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…
East End Film Festival: ‘The Commune’
Every year, we think the East End Film Festival can’t get bigger, broader and more impressive, and every year it does. Covering everything from UK, European and world premieres to beloved classics (see further down this list), plus talks, discussions, workshops and loads of parties, it’s rapidly growing into London’s coolest film explosion. It was hard to narrow it down, but our top pick is the latest from ‘Festen’ and ‘The Hunt’ director Thomas Vinterberg. ‘The Commune’ tracks the interpersonal rivalries between a group of optimistic hippies, all living together in 1970s Denmark.
Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE. Sat Jun 25, 6.30pm. £12, £11 concs.
Open City Documentary Festival: ‘Author: The JT Leroy Story’
London’s biggest annual celebration of documentary cinema, Open City returns with another packed programme of true stories from around the world. Alongside films on everything from the second Russian revolution (‘The Event’) to Mexican drug cartels (‘Western’), from a legendary San Francisco gaming den (‘The Lost Arcade’) to the St Paul’s Occupy demonstrations (‘The Occupiers’), we’ve chosen this doc about literary sensation JT Leroy, whose ‘true’ stories about growing up transgender turned out to be a hoax.
Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE. Sat Jun 25, 3pm. £12, £11 concs.
DukeFest the Third: How to Survive a Satanic Cult
The third returning film festival this week is the most weirdly wonderful: Dukefest, four days of bizarro premieres, VHS madness, found footage and batshit trailers for long-forgotten films. Again, it was hard to narrow it down, but we’ve gone for this celebration of the ‘satanic panic’ that swept America in the 1980s, leading to all kinds of wild and worrying videos and TV shows decrying the rise of Devil worship in the US heartland. But the evening won’t just be about laughing at hugely mulleted God-botherers, it’ll also give attendees a handy guide to what to do should they find themselves confronted by Beelzebub himself!
PimpShuei, 59 Mount Pleasant, WC1X 0AY. Mon Jul 27, 8pm. Free.
‘Highlander’ 30th anniversary screening + Christopher Lambert Q&A
Yes, the French Scotsman himself will be in town to discuss his memories of making this ludicrously entertaining slice of sword ‘n’ sorcery nonsense about a band of immortals engaged in mortal combat down the ages. ‘Highlander’ hops from the Scottish highlands in the middle ages to contemporary America, allowing Lambert to don a variety of kilts to match the perpetually pained expression in his eyes, and Sean Connery as his mentor to make tosh dialogue sound like it was written by Noël Coward. It has a frenzied pace, and a villain who sings Tom Waits while mowing down innocent pedestrians, and it's a lot of utterly preposterous fun.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Sun Jun 26, 5.45pm. £13.50.
‘Night and the City’
A rare 35mm film screening of this magnificently bizarre film noir with Richard Widmark as a small time nightclub tout trying to hustle his way into the wrestling rackets, but finding himself the object of a murderous manhunt when the gangs catch up with him. Set in a London through which our anti-hero spends much of his time dodging in dark alleyways, it presents the city in neo-expressionist terms as a grotesque, terrifyingly anonymous trap. Unforgettable.
The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH. Mon Jun 27, 9pm. £8.50, £6.50 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.