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Five ace film events happening in London this week

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…

Steven Spielberg Season: ‘The Sugarland Express’

The BFI presents a packed celebration of the world’s most successful director to mark the release of his new film ‘The BFG’. The first month covers Spielberg’s early career, with the likes of ‘Dune’, Jaws’ and this little-seen road movie, his first film made for the cinema. Like a smarter, more thoughtful take on a ‘Cannonball Run’-style chase romp, it sees a fugitive couple and a kidnapped cop take an ever-growing caravan of assorted cars, newsmen, sightseers and wide-boys out for a cross-Texas chase. A beautifully put together, assured debut.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Sat Jun 4, 6.20pm. £8.35 - £11.75.

Independent Voices: ‘The Fall’ 

Commercials director Tarsem Singh – whose subsequent career has not been pretty – poured millions of dollars of his own money into this striking, underrated fantasy that he shot in 18 countries and self-distributed in the US. It’s a unique undertaking, for good and ill. Set in 1915, a movie stuntman languishes in an LA hospital, where he unspools tall tales to a little girl, who shares with us the images they conjure up in her mind’s eye: huge vistas, storybook heroism and colours so vivid we might have dreamed them.

Deptford Cinema, 39 Deptford Broadway, SE8 4PQ. Fri Jun 3, 7.30pm. £5, £3.50 concs.

Science Fiction Theatre: ‘The Ultimate Warrior’

The monthly sci-fi film club returns with yet another underexposed futuristic flick. The title makes it sound like a missable ’90s Jean Claude Van Damme adventure, but ‘The Ultimate Warrior’ is something much more interesting – a bizarro 1975 dystopian actioner starring Yul Brynner. In 2012 (the future!), a pandemic has wiped out much of the population, forcing Max Von Sydow and his band of hippy types to hire Brynner’s psycho mercenary to defend them against marauding gangs.

The Victoria, 451 Queensbridge Road, E8 3AS. Mon Jun 6, 8pm. £5.

Three Colours Triple Bill 

Krzysztof Kieslowski’s loosely linked trilogy exploring the three colours of the French flag – and the attendant concepts of liberté, egalité and fraternité – screens back to back. All three films are exceptional, but it’s probably part one, ‘Blue’, that hits hardest. Failing to find the courage to commit suicide after her husband and infant daughter die in a car crash, Julie (Juliette Binoche) decides to build a new, anonymous and wholly independent life. Leaving her country mansion for a Paris apartment, she soon finds that freedom is not as easy to achieve as she hoped.

Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Sun Jun 5, 4pm. £25, £22 concs.

Serenity 

Joss Whedon’s rip-roaring space fantasy screens on 70mm film. A stand-alone spin-off from Whedon’s cult science-fiction TV series ‘Firefly’, the film is set five centuries from now, where ex-soldier Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his ragtag crew ply their semi-legal transporting trade on the sparsely settled fringes of space. With its Hawksian attention to group dynamics and its skilful definition of character through action, this supremely entertaining hybrid-movie plays like ‘Rio Bravo’ in space. The settings and tone are hyper-real, yet the human behaviour is grounded and credible, the moral conflicts complex and involving.

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Sat Jun 4, 9pm. £10.

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

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