THIS MONTH

DECEMBER 2021: What’s on in London this month

Explore what’s on in London this month with our regular epic roundup of repertory film seasons & festivals.

By RADIANT CIRCUS // Twitter @radiantcircus / Instagram @radiantcircus


Christmas is popping up all over. I particularly like the look of ALT.XMAS at The Prince Charles, mainly so that I can enjoy compiling a festive listing without making endless reference to HOME ALONE et al. Having said that, their CHRISTMAS programme proper is a staple and we must give the West End indie kudos for more than thirty scheduled 35mm screenings of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (daily, all the way to Christmas Eve, just not 05 DEC).

In addition to their own Christmas season of BIG SCREEN CLASSICS, BFI welcomes two new extensions to their phenomenal JAPAN 2021 season this month, starting with ANOTHER GAZE featuring women-made films chosen by Daniella Shreir, editor of the feminist film journal. Then, a little later, they takeover the BFI IMAX for special presentations of SEVEN SAMURAIAKIRA and a new 4K restoration of BATTLE ROYALE on ‘Britain’s biggest screen’ (all 09 DEC). BFI Southbank is also home to a celebration of Dirk Bogarde and BUSTING THE BIAS, a programme that looks at “breaking down barriers for Disabled talent in the creative industries”.

Other notable seasons this month include the completion of Ross McDonnell’s unique UK retrospective of the works of RYÛSUKE HAMAGUCHI at Close-Up, JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO LE MAGNIFIQUE at Ciné Lumière, and The Care-fuffle collective completing their REPEATED APPARITIONS season at The Horse Hospital (which includes a screening of Marlon Rigg’s TONGUES UNTIED). We’ve been covering the new generation of film programmers from NFTS for a while now, so it’s great to see another season come into sharp focus: Ryan Ninesling’s HUMAN RESOURCES screens at Close-Up and Genesis and is all about the “depiction of work and labour on screen”, including one of my favourite of all the Cronenbergs, POSSESSOR.

For our Featured Attraction of the Month, I’ve chosen A CLASS OF HIS OWN: THE FILMS OF JACK CLAYTON which celebrates the centenary of the visionary director’s birth at BFI Southbank. Reasons? Well, there are some cracking films in this complete season of his directorial work, including one of the finest horror films of all time, THE INNOCENTS. But mostly because you don’t get to run a circus and sideshow themed film blog without putting SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES on the front page when you get the (rare) opportunity. I haven’t seen the film in a long while, but I read Bradbury’s novel every year (or so). And I think it just gets finer.

See you in the darkness,

Richard // RADIANT CIRCUS

#WorldAIDSDay2021

End inequalities. End AIDS.


A CLASS OF HIS OWN: THE FILMS OF JACK CLAYTON at BFI Southbank

  • “For a director of his calibre, Jack Clayton left behind a tantalisingly short filmography. The films he did make, however, rank as some of the most distinctive produced for cinema, assembled with meticulous care in collaboration with luminaries such as Harold Pinter, Truman Capote, Francis Ford Coppola and Freddie Francis. Though eclectic, each of Clayton’s nine fiction works represent a masterclass in literary adaptation, united by a set of enduring thematic preoccupations: characters haunted by their pasts, children confronting the adult world, and the hinterlands between fantasy and reality. And while ROOM AT THE TOP and THE INNOCENTS are rightly celebrated as landmarks in British filmmaking, later features such as THE PUMPKIN EATER, OUR MOTHER’S HOUSE and THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE deserve equal consideration for their craft and creativity.” (Will Massa and James Bell, BFI).
  • See also the Jack Clayton exhibition in the Mezzanine gallery, a collections focus in the library.


35MM PRESENTATIONS at The Prince Charles

70MM PRESENTATIONS at The Prince Charles

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): DIE HARD 70mm d. John McTiernan, 1988 (03 DEC 20:40 / 07 DEC 21:00 / 10 DEC 21:00 / 13 DEC 18:00).

100 YEARS: SIMONE SIGNORET, THE POLITICAL STAR – PART I at Ciné Lumière

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): THE SLEEPING CAR MURDERS d. Costa-Gavras, 1965 (05 DEC 14:00 / 07 DEC 18:30); ARMY OF SHADOWS aka L’Armée des ombres d. Jean-Pierre Melville, 1960 (12 DEC 14:00 + Panel discussion with Patrick Marnham & Arnaud de la Grange / 14 DEC 19:30).

A CLASS OF HIS OWN: THE FILMS OF JACK CLAYTON at BFI Southbank

ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS… at Picturehouse Cinemas

ALT. XMAS at The Prince Charles

ANNIVERSARY SCREENINGS at The Prince Charles

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): JINGLE ALL THE WAY 35mm d. Brian Levant, 1996 (03 DEC 21:00 / 21 DEC 18:10).

BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: CHRISTMAS ON SCREEN at BFI Southbank

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): THE APARTMENT 4K d. Billy Wilder, 1960 + Recorded intro by Tara Judah (01 DEC 18:00); REMEMBER THE NIGHT d. Mitchell Leisen, 1940 (02 DEC 14:30 / 27 DEC 13:00 / 30 DEC 18:00); THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER d. Ernst Lubitsch, 1940 (03 to 23 DEC); THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER d. Ernst Lubitsch, 1940 + Recorded intro by Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-Large (03 DEC 18:10); MEET ME IN ST LOUIS d. Vincente Minnelli, 1944 (03 DEC 20:45 / 19 DEC 12:20 / 22 DEC 18:00 / 28 DEC 12:20); MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET 4K d. George Seaton, 1947 (04 DEC 15:50 / 11 DEC 18:00 / 17 DEC 14:30); A CHRISTMAS TALE 35mm aka Un Conte de Noël d. Arnaud Desplechin, 2008 (05 DEC 17:50 / 28 DEC 15:15); SCROOGE (aka A Christmas Carol) d. Brian Desmond Hurst, 1951 (06 DEC 18:30 / 16 DEC 21:00 / 17 DEC 18:20 / 18 DEC 18:10 / 19 DEC 15:40 / 20 DEC 18:10 / 21 DEC 14:30); TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS d. Henry Selick, 1993 (07 DEC 18:30 / 11 DEC 16:00 / 21 DEC 21:00 / 23 DEC 20:45); GREMLINS 4K d. Joe Dante, 1984 + Intro by Justin Johnson, Lead Programmer (08 DEC 17:50); BAD SANTA d. Terry Zwigoff, 2003 (10 DEC 20:45 / 13 DEC 20:50 / 17 DEC 21:00); IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE 4K d. Frank Capra, 1946 (12 DEC 15:40 / 18 DEC 20:30 / 19 DEC 15:10 / 20 DEC 20:30 / 21 DEC 18:00 / 22 DEC 14:30 / 23 DEC 14:30 & 18:00); THE APARTMENT 4K d. Billy Wilder, 1960 (13 DEC 14:30 / 22 DEC 20:40 / 28 DEC 18:10 / 30 DEC 20:30); TOKYO GODFATHERS aka Tokyo goddofazazu d. Satoshi Kon, 2003 (14 DEC 20:45 / 20 DEC 20:45); CAROL d. Todd Haynes, 2015 (15 DEC 17:50 / 27 DEC 18:00 / 30 DEC 14:20); GREMLINS 4K d. Joe Dante, 1984 (18 DEC 20:45 / 22 DEC 20:45 / 29 DEC 20:50).

BOGARDE AT 100 at BFI Southbank

BUSTING THE BIAS at BFI Southbank

CHRISTMAS at Catford Mews

  • Includes (check venue for listings): HOME ALONE d. Chris Columbus, 1990 (11 DEC 15:00 / 12 DEC 13:30); DIE HARD d. John McTiernan, 1988 (13 DEC 20:30 / 15 DEC 17:45 / 17 DEC 20:30); ELF d. Jon Favreau, 2003 (18 DEC 11:30 / 19 DEC 15:00); IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1946 (21 DEC 11:00 / 22 DEC 14:00 / 23 DEC 20:00 / 24 DEC 17:00).

CHRISTMAS at Chiswick Cinema

  • Includes (check venue for listings): ELF d. Jon Favreau, 2003 (05 DEC 15:00); HOME ALONE d. Chris Columbus, 1990 (12 DEC 15:00); IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE d. Frank Capra, 1946 (18 DEC 15:00 / 21 DEC 18:00 / 23 DEC 15:00); FROZEN: SING-A-LONG d. Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee, 2013 (19 DEC 14:30); DIE HARD d. John McTiernan, 1988 (26 DEC 18:00).

CHRISTMAS at Genesis Cinema

CHRISTMAS at The Prince Charles

CHRISTMAS MOVIE NIGHTS at Rivoli Ballroom

CHRISTMAS ON 35MM at Everyman Screen On The Green

CLOSE-UP ON RYÛSUKE HAMAGUCHI at Close-Up

CULT CLASSIC FILM POP UP at Design District

CULTPIX SEASON at Everyman Cinemas

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT d. Theodore Gershuny, 1972 + Intro by Kim Newman (07 DEC 20:30 – Everyman Broadgate / 10 DEC 23:00 – Screen On The Green).

THE EDGE OF BELIEF at Close-Up

EXPERIENCE THE FLAVOURS OF JAPAN at Picturehouse Cinemas

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): GODZILLA:4K RESTORATION aka Gojira d. Ishirô Honda, 1954 (05, 08 & 09 DEC).

EYES ON SPIES at Ciné Lumière

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): LE PROFESSIONNEL d. Georges Lautner, 1981 (06 DEC 18:15 / 12 DEC 16:30); THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD 35mm d. Martin Ritt, 1965 (11 DEC 17:00); ARMY OF SHADOWS aka L’Armée des ombres d. Jean-Pierre Melville, 1960 (12 DEC 14:00 + Panel discussion with Patrick Marnham & Arnaud de la Grange / 14 DEC 19:30).

THE FILMS OF ÉRIC ROHMER at The Prince Charles

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): A WINTER’S TALE 35mm aka Conte d’hiver d. Éric Rohmer 1992 (01 DEC 17:30).

THE FILMS OF PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON at The Prince Charles

HUMAN RESOURCES at Close-Up & Genesis Cinema

  • Includes (check venue for listings): ARAYA d. Margot Benacerraf, 1959 at Close-Up (03 DEC 20:15); BLUE COLLAR d. Paul Schrader, 1978 + Panel discussion at Genesis Cinema (08 DEC 18:10); LA PROMESSE 35mm d. Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 1996 at Genesis Cinema (09 DEC 21:00); POSSESSOR d. Brandon Cronenberg, 2020 at Genesis Cinema (14 DEC 18:20).
  • Curated by Ryan Ninesling. Presented in partnership with the National Film & Television School.

IN FOCUS: RADU JUDE at ICA

JAPAN 2021 at BFI Southbank

JAPAN 2021 at BFI IMAX

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): SEVEN SAMURAI aka Shichinin no Samurai d. Akira Kurosawa, 1954 (09 DEC 13:30); AKIRA d. Katsuhiro Ôtomo, 1988 (09 DEC 18:00); BATTLE ROYALE: 4K RESTORATION d. Kinji Fukasaku, 2000 (09 DEC 20:45).

JAPAN 2021: ANOTHER GAZE at BFI Southbank

JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO LE MAGNIFIQUE at Ciné Lumière

  • Includes (check venue for full listings): PIERROT LE FOU d. Jean-Luc Godard, 1965 (06 DEC 20:20 / 15 DEC 18:10 / 19 DEC 17:40); LE PROFESSIONNEL d. Georges Lautner, 1981 (06 DEC 18:15 / 12 DEC 16:30); LE DOULOS d. Jean-Pierre Melville, 1962 (13 DEC 20:20 / 19 DEC 16:35); L’HOMME DE RIO d. Philippe de Broca, 1964 (13 DEC 20:00); BORSALINO: 4K RESTORATION d. Jacques Deray, 1970 (13 DEC 17:50 / 19 DEC 14:00).

MOVIE MARATHONS at The Prince Charles

THE PRECIOUS THINGS at BFI Southbank

REPEATED APPARITIONS at The Horse Hospital

THIS IS WHAT A FAMILY LOOKS LIKE at Rio, ActOne & Picturehouse Central

  • Includes (check venues for listings): GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES aka Hotaru no haka d. Isao Takahata, 1988 + Draw-a-long workshop with artist Ellen Li at Rio Cinema (11 DEC / Workshop – 15:00 / Film – 15:30); LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON aka Soshite chichi ni naru d. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2013 + Risograph printing workshop with The Print Collective at ActOne Cinema (12 DEC /Workshop – 12:45 / Film – 13:30); CLOSE-KNIT aka Karera ga honki de amu toki wa d. Naoko Ogigami, 2017 + Intro by Stranded Dyeworks & post-screening knit-in at Picturehouse Central (19 DEC 14:00).
  • Programmed by MilkTea Films.

THE WORLD OF WONG KAR WAI at The Prince Charles

  • Includes (check venue for listings): CHUNGKING EXPRESS d. Wong Kar Wai, 1994 (01 DEC 12:05 / 02 DEC 21:00 / 06 DEC 12:35 & 21:00); FALLEN ANGELS d. Wong Kar Wai, 1995 (01 DEC 18:10 / 02 DEC 13:00).

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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. //.