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. New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival & Bechdel Test Film Club: ‘Love & Basketball’
The Deptford and New Cross Free Film Festival is putting on two weeks of recent and classic movies in pubs, parks, cafés and other spaces, all for free. Highlights include a bike-powered screening of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, plus the world’s first YouTube Cat Video Film Festival (yep, you read that right). But our pick of the fest is ‘Love & Basketball’, Gina Price-Blythewood’s ass-kicking reminder of the obstacles faced by young women, screened by feminist film fans the Bechdel Film Club. Price-Blythewood’s film takes its love of sport (and sexual politics) seriously, yet maintains broad appeal thanks to the sympathy with which it treats its characters. Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Rd, SE14 6TY. Sun Apr 26, 2.30pm. FREE.
2. The Dardenne Brothers Retrospective: ‘La Promesse’
The ICA kicks off a week of films by Belgium’s great movie-making brothers with their first feature to gain international acclaim. It’s an impressively tough, raw, realist drama, set in and around the drabber areas of Liège. A 15-year-old comes into conflict with his dad after a tragedy forces the boy to confront the moral implications of the pair’s exploitative business smuggling and housing illegal immigrants. The performances are superb, the interplay between father and son extraordinarily well observed, and the whole thing at once wholly unsentimental and deeply moving. ICA, Nash House, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH. Fri Apr 24, 8.40pm. £11, £7 concs.
3. Science Fiction Theatre: ‘Mad Max’
Get in gear for the new ‘Mad Max’ flick by catching up with the original trilogy courtesy of London’s leading sci-fi film club. This week it’s the turn of 1979’s thunderous original, an outrageous exploiter drawing intelligently on everything from ‘Death Race 2000’ to ‘Straw Dogs’ for its Ballardian story about a future where cops and Hell’s Angels stage protracted guerrilla warfare around what’s left of a hapless civilian population. The Victoria, 451 Queensbridge Rd, E8 3AS. Tue Apr 21, 8pm. FREE.
4. Crap Film Club: ‘Starcrash’
We don’t usually condone this ‘crap film’ business, largely because there are so many good films out there to be seen. But ‘Starcrash’ is a bit of a treat, a trash-addict sci-fi spectacular in which Stella Star (Caroline Munro) and sundry buddies leap millions of light years around the universe with enviable nonchalance and a distinct lack of consideration for the laws of nature. Their mission: to save Imperialism from Something Far Worse, and to provide for Stella’s future by convincing the heir apparent that, despite her bizarre style of dress, she’d make a neat Empress one day. The Book Club, 100 Leonard St, EC2A 4RH. Tue Apr 21, 7pm. £4.50.
5. Avengers Triple Bill
Get yourself in a superheroic mood with a double bill of the first ‘Avengers’ movie followed by last year’s excellent conspiracy thriller ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, then at one minute past midnight it’ll be time for the main event: an early screening of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. The Marvel series is turning out to be cinema’s biggest, exploding-est soap operatic blockbuster franchise of all time, and if you’re not up to date this is the perfect chance to catch up. Genesis Cinema, 93–95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ. Wed Apr 22, 6pm.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.