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 digest at radiantcircus.com*
More misery last week with news of the “lay off” arrangements affecting large numbers of Everyman Cinema staff and the revered Cinema Museum, unable to benefit from COVID-19 support schemes due to the irregularity of their screenings (5 a week or more are required…) launched a crowd fundraiser… Help them out if you can.
On a more positive note, RADIANT CIRCUS had a wonderful time at the opening event for Queer East Film Festival at Genesis Cinema, which was our featured attraction of last week (22 OCT). Taking to the stage, festival director Yi Wang described the Genesis’ main room as a “palace of social distancing” which led us all beautifully into the darkness for a crisp 35MM screening of Taiwanese LGBT+ classic, BLUE GATE CROSSING. The festival continues in London this week and at venues across the UK into JAN 2021.
Landing back with a bump, this week’s edition of our SCREEN GUIDE is very late due to technical difficulties… (ED: Basically, the file got overwritten meaning I needed to start all over again…). So will keep this brief! Onto the screens…
It’s that time of the year when all hell breaks loose… there are ample Halloween screenings across town from extended seasons to one-off special events and entire pop-up venues dedicated to running a moistened finger down your spine… Of course, the screaming climaxes next weekend but there’s time to put the practice in.
Our special mention of the week goes to Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s democracy doc BOYS STATE which beams into venues with a Satellite Q&A this week. We first saw it listed at Rich Mix (29 OCT), but you can join the debate on the same day/date in venues across town.
Our Featured Attraction Of The Week is… the mini ROY ANDERSSON season at Curzon Bloomsbury which accompanies the new doc about the director BEING A HUMAN PERSONand screens in anticipation of his last ever film, ABOUT ENDLESSNESS. The season projects Andersson’s acclaimed if loosely formed trilogy: SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR (23 & 26 OCT) / YOU, THE LIVING (24 & 28 OCT) / A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE (25 & 29 OCT). In Curzon’s own words:
“Pulling together all the various strands of his previous films into a cohesive, resolved whole, A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE is the culmination of one of modern cinema’s greatest talents and is nothing short of a masterpiece.”
See you in darkness,
ROY ANDERSSON at Curzon Bloomsbury (OCT):
- A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE d. Roy Andersson, 2014 (25 OCT 12:30 / 29 OCT 13:00). BEING A HUMAN PERSON d. Fred Scott, 2020 (daily until 28 OCT). SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR d. Roy Andersson (23 OCT 18:00 / 26 OCT 17:45). YOU, THE LIVING d. Roy Andersson (24 OCT 13:20 / 28 OCT 17:45).
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT VHS d. Eduardo Sanchez & Daniel Myrick, 1999 + Intro at Genesis Cinema (24 OCT 21:10):
- London Video Club presents: “Found video footage tells the tale of three film students who’ve traveled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a legendary local murderer. Over the course of several days, the students interview townspeople and gather clues to support the tale’s veracity. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises.”
QUEER EAST FILM FESTIVAL – ALIFU, THE PRINCE/SS d. Yu-Lin Wang, 2017 + Intro Christopher Brown, University of Sussex at Genesis Cinema (25 OCT 18:00):
- “Yu-Lin Wang’s film explores the journeys of three interconnected characters. Alifu is an indigenous boy who works at a salon in the city. He dreams of becoming a woman, but as the only son of the tribal chief, finds himself under pressure. Sherry is a transsexual who runs a drag queen bar. She is terminally ill, but given strength by her old friend Wu. Chris is a civil servant, who is straight but performs in Sherry’s drag show in order to relieve his stress. As the three stories intertwine, the film explores the enduring bonds that unite the characters.”
ASTRONAUT d. Shelagh McLeod, 2019 + Q&A with the director at Riverside Studios (26 OCT 18:00):
- Dive In Film Club presents: “Astronaut stars Academy award winning actor Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, American Graffiti) who plays 75-year-old Angus, a lonely widower who has just moved into a retirement home. He feels his life has lost all purpose until his long-extinguished dream of going into space is once again ignited when a nationwide competition is announced. Battling against ageism and ill health, help arrives from the most unlikely of places.”
BAIT d. Mark Jenkin, 2019 at Curzon Wimbledon (27 OCT 20:30):
- Wimbledon Film Club presents a Members’ Choice screening: “A small independent film that went large. London money’s bought up a small Cornish port, there’s tension not only between locals and outsiders, but between brothers: one that wants to fish and one that doesn’t. Striking cinematography showcased by its digital format plus memorable performances, BAIT will keep you gripped throughout.”
MAI KHOI & THE DISSIDENTS d. Joe Piscatella, 2019 + Live Q&A with the director Online event (28 OCT 12:00 + 20:30):
- Bertha DocHouse presents: “Singer/songwriter Mai Khoi became a pop sensation with her smash hit Vietnam, a patriotic ode to her home country, which propelled her into the limelight – and the favour of the Communist Party and state-run media. But when she begins to resist government censorship and speak out about human rights issues in the country, she soon falls out of favour with the authorities and becomes the inspiring voice of dissent for a generation, forming her provocative underground band, ‘Mai Khoi and the Dissidents’.”
BOYS STATE d. Jesse Moss & Amanda McBaine, 2020 + Satellite Q&A at Rich Mix (29 OCT 18:00):
- “The sensational winner of the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is a wildly entertaining and continually revealing immersion into a week-long annual programme in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government.”
- Also screening at: ArtHouse Crouch End / Barbican Cinema / Curzon Cinemas / Everyman Cinemas / Genesis Cinema
> Full daily listings at radiantcircus.com
- A MAN IS ESCAPED 35MM aka Un condamné à mort s’est échappé d. Robert Bresson, 1956 at BFI Southbank (29 OCT 18:05).
- AMERICAN PSYCHO 35MM d. Mary Harron, 2000 at The Prince Charles (23 OCT 18:50 – SOLD OUT! / 24 OCT 15:50 / 26 OCT 13:30 / 27 OCT 21:00 / 28 OCT 13:00 / 29 OCT 16:00).
- A TASTE OF CHERRY 35MM aka Ta’m e guilass d. Abbas Kiarostami, 1997 at BFI Southbank (24 OCT 18:00 / 28 OCT 20:45).
- THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT VHS d. Eduardo Sanchez & Daniel Myrick, 1999 + Intro presented by London Video Club at Genesis Cinema (24 OCT 21:10).
- DEATH BECOMES HER 35MM d. Robert Zemeckis, 1992 at The Prince Charles (28 OCT 18:10 – SOLD OUT!).
- DRACULA 16MM d. Terence Fisher, 1958 at The Castle Cinema (29 OCT 19:30).
- LA GRANDE BOUFFE 35MM aka Blow Out d. Marco Ferreri, 1973 at Ciné Lumière (25 OCT 14:00 / 28 OCT 18:00).
- TENET IMAX 15/70MM d. Christopher Nolan 2020 at BFI IMAX (23 OCT 12:00 / 24 OCT 17:00 / 25 OCT 16:00 / 26 OCT 13:45 / 27 OCT 19:45 / 28 OCT 13:45 / 29 OCT 19:45).
- THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE 8MM d. Tobe Hooper, 1974 at The Castle Cinema (28 OCT 19:30).
- THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE 35MM d. Tobe Hooper, 1974 at The Prince Charles (29 OCT 18:00).
NEAR THE JUGULAR at BFI Southbank & BFI Player (OCT to NOV).
“Riz Ahmed and Bassam Tariq look at their cinematic influences, including the films that inspired their new feature MOGUL MOWGLI.”
- A MAN IS ESCAPED 35MM aka Un condamné à mort s’est échappé d. Robert Bresson, 1956 (29 OCT 18:05). A TASTE OF CHERRY 35MM aka Ta’m e guilass d. Abbas Kiarostami, 1997 (24 OCT 18:00 / 28 OCT 20:45). FIRST REFORMED d. Paul Schrader, 2017 (26 OCT 20:45 / 28 OCT 17:45). FOUR LIONS d. Chris Morris, 2010 (30 OCT 18:15). KILLER OF SHEEP d. Charles Burnett, 1978 (27 OCT 18:15). POST TENEBRAS LUX d. Carlos Reygadas, 2012 (23 OCT 20:45). THESE BIRDS WALK d. Omar Mullick & Bassam Tariq, 2013 (26 OCT 18:00).
- Additional titles available on BFI Player.
> Full season listings at radiantcircus.com
- 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).
- London Korean Film Festival blended event (29 OCT to 12 NOV).
- Ocean Film Festival World Tour online event (25 to 27 OCT & 17 to 19 NOV).
- Queer East Film Festival in venues (OCT 2020 to JAN 2021).
- Rainbow Film Festival blended event (18 to 25 OCT).
- Raindance Film Festival blended event (28 OCT to 07 NOV).
- Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival online event (26 OCT to 01 NOV).
A horror revival… A long while back I announced a sideshow project which was then left to linger when life took over… This Halloween, TOKEN HOMO (a queer horror space…) is reborn as an ongoing review blog and I’m starting by collating much of the horror writing I’ve posted at RADIANT CIRCUS over the years. Revamping the site’s dormant WordPress theme has also allowed me to indulge in a much needed technical upgrade (for both me and the site…). A winter of Tier 2 (or higher!) will give me the chance to do the same at radiantcircus.com, so expect some changes to how things look and work in the coming weeks.
*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” //.