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…
1. Wonder Reels: ‘Cat People’
Doug Shipton, founder of Finder Keepers records, will be spinning a few of his favourite soundtrack cuts, followed by a screening of this magnificent 1942 horror movie. Jacques Tourneur’s eerily beautiful movie is a study of the innate power of female sexuality, and how suppressing that power can force it to burst forth in unexpected and dangerous ways. Simone Simon plays Irena, a Serbian immigrant whose repressive childhood – involving, the film implies, sexual abuse – causes her to transform into a deadly panther in moments of arousal. The film’s power lies in the way Tourneur explores these themes without ever losing sight of the emotional tragedy at the story’s core. The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH. Sun Nov 9, 5pm. £10, £7 concs.
2. Underground Film Club: ‘The Big Lebowski’
The good folks behind the hugely popular Rooftop Film Club return with a series of screenings in the tunnels beneath Waterloo station. The programme is the usual blend of pop classics and recent successes – ‘The Breakfast Club’, ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ all play in the first week. Our pick is the Coen brothers’s much-loved stoner comedy. This comic update of the world crystallised by Raymond Chandler charts the disastrous involvement of laidback dopehead Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski in a kidnapping case involving the wife of his millionaire namesake. The Vaults, Launcelot St, SE1 7AD. Fri Nov 7, 9pm. £13.
3. ‘Day for Night’ + Richard Ayoade Q&A
Comedian, actor and filmmaker Richard Ayoade has chosen one of his favourite films for this discussion event. François Truffaut’s delicately cynical New Hollywood-style satire is a hilarious and informative movie. In the pantheon of films about filmmaking, it strikes a neat balance between the operatic neuroses of ‘8 1/2’ and the warm, pastel-hued nostalgia of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. Truffaut stars as indefatigable director Ferrand, shooting a fusty melodrama called ‘Meet Pamela’ and wearing the same sports jacket, shirt and tie combo as he would in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. Ritzy Picturehouse, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW2 1JG. Sun Nov 9, 4pm. £15, £13 concs.
4. Fringe: ‘Grease 2’ + after party
The Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Festival returns with a week of gay-themed shorts, features and events. Highlights in the film strand include a celebration of gay porn pioneer Peter De Rome and a very rare screening of ‘lost’ film ‘Margo A-go-go’ starring Riot Grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna. But we’ve chosen to go with the most ridiculously fun event in the programme, a sing-along screening of this gaudy, loveable musical sequel starring a very young Michelle Pfeiffer, followed by a themed party. Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Fri Nov 7, 11.30pm. £8.50.
5. FREE Anachron: Seijun Suzuki Night
A pair of films by the undisputed master of the Japanese exploitation movie, Seijun Suzuki. ‘Gate of Flesh’ is a deliciously torrid melodrama in which the solidarity of a group of prostitutes – based on mutual anarchy, and the threat of torture and humiliation for anyone who offers a freebie – disintegrates when they shelter a criminal whom they all fall for. ‘Tokyo Drifter’, meanwhile, is a deliriously playful yakuza pic kitted out with plot ellipses, bizarre sets and colour effects, inappropriate songs, absurd irrelevancies, action scenes that verge on the abstract and some visual jokes tottering precariously between slapstick and surrealism.
Muse Gallery, 269 Portobello Rd, W11 1LR. Tue Nov 4, 7pm. Free.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.