As always, there are some great film events happening in London this week. Here are five of the best:
1. Brassed Off
The Tricycle’s star-studded British Screen Classics season continues with this beloved tale of life in a Northern town, introduced by writer-director Mark Herman and stars Stephen Tompkinson, Jim Carter, Tara Fitzgerald and others. It’s in many ways an angry, tragic film, which softens you up with a few off-the-peg stereotypes and colloquial laughs and then rams them back down your throat. The late, lamented Pete Postlethwaite plays Danny, the devoted leader of the Grimley Colliery Band. Music is so important to him, he barely notices that the pit’s on the verge of closure, and can’t begin to understand why members like Andy (Ewan McGregor), Harry (Carter) and even his own son, Phil (Tompkinson), are finding it hard to cough up their subs. Tricycle Cinema, 269 Kilburn High Rd, NW6 7JR. 5pm. Sun Mar 9 – £25.50.
2. The Big Steal + Night and the City
A terrific double bill of film noir classics. ‘The Big Steal’ reunites stars Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer and ace scriptwriter Daniel Mainwaring after their classic ‘Out of the Past’. Mitchum is the GI framed for a payroll robbery, falling in love with the delectable Greer and in pursuit of the real culprit. The dialogue sparkles, the Mexican locations are atmospherically shot and director Don Siegel handles the action with characteristic pace and vigour. ‘Night and the City’, meanwhile, is one of the all-time great London movies, a sleazy thriller about a wrestling promoter in deep with some very bad people. The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH. 2.30pm. Sun Mar 9 – £10, £7 concs.
3. The Neverending Story
Join special effects director Brian Johnson (‘2001’, ‘Alien’) for this screening of the 1984 kids’ fantasy. A fairytale of the very best kind, with luscious effects which include a flying dragon, a rock monster, a fairy princess (mercifully grave and un-twee), and a threat in whose vanquishing lies hope. Made at Munich’s Bavaria Studios, ‘The Neverending Story’ concerns a withdrawn schoolboy, ignored by his businessman father and bullied at school, who steals a book and finds himself in thrall to the point where he is called upon to enter its world and save the magic land of Fantasia. Genesis Cinema, 93 – 95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ. 3pm. Sun Mar 9 – £10, £8.50 concs.
4. Paid in Full
A night of classic hip-hoppery, with a screening of 2002 crime drama ‘Paid in Full’ followed by DJs playing rap classics. Named, of course, for Eric B and Rakim’s gamechanging 1987 LP, the film tracks three friends as they attempt to negotiate the mean streets of Harlem during the earliest days of the crack epidemic. Unsurprisingly, one of them becomes a high-paid dealer, and not all of them live to see the ’90s. It’s hardly a masterpiece, but those of an old-school disposition will enjoy both the movie and the music. The Alibi, 91 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. 7pm. Tue Mar 4 – FREE
5. Al Pacino Season: ‘Carlito’s Way’
The BFI’s tribute to a movie icon hits the ’90s. A more sober film than Pacino and director Brian De Palma’s previous collaboration ‘Scarface’, ‘Carlito’s Way’ is a fairly straightforward gangster tragedy about a man doomed to an early grave by his society and his own code. The picture comes alive in its set-pieces, most notably in the climax at Grand Central Station. Pacino looks every inch a movie star, and De Palma provides a reminder of just how impoverished the Hollywood lexicon had become since the glory days of the ’70s. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. 8.10pm. Thu Mar 6 – £8.50 – £12.10.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.