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…
‘Elstree 1976’ + director Q&A
'I'm a serious actor, I've played Macbeth. And on my tombstone it will say “Here Lies Greedo”.' That's Paul Blake, one of the subjects interviewed in this warm, delightful documentary about the men and women who turned tiny bit parts in the original 'Star Wars' trilogy into a lifetime's work on the convention circuit. Speaking to everyone from walk-on extras to Dave Prowse, aka Darth Vader, director Jon Spira sketches a fascinating portrait of lives in the lower echelons of the acting trade, filled with rivalry and self-doubt and moments of unexpected glory. He'll introduce the film at this special screening, alongside producer Hank Starr and Time Out's own 'Star Wars' nerd Tom Huddleston.
Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3JU. Wed Nov 23, 6.30pm. £10.50, £7.50 concs.
A Warning to the Curious: ‘The Blood on Satan’s Claw’
It's ironic that at the glitziest, twinkliest time of the year one of the things we most love to do is huddle down and watch a good ghost story. If spooky tales during the festive season are your thing, the Picturehouse chain has you covered with 'A Warning to the Curious', a month of supernatural treats. The season covers everything from kid-friendly fare like 'ParaNorman' and 'The Witches' to all-out spookers like 'Dark Water' and 'It Follows'. First up it's this Hammer-style ’70s Satanic folk-horror classic packed with oo-arring peasants, ominous aristocrats, heaving bodices, human sacrifice and a big fluffy demon that demands blood.
Picturehouse Central, 20-24 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7DH. Sun Nov 27, 1pm. £8.
Irish Film Festival: ‘In the Name of the Father’ + director Q&A
It's another strong year for the Irish Film Festival, with films like the hotly tipped opening film 'A Date for Mad Mary' to eye-opening docs like drag story 'The Queen of Ireland'. But the highlight is this special screening of Jim Sheridan's remarkable film about the Guildford Four, who were falsely convicted of an IRA bombing back in the ’80s. This isn't a film with an ideological axe to sharpen, but one which explores, with a sense of passionate conviction, a story of injustice. Sheridan himself will be on hand to discuss the film.
Tricycle Cinema, 269 Kilburn High Rd, NW6 7JR. Sun Nov 27, 2.15pm. £8.50, £7.50 concs.
Films that inspired ‘Stranger Things’ all-nighter
Hugely successful Netflix sci-fi series 'Stranger Things' wore its influences proudly, unashamed to admit that it borrowed from Steven Spielberg, Stephen King and John Carpenter. This all-nighter rounds up six movies that inspired the show, plus live synth music and a costume competition. The film line-up is studded with classics, kicking off with King adaptation 'Stand By Me' and following it up with shouty pubescent adventure 'The Goonies', Spielberg's masterpiece 'ET', a rare screening of interesting, lower-grade King movie 'Firestarter', the original 'Poltergeist' and frosty horror classic 'The Thing'.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Sat Nov 26, 8.45pm. £25.
Science Fiction Theatre: ‘Westworld’
The TV show's a head-scratching hit, but we still kinda prefer the big screen 1973 original, a wonderfully enjoyable fantasy about a futuristic holiday resort offering robot worlds of exotic sex, romance or violence amid the licence of ancient Rome, the gallantries of a medieval château, or the gunslinging frontier town. Best and most fully realised of these worlds is the Western, with Yul Brynner on brilliant form as the robot gunman required to die, bloodily, every time a tourist challenges him to the draw. Until, that is, the robots begin to malfunction – or rebel, only the computers that designed them know exactly how they work – and the Brynner machine sets out, now part mad killer and part Frankenstein monster, on a quest of revenge.
The Victoria, 451 Queensbridge Road, E8 3AS. Mon Nov 28, 8pm. £5.