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Five fun 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…

Scared to Dance: Robin Ince presents ‘Head’

The terminally hip east London club night’s new film club is shaping up terrifically. For just their second outing, they’ve hauled in comedian and science nerd Robin Ince to present one of his favourite movies, The Monkees’ madcap silver-screen outing ‘Head’. Made when Monkee mania had all but died, it proved too experimental for the diminishing teenybop audience that had lapped up the ingenious TV series. Director Bob Rafelson and co-writer Jack Nicholson (yes, that one) increased the tempo while also adding more adult, sardonic touches. The zany humour is intercut with political footage and satire on established genres of American cinema, exploding many a sacred cow into the bargain.

Genesis Cinema, 93–95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ. Sun Jul 24, 6pm. £9.50.

Abbas Kiarostami tribute: ‘Close-Up’

The film world mourned earlier this month when Iranian maestro Abbas Kiarostami passed away at the age of 76. Here’s a chance to catch his masterpiece, a rich, multi-layered film in which movie fanatic Hossain Sabzian (playing himself, in a story based on fact) pretends to a middle-class family that he is film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Kiarostami constructs a complex (but never complicated) series of interwoven narratives to interrogate notions of fiction and documentary, appearance and reality, truth and falsehood. It’s enormously intelligent, witty, poignant and engrossing, and ends with one of the sharpest, funniest deconstructions of film form ever shot.

ICA, Nash House, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH. Fri Jul 22, 6.35pm. £11, £8 concs.

‘Absolute Beginners’ + director Q&A

Director Julien Temple will be along to introduce his musical adapted from Colin MacInnes’ book about life on the edge in Soho and Notting Hill in 1958. It’s an imperfect but fascinating film: a pair of flimsy leads are counterbalanced by some fabulously lurid casting, including Lionel Blair as a pederast tin pan alley king, Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman as a clueless trendspotter, Steven Berkoff as a crazed fascist and rock icons Ray Davies and David Bowie (who also performs the glorious theme tune) circling on the sidelines.

Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Wed Jul 20, 8.20pm. £12, £11 concs.

Doc/Fest Picks weekender: ‘My Scientology Movie’

This weekend, the Bertha DocHouse screen at Cuzon Bloomsbury will screen a choice selection of films from the recent Sheffield Doc/Fest. It’s an enticing selection, from the memoirs of Guantanamo inmate Moazzam Begg in ‘The Confession’ to old-school soul on the road in ‘Miss Sharon Jones!’. But our top pick is the new movie from beloved TV provocateur Louis Theroux. As the title suggests, the film sees Louis tackling the might of America’s weirdest cult.

Curzon Bloomsbury, Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AW. Sat Jul 23, 8.45pm. £9, £7 concs.

‘Wildwood, NJ’

In the summer of 1992, four women – Ruth Leitman, Carol Weaks-Cassidy, Julie Wolffe, Karen Enenkel and Nicole Torre – grabbed a Super-8 camera and set out to document the lives, loves, struggles and enormous hairdos of the young women of Wildwood, New Jersey, later infamous for its role in TV reality show shocker ‘Jersey Shore’. Recently rediscovered, this unique hour-long film effortlessly captures its subjects’ idiosyncrasies and stifled dreams. It’ll be screening alongside beloved short Riot Grrrl doc ‘Dirty Girls’. 

Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Sat Jul 23, 4pm. £9.50,  £8.50 concs.

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

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