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Sexy beasts, body snatchers, teen girl gangs and more film fun happening this week

Posted at 8:00 am, April 14, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment

Every 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…

1. Alain Resnais Double Bill: Last Year in Marienbad + Stavisky

French master filmmaker Alain Resnais died last month at the age of 91, leaving behind a spectacular legacy stretching from 1955’s ‘Night and Fog’ to this year’s ‘Life of Riley’. This double bill collects two of Resnais’s best-loved works. ‘Last Year at Marienbad’ is the ultimate filmic puzzle, as a man spots a woman with whom he’s convinced he shared a romantic clinch the year before, but she claims to have no recollection. Is it a bluff? Or is he telling a yarn? The film never reveals its hand. ‘Stavisky…’, meanwhile, is Resnais’s thoroughly chilling, superbly paced film about political destiny in France in the ’30s. Occupying centre stage is Jean-Paul Belmondo’s Stavisky, a swindler and entrepreneur; in the wings is Trotsky, arriving in France. Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. 2pm. Sun Apr 20. £10, £8 concs.

2. Jeremy Thomas Season: ‘Sexy Beast

The BFI’s tribute to one of the UK’s great film producers continues with Jonathan Glazer’s ferocious debut. A macabre comedy played out in deadly earnest, this has dramatic heft and tension. Ben Kingsley’s bald and beady-eyed Don Logan is so tightly wrapped in his neuroses, he’s an alien in any social context, a monster in a man’s skin. It’s easy to believe Ray Winstone’s scared to death of this maggot. The tension racks up until something has to give, but you’ll be hard pressed to guess how and where the break will come. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. 8.40pm. Fri Apr 18. £8.50-£12.10.

3. ‘Heathers’

Throughout April the Barbican has been showing a season of films celebrating cinema’s baddest girl gangs. And who’s badder than that preening trio of high-school horrors, the Heathers? This is a wicked black comedy about teenage suicide and pernicious peer-group pressure. The Heathers are three vacuous Westerburg High school beauties who specialise in ‘being popular’ and making life hell for socially inadequate dweebettes. Having sold out her former friends, Veronica becomes an honorary member of the select clique – but turns mutineer. Aided by handsome rebellious newcomer JD she devises a drastic plan to undermine the teen-queen tyranny, but underestimates JD’s ruthlessness. Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. 4pm. Sat Apr 19. £6-£9.50.

4. Alibi Film Club: ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’

The movie that gives horror remakes a good name, Philip ‘The Right Stuff’ Kaufman’s 1978 reimagining of the classic 1950s fright flick gets a welcome big screen outing. The extraterrestrial pod people now erupt into a world where seemingly everyone is already ‘into’ changing their lives or lifestyles, and into a cinematic landscape already criss-crossed by an endless series of conspiracies, while the movie has as much fun toying with modern thought systems (psychology, ecology) as with elaborate variations on its predecessor. The Alibi, 91 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. 8pm. Mon Apr 21. FREE.

5. ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’

Powell and Pressburger’s witty and characteristically eccentric romance, filmed largely in the Western Isles of Scotland, about a headstrong young woman who heads north from London to a remote island to marry a wealthy man she barely knows. It’s not just a physical journey for Joan, but a spiritual one, as P&P maroon their heroine on a neighbouring island where she must wait until the weather dies down before continuing her trip. By the time Joan is battling a storm and a whirlpool in a tiny boat, her ‘heart of stone’, as one islander calls it, is finally cracking and she’s woken up to a less material and more honest world represented by the Scottish folk she meets, a world the filmmakers are happy to celebrate in a fashion that’s unsentimental but still stirring. Stratford East Picturehouse, Salway Rd, E15 1BX. 6.30pm. Wed Apr 16. £6.50.

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

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