “Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life.”
- Also by Deeper Into Movies: THE LIGHTHOUSE d. Robert Eggers, 2019 at Dalston Roof Park (19 OCT 19:30 – GOING AHEAD!).
ONE MAN AND HIS SHOES d. Yemi Bamiro, 2020 + Q&A with the director at Everyman Broadgate (20 OCT 19:30).
- We Are Parable + Dartmouth Films present: “A global phenomenon as told by the people that made it happen. In the 1980s, Nike was a struggling company and decided to target a younger market. Betting the house on Michael Jordan, and hiring a young Spike Lee to direct the promos, Nike created the perfect platform. But a darker side of this success story emerged in 1989 when the high price tag, and a low supply/high demand strategy fuelled violent attacks and even murder. Nike has turned a blind eye. This film is a parable of America’s love affair with consumer capitalism and celebrity culture.”
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM d. John Chester, 2018 + Intro at Catford Mews (21 OCT 19:30):
- No Planet B Film Club presents: “It started with a promise to their dog, and a shared dream of living a meaningful life. In 2011, cameraman John and private chef Molly sold their tiny apartment, bought 200 acres of barren land and taught themselves how to farm the old fashioned way. With a delightful cast of animals, from a very fertile pig to a greasy cockerel, John and Molly’s story is one of big dreams, hard work and learning to appreciate the wisdom of nature.”
BLUE GATE CROSSING 35MM d. Chih-Yen Yee, 2002 at Genesis Cinema (22 OCT 18:30):
- Queer East Film Festival presents: “A favourite with audiences and a milestone in Taiwanese LGBTQ+ cinema, this coming-of-age drama explores the odd-couple relationship that develops between high school students Meng (Lun-Mei Gwei) and Zhang (Bo-Lin Chen). Chih-Yen Yee’s lightly comic film is a bittersweet meditation on growing up, and marks the talented Gwei’s cinematic debut.”
> Full daily listings at radiantcircus.com
- 2001 : A SPACE ODYSSEY 70MM d. Stanley Kubrick, 1968 at The Prince Charles (daily until 21 OCT).
- BLUE GATE CROSSING 35MM d. Chih-Yen Yee, 2002 presented by Queer East Film Festival at Genesis Cinema (22 OCT 18:30).
- DRACULA 16MM d. Terence Fisher, 1958 presented by Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club at The Castle Cinema (21 OCT 19:30).
- THE GREEN RAY 35MM aka Le Rayon Vert d. Éric Rohmer, 1986 at The Prince Charles (21 OCT 18:30 – SOLD OUT!).
- LOST IN TRANSLATION 35MM d. Sofia Coppola, 2003 at The Prince Charles (16 OCT 18:30 – SOLD OUT! / 18 OCT 17:30 – SOLD OUT! / 19 OCT 20:45 – SOLD OUT! / 20 OCT 16:00 / 22 OCT 12:45).
- THE MATIRX 35MM d. Lana Wachowski & Lilly Wachowski, 1999 at The Prince Charles (19 OCT 13:10 – SOLD OUT! / 22 OCT 20:10 – SOLD OUT!).
- PULP FICTION 35MM d. Quentin Tarantino, 1994 at The Prince Charles (17 OCT 12:30 – SOLD OUT! / 20 OCT 20:30 / 22 OCT 14:40).
- TENET IMAX 15/70MM d. Christopher Nolan 2020 at BFI IMAX (16 OCT 13:15 & 20:15 / 17 OCT 12:00 & 19:00 / 18 OCT 12:00 & 19:00 / 19 OCT 13:15 & 20:15 / 20 OCT 13:15 & 20:15 / 21 OCT 13:30 / 22 OCT 13:30).
- THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE 8MM d. Tobe Hooper, 1974 presented by Ciné-Real 16mm Film Club at The Castle Cinema (22 OCT 19:30).
HORROCTOBER at The Prince Charles (from 16 OCT):
“A month of Screams, Chills, Blood and Guts!”
- GET OUT d. Jordan Peele, 2017 (17 OCT 20:25). HOST d. Rob Savage, 2020 (17 OCT 15:55 – SOLD OUT! / 22 OCT 18:30). HOST d. Rob Savage, 2020 + Live Q&A with the director, producers Jed Shepard & Douglas Cox, & cast members (19 OCT 18:00 / 20 OCT 21:00 – SOLD OUT!). THE THING d. John Carpenter, 1982 (daily from 16 to 22 OCT).
> Full season listings at radiantcircus.com
- BFI London Film Festival blended event (07 to 18 OCT).
- Bloomsbury Festival blended event (16 to 25 OCT).
- Everyman Music Film Festival in venues (20 OCT to 05 NOV).
- FrightFest Digital Edition 2 virtual event (21 to 25 OCT).
- I Will Tell: 31 Day Crush Racism Film Challenge virtual event (OCT).
- Queer East Film Festival in venues (OCT 2020 to JAN 2021).
- Rainbow Film Festival blended event (18 to 25 OCT).
- We Are Tano virtual event (01 to 20 OCT).
> COMING ATTRACTIONS listed at radiantcircus.com
*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” //.