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.
Sadfest: ‘The Elephant Man’
Everyone loves a good cry. And the movies have always provided the perfect release, a way to let off a little emotional steam. This three-day celebration of the saddest movies ever made offers a stunning line-up. Forget trashy 'Titanic' and blubbering 'Beaches', this isn't weepie-cosy, Häagen-Dazs in your dressing gown comfort viewing. This is the serious, bawl-your-guts-out heavy stuff. The opening film on Friday night is David Lynch's 'The Elephant Man' starring the late, great John Hurt, which is set and was filmed in and around the East End. There'll also be live music and poetry readings in the bar, and discussions around some of the films.
Genesis Cinema, 93 - 95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ. Fri Mar 3, 6pm. £10.
BFI Cult: ‘The Exorcist III’
In January, cinema lost an often overlooked hero, William Peter Blatty, author of the original ‘Exorcist’ novel and the writer-director behind two or the most brilliantly verbose movies ever made, black comedy ‘The Ninth Configuration’ and this second sequel to ‘The Exorcist’. Set 15 years after the execution of a serial killer, Georgetown once again falls prey to grisly slayings bearing his trademark MO. Assigned to the case is world-weary homicide cop Kinderman (George C Scott), whose investigation leads him to a psychiatric patient bearing an uncanny resemblance to the first film's Father Damien Karras, who fell to his death while performing an exorcism. See it for one of the all-time great screen shocks.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Fri Mar 3, 8.40pm. £8.35 - £11.75.
Cinema Made in Italy: ‘The Battle of Algiers’ + introduction
The annual Cinema Made in Italy season offers a selection of new movies, many of which have already made a splash at last year’s big summer festivals. Choose from the likes of factory drama ‘7 Minutes’ and unusual black comedy ‘Ears’. But we’ve gone for the very first UK screening of the new restored version of Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 tale of resistance and terrorism during the 1950s Algerian uprising, which becomes more relevant with each passing year. ‘The Battle of Algiers’ shows the real consequences of defying popular will with institutional aggression and military force,
Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT. Sun Mar 5, 2pm. £9, £7 concs.
Powell and Pressburger season: ‘A Canterbury Tale’
The Deptford Cinema kicks off a short season of films by the greatest double act in British cinema history. One of the oddest movies this nation has ever produced, ‘A Canterbury Tale’ is an amusing, tragic, inquisitive and profoundly poetic World War Two-set shaggy dog story. It follows three unlikely compatriots – a British sergeant, an American GI and a Land Girl – who are thrown together in the sleepy town of Chillingbourne on the rail link to Canterbury. No sooner have they disembarked from the train than one of their number is stung by a night-time prowler who’s getting his jollies by putting glue in women’s hair.
Deptford Cinema, 39 Deptford Broadway, SE8 4PQ. Sun Mar 5, 4pm. £5, £3.50 concs.
‘9 to 5’ + ‘Working Girl’
A cracking double bill of movies about women in the workplace. ‘9 to 5’ was Hollywood’s first attempt at a mainstream feminist comedy. Jane Fonda is the new secretary in the office; Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton are the veterans who teach her to cope with and combat chauvinistic male oppression. ‘Working Girl’ is even better, a New York romcom starring Melanie Griffith as Tess McGill, who aches to graduate from the secretarial pool to executive level in the brokerage industry.
Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Rd, N2 9PJ. Sun Mar 5, 1.15pm. £12, £10 concs.