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A jazz movie weekender, live scores, director Q&A and more from the week's best film events

By
Tom Huddleston
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Each week, we round up the most exciting film events happening in London over the coming week, from pop-ups and one-offs to regular film clubs, outdoor screenings and festivals. Here’s this week’s top five…

1. All That Jazz: 'Shoot the Pianist'

The Curzon Bloomsbury cinema presents a fun weekender of classic jazz-influenced movies, including spiky New York satire ‘Sweet Smell of Success’, music doc ‘A Great Day in Harlem’ and a brace of French New Wave titles: ‘Lift to the Scaffold’, ‘Breathless’ and Francois Truffaut’s second movie as director, ‘Shoot the Pianist’. It's a strange pastiche of gangster movies, love stories, and cabaret films, with a totally unpredictable plot about a lonely pianist with a past. The story is by turns comic and pathetic, often flashing midstream from one mood to the other.

Curzon Bloomsbury, Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AW. Sat Aug 1, 4.45pm. £15, £12.50 concs.

2. London on Film: 'Wonderland'

If you’ve not seen this graceful drama about a long weekend in the lives of an extended family on the big screen, grab this chance. ‘Wonderland’ is director Michael Winterbottom's best film by some measure, offering an intimate, suburban panorama of London life, shot on handheld 16mm cameras on the streets of Soho and SW1. The result rings true in a way precious few London films have managed, so that the experience of going to the movie in a local cinema practically blurs with what you've seen on screen.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Fri Jul 31, 6.10pm. £8.35–£11.75.

3. ‘Walkabout’ + live score

Improvisational music collective Orchestra Elastique perform an exclusive, globally influenced soundtrack to Nicolas Roeg’s sun-baked masterpiece of outback survival: the story of two posh English kids left to fend for themselves when their father commits suicide. The shimmering light and colour, the conflict of cultures and the emergence of semi-mystic sexual forces in the desert landscape make this a haunting, one-of-a-kind experience.

Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA. Wed Jul 29, 8pm. £12.

4. 'Apocalypse Now'

If you’ve never seen Frances Ford Coppola’s monumental Vietnam War movie on the cinema screen, give yourself the best possible present. The central storyline – Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is tasked with tracking down and executing Marlon Brando’s rogue Colonel Kurtz – is essentially a slender thread upon which Coppola and his co-writer John Milius hang a number of increasingly wild asides. As befits both its tortuous hand-to-mouth genesis and the devastating conflict it reflects, this is a film of pure sensation, dazzling audiences with light and noise, laying bare the stark horror – and unimaginable thrill – of combat.

Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Sun Aug 2, 7.30pm. £11, £10 concs.

5. 'Thou Wast Mild and Lovely' + director Q&A

American writer, director and performance artist Josephine Decker comes to the UK to present her new feature film, the striking and unusual experimental thriller ‘Thou Was Mild and Lovely’. Starring Joe Swanberg, mumblecore legend and director of ‘Hannah Takes the Stairs’ and ‘Drinking Buddies’ among many, many others, the film follows a young man who takes a job on an isolated ranch and slips into a complex world of eroticism and menace. ‘Appropriate Behaviour’ director Desiree Akhavan will join the Q&A, so expect keen insight into women’s roles in cinema.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Sat Aug 1, 6.10pm. £8.35–£10.65.

For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.

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