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John Wayne, one armed monsters and a sexy alien: the top five film events happening this week

Posted at 1:15 pm, March 11, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment

Each week, we round up the most exciting film events happening in London over the coming week, from pop-ups and one-offs to regular film clubs, outdoor screenings and festivals. Here’s this week’s top five…

True Images Tall Stories: ‘The Company of Wolves’ + ‘Bullhead’

A cracking double bill of human-animal transformations, in the first case literally, in the second metaphorically. The characters in Neil Jordan’s ‘The Company of Wolves’ inhabit a magical, mysterious world of cruelty and wonder, rarely seen in cinema. In tales within tales within tales, dream is reality, wolves are human, and vice-versa. Rarely has this Gothic landscape of the imagination been so perfectly conveyed by film. Meanwhile, Belgian film ‘Bullhead’ is a crime story, with all the police informants, black-market deals and sudden acts of violence the genre demands. But it’s also a character study of insight and boundless sympathy, and one of the most impressive feature debuts in recent memory. 32 Alfred Place, WC1E 7DP – 12 noon. Sun Mar 16 – £8.

2. Under the Skin + director Q&A

See this week’s Time Out for an interview with ‘Sexy Beast’ writer-director Jonathan Glazer about his bewitching new film ‘Under the Skin’, then go along to this Q&A event to catch the film itself, and hear Glazer in conversation. Trust us, after watching the film you’ll have plenty to ask. It’s an intoxicating marvel, strange and sublime: combining sci-fi ideas, gloriously unusual special effects and a sharp atmosphere of horror with the everyday mundanity of a woman driving about rainy Scotland in a battered Transit van. Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 5DY – 6.20pm. Fri Mar 14 – £18.50.

3. Thriller Weekender: ‘Candyman’

Birkbeck University and the New Black Film Collective team up to present a weekend of gripping films centred around black characters. The films range from cracking actioners – the complete ‘Blade’ trilogy screens back-to-back on Friday – to utter drivel – a pair of truly naff Eddie Murphy flicks on Sunday. But the pick of the bunch has to be Bernard Rose’s haunting 1992 horror classic ‘Candyman’. This scary, visually imaginative film casts Virginia Madsen as a student researching an urban myth about a hook-handed killer. A series of murders in the projects are linked with stories about a figure who appears when you say his name five times in front of a mirror. But are the frightened residents proof that Candyman exists, or simply evidence of their wish to believe in the bogeyman? Stratford East Picturehouse, Salway Rd, E15 1BX – 9pm. Sat Mar 15 – £5.

4. Alibi Film Club: ‘Excalibur’

All the limb-lopping, creaky acting and sex-in-suits-of-armour you could possibly ask for – and all for free! John Boorman’s film of the King Arthur legends is thrilling, visually impressive and somewhat incoherent as it follows the quest for the Holy Grail and the climactic battle between Arthur and Mordred. Almost determinedly bizarre in some of its characterisation – most notably Nicol Williamson’s wonderfully eccentric Merlin – it also adds a dash of gore and a touch of sex for good modernist measure. The Alibi, 91 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB – 8pm. Mon Mar 17 – FREE.

5. Rio Bravo

Part of a new season at the Prince Charles entitled ‘Western Wednesdays’. Arguably director Howards Hawks’s greatest film, ‘Rio Bravo’ is a deceptively rambling chamber Western made in response to the liberal homilies of ‘High Noon’. Here the marshal in need of help is John Wayne, desperately fending off a clan of villains determined to release the murderer he’s holding in jail. However, he rejects rather than courts offers of help, simply because his supporters are either too old, too young, too female or too alcoholic. Thus the film becomes an examination of various forms of pride, prejudice and professionalism. Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP – 8.50pm. Wed Mar 12 – £7.50, £5 concs.

For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.

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