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Vivien Leigh, custard pies and Woody Allen: top five film events happening this week

Posted at 10:00 am, November 11, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment

Every Monday, 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. The Nuclear Question all-dayer

To celebrate the announcement of Britain’s spanking new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, DocHouse and the Ritzy present a day of docs exploring both sides of the nuclear debate. Kicking off with agitprop doc-maker Adam Curtis’s ‘A for Atom’, the day will feature films looking at the dark, politically murky side of the issue (‘The Battle of Chernobyl’, ‘Welcome to Nuclear Land’) alongside those which present the beneficial aspects of atomic energy, like new film ‘Pandora’s Promise’. There’ll also be a panel debate – expect it to spill, toxic-waste-style, into the bar afterwards.

Ritzy Picturehouse, SW2 1JG. Saturday November 16 , 12pm. Tickets are £20 or £16 concs. day pass. Individual tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased picturehouses.co.uk.

2. French Film Festival: ‘Lola’

The French Film Festival continues this week with a sterling array of films new and old, including this glittering restoration of Jacques Demy’s evergreen anti-romance. It’s simultaneously a tribute to director Max Ophüls (to whom it is dedicated), the city of Nantes (its setting), American musicals, and the joyous but always glorious romantic roundelay centred on the alluring and enigmatic presence of Anouk Aimée’s eponymous cabaret-dancer, forced to choose between a trio of lovers. Try to watch the clip above without steam escaping from your ears.

Ciné Lumière, SW7 2DT. Friday November 15, 8.30pm. Tickets are £12 and can be bought institut-francais.org.uk.

3. Classic Cinema Club: ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo’

A welcome return for one of Woody Allen’s most frank and loveable films. During the Depression, downtrodden housewife Mia Farrow so inflames a film’s leading man (an explorer-poet played by Jeff Daniels) that he climbs down from the screen, and entices her into a chaotic but charming love affair. As the star-struck couple, Farrow and Daniels work wonders with fantastic emotions, while Allen’s direction invests enough care, wit and warmth to make it genuinely moving.

Ealing Town Hall, W5 2BY. Friday 15 November, 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 or £6 concs. and can be bought classiccinemaclub.co.uk.

4. Framed Film Festival’s Custard Pie Centenary

According to this family-friendly festival (formerly known as the Children’s Film Festival), the first film to utilise the custard pie as a slapstick aid was 1913’s ‘A Noise From the Deep’ starring Mabel Normand and the doomed Fatty Arbuckle. To mark this auspicious anniversary they’re planning an afternoon of pie-themed activities including a demonstration of pie-throwing, an intro from The Bureau of Silly Ideas and a number of classic custard-related silent shorts with a live piano score.

Barbican Centre, EC2Y 8DS. Saturday 16 November, 3.30pm. Tickets are £10 or £6 concs. and can be purchased from barbican.org.uk

5. Vivien Leigh Season: ‘Waterloo Bridge’

The British Film Institute continues its tribute to one of this country’s most beloved actresses, marking the centenary of her birth. This frank 1940 wartime romance captures Leigh at her best. As air raid sirens sound, British army colonel Robert Taylor finds himself on Waterloo Bridge, the very spot where he fell in love with ballerina Leigh on the eve of the previous war. Before their relationship had a chance to flower, however, he was called away to the front. Leigh, in her first film since ‘Gone With the Wind’, is fresh, needy, poignant, while Taylor’s restraint allows her to carry the film’s surge of emotion. A superbly crafted tearjerker.

BFI Southbank, SE1 8XT. Sunday 17 November, 3.50pm. Tickets are between £8.50 and £12.10. They can be purchased from bfi.org.uk.

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

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