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. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown + Tamsin Greig Q&A
The stars of the current West End adaptation of Pedro Almodovar’s magnificent melodrama, Tamsin Greig and Haydn Gwynne, will answer audience questions following a screening of the original film. To attempt a summary of this extravagantly stylish farce would be daft: suffice it to say that a lot happens in the absence of anything actually happening. Somehow a deranged plot is contrived from elements including infidelity, spiked gazpacho, bad fashion, beds on fire, caged animals, demented answering machines, terrorists, motorbikes and madness. The ticket price will include a glass of fizz, and all proceeds go to charity.
Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3JU. Sun May 17, 2.30pm. £20.
2. Southern Gothic season: ‘Wise Blood’
John Huston’s extraordinary, undervalued take on Flannery O’Connor’s anti-religious classic was a huge influence on the likes of Harmony Korine and David Gordon Green. Is it a comedy? A tragedy? A philosophical farce? Young fanatic Brad Dourif returns from the army to his hometown in the Bible Belt, and stages a doomed private rebellion against the evangelism and repression of his upbringing. The enemy is neither tangible, nor simply a feature of his memory, but permeates the whole town: Jesus is celebrated in neon, on the street, in the language of everyday chatter. One of Huston’s best.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Sun May 17, 5.40pm. £8.35–£11.75.
3. Look Back in Anger: ‘A Taste of Honey’ + Rita Tushingham Q&A
Head to the cinema Time Out readers voted their favourite, the Arthouse, for a new season celebrating important British movies through the ages. Actress and kitchen sink icon Rita Tushingham will answer questions following this screening of Tony Richardson’s dour adaptation of Shelagh Delaney’s play about a Salford girl getting pregnant after leaving home. The film may have dated, dwelling on grimy streets, factory chimneys and general drabness. But it’s a key work in the development of our national cinema nonetheless – and Tushingham’s performance is a joy.
Arthouse Crouch End, 159A Tottenham Lane, N8 9BT. Sun May 17, 2.30pm. £11.
4. Pop-Up Screens: Science Flicktion: ‘Apollo 13’
All weekend, Pop-Up Screens will present classic sci-fi movies including ‘Alien’, ‘Terminator 2’ and, um ‘Good Will Hunting’ (which has a kind of science-y edge), all with commentaries from scientists explaining the physics behind the SFX. ‘Apollo 13’ is, of course, the true-life tale of three astronauts on a trip to the moon who find that a leaking fuel tank has made their mission impossible. Ron Howard’s spectacular film sticks so faithfully to the version of events related in Jim Lovell’s book ‘Lost Moon’, that this may qualify as the most expensive drama-doc ever made.
Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Rd, SW3 5EE. Sat May 16, 1pm. £18.
5. MayFest: ‘Rear Window’
The Dulwich Picture Gallery’s MayFest weekender features exhibitions, tours, food and even a swing dance class – but it’s the evening outdoor film screenings we’re interested in. On Friday, catch Hitchcock’s flawless thriller, in which James Stewart, immobilised in his apartment by a broken leg, takes to watching the inhabitants across the courtyard, first with binoculars, later with his camera. He thinks he witnesses a murder. Quite aside from the violation of intimacy, which is shocking enough, Hitchcock has nowhere else come so close to pure misanthropy, nor given us so disturbing a definition of what it is to watch the ‘silent film’ of other people’s lives, whether across a courtyard or up on a screen.
Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Rd, SE21 7AD. Fri May 15, 9pm. £15, £13 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.