‘The Craft’, BFI Cult screenings, Classic Cinema Club, Origins Festival and more film fun happening this week
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. BFI Cult: ‘The Toxic Avenger’
If you hear a mysterious scraping sound on the South Bank this Thursday, there’s no need to worry, it’s just a generation of snooty film enthusiasts turning in their graves. Yes, the home of all that’s respectable in British film, the BFI, will this week play host to one of the grubbiest, shoddiest exploitation movies ever made: radioactive superhero classic ‘The Toxic Avenger’ (1984). Limbs fly and faces melt as a hideously disfigured nerd from New Jersey takes on a gang of bloodthirsty drug dealers.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Thu Jun 11, 8.30pm. £8.35 – £11.75.
Akira Kurosawa’s global breakthrough – presenting divergent perspectives on a single contentious incident – provides a strikingly insightful way of looking at the world. It’s a multi-layered tale of rape and murder in feudal Japan, employing a switchback narrative as befuddled parties shelter under the old Kyoto city gate, trying to make sense of bandit Tajomaru’s attack on a travelling samurai and his wife. No one anywhere in 1950 made the camera engage with movement and location in the way Kurosawa does here – slicing through the forest and bringing a kinetic impact to violent confrontations.
Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Wed Jun 10, 6.30pm. £11, £10 concs.
3. Classic Cinema Club: ‘Stray Dog’
More from Kurosawa, as his favourite actors Toshirô Mifune and Takashi Shimura play detectives in Japan’s uneasy postwar period during the US occupation. When Mifune’s pistol is stolen, he is overwhelmed by a feeling of dishonour and sets out on a descent into the lower depths of Tokyo’s underworld, which gradually reveals Dostoyevskian parallels between himself and his quarry. A sweltering summer is at its height, and Kurosawa’s strenuous location shooting transforms the city into a sensuous collage of fluttering fans and sweating limbs.
Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, W5 2BY. Fri Jun 12, 7.30pm. £7, £6 concs.
4. Origins Festival: ‘Ten Canoes’
This celebration of indigenous cultures features a strong film strand, including this poetic fable from 2007. Different modes of storytelling are at the heart of this rich, wise and unique collaboration between filmmaker Rolf de Heer and the Aboriginal community of Ramingining in Australia’s Northern Territory. The fruit of a production process whose primary challenge was to synthesise often contradictory European and Yolngu expectations of narrative – not to mention casting, performance and photography – ‘Ten Canoes’ is at once a wry fable about jealousy and desire, a fascinating ethnographic document and a highly enjoyable nudge-in-the-ribs shaggy dog story.
British Museum, Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG. Sat Jun 13, 2pm. £3, £2 concs.
5. Alibi Film Club: ‘The Craft’
A tale of supernatural LA high-school hijinks featuring the three members of a teenage coven: ‘The Bitches of Eastwick’. Outsiders all – the punk with an alcoholic single parent; the rocker with facial scars from a childhood car crash; the one who’s, well, black – they’re in need of a fourth to complete their empowered circle. When new girl Sarah arrives, her brooding demeanour and telekinetic powers announce her as the natural candidate. The school’s a hothouse of resentment, conflict and hurt, and the girls’ experiments in spellcraft are regarded as deliciously dangerous excursions into adolescent self-discovery.
The Alibi, 91 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Mon Jun 15, 8pm. FREE.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.