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Thrills, laughs and Chopper Chicks: the week's best film pop-ups in London

By
Tom Huddleston
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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…

Adapting Miss Highsmith double bill: ‘The Glass Cell’ + ‘The American Friend’
A new series of weekly double bills inspired by the works of the great thriller writer Patricia Highsmith kicks off with a pair of terrific German-language adaptations. ‘The Glass Cell’ was West Germany’s Oscar nominee in 1978, about a man convicted and tortured for a crime he didn’t commit. ‘The American Friend’ is Wim Wenders’s reimagining of ‘Ripley’s Game’, with Bruno Ganz as a terminally ill art restorer who falls under the spell of Dennis Hopper’s slippery American expat Tom Ripley (yep, the same Tom Ripley played later by Matt Damon).
Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB.
Sun Oct 2, 1.45pm. £11, £9 concs.

 

Gene Wilder tribute: ‘Blazing Saddles’ charity screening
Pay tribute to the late, impossibly great Gene Wilder and give a little to Alzheimer’s Research UK with this special screening of Mel Brooks’s timeless pastiche. A satire of Hollywood’s white-centric accounts of the American West, and told from the perspective of the first black sheriff in an all-white town, the film can be wince-inducing in the politically charged, highly racial tone of its humour. Co-written by Richard Pryor, it remains a riot of bad taste. 
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP.
Thu Sep 29, 6.30pm. £5.

BFI Cult: ‘Chopper Chicks in Zombietown’
Whenever anyone tells you the world is going to hell, what with all the wars and political turmoil and Brexit, tell them: ‘Yes, but “Chopper Chicks in Zombietown” is playing at the British Film Institute, so all is not lost’. The kind of film that would’ve been anathema within the hallowed halls of the BFI just a decade or two ago, this thunderously idiotic B-movie offers precisely what the title promises: a gang of murderous women on motorcycles sorting out a zombie invasion. Lovely.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT.
Thu Sep 29, 8.40pm. £8.35–£11.75.

Edgar Wright presents: ‘The Driver’
This week’s classic picked by the ‘Shaun of the Dead’ director is Walter Hill’s sleek exercise in petrolhead cool, the film that directly inspired the very similar ‘Drive’. A mash-up of brilliantly edited car-chase flick and existential thriller, it recalls the sombreness of Jean-Pierre Melville and the spareness of Sergio Leone. The brilliant plot of cross and double-cross, with cop Bruce Dern out to nail ace getaway driver Ryan O’Neal, unravels with impressive tautness.
Picturehouse Central, 20–24 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7DH.
Mon Oct 3, 7pm. £8.

Scalarama: ‘Simon and Laura’
The annual Scalarama festival of DIY film screenings is drawing to a close, but here’s one last obscurity that should be far better known: a gentler British antecedent to the classic TV satire ‘Network’. Simon and Laura (Peter Finch and Kay Kendall) are the Richard and Judy of their day, a married couple who feign domestic bliss for the sake of the small screen, but bicker constantly as soon as they’re off air. Just as in ‘Network’, they soon learn that acting angry for the cameras does wonders for the ratings.
The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH.
Thu Sep 29, 7.30pm. £8.50, £6.50 concs.

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

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