As always, there are some great film events happening in London this week. Here are five of the best:
1. Ealing Music and Film Festival: ‘The Man in the White Suit’
A five-day celebration of cinema, music and dance, featuring – predictably – a number of films shot at the famous Ealing Studios, including this razor-sharp classic screened in partnership with the weekly Classic Cinema Club. It features one of Alec Guinness’s best performances as the laboratory dishwasher in a textile mill who invents a fabric that never wears out and never gets dirty, thus incurring the wrath of both management and labour. Perhaps the Ealing formula for good-natured whimsy prevents director Alexander Mackendrick from pushing the darker aspects of the theme but there’s enough of Kafka in the film to lift it right out of the ordinary. Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, W5 2BY. 7.30pm. Fri Feb 14 – £7.
2. When Harry Met Sally
Our pick for Valentine’s Day has to be Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner’s sparkling celebration of friendship and its flipside. Ephron’s screenplay remains a masterpiece of romcom construction. Embracing, upending and inventing clichés left and right, crammed with one-liners, goofy asides and enough life lessons to rival the scriptures, it’s one of the few movie scripts that works just as well on the page as it does on the screen. And pretty much everything else about the film is perfect, too: from Crystal and Ryan’s just-this-side-of-smug couple to Fisher and Kirby as the petri-dish of marital dysfunction, from Harry Connick Jr’s just-the-other-side-of-smug crooning to the gorgeous photography of New York through the changing seasons. Bliss. Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Rd, N2 9PJ. 7.45pm. Fri Feb 14 – £9.50, £7 concs.
3. Science Fiction Theatre: ‘The Fly’
This new sci-fi film club treats us to one of the most horrific romances of all time. Yes, it’s nauseating, but David Cronenberg’s ‘The Fly’ is also a heartbreaking love story entirely suited for the day before February 14. The opening is a flawless meet-cute – ballsy reporter claps eyes on mad scientist, love blossoms – helped along by the fact that real-life partners Goldblum and Davis are a screwball couple to rival Grant and Hepburn. Then, when disaster strikes in the form of a teleportation accident, she’s forced to make a choice: stick by the man she’s fallen in love with despite his terrifying, irrational transformation, or flee for the sake of her unborn child. Duke of Wellington, 119 Balls Pond Road, N1 4BL.7pm. Thu Feb 13 – £3 adv, £4 door.
4. Future Cinema: ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’
The Future Cinema crowd recreates the sleazy underworld of Toon Town for this latest series of interactive screenings. No, it ain’t cheap, but the atmosphere generally makes it worth the coin. The film blends live action, Warners-style animation, and a typically tortuous film noir plot to delirious effect. Virtually faultless on the technological front, it also excels in terms of a breathless, wisecracking script, deft characterisation (both human and Toon), and rousing action. At its best, the humour is as cruel, violent, and surreal as vintage Chuck Jones. Supremely entertaining – especially for adults. Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, E1 0HX. Fri Feb 14 to Mar 9 – £43.50, £31.50 concs.
5. The Nomad ‘Thelma and Louise’
Several of the screenings taking place over the Valentine’s weekend in this amazing eco-education centre in Hyde Park have sold out, but last time we checked there were still tickets going for this pitch-perfect feminist road movie. Leaving her husband a meal in the microwave, Thelma (Geena Davis) sets off with her friend Louise (Susan Sarandon) for a weekend holiday. But at their first stop, Thelma is nearly raped outside a bar; Louise shoots and kills the man. Gone is the carefree mood, and their destination is now Mexico. Directing with blistering energy, Ridley Scott delivers the goods, while Sarandon and Davis, together with sympathetic cop Harvey Keitel, are acutely convincing throughout the deepening chaos. The Lookout, Hyde Park, W2 2UH. 8pm. Sat Feb 15 – £20.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.