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Late-night thrills and ace double bills: the best film pop-ups 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…

Lexi’s Midnight Runners: ‘Reservoir Dogs’

It’s worth celebrating for the pun alone. But this new season of late-night movies at cosy Kensal Rise picture palace the Lexi promises to be ace in other ways too – at least if the debut screening is anything to go by. Sure, we’ve all seen Quentin Tarantino’s flawless, genre-defining slice of fast-talking gangland violence. But seeing it on the big screen with pin-sharp sound (those foot-tapping tunes are going to sound amazing), late at night in a room full of similarly over-excited and mildly sozzled punters sounds the perfect moviegoing experience to us.

Lexi Cinema, 194B Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3JU. Fri Jan 27, 11.30pm. £7.

Tufnell Park Film Club’s Shorter Film Festival

A whole day of amazing films, all of them under an hour long. The selection ranges from early cinema (first ever sci-fi film, ‘A Trip to the Moon’, Laurel and Hardy classic ‘Laughing Gravy’) to small-screen favourites (Tom Waits dipping his rod in ‘Fishing With John’, the London episode of ‘Around the World With Orson Welles’), and from classic Looney Tunes cartoons to films by Mike Leigh, Martin Scorsese and Kenneth Anger. All killer, no filler.

The Star, 47 Chester Rd, N19 5DF. Sun Jan 29, 12.30pm. £15 membership.

‘Peeping Tom’ + ‘Nightcrawler’

A pair of films that you wouldn’t necessarily think to put together, but which make a perfect double bill when you think about it – they’re both about voyeuristic psychos prowling through an urban hell. ‘Peeping Tom’ is veteran director Michael Powell’s still-shocking essay on childhood trauma, voyeurism and murder, following Mark, a film assistant, porn photographer and serial killer in early 1960s London. In Dan Gilroy’s viciously funny ‘Nightcrawler’, Jake Gyllenhaal plays wire-thin loner Louis, who makes money filming crime and car crashes and selling the footage to local news stations.

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Mon Jan 30, 6.50pm. £7.50.

The Cobweb

Watch an original 35mm print of this drama directed by visual master Vincente Minnelli (‘An American in Paris’). It’s set in an upmarket psychiatric clinic, with Richard Widmark as the psychiatrist, Gloria Grahame as his sexually disturbed wife and Lauren Bacall as the maternal ‘other woman’. When these women disrupt the patriarchal law and order of both the clinic and the home, our hero worries that he’s losing his place in both. Don’t be put off by the crude surface Freudianism: it’s fascinating, with fine performances.

Genesis Cinema, 93–95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ. Thu Jan 26, 6.30pm. £8, £7 concs.

BFI Flare: ‘Cruising’

Loathed for decades by the gay community – and understandably so – William Friedkin’s groundbreaking thriller has gradually been welcomed back into the fold, hence a screening programmed by the team behind the BFI’s annual LGBT+ film festival. Starting from a classic undercover premise – cop Al Pacino descends into Manhattan’s gay underworld to track a psychopathic killer – ‘Cruising’ juggles genuinely powerful moments with crude Village People-type caricature. The script refuses to tackle the central issue – the hero’s sexual ambivalence. But as a portrait of seedy 1970s New York, it’s fascinating.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Wed Jan 25, 8.40pm. £8.35–£11.75.

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

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