This 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. Curzon Free Film Festival: ‘Ida’
To celebrate the opening of its new five-screen arthouse cinema in Victoria, the Curzon team is offering a full week of screenings absolutely free. The bulk of the programme is made up of recent world cinema titles – including the majestic ‘The Turin Horse’, the heartbreaking ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ and the throat-grabbing ‘Il Divo’ – plus a handful of older titles like ‘Three Colours: Blue’ and ‘Rosetta’. But there’s also a brace of previews on offer as well, including ‘Frank’ with Michael Fassbender and this breathtaking postwar tragedy from ‘My Summer of Love’ director Pawel Pawlikowski, one of the year’s very best. Curzon Victoria, 58 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QW. 5.30pm. Sun May 4 – FREE.
2. ‘10 Rillington Place’ + Reece Shearsmith Q&A
Actor, writer and ‘League of Gentlemen’ alumnus Reece Shearsmith takes to the stage to present this classic 1971 London-set creeper. As infamous serial murderer John Reginald Christie, Richard Attenborough is just exaggerated enough to remain credible. With his vaguely threatening countenance (shiny bald pate, pupil-magnifying spectacles) and lulling wisp of a voice, this genial strangler might be the bastard child of anarchy and politesse – or at least Elmer Fudd and Droopy. Both the director’s sober approach to the lurid subject matter and Attenborough’s appropriately one-note performance help to illuminate this villain’s psychopathic philosophies. Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Rd, N2 9PJ. 11.45pm. Fri May 2 – £9.50.
3. Kinoteka Polish Film Festival: ‘Goto, Island of Love’
Alongside this year’s Kinoteka Polish Film Festival the BFI will be running a month-long tribute to groundbreaking Polish director Walerian Borowczyk, kicking off with this, his first live action feature – simultaneously a brilliant debut and a seamless transition from his earlier animation-based work. The story is a simple fable of the destructive force of passion: on a mythical island, the beautiful wife of the weak ruler Goto III is shown to be unfaithful by his chief fly-catcher, Grozo. But Grozo’s own infatuation for her leads to tragedy. This is a true ‘art’ film, in the sense that everything is composed and designed to create a wholly imagined – yet tangible – world. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. 6.20pm. Thu May 1 – £8.15-£11.50.
4. New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival: ‘Stray Dog’
Another terrific free screening from this local film festival. 1949’s ‘Stray Dog’ marks an early encounter between director Akira Kurosawa and two of his favourite actors, Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura, both playing detectives in Japan’s uneasy postwar period under US imperialism. When Mifune’s pistol is stolen, he is overwhelmed by a feeling of dishonour rather than failure, and sets out on a descent into Tokyo’s underworld. A sweltering summer is at its height, and Kurosawa’s strenuous location shooting transforms the city into a sensuous collage of fluttering fans and delicate, sweating limbs. Gallop, 198 Deptford High Street, SE8 3PR. 8pm. Sat May 3– FREE
5. Rooftop Film Club: ‘The Breakfast Club‘
Rooftop Film Club is back! At the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch and also at the Bussey Building in Peckham, this slick cinematic operation offers classic movies in the open air (don’t worry, it’s well heated), plus tasty snacks and a well stocked bar. The first month ‘s films have been announced, and it’s the usual grab-bag of recent hits (‘The LEGO Movie’, ‘Philomena’), established classics (‘Casablanca’, ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘The Graduate’) and of course plenty of delicious ’80s cheese, including ‘Top Gun’, ‘Labyrinth’ and this unbeatable high-school angst melodrama. Smoke up, Johnny! Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3JX. 9pm. Mon May 5 – £13.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.