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…
‘Lord of the Flies’ + Peter Brook Q&A
Legendary theatre maverick Peter Brook will introduce three of his films over two days, including this adaptation of William Golding's 1954 novel about a gang of English schoolboys stranded on a desert island after a nuclear holocaust. At first their unscheduled adventure is a great wheeze. But then things degenerate into tribal warfare based on class differences – the public school chaps are the hunters, and the oiks are virtual slaves. Brook shoots it like a documentary, overcoming the starvation budget, the location problems, and the sometimes awkward performances.
Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT. Wed Feb 17, 6.30pm.
Punk Doc Festival: 'The Filth and the Fury'
As part of the Punk London festival, Regent St Cinema will host a weekend of great anti-establishment rock docs, including ‘Revenge of the Mekons’, Subway Sect film ‘Derailed Sense’ and this examination of the rise and fall of The Sex Pistols. Director Julien Temple was there from the beginning and stayed to document the Pistols’ rise from underground heroes to media bogeymen and beyond. Interviews with the surviving band members are frank, funny, compassionate and damning.
Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Fri Feb 19, 6pm. £11, £10 concs.
Disaster Film Club: ‘True Stories’
Talking Heads frontman David Byrne’s oddball indie adventure celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. Byrne gleaned the inhabitants for his hypothetical small town (Virgil, Texas) from tabloids like the Weekly World News, which trades in stories about Mexicans who can read your nose, illegal immigrants from outer space, and suchlike. As the film's on-screen narrator, he wanders through the streets, homes and shopping malls with an air of bemused wonder. The result is a rock film with a brain and an 'art' movie with belly laughs. There’ll also be DJs in the bar – what more could you want?
Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE. Wed Feb 17, 7.30pm. £5.
Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar-winning sandal saga – centred on a Roman slave revolt headed by Kirk Douglas’s titular folklore hero – has aged amazingly well. This is widescreen, epic filmmaking on a massive scale: the final battle scene – punctuated by Alex North’s quaint but occasionally overwrought score – stretches as far as the eye can see, and its choreography from afar is remarkable given the lack of communication technology back then. To see it once again on the big screen, in all its expansive glory, is a treat.
Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Sun Feb 21, 2pm. £11, £9 concs.
‘The Phantom of the Opera’ + live score
Soundtrack experts Minima accompany the 1925 version of this creepy classic. The best scenes here are way up there with the finest in the tradition of Gothic fantasy: Lon Chaney's best-ever phantom, his face scarred to hell by acid, unmasked at the organ by the timorous heroine; the phantom stopping a costume ball when he appears as the Red Death; the phantom shrouded in the most romantic cape ever seen, perched on top of the statue of Apollo to eavesdrop on the lovers.
Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Rd, N2 9PJ. Sun Feb 21, 3pm. £9.50, £7 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.