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Five fun film happenings 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…

Close-Up on the Coen Brothers: ‘Blood Simple’

A weekend of films directed by the darlings of American indie cinema, including Hollywood satire ‘Barton Fink’, Oscar-winning black comedy ‘Fargo’ and brutal thriller ‘No Country For Old Men’. Our pick is their ferocious debut ‘Blood Simple’, a hugely enjoyable film noir in which a Texan bar owner hires a seedy private eye, first to spy on his wife, then to kill her and her lover. Instead, the eye, having collected his fee, executes a variation on the contract, spreading guilt and fear like a plague through the characters.

Close-Up Film Centre, 97 Sclater St, E1 6HR. Fri Mar 25, 8pm. £12, £10 concs.

Mad Max Marathon

The entire petrolhead saga from Mad Mel’s first outing to last year’s thunderous feminist diatribe ‘Fury Road’. They’re all terrific fun, but the film in pole position has to be ‘Mad Max 2’, in which Max agrees to help a group of mullet-haired survivalists drag a truck filled with oil out of the Aussie desert. When George Miller pulls out the stops, no director on earth can match him: the closing chase, pitting Max’s V8 Special and accompanying Mack tanker against an army of souped-up dune buggies and rusted-out roadsters, is arguably the finest automotive action sequence ever shot.

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Mon Mar 28, 2pm. £20.

Cigarette Burns presents ‘Eegah’

One of our favourite boozers, The Mucky Pup in Islington, will be closing its doors this month. But before that happens, why not pull up a bar stool and enjoy one of the most ridiculous, idiotic and unconvincing movies ever made, courtesy of exploitation film club king Cigarette Burns. Presented on 16mm, this notoriously dreadful (but consistently hilarious) shocker stars Richard Kiel (aka Bond villain Jaws) as a caveman on the loose in 1960s California.

The Mucky Pup, 39 Queen's Head St, N1 8NQ. Tue Mar 22, 7pm. FREE.

BFI Flare: ‘Closet Monster’

London’s biggest LGBT film festival rumbles on into its second and final week. This time our pick is ‘Closet Monster’, a witty, occasionally horrifying coming-of-age story about a sexually experimental teenage boy desperate to escape his stultifying home town. Made in Canada and definitely in the same ballpark as that nation’s favourite son Xavier Dolan, the film co-stars the great Isabella Rossellini as – yes – the voice of the young man’s pet hamster, to whom he confides all his darkest secrets.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Thu Mar 24, 8.45pm. £8–£11.90.

‘Passport to Pimlico’ + ‘The Lavender Hill Mob’

A perfect double bill of Ealing comedy classics. In ‘Passport to Pimlico’, perhaps the most Ealingish of all their films, the cosy sense of wartime togetherness is recaptured when the inhabitants of Pimlico, discovering their hereditary independence from Britain, set up a restriction-free (but soon beleaguered and ration-hit) state. In ‘The Lavender Hill Mob’, meanwhile, Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway play the bumbling suburbanites whose plot to hijack a van full of gold bullion and smuggle it abroad disguised as Eiffel Tower paperweights leads to all manner of hijinks and hysteria.

Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Wed Mar 23, 6.30pm. £11, £10 concs.

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

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