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…
Cheap Thrills: ‘Southland Tales’
The subtitle of the Barbican’s week-long Cheap Thrills season is ‘Trash, movies and the art of transgression’. The aim is to explore everything from high camp to low exploitation, asking what exactly is bad taste – and is it different from just plan bad? The film screenings cover everything from established arthouse classics like Catherine Breillat’s ‘A Ma Soeur!’ and Todd Solondz’s ‘Happiness’ to genuine weirdies like Blaxploitation freakout ‘Dolemite’ and (inevitably) John Waters’s ‘Female Trouble’. But our pick is ‘Southland Tales’, a singular pinnacle of misguided ambition, Richard Kelly’s batshit follow-up to ‘Donnie Darko’. Great it ain’t – unmissable it most certainly is.
Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS.
Sun Oct 30, 5.15pm. £9.50, £8.50 concs.
Classic Horror All-Nighter
There are heaps of great Halloween-themed movie events taking place across London – so many that we were able to make an entire page listing the best ones. Here’s one that fell through the cracks: a whole night of top-notch horror for the traditionalists among us. There’s unlikely to be a film here you haven’t seen, but there’s not a bad apple in the bunch – and besides, they’re a whole new level of scary on the big screen. The lineup is ‘Halloween’, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Alien’, ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’, the longer cut of ‘The Shining’ and, to wake you up good and proper in time for brekkie, ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP.
Sat Oct 29, 8.45pm. £20.
Film Africa: ‘The Revolution Won’t Be Televised’
As its name suggests, the annual Film Africa festival showcases films from, well, Africa – the best new features, shorts and docs, plus talks and workshops too. The selection is wide-ranging and impressive, covering the continent from Cairo to Cape Town. But we’ve selected this documentary about the hip hop-fuelled youth movement that sprang up in Senegal when corrupt and ageing President Abdoulaye Wade announced his intention to cling on to power. Director Rama Thiaw will introduce, and there’ll be live music from Keur Gui, one of the acts featured in the film.
Ritzy Picturehouse, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW2 1JG.
Sun Oct 30, 6.30pm. £13.50, £12.50 concs.
London East Asia Film Festival: ‘I’m a Cyborg’
Like Film Africa, the London East Asia Film Festival does as its name promises: brings great films from across East Asia to London. This year, the focus is on ‘Oldboy’ director Park Chan-Wook, with screenings of his debut ‘JSA’, his timeless Vengeance trilogy and his beautiful new movie ‘The Handmaiden’. But we’ve gone for this lesser-known oddity, an intelligent and ornate piece of work. Young-Goon is a factory worker who spends her days assembling transistor radios. As the repetitiveness of her work sets in she starts to believe she’s a cyborg, so she slices her wrists, plugs herself into the mains, and is duly packed off to a psychiatric hospital.
Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE.
Sun Oct 30, 6.30pm.
Márta Mészáros day: ‘Diary for My Children’ + ‘Diary for My Loves’
She’s hardly a household name in the UK, but Polish director Márta Mészáros’s work deserves to be better known. This all-day celebration includes a conversation with Mészáros alongside screenings of two of her best-loved films. Set after the war, ‘Diary for My Children’ sees teenage Juli and her grandparents returning from exile in Russia to Budapest. But Juli’s hopes of happiness in her homeland are gradually eroded by the strictures of a disciplinarian society. Based on Mészáros’s own experiences, the film is notable for its sincerity, intelligence and strong performances. ‘Diary for My Loves’ continues the story.
Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2 1QJ.
Sat Oct 29, 2pm. £15, £12 concs.