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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…

Kinoteka Polish Film Festival: ‘Repulsion’

There’s always a Polish classics strand in the annual Kinoteka Film Festival. But this year they’ve really pushed the boat out with tributes to directors Jerzy Skolimowski, Agnieszka Holland and the late, great Andrzej Żuławski, plus a weekender at the Close-Up cinema in Spitalfields screening three films by Roman Polanski on original 35mm prints. ‘Repulsion’ is Polanski's most perfectly realised film, a stunning portrait of the disintegration, mental and emotional, of a shy young Belgian girl living in London. When she's left alone by her sister in their Kensington flat, she retreats into a terrifying world of fantasies and nightmares.

Close-Up Film Centre, 97 Sclater St, E1 6HR. Fri Apr 15, 8pm. £12, £10 concs.

‘Singin’ in the Rain’ + Richard Ayoade intro

It’s the East Dulwich Picturehouse’s first birthday, so they’ve asked local boy Richard Ayoade to come and introduce one of his favourite films. There never was a masterpiece created from such a mishmash of elements: songs from the ’20s and ’30s; 19-year-old Debbie Reynolds pitched into the deep end with tyrannical perfectionist Gene Kelly; choreography very nearly improvised because of pressures of time; and Kelly filming his greatest number with a heavy cold. Somehow it all comes together.

East Dulwich Picturehouse, 116a Lordship Lane, SE22 8HD. Sat Apr 16, 1pm. £13, £12 concs.


Jean Genet: Prisoner of Love

Writer Stephen Barber presents a tribute to the great twentieth-century writer Jean Genet with talks, projections and a screening of his one and only film, ‘Un Chant d’Amour’. In neighbouring cells, two convicts daydream, masturbate and communicate through the walls, watched by a voyeuristic warden who fantasises alternately killing them or making love to them. In Genet’s hands, this claustrophobic premise explodes with tension and eroticism. It’s an undoubted masterpiece.

Whitechapel Gallery, 77–82 Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX. Thu Apr 14, 7pm. £9.50, £7.50 concs.


The Abyss

A rare 35mm screening of the special edition of James Cameron’s rollicking 1989 deep-sea adventure. A nuclear sub crashes on the floor of the Atlantic, and the motley crew of an underwater station investigate. Inevitably problems mount: a hurricane rages above, a loony marine is on the loose, and cap'n Ed Harris is forced to work with his estranged wife. Moreover, there's something out there – though from the first glimpse of flashing lights cruising the deep, anyone who knows their Spielberg will guess the presence is benign. 

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Thu Apr 14, 8pm. £7.50, £5 concs.

Shakespeare on Screen: ‘O’

A rare, welcome and pleasingly cheap screening of this smart, overlooked Shakespeare adaptation, setting ‘Othello’ among the members of a high-school basketball team. Everything's going for school sports star Odin James (Mekhi Phifer): when not attracting talent scouts, he's getting cosy with Desi (Julia Stiles), daughter of the college dean. Not bad for the only black kid in school. Coach Duke is even moved to announce he loves Odin like his own son Hugo. But Hugo reckons this apple's ready to rot.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Sat April 16, 4.15pm. £6.50.

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


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