The best film events in London this week

One-off screenings, festivals, seasons, double-bills and more. Each week we bring you the very best of London's alternative film events



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Every week, we round up the best film events happening outside London’s multiplexes, from major international film festivals to classic seasons at the BFI, from double bills and all-nighters to one-off screenings and in person Q&As with stars, filmmakers or experts. London also has a thriving DIY film club scene in pubs, restaurants, galleries and pop-up venues, and in the summer months you’ll find a wealth of outdoor screenings in parks and gardens across the city.


We Love the 90s: 'Boyz 'n' the Hood'

Cemeteries, power stations, swimming pools… outdoor screenings are popping up in all sorts of nooks this summer. Now you can add dual carriageway to the list. West London’s favourite pop-up cinema is back this weekend for its second We Love The ’90s film fest, nestled under London’s most famous flyover, the Westway in Notting Hill. The cinema is lovingly hand-crafted from recycled material, with a massive 30ft screen. For three nights a guest host will introduce a classic ’90s film, and our pick is ‘Kidulthood’ actor Femi Oyeniran with the angry and still timely ghetto tale ‘Boyz N the Hood’.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Boyz 'n' the Hood’

  1. Portobello Pop-Up, 3 Acklam Rd, W10 5TY.
  2. 7pm, Fri Jul 25. £5.


The Purple Rose of Cairo

A rare big-screen outing for one of Woody Allen’s sweetest, most upbeat films. During the Depression, downtrodden housewife Mia Farrow so inflames a film's leading man that he climbs down from the screen and entices her into a chaotic but charming love affair. Allen's deft script investigates every nook and cranny of the couple's bizarre relationship, and as the star-struck couple, Farrow and Jeff Daniels work wonders with fantastic emotions. Woody's direction invests enough care, wit and warmth to make it genuinely moving.

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo’

  1. Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP.
  2. 6.45pm, Mon Jul 28. £7.50, £5 concs.

Blackmail + live score

The Barbican takes to the road for a series of outdoor screenings, including the original silent version of this magnificent Hitchcock thriller. The film is a remarkable experiment in narrative structure: an efficient, impersonal police investigation that elides into a messy, personal story of attempted rape, murder in self-defence, blackmail and a chase to the death. The film will be introduced by soundtrack expert Neil Brand, and accompanied by music from the Forest Philharmonic Orchestra.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Blackmail’

  1. Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Rectory Rd, E17 4SU.
  2. 7.30pm, Fri Nov 25. £12, £8.50 concs.

The Power of Summer: 'Get Carter'

Another fantastic choice to watch in the industrial setting of Battersea Power Station. This was movie modernism British-style. The occasional stylistic flourishes suggest the imported influence of the New Wave, the brief bursts of sex, violence and soundtrack funk offer a trendsetting ’70s take on the gangster movie. But its prime virtue now is its depiction of a nation slowly made to face its own moral and physical dilapidation, hope and glory gone way down and out. Like the train journey opening the film, director Mike Hodges's debut offers a tunnel vision of this landscape. He shoots it cold, sparse and ambivalent, the terse, gnomic plotting and dialogue doubtless contributing to the allure of what might otherwise be a relatively plain genre movie.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Get Carter’

  1. Battersea Power Station, SW8 4NN.
  2. 6pm, Thu Jul 24. £16.50.

Touch of Evil + Citizen Kane

Sure, many of us have seen Orson Welles’s twin masterpieces before – but back-to-back on the big screen is too good an offer to pass up. ‘Touch of Evil’ is a sweaty thriller conundrum on character and corruption, justice and the law, worship and betrayal, playing havoc with moral ambiguities as self-righteous Mexican cop Heston goes up against Welles's monumental Hank Quinlan, the old-time detective of vast and wearied experience. ‘Citizen Kane’ is… well, if you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? It’s perfect.

  1. Riverside Studios, Crisp Rd, W6 9RL.
  2. 6pm, Sun Jul 27. £9.50, £8.50 concs.

Alibi Film Club: ‘Videodrome’

David Cronenberg has always crossed the line between taste and distaste with his combinations of vile glop-horror and social criticism, and this was no exception. A cable TV programmer (James Woods) becomes increasingly intrigued by the hardcore S&M movies he is beaming down from satellite, and so does his girlfriend (Debbie Harry), a dead-eyed sensation-seeker with cigarette brands on her breast to prove it. The plotline becomes too contorted to go into here, and far, far too weird; sufficient to note that Cronenberg's most interesting trick is to eradicate the difference between hardware and software by giving his hero a pulsing vagina-like slot in his stomach... and it gets much worse.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Videodrome’

  1. The Alibi, 91 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB.
  2. 8pm, Mon Jul 28 - FREE.

A Century of Chinese Cinema: 'Election'

‘Election’ is prolific and versatile Hong Kong director Johnny To’s largely successful attempt to give a new spin to the Triad thriller. The election of the title refers to that contested by two gangsters – contained family man Lok and volatile Big D – for the chairmanship of the ancient, powerful Wu Sing Society. So far, so formulaic. But what’s unexpected here is the emphasis and tone. Even the violence is unexpectedly unexpected, eschewing the usual cathartic frenzy of bloody chopsocky and arcade-game gunplay in favour of calmly viewed and human-scaled acts of brutality, using knives or available objects in dispassionate dispatches. The mood, too, is dark without being heavy, with a score composed of delicate little ditties and folk themes offering creepy counterpoint.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Election’

  1. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT.
  2. 6.20pm, Mon Jul 28. £8.15-£10.45.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D

A rare chance to catch an original optical 3D print of this horror classic. The routine story – members of a scientific expedition exploring the Amazon discover and are menaced by an amphibious gill man – is mightily improved by director Jack Arnold's sure sense of atmospheric locations and by the often sympathetic portrait of the monster. Interestingly, the threat is perceived as partly sexual (notably in the scene where the creature swims mesmerised beneath the tightly swimsuited Julia Adams), and thus the film can be seen as a precursor to ‘Jaws’.

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon’

  1. Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS.
  2. 4pm, Sat Jul 26. £9.50, £8.50 concs.

Drive-In Cinema: 'The Notebook'

The Drive-In Cinema returns, offering a selection of popular favourites accompanied by burgers ’n’ fries (delivered by waiters on rollerskates!) all in the comfort of your own vehicle. The highlight of the first week has to be this brutally efficient weepie, tracking the romance between big-lunged lovers Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling). Their adventures are duly recorded in the titular ledger-cum-framing device, in the possession of a kindly codger (James Garner), who reads to the now-elderly Allie (Gena Rowlands), befogged by an Alzheimer’s-like illness. Amid the sticky-sweet swamp, Rowlands and Garner emerge spotless and beatific, lending a near-miraculous credibility to their scenes together.

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Notebook’

  1. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, NW4 3FP.
  2. 9.15pm, Sat Jul 26. £22 per car.

The Luna Cinema: 'Captain Phillips'

A film about the open sea… screened in a Lido! Genius. We do think you’re unlikely to be attacked by pirates in Herne Hill, though. ‘Captain Phillips’ is the true story of a cargo ship skipper whose vessel was overrun by pirates off the coast of Somalia in 2009. It gives British director Paul Greengrass, the man at the helm of ‘United 93’ and the first two ‘Bourne’ films, licence to indulge two of his favourite storytelling pastimes: high-stakes tension and real-world politics. It also sees Tom Hanks playing an unexceptional guy at the heart of an exceptional crisis.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Captain Phillips’

  1. Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Rd, SE24 0PA.
  2. 7.45pm, Thu Jul 24. £12.50 - £40.

Users say

Joanie P
Joanie P

Heads up on MurderDrome: It's an AUSTRALIAN trash roller derby slasher comedy, not American. And the serial killer is a she, not a he. Highly reccomend. 


Ivan Reitman isnt dead! Harold Ramis is

JV Sampaio
JV Sampaio

Jango Report is a wonderful surprise depicting recent polítical events in Brazill... it deserves a visit at Covent Garden . Relevants facts are described during 90 minutes, and that will keep your eyes popped out and focused on the screen.


Brand X is screening on Monday, details as follows: Rare screening of satirical lost cult film BRAND X (1970), at the Goldsmiths College Cinema, Dixon Road, SE14 6NW on April 29 at 7.30pm, as part of The New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival. Nearest Overground, New Cross/New Cross Gate. **The screening is free, but may be full so please ARRIVE EARLY to avoid disappointment - doors open at 7**

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