‘The Elephant Man’, ‘The Otherworld’, a sci-fi all-nighter and more great film events 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. Elefest: Filmbar 70s Sci-fi All-Nighter
Elefest is a sprawling multimedia festival centered in Elephant and Castle, covering music, art and a weekend of terrific films at the Cinema Museum. The focus this year is on sci-fi, with a screening of ‘Attack the Block’ attended by members of the cast, a triple-bill of recent British sci-fi hits (titles still to be decided) and this phenomenal all-nighter rounding up four beloved 1970s titles. Kicking off with John Boorman’s dystopian headscratcher ‘Zardoz’, the night continues with Julie Christie in cybernetic peril in ‘Demon Seed’, loopy sex comedy ‘Invasion of the Bee Girls’ and Yul Brynner on the rampage in ‘Westworld’. The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH. Sat Oct 4, 10pm. £9, £7 concs.
2. ‘The Elephant Man’ + Mark Kermode Q&A
The nation’s most recognisable film critic introduces one of the finest films ever shot on this sceptered isle, David Lynch’s heartbreaking tale of Victorian London, ‘The Elephant Man’. John Merrick, a disabled man brutalised by a childhood in which he was hideously abused as a freak, is gradually coaxed into revealing a soul of such delicacy and refinement that he becomes a lion of Victorian society. But that is only half the story the film tells. It’s a marvellous movie, shot in stunning black-and-white by Freddie Francis. Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Rd, N2 9PJ. 11.30pm, Fri Oct 3. £9.50.
3. ‘Moonraker’ + Q&A
In the late 1970s everyone was jumping on the post-‘Star Wars’ sci-fi bandwagon, even our nation’s ultimate protector James Bond. Thankfully, ‘Moonraker’is much better than it might’ve been thanks to fantastic special effects, some excellent gags (cracks at ‘Star Wars’, ‘Close Encounters’ and Clint Eastwood, to name but a few), and the usual location-hopping style that makes Versailles feel like Disneyland. This thirty-fifth anniversary screening will also feature an exclusive Q&A with special effects supervisor John Richardson and producer Bill Cartlidge. Genesis Cinema, 93–95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ. Sat Oct 5, 3pm. £20.
4. City Visions: ‘When a Woman Ascends the Stairs’
The Barbican’s City Visions season explores how the modern urban landscape has been represented on screen. This brilliant melodrama encapsulates the strengths of masterly Japanese director Mikio Naruse, whose work has barely been seen here. He’s known as a great director of actresses, and his signature performer Hideko Takamine is outstanding as a middle-aged hostess struggling to maintain her self-respect in the sleazy whisky-lubricated environs of Ginza’s bar circuit, as she wrestles with the dilemma that the admirers who could offer her financial security demand her ‘reputation’ in exchange. Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Sat Oct 4, 4pm. £11.50, £10.50 concs.
5. Raindance: ‘The Otherworld’ + ‘A Trip to the Otherworld’
He’s been too long in the wilderness, but now ‘Dust Devil’ director Richard Stanley finally has a new film completed. It’s called ‘The Otherworld’, and it’s a documentary following the director as he attempts to unearth the mysteries surrounding his adopted hometown, the walled city of Montsegur in Southern France. And it gets better: following the screening, ticket holders can catch the debut live performance from The And, a new synth-rock soundtrack supergroup led by Stanley’s regular collaborator Simon Boswell, the composer behind the scores for ‘Shallow Grave’, ‘Santa Sangre’, ‘Demons 2’ and many others. Combining music, film clips and video art, this promises to be a pretty wild experience. Vue Piccadilly, 19 Regent St, SW1Y 4LR. Live show: Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX. Thu Oct 2, 6pm. £12, £9 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.