As always, there are some great film events happening in London this week. Here are five of the best:
1. The Backlash Moral Panic Film Club
An event looking at how British censors have dealt with public outrage surrounding extreme depictions of sex and violence on screen. The evening will consist of a panel discussion exploring issues of privacy and censorship, followed by a pair of film screenings. ‘Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape’ is a 2010 documentary looking back at the mid-‘80s ‘video nasty’ scare, in which hundreds of exploitation and horror films were banned in the interests of protecting the children of Britain. It’ll be followed up with the longest available cut of Ken Russell’s still-shocking, taboo-busting 1971 masterpiece ‘The Devils’. Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE. 7pm. Fri Feb 7 – £15.
2. Derek Jarman Season: Jubilee
It’s almost an understatement to say that ‘Jubilee’ has a lot going for it. Writer-director Derek Jarman conceived the ingenious idea of transporting Queen Elizabeth I through time to witness the future disintegration of her kingdom as marauding girl punks roam a junky and violent urban landscape. Several sequences stoop to juvenile theatrics, but the film remains highly original, and it does deliver enough of the goods to sail effortlessly away with the title of Britain’s first official punk movie. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. 8.40pm. Sun Feb 9 – £8.50 – £12.10.
3. Clair Denis: Beau Travail
This remarkable 1998 drama kicks off a short season of films by one of the most consistently interesting directors currently working, France’s Clair Denis. ‘Beau Travail’ centres on Galoup (a stunning Denis Lavant) who, while holed up in Marseille, recalls his time as a sergeant-major in the Foreign Legion. Though little is spelt out explicitly in this elliptical tale of repressed emotion, the film is admirably accessible and clear throughout. The intensity of mood and thematic resonance both derive almost entirely from the poetic juxtaposition of music and the stunning images of beauty and sustained strangeness. Prepare to be blown away. Ritzy Picturehouse, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW2 1JG. 6.30pm. Fri Feb 7 – £12.
4. Investigative Film Week: West of Memphis
The London Investigative Film Week showcases five recent documentaries, followed by discussions with their makers. Topics under discussion include unscrupulous marketing (‘Big tobacco, ‘Young Targets’), environmentalism and energy (‘Gasland 2’), historical genocide (‘Trail of Murder: Indonesia’s Bloody Retreat’), and state censorship (‘High Tech, Low Life’). The festival kicks off with director Amy Berg’s in-depth examination of the case of the West Memphis Three, in which three disaffected teenagers were convicted for killing a trio of eight-year-old boys. Berg will be on hand to discuss this remarkable story. Oliver Thompson Theatre, City University, Northampton Square, EC1V 0HB. 7pm. Fri Feb 7 – £10, £8 concs.
5. Anachron: Female Bubblegum Pop Fairytales
An absolutely smashing double bill of berserk, day-glo Japanese female-fronted freakouts. ‘House’ is a legendary slice of off-the-wall horror in which a gang of sugary-sweet schoolgirls go to stay in a remote cabin and are picked off one by one by the forces of… well, not darkness exactly, more extreme weirdness. The eye-frazzling ‘Kamikaze Girls’, meanwhile, is a about a schoolgirl in a nowhere town of paddy fields whose joy in life consists of buying roccoco-inspired ‘Lolita’ frilly dresses with money conned from her useless, separated, ex-minor-Yakuza father. Muse Gallery, 269 Portobello Rd, W11 1LR. 7pm. Tue Feb 4 – FREE.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.