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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

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.


BFI Cult: ‘Matinee’

The BFI’s Cult series does a terrific job of bringing underexposed, underrated and often ultra-weird films to a wider audience, and Joe Dante’s odd, nostalgic film-nerd comedy is a prime example. In Key West, Florida during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, 14-year-old Gene is preoccupied with the forthcoming visit by B-movie king Lawrence Woolsey to promote ‘Mant’, his new bargain-basement exploiter about a chap mutating into an ant. Plot-wise that’s about it in this engagingly affectionate satire on small-town American fears. But it’s the string of visual and verbal gags that make the film so enjoyable; the in-jokes and cameos reinforce the mood of loving, wry homage, and the kids’ stuff never cloys. Inspired chaos for anyone into the delirious absurdities of ’50s sci-fi.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT.
Fri Jul 29, 8.45pm. £8.35–£11.75.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Matinee’


Check the Gate: ‘Eureka’

Another excellent pick for the Prince Charles’s season of films on 35mm, this time from the Guardian’s racing expert and film club enthusiast Tony Paley. He’s chosen Nicolas Roeg’s disturbing ‘Eureka’, in which a prospector in 1920s Canada finally strikes it lucky, and is engulfed in a river of gold. He then spends the rest of his life entombed in his house in the Bahamas, wondering what on earth there is left. It’s a great, ‘Citizen Kane’-like notion – the price we pay for gaining what we want – and the film overflows with awkward ideas and strange emotion.

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP.
Mon Aug 1, 8.45pm. £8.50.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Eureka’


The VITO Project: ‘Strangers on a Train’

Expect an exploration of the subtext of Hitchcock’s movie at this free monthly film night themed around LGBT issues. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel, ‘Strangers on a Train’ takes as its central proposition the meeting and ensuing guilty association of two complete strangers. Robert Walker buttonholes Farley Granger, a star tennis player anxious to remarry but with a clinging wife, and initiates a hypnotic discussion of exchange murders. Hitchcock erects a web of guilt around his characters, and structures his film around a series of set pieces, ending with a fit of violence on a circus carousel.

The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH.
Wed Jul 27, 7pm. FREE.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Strangers on a Train’


Andrzej Zulawski season: ‘Possession’

If you haven’t seen Polish madman Andrzej Zulawski’s unrelenting horror masterpiece, do not miss this special screening. It starts relatively quietly – an expat couple living in Berlin find their marriage falling apart – and builds through a series of arguments, betrayals, unexplained occurrences, bizarre satirical interruptions and scenes of extreme horror until the intensity is almost unbearable. The lead performances are remarkable – Isabelle Adjani’s explosive freakout in the metro station remains one of cinema’s most devastating kicks in the face – and the script is both politically bold and emotionally draining.

Deptford Cinema, 39 Deptford Broadway, SE8 4PQ.
Tue Jul 26, 7pm. £5, £3.50 concs.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Possession’


‘Escape to Victory’

We’re not sure why JW3, the Jewish education and culture centre, has chosen to screen this at 11am, but whatever – any time’s the right time to watch this loopy, absurd story of a group of footballers taking on the Nazis. Like a birthday card in the ‘For Boys’ section of a card shop with a picture of a racing car jumping over a steam train full of cowboys, ‘Escape’ has everything for the immature adolescent male. But this comic book fantasy, in which Allied POWs are forced to play a lose-lose football match against their captors, turns out to be something more subversive: emphasising our common footballing culture, it’s a rallying call for European integration.

JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET.
Sun Jul 31, 11am. £6.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Escape to Victory’


Check the Gate: ‘The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane’

Another absolute cracker from the Check the Gate season, this time presented by exploitation film experts Cigarette Burns, whose roving film club has been keeping Londoners disturbed and enthralled for the better part of a decade now. 1976’s other Jodie Foster movie may not have the same giant reputation as ‘Taxi Driver’, but it’s a fascinating, atmospheric little chiller about a 13-year-old girl living alone in a big house who hides a dark secret. Unique and disturbing.

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP.
Wed Jul 27, 8.45pm. £8.50.


Classic Cinema Club: ‘My Learned Friend’

A desperate and desperately funny farce, agreeably tinged with black, this is iconic actor-director Will Hay’s last film. He plays an incompetent barrister who knows he’ll be saved till last by a murderer determined to eliminate everyone connected with his trial, and who frantically tries to forewarn the other victims in an attempt to stave off his own end. The dizzy climax, courtesy of Harold Lloyd and/or Hitchcock, is a pursuit over the face and hands of Big Ben.

Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, W5 2BY.
Fri Jul 29, 7.30pm. £7, £6 concs.

Read the Time Out review of ‘My Learned Friend’


Time Out Loves at Rooftop Film Club: ‘V For Vendetta’

Another in Time Out’s ongoing series of movies at the Rooftop Film Club. This is the film that launched a million masks – if you wonder why hackers and anarchists wear Guy Fawkes faces, here’s the answer. In 2020, Britain is a repressive fascist state headed by John Hurt’s dictator. Resistance however, is stirring in the unlikely form of an elusive insurgent known as ‘V’, whose features hide behind a Guy Fawkes mask. He’s already blown up the Old Bailey, and is promising that Westminster, another emblem of institutionalised injustice, will follow.

The Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST.
Sun Jul 31, 9pm. £15.

Read the Time Out review of ‘V for Vendetta’


‘Pulp Fiction’

You’ve seen it before – but Tarantino’s breakthrough is a whole different experience on the big screen. ‘Pulp Fiction’ is a sprawling fresco: three stories bookended by a prologue and epilogue. In the first story, a mobster is charged with looking after the irresponsible wife of his vengeful boss. In the second, a washed-up boxer tries to trick the Mob by failing to throw a fight. And in the third, two hitmen carry out a job, only to call on the services of a ‘cleaner’ when it gets messier than planned. It’s the way Tarantino embellishes and, finally, interlinks these old chestnuts that makes the film exhilarating.

Stratford East Picturehouse, Salway Rd, E15 1BX.
Sun Jul 31, 3pm. £7.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Pulp Fiction’


‘Bob le Flambeur’

The cable car leads us down from Sacré Coeur in Montmartre to the Pigalle, and as the neon is extinguished for another dawn a weary gambler treads his way home from the tables. Jean-Pierre Melville’s ‘love letter to Paris’ is shot, like all good city films, between the hours of dusk and dawn, and is a loving recreation of all that is wonderful about the dark American thrillers of the ’30s and ’40s. What doubles the pleasure, however, is that in spite of the heist, the double-crosses and the sudden death, it is still remarkably light in tone: an underworld comedy of manners. A wonderful movie.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT.
Mon Aug 1, 5.50pm. £8.35–£11.75.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Bob le Flambeur’

See what's on at the cinema this week


Kenneth M
Kenneth M

what happened to TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD, ??, When Lee's new book (?) is published, there maybe a stampede 

Sarah D
Sarah D

The Haunted Picture House also launches on 6th June 2015! www.hauntedpicturehouse.com


There's also London's best film quiz, You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat, back at the Assembly House in Kentish Town on Wednesday 5th November. Starts 7pm for 7:30 but worth getting there early for a good view of the screen! Details at www.film-quiz.com, £4 a person, no limit on team size.

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**