As always, there are some fab film events happening in London this week. Here are five of the best:
1. London Short Film Festival: ‘A Field in England’ remixed
How do you remix a film? This Wednesday, as part of the London Short Film Festival, London’s premier instrumental psych-noise masters Teeth of the Sea will be presenting a live score for a new edit of Ben Wheatley’s haunting midnight movie ‘A Field in England’. Fusing the original soundtrack with their own specially written pieces, this promises to be a unique chance to see the film completely reinvented.
‘We’re big fans of “A Field in England”, and its blend of English history, magic, psychedelic experience and curious attire chimes with our modus operandi,’ says bass player Sam Barton. ‘Fitting music to visuals can be incredibly difficult, your concentration levels have to be high, but it’s massively rewarding when it all comes together. The overall effect is pretty intense.’
Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE. 9pm. Wed Jan 15 – £10.60.
2. British Screen Classics: ‘A Private Function’ + Q&A
Over the next four months, the Tricycle in Kilburn will host a series of great British movies accompanied by directors, writers and cast members, and they’re kicking off with a doozy. Both writer Alan Bennett and star Michael Palin will be on hand – alongside director Malcolm Mowbray and fellow actors Jim Carter and Bill Paterson – to introduce this Yorkshire-set tale of post-war pig theft. The film sees chiropodist Palin and his wife Maggie Smith, a Lady Macbeth of the aspidistras, try to scale the heights of Northern society by nicking a porker secretly earmarked for the town’s celebration of the coming marriage of Princess Elizabeth.
Tricycle Cinema, 269 Kilburn High Rd, NW6 7JR. 5pm. Sun Jan 19 – £30.50.
3. Gothique Film Society: ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ + ‘Kongo’
A pair of old-school horror classics from the year 1932. ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ is By far the most chilling version of Richard Connell’s much adapted and imitated short story, boasting an authentic touch of de Sade in Leslie Banks‘s performance as the world-weary big game hunter and connoisseur of arcane pleasures, possessor of a remote island fortress to which he ensures that passing ships are attracted and then wrecked on the reefs. Still one of the best and most literate movies from the great days of horror, it is particularly effective in its measured graduation from words to action with the long, ferocious, beautifully choreographed hunt sequence.
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL. 7pm. Fri Jan 17 – £7, or see thegothiquefilmsociety.org.uk for membership.
Some filmmakers have a lifetime in which to develop their art, to explore their themes, to express their worldview. Others do it in a single film. 1934’s ‘L’Atalante’ is the single feature from the then 29-year-old French master Jean Vigo and was made as its director died of TB. The result is not so much a film as an entire artistic vision crammed into 89 of the busiest and most beautiful minutes of celluloid ever shot. Dita Parlo plays Juliette, the smalltown girl married off to Jean (Jean Dasté), captain of L’Atalante, a grubby barge plying the waterways of rural France. Once on board, Juliette is caught between her uncertain love for Jean and her desire to see a world beyond the restrictive confines of the boat.
Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Rd, N2 9PJ. 11am. Thu Jan 16 – £6.
5. Blood Simple
The Coen Brothers’s debut is a hugely enjoyable film noir, in which a Texan bar-owner hires a seedy private eye, first to spy on his wife, then to kill her and her lover. Instead, the eye, having collected his fee, executes a variation on the contract. Whereupon things take off in a maelstrom of misunderstanding that spreads guilt and fear like a plague through the characters, and escalates a nightmarish terror (premature burial, murder by battery, crucifying impalement) that owes some debt to the horror comic.
Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. 11.30pm. Sat Jan 18 – £8.50.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.