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.
‘OJ: Made in America’
Is it a TV series? Or a seven-and-a-half-hour movie? Either way, it’s been nominated for Best Documentary at this year’s Oscars, and quite rightly so. As the title implies, this takes a look at the case of OJ Simpson through the filter of modern American social politics. We see how the rise of black anger culminating in the LA riots fed into feelings about OJ’s arrest, and how under the circumstances a truly fair trial was virtually impossible. It’s a fascinating story told with acres of home movies, trial footage and illuminating talking heads from OJ’s childhood friends to dodgy cop Mark Fuhrman. Director Ezra Edelman will be on hand to introduce this epic screening.
Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick, WC1N 1AW. Sun Feb 12, 11:20am. £12.50, £10 concs.
My Twisted Valentine: ‘The Secret of Dorian Gray’
Every year, the Barbican present a short season of films offering an alternative to the usual slew of romantic classics, movies that take a darker, weirder look at the subject of love. This year’s selection is typically excellent, ranging from stunning lovers-on-the-run thriller ‘Gun Crazy’ to the icy French eroticism of ‘Les Biches’. But we’ve chosen this rarely screened Eurotrashy take on Oscar Wilde’s classic tale, a luridly entertaining romp through aristocratic London starring German icon Helmut Berger as Dorian. It’s presented by exploitation experts Cigarette Burns, so you know it’ll be a good time.
Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Sat Feb 11, 2pm. £9.50, £8.50 concs.
Oy Vey! The Matinee! ‘To Be or Not To Be’
The first in a new series of Sunday matinees at the Jewish Cultural Centre. Sadly, this isn’t the genius Ernst Lubitsch original tale of misadventure and mixed-up identities in occupied Poland – but this reverent and sprightly remake has a lot going for it. Director Alan Johnson may not quite have Lubitsch’s lightness of touch, but he puts an excellent cast – including Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft and Christopher Lloyd – through their paces with great verve, and the charm is as potent as ever. The only weak link is Charles Durning as the Nazi commander, who hams it up rotten and thus dampens down the essential menace.
JW3, 341–351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET. Sun Feb 12, 2pm. £10.
Anachron Film Club: An Evening of Cheerleaders
Another intriguing double bill from the Anachron team, on the theme of young women who jump about in leotards. First up is something called ‘Putrid Cheerleaders’, which is so obscure there isn’t even any info about it online – but with that title, how can you refuse? It’s followed by the just-as-wonderfully-titled ‘The Swinging Cheerleaders’, ‘Foxy Brown’ director Jack Hill’s exploitation comedy about a feminist reporter who infiltrates a cheerleading squad. Sounds pretty dubious – but entertaining as hell.
Muse Gallery, 269 Portobello Rd, W11 1LR. Tue Feb 7, 7pm. Free.
Anti-Winter Blues: ‘High Fidelity’
The screening room in the House of Vans shoe shop has been offering up a run of upbeat movies to help you beat the February gloom. This good-natured adaptation of Nick Hornby’s book moves the action to Chicago, with John Cusack as a wry and believably apathetic hero who rakes over the ashes of dead relationships and casts a wary eye out for a mid-life crisis he’s too lethargic to put himself through. But the real star is Jack Black as Cusack’s dynamic sidekick, a bullshitter in a vinyl shop.
House of Vans, 228-232 Station Approach Rd, SE1 8SW. Thu Feb 9, 7pm. Free.