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 festive top five…
London Short Film Festival: Berlin double bill
Despite the name, the London Short Film Festival does screen the occasional feature – and here’s two of them, back to back. ‘Lust and Sound in West Berlin’ is a new doc looking at the creative explosion that took place in the German capital in the 1980s, taking in art, music and performance. 1981’s ‘Christiane F’, meanwhile, is a far starker affair. The true-confessions tale of a 13-year-old girl turned hooker to support her heroin habit, this devastating film is steeped in the music of David Bowie’s Berlin period.
ICA, Nash House, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH. Sun Jan 17, 3pm. £10, £7 concs.
Blitz Flicks: ‘Love on the Dole’
The BFI recreates the spirit of wartime Britain (only without all that pesky death and destruction) with a run of 1940s films accompanied by old-timey shorts and adverts. This sentimental tragedy is a bit of a period piece – the Salford slums look almost as picturesque as the surrounding Pennine countryside. Deborah Kerr is hardly the archetypical Lancashire mill-girl, but her mixture of coolness and fragility works incredibly well.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Sun Jan 17, 3.50pm. £8.35 - £11.75.
Circus-themed movies have a bad reputation (‘Freaks’ notwithstanding), but Chaplin managed to work a miracle, exploiting the various circus activities to richly comic effect. Charlie is chased through a hall of mirrors and trapped in a lion's cage, while the climax comes when he battles along a tightrope hampered by falling trousers and a clinging monkey. The set pieces are linked, none too neatly, by a framing story of disappointed love.
Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Sun Jan 17, 4pm. £9.50, £8.50 concs.
The definitive New York movie, and a perfect example of successfully integrating rock music into the structure of film: watch Harvey Keitel waking to the sound of the Ronettes, or De Niro dancing solo in the street to 'Mickey's Monkey'. Martin Scorsese directs with a breathless, head-on energy which infuses the performances, the sharp fast talk, the noise, neon and violence with a charge of adrenaline. One of the best American films of the 1970s.
Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Sat Jan 16, 11.30pm. £8.50.
René Clement’s 1952 rites-of-passage drama is an unforgettable but deeply uncomfortable experience, undercutting an angry, powerful depiction of young lives torn apart by war with a nasty, anti-humanist ironic streak. The two young actors at the centre are remarkable: as Paulette, the traumatised orphan, Brigitte Fossey exudes an unbearable innocence, though Georges Poujouly is no less impressive as Michel, the farmer’s son who ‘adopts’ the girl.
Chiswick House, Hogarth Lane, W4 2QN. Sun Jan 17, 2pm. £8, £6 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.