The annual Scalarama Film Festival aims to rekindle the spirit of London’s famed fleapit picture palace, the Scala, by rounding up movie fans and DIY exhibitors across the country for a month of screenings in pubs, clubs, galleries and even a few actual cinemas. Taking place throughout September, the festival’s London programme is stuffed to bursting with everything from the most far-out grindhouse and arthouse movies to family events, triple bills and parties. There are far too many incredible happenings to list here, so we’ve selected five particularly eye-catching items that you really won’t want to miss.
Polyester in Odorama
When it was originally released in 1981, John Waters’s outrageous suburban comedy ‘Polyester’ came with a scratch ‘n’ sniff card so that audiences could immerse themselves more deeply in the film’s aural, visual and nasal world. Now Waters has overseen the production of new Odorama cards to celebrate the film’s re-release into cinema. Smell the glory! Wed Sep 10 9pm, at various Picturehouse cinemas.
Trent Harris Double Bill: ‘The Beaver Trilogy’ and ‘Plan 10 From Outer Space’
Underground American filmmaker Trent Harris has been conducting his odd cinematic experiments for decades now without ever troubling the public consciousness. But his 2000 film ‘Beaver Trilogy’ is nothing short of a masterpiece: the same tale told three times, once as ‘real life’ and twice as fiction, and featuring remarkable early work from Sean Penn and Crispin Glover. We urge you to see it. Sat Sep 13 6.30pm at The Horse Hospital.
Scottish Independence Night featuring ‘Highlander’
Will they stay or will they go? Either way, the Scottish vote is a great excuse to screen a 16mm print of that hard-edged look at real life north of the border, ‘Highlander’. About as authentically Scots as a brie baguette, Christopher Lambert plays the ageless warrior who must decapitate his enemies until there is Only One, while being hectored relentlessly by Sean Connery (playing a Spaniard, natch). Thu Sep 18 7pm at Hollywood Spring.
Film Noir All-Dayer
It’s impossible to imagine a better quintuple-bill of cops, crooks and dangerous dames than this. Kicking off with Raymond Chandler adaptation ‘Farewell My Lovely’, the day will also include Burt Lancaster on the brink of madness in ‘The Killers’, gritty sci-fi-tinged thriller ‘Kiss Me Deadly’, morally complex thriller ‘In a Lonely Place’ and Commies on the loose in ‘Pickup on South Street’. Hoodlum heaven. Sun Sep 21 11am at Genesis Cinema.
Boxing Double Bill: ‘The Set-Up’ and ‘Fat City’
Head on down to an as-yet undisclosed old-school boxing club for a flawless double bill of prize punch-’em-ups. ‘The Set-up’ stars Robert Ryan as an over-the-hill pugilist looking for a way out, while ‘Fat City’ features a very young Jeff Bridges as a budding prizefighter in a dusty small town. Now put up your dukes… Sun Sep 28 6pm in a secret boxing venue.