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Comedians’ favourite flicks, TV debates on the big screen and more film fun

Posted at 10:00 am, April 13, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment
Hackney Picturehouse © Rob Greig / Time Out

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. ‘Love is the Devil’ + John Maybury intro 

Back when Daniel Craig used to act (rather than just stomp about blasting Johnny Foreigner), he gave a stunning performance in theatre director John Maybury’s biopic of Francis Bacon. The film focuses on the slow but inexorable downward spiral of Bacon’s seven-year relationship with his lover, model and muse George Dyer, a smalltime villain whom the painter first met burgling his house. The performances are terrific, with Derek Jacobi astonishing as Bacon, and it’ll be great to hear what Maybury has to say about the film almost two decades on. ICA, Nash House, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH. Wed Apr 15, 8.30pm. £11, £7 concs.

2. California Split 

A very welcome return for one of Robert Altman’s very finest films, which is criminally unavailable on DVD in the UK. It follows Elliott Gould and George Segal as they embark on some wild casino sprees in Los Angeles and Reno, speeding through a compulsive night world of frenzied overlapping chatter. It’s a wonderfully loose, freewheeling film, crammed with creative improvisation while busily hopping from one distraction to the next. Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Tue Apr 14, 8.45pm. £7.50, £5 concs.

3. This Made Me Laugh: ‘To Be Or Not To Be’

For this short season, the Barbican is asking comedy writers and performers to choose the films that tickle their funny bones. Tonight it’s the turn of American TV producer Caryn Mandabach. The name may not be familiar, but she’s responsible for ‘Roseanne’,  ‘That 70s Show’ and ‘The Cosby Show’, so she deserves to be listened to. She’s chosen Ernst Lubisch’s glorious 1944 anti-Nazi satire set in World War II occupied Warsaw and centring on the resistance of a Polish theatre company and the ham antics of its narcissistic husband-and-wife stars Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Wed Apr 15, 8.30pm. £9.50, £8.50 concs.

4. ‘Force of Evil’ + ‘Red Hollywood’ 

A cracking double bill exploring the Hollywood ‘Red Scare’ in the 1950s. ‘Red Hollywood’ is a new documentary from ‘Los Angeles Plays Itself’ director Thom Andersen, who explores the lives and work of the ten filmmakers who were blacklisted for alleged Communist sympathies.  ‘Force of Evil’, meanwhile, is one of the key films of the 1940s, centring on a complex portrayal of the mutual guilt of two brothers caught at opposite ends of the same criminal rat trap: one torn by the realisation that his corruption means the destruction of his brother, the other by his awareness that he was responsible for that corruption in the first place. Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Sun Apr 19, 2pm. £10, £8 concs.

5. Television Debate Watch-along 

Now here’s an event to get truly excited about. First up, you get to watch the party leaders (minus cowardly Cameron) debate each other on a screen so large you’ll be able to count the flecks of bile spewing from Nigel Farage’s mouth and the hairs on Ed Miliband’s chin (actually, you might need a magnifying glass for that one). Then a panel of as-yet-unnamed political commentators and comedians will debate the debate, offering their thoughts on the election as it trundles towards some kind of conclusion. Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE. Thu Apr 16, 7.30pm. £6.

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

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