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.
Film4 Frightfest: 'Hawk the Slayer'
Somewhere in the mists of time (or dry ice to you and me), Hawk the Slayer roamed a land of painted backdrops, cardboard castles, and gauze-infested forests, fighting Evil and bringing Peace. His team: a dwarf, an elf, a giant and a witch who can turn a useful trick or two. His opponents: the rest of the world captained by big brother Jack Palance, a dirty player if ever there was one. The object of the game: kill each other. Sure, this not-quite-epic sword ’n’ sorcery adventure is pretty daft. But with director Terry Marcel launching a Kickstarter campaign to make long-awaited sequel ‘Hawk the Hunter’ (alongside composer Rick Wakeman!) we think it’s well worth revisiting.
Vue West End, 3 Cranbourn St, WC2H 7AL.
Sun Aug 30, 1.20pm. £13.25.
A great excuse to check out the ultra-cool, DIY Deptford Cinema. In this compassionate, low-key British drama, Tanya and son Artiom arrive at Stansted airport from Moscow but don't get past immigration. Her fiancé never shows. She claims political asylum. The pair are dumped in Stonehaven (aka Margate) in midwinter, where they’re expected to subsist on vouchers until their case can be considered. But the desolation of this grey open prison is not allowed to overshadow a tender courtship between Tanya and a local bingo caller.
Deptford Cinema, 39 Deptford Broadway, SE8 4PQ.
Fri Aug 28, 8pm. £5.
‘All That Jazz’ + ‘One From the Heart’
A fascinating double bill of modern musicals presented by the Badlands Collective. Directed, choreographed and co-written by ‘Cabaret’ creator Bob Fosse and based on his own life experience, ‘All That Jazz’ may be groundbreaking, but it’s also pretty pleased with itself. ‘One From the Heart’, meanwhile, is the film that almost sank Francis Ford Coppola, but it’s a wonder to behold nonetheless. It’s about a couple who smooch, quarrel, cheat on each other and live to smooch again over a long Fourth of July weekend in a Las Vegas confected entirely in the sets and mixing-boards of Zoetrope studios.
Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW.
Wed Aug 26, 6.30pm. £11, £10 concs.
Disaster Film Club: ‘The House of the Devil’
A new film club arises, and makes a strong opening statement with this recent horror classic. We’re in 1983, a time when every leafy US suburb had its own Satanic death cult to contend with. Jocelin Donahue makes for a textbook scream queen as cash-strapped undergrad Samantha, who drives out to a babysitting gig with girlfriend Megan (Greta Gerwig) only to end up having ram’s blood poured down her throat by a family of grotesques wrapped in muslin bed sheets. Though writer-director Ti West tips his hat to Wes Craven and John Carpenter, ‘The House of the Devil’ also manages to emulate the suspense tactics of Hitchcock and Polanski.
Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE.
Tue Aug 25, 7.30pm. £5.
The Nomad: 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'
The perfect film for an outdoor screening – if you’re extra lucky, aliens will come and sweep you away half-way through. With the arguable exception of ‘ET’, this tale of benevolent alien contact is Steven Spielberg’s most personal statement. It’s the heartfelt cry of a boyish 31-year-old who can’t rationalise his own self-centred ambitions with the demands of family and responsibility. Possessed by a creative compulsion he can’t understand, everyman hero Richard Dreyfuss alienates his wife and comes close to mental breakdown before discovering the source of the visions in his head.
Bushey Park, Hampton Court Rd, TW12 2EJ.
Sat Aug 29, 7pm. £7.50–£30.
The Creeping Garden
Clamber on board the Floating Cinema’s bespoke movie barge – moored on Andrews Road, just at the end of Broadway Market – and check out this deeply odd documentary about plasmordial slime mould (the best of all the slime moulds, right?). Jasper Sharp’s film follows a group of envelope-pushing scientists who believe that this bizarre organic substance may hold the key to entirely new avenues of biology, exploring ideas that sound like science fiction. The soundtrack is by post-rock pioneer Jim O’Rourke.
Regent’s Canal, Andrews Rd, E8.
Sun Aug 30, 7.30pm. £6.50, £5 concs.
‘It is Fine. Everything is Fine’ + Q&A
‘Back to the Future’ star turned deeply idiosyncratic director-producer-musician-novelist-lecturer Crispin Glover brings his never-ending tour back to the UK. After a reading from his books, Glover will present his disturbing, unforgettable story of a man with cerebral palsy – played by screenwriter Stephen C Stewart, who didn’t live to see the film completed – who fantasises about screwing and murdering a series of beautiful women. Expect controversy.
ICA, Nash House, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH.
Tue Aug 25, 7.45pm. £18, £16 concs.
BFI Summer Love Weekend: 'Badlands'
The BFI gets us warmed up for its forthcoming Love season with a weekend of outdoor screenings in the British Museum courtyard, with Terrence Malick’s masterpiece bookended on Thursday by ‘A Room With a View’ and on Saturday by the loveable ‘The Princess Bride’. ‘Badlands’ stars Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as bin-man Kit and naive schoolgirl Holly, the misfit young couple who, like savage innocents, create a brief idyll and end up leaving a trail of blood through the unforgiving Montana badlands.
British Museum, Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG.
Fri Aug 28, 8.15pm. £15.
Grave of the Fireflies
This heartbreaking masterpiece from Studio Ghibli opens with the image of a 12-year-old boy, Seita, begging on the streets, his head sinking between his bony knees, and a single line of voiceover: ‘September 21, 1945… that was the night I died.’ What follows, despite its WWII setting, is not a wartime adventure, or a nostalgic childhood reminiscence. This is a requiem for the dead, with all the sombre ceremony that that demands. The result is a film which demands – and deserves – total concentration and emotional surrender. The reward is an experience unlike any other: exhausting, tragic and utterly bleak, but also somehow monumental.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP.
Mon Aug 31, 8.30pm. £7.50, £5 concs.
La Regle du Jeu
Banned on its original release as 'too demoralising' and only made available again in its original form in 1956, Jean Renoir's brilliant social comedy is epitomised by the phrase 'everyone has their reasons'. Centring on a lavish country house party given by the Marquis de la Chesnaye and his wife, the film effects audacious slides from melodrama into farce, from realism into fantasy, and from comedy into tragedy. Romantic intrigues, social rivalries, and human foibles are all observed with an unblinking eye that nevertheless refuses to judge.
Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT.
Sun Aug 30, 2pm. £8, £6 concs.