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Five ace film events happening in London this week

Tom Huddleston

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…

BFI Flare: ‘Jason and Shirley’

This year’s BFI Flare – the new-ish name for what used to be London LGBT Film Festival – is back, and bigger than ever. Over 12 days, the festival offers UK premieres – like opening film ‘The Pass’ about a pair of footballers discovering they’re more than just teammates, and ‘Mapplethorpe: Look At the Pictures’, a new doc about the groundbreaking photographer – plus new dramas, docs, shorts, talks and the occasional classic movie. Our pick for the first week is ‘Jason and Shirley’, a dramatisation of the relationship between doc-maker Shirley Clarke and her subject, hustler Jason Holliday, in the late ’60s.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Sat Mar 19, 8.45pm. £8–£11.90.


Focus Film Festival: ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’

The Barbican’s Focus Film Festival for young audiences returns with Chronic Youth, a weekend of movies about breaking the rules. Alongside the likes of The Clash’s ‘Rude Boy’ and Mexican road-trip drama ‘Gueros’ – not to mention two showcases of films by students at the BFI Academy – comes this absurd American cult classic about aggressive teenage rivalry. In Mount Rose, Minnesota, preparations for a heat of the Miss Teen America beauty pageant are interrupted by trailer park siren Kirsten Dunst and her band of misguided contestants. 

Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Sun Mar 20, 6.30pm. £9.50, £8.50 concs.

1000 Londoners: ‘Selling Out’

The 1000 Londoners project is an ever-increasing archive of short documentaries exploring the lives of people who live, work and play in our great city. This showcase compiles a number of films about salespeople, from shop workers in vintage boutiques to street-market traders and high-street staff. So if you want a flavour of what the capital’s really like in 2016, pop along and find out.

Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3JU. Mon Mar 21, 7pm. £7.


Persian New Year: ‘The White Balloon’

This extraordinary debut feature, about a seven-year-old's first journey alone into the streets of Tehran, is a movie of audacious subtlety and simplicity, and a deserving Cannes prize-winner. It takes place in 'real time', the 84 minutes leading to Persia’s New Year, as little Razieh goes off to purchase, with her mother's last 500 toman, the 'chubby' gold-fish that has taken her fancy. Along the way, she encounters snake-charmers, irate shopkeepers, a country-born soldier, a young Afghan boy with a white balloon – a whole world hitherto 'forbidden'.

Deptford Cinema, 39 Deptford Broadway, SE8 4PQ. Fri Mar 18, 7pm. £5, £3.50 concs.

'The Philadelphia Story’

What a perfect location in which to enjoy this dreamy and hilarious romantic comedy masterpiece. Centring on a socialite wedding threatened by scandal, the film is a delight from start to finish, with everyone involved working on peak form. Katharine Hepburn is the ice maiden, recently divorced from irresponsible millionaire Cary Grant and just about to marry a truly dull but supposedly more considerate type. Superbly directed by Cukor, it’s a marvel of timing and understated performances.

Vestry House Museum, Vestry Rd, E17 9NH. Sun Mar 20, 2pm. £5.50, £4.50 concs.

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

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