As always, there are some fab film events happening in London this week. Here are five of the best:
1. London Short Film Festival: ‘The Punk Singer’
January brings London’s biggest celebration of the very particular art of short filmmaking, from student films and DIY backyard efforts to the kind of star-studded miniature vanity projects that win Oscars and get Shia LaBeouf in trouble. The shorts are arranged into themed strands – ‘Funny Shit’, ‘Global Stories’, ‘Long Shorts’ and many more – and interspersed with discussions, talks and loads of filmmaking workshops. In traditional style, the festival also opens with a feature film which typifies the punky DIY aesthetic – and what better to fill that slot than ‘The Punk Singer’, a rough-and-ready, hugely enjoyable portrait of Riot Grrrl pioneer and self-made musical icon Kathleen Hanna. ICA, Nash House, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH. 6.30pm. Fri Jan 10 – £10, £8 concs.
2. From the Archives: Jack Cardiff
The Phoenix celebrates arguably the greatest cinematographer this nation has ever produced. First up there’ll be a screening of superb documentary ‘Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff’, a fine and well-illustrated course through the unassuming maestro’s life and work calling on Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas and others to comment on Cardiff’s inspirational work and gentlemanly demeanour. It’ll be followed up with perhaps his greatest achievement, Powell & Pressburger’s evergreen ballet tale ‘The Red Shoes’, which blends impressionist art and expressionist film, blurring the barriers between theatre and cinema, body and camera, reality and dream. Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Rd, N2 9PJ. 1.30pm. Sun Jan 12 – £6.
3. An Evening with Sylvester Stallone
Actor, writer, director, art collector, and now raconteur and teller of tales: yes, the Italian Stallion comes to London this weekend to join Jonathan Ross for an evening of chat and charm. ‘I have a big mix of wonderful stories and colourful anecdotes,’ says the star, modestly, promising ‘private insights’ into his lengthy and storied career in Hollywood. There’ll also be a chance for the audience to ask direct questions, so anyone after the best behind-the-scenes stories from ‘Rocky’, ‘Rambo’ or ‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’ are urged to speak up. Oh, and we’ll personally buy a pint for anyone who can get him to yell ‘Adrienne!’. The London Palladium, Argyll Street, W1F 7TF. 7.30pm. Sat Jan 11 – £40-£150.
4. Cheer-along: ‘Whip It’
Bring your rollerskates and your loudest voice for this yell-at-the-screen celebration of Drew Barrymore’s wonderful directorial debut, the tale of a small-town Texas girl who gets into roller-derby for the companionship and the uniforms. The sport itself makes little sense to the casual onlooker (it’s female-only, full-contact and involves charging around an oval-shaped roller rink on skates and looking mean), but the film is saved by the sincerity of its tone and the richness and variety of its ensemble cast, from Juliette Lewis’s hotshot banshee Iron Maven to Kristen Wiig’s nurturing Maggie Mayhem and Barrymore’s borderline psychotic Smashley Simpson. Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. 9pm. Thu Jan 9 – £12.50, £10 concs.
5. Anachron: An Evening of Love, Desire and Power
A double bill exploring the aforementioned emotional states from London’s sharpest new film club. First up is Barbet Schroder’s classic of underground love ‘Maitresse’. Bulle Ogier is the professional dominatrix who conducts a straight romance with Gerard Depardieu at ground level, but has a dungeon below stairs where she entertains her compliant clients. The night concludes with Laurent Bouhnik’s little-seen and highly explicit ‘Q’, about a group of teens who meet a mysterious stranger. Earl of Portobello, 36 Golborne Raod, W10 5PR. 7pm. Tue Jan 7 – FREE
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.