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…
Underwire Film Festival: ‘Red Road’ 10th anniversary
Underwire Film Festival celebrates women’s contribution to cinema, from new works like Down’s syndrome drama ‘My Feral Heart’ and Brit thriller ‘The Incident’, to classics like ‘Mean Girls’ and this ominous Scottish classic, the debut film from the great Andrea Arnold. Jackie (Kate Dickie) has a square-eyed job: she surveys the people of Glasgow via a bank of CCTV screens. We watch her at work: a job she enjoys for its benign voyeurism. The lack of information makes for a cocked, loaded experience. It’s brave, confident filmmaking that refuses to conform to easy conventions, and it’s incredibly tense.
Genesis Cinema, 93–95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ. Sun Dec 4, 6.30pm. £9.50.
‘Gremlins’ + Zach Galligan Q&A
Every cinema and its dog is going to be screening ‘Gremlins’ between now and Christmas, but the Prince Charles has got in first – and even hauled the film’s star Zach Galligan in to introduce. There are five screenings across the weekend, plus on Sunday the exceedingly rare chance to see Galligan introducing bizarro Bill Murray comedy ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’, in which he also stars. But back to ‘Gremlins’, the festive classic in which Joe Dante tries to have his Christmas cake and puke all over it too. The setting is a Capraesque suburban haven (with just a hint of alcoholism and unemployment) into which comes Gizmo, a furry ET clone who, under certain circumstances, begins breeding toothy id-monsters.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Fri Dec 2 and Sat Dec 3. £13.50.
London International Animation Festival: Classic Disney Shorts
They may not be as gloriously berserk and cutting-edge violent as their Warner Bros counterparts, but the classic Disney cartoons are still tremendous: funny, inventive and endlessly rewatchable. This programme of nine cartoons runs the gamut from orchestra mishaps with Mickey (‘The Band Concert’) to fairground antics with Pluto (‘Bone Trouble’), from old-school slapstick (‘Clock Cleaners’) to groundbreaking artistic endeavour (‘Music Land’).
Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Sat Dec 3, 2pm. £11.50, £10.50 concs.
Winter Film Club: ‘When Harry Met Sally...’
Winter Film Club is the new project from the folks behind Rooftop Film Club: it’s a month-long pop-up screening a selection of festive classics and recent favourites, in a warehouse space in Peckham. Of the first week’s offerings, we’ve gone for this wonderful festive-ish romcom. The story is simple: Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan meet after college, and loathe one another on sight. As the years pass the random meetings pile up, and dislike turns to reluctant friendship. But, as the film insistently, infamously asks, can men and women ever really be just friends?
Winter Film Club, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST. Sun Dec 4, 5pm. £13.
House of Vans: ‘Trading Places’
Another screening space jumps on the festive bandwagon, as the free screen at the House of Vans shoe-shop presents a month of beloved seasonal classics. When two bastardly billionaire brothers, Duke and Duke of Duke & Duke Commodities Brokers, have a one-dollar wager about the respective merits of breeding or environment on a man’s character, they engineer the ‘trading places’ of one of their young financial wizards (Dan Aykroyd, in fine smug form) with a black low-life hustler (Eddie Murphy). This absurd premise may be a re-run of the ‘Prince and the Pauper’ theme, but its snowy setting provides more than a hint of ‘Christmas Carol’ fairytale warmth.
House of Vans, 228–232 Station Approach Rd, SE1 8SW. Sun Dec 4, 3.45pm. Free.