THE VIEW FROM ROW E: Welcome to 2021

An update on progress at as we rebuild the site & resume listing London’s alternative screen events.

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Over Christmas I was able – as promised! – to completely rebuild Having seen its underpinning technologies wither on the vine of progress, the site was long overdue some care and attention. It has now been rebuilt from scratch using the latest and best free tech WordPress has to offer. Whilst it probably could be prettier, all the functionality is in place and, when cinema screenings start again, I am raring to go. One key improvement is that it’s now easier to search and scroll back through the archive of all old posts. So, if you want to re-read my old screen diaries or just reminisce about what you might have been seeing back in the w/c 12 January 2018*, feel free to fill your boots.

Speaking of cinema screenings… with a new national lockdown in place, cinemas in London – and all points north, south, east and west – are likely to remain closed until late February at the very earliest. I’m not one for punditry, but the scale of the health crisis in London suggests this could be on the rosy side of optimistic. We must batten down the hatches and ride out another long closure of the picture palaces we love to gather in (in the sure hope we will be able to do so again). Fortunately, several of London’s indie screens have announced government emergency support funding over the last few weeks. News of such protection is hugely welcome and establishes a starting point for recovery.

With the bricks and mortar more likely to be the focus of any future government schemes, I grow increasingly concerned about the informal screen culture that normally projects often unique content in these venues and further afield. London’s DIY film exhibitors and event promoters are unlikely to get any significant government help and the economies of film exhibition in the time of COVID-19 will make it increasingly difficult for them to find cinemas to exhibit in (the box office split was already titling significantly and understandably in favour of the venue last year). These fine folk will be the focus of our RADIANT CIRCUS Revive The Dark initiative that I’ll now be able to make more progress with.

I will also resume posting as regularly as I can about what’s streaming from London’s indie cinema scene. Whilst the New Year is always a quieter time for independent exhibition, the unstructured nature of news about online events means they are increasingly hard to track down (for example, a festival I’m used to covering in October might suddenly pop up with a brilliant new streaming programme, often at short notice). RADIANT CIRCUS has been sustained by research and my growing familiarity with venues and programme schedules… such party tricks need a refresh to cope with a streaming tsunami and so I will be reaching out to exhibitors to ask them to make direct submissions. This means I can then post and share in response to their news.

In these circumstances, regular weekly listings and monthly roundups will be almost impossible to configure, but I will try my hardest to resume a reliable flow of what’s on, where. Until things get going again, I want to thank all of my subscribers and readers for your support and loyalty throughout the past years of building RADIANT CIRCUS and into the (currently) uncertain future. Let me know if I can be of any more help finding you things to see in the darkness.

Stay safe & strong,


Barker-In-Chief // RADIANT CIRCUS.

*My choice was one of Billy Chainsaw’s Nova Nights at The Horse Hospital, an evening dedicated to genre shorts by fledgling filmmakers including Russ Gomm, Finn Callan and Caleb Thresher.




*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. //.