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'Gremlins', a Charlie Chaplin double bill and more of this week's best film events

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…

Bamboozled

Film critic Ashley Clark, author of a new book on Spike Lee’s controversial, strangely prescient reality TV satire, will introduce this fifteenth anniversary screening. The story follows the mounting of a TV revival of a blackface minstrel show, the brainchild of Pierre Delacroix, the one black executive at the CNS network. Set against the venality and shallowness of his ratings hungry boss, Delacroix gains our sympathy. A fascinating, difficult film.

Ritzy Picturehouse, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW2 1JG. Sun Dec 13, 4pm. £13, £12 concs.

‘City Lights’ + ‘Modern Times’

A double bill of two Charlie Chaplin classics. In ‘City Lights’, Charlie's love for a blind flower-seller and his attempts to get enough money to pay for an eye operation take the film dangerously close to weepie wonderland. But this horrid fate is narrowly avoided by bracing doses of slapstick. ‘Modern Times’ saw the last appearance of the Little Tramp, in a narrative framework designed to portray 'humanity crusading in the pursuit of happiness', as he faces the perils of factory machinery, poverty and Depression unrest.

Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Sun Dec 13, 6.30pm. £11, £10 concs.

Cyrano de Bergerac

Jean-Paul Rappeneau's version of the beloved tale never puts a foot wrong. Much of the credit goes to Gerard Depardieu, perfect as the seventeenth-century swordsman and braggart whose unsightly nose prevents him from confessing his love for his cousin Roxane. The film is endlessly musical: camera swoops at moments of ebullience, the performers' gestures, movements and delivery of lines seem almost choreographed.

The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH. Sun Dec 13, 2pm. £8, £6 concs.

Some Came Running

Film London CEO Adrian Wootton will introduce this screening of the great Frank Sinatra melodrama. Based on the novel by WWII veteran James Jones, the film sees malcontent army officer Dave Hirsch (Sinatra) returning to his sickeningly quaint hometown in a bid to reconcile a latent desire to be accepted as a serious novelist with his family and the local literati. Vincente Minnelli’s fluent, intense direction is a marvel to behold, especially the shocking fairground denouement.

Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Sat Dec 12, 4pm. £11.50, £10.50 concs. 

The Nomad: 'Gremlins'

Outdoor cinema experts The Nomad present a long weekend of festive films in a unique and lovely location. Our pick is this subversive monster movie, in which director Joe Dante tries to have his Christmas cake and puke all over it too. The setting is Kingston Falls, a Spielbergian suburban haven (with just a hint of poverty, alcoholism and unemployment) into which comes Gizmo, a button-cute, furry ET clone with a dark secret: under certain circumstances, he begins breeding toothy, green id-monsters.

Eccleston Place Courtyard, 27 Eccleston Place, SW1W 9NF. Fri Dec 11, 6.15pm. £25, £15 concs. 

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

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