‘Pulp Fiction’ in a pub, Illuminations Festival, Frightfest Halloween 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. Sci-fi Season: ‘The Damned’
The BFI’s epic three-month science fiction season is finally here, with screenings of the best in sci-fi from ‘A Voyage to the Moon’ to ‘The Hunger Games’, and everything in between. Our pick of the opening week is this British New Wave oddity from blacklisted American filmmaker Joseph Losey, who later the same year would pick apart the English class system in his scalpel-sharp satire ‘The Servant’. ‘The Damned’ isn’t quite so cutting in its observations (it doesn’t have the benefit of a Harold Pinter screenplay, after all), but it is perhaps the more unusual and intriguing film, blending every strand of popular post-war paranoia – nuclear, sexual, social – into a murky, unpredictable psychodramatic stew. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Sat Oct 25, 8.30pm. £8.15-£11.50.
2. Film4 Frightfest Halloween All-Nighter
A night of shocks and scares as FrightFest deliver six new horror movies back to back. Titles include ‘Extraterrestrial’, an OTT sci-fi cabin-in-the-woods slasher flick in which nobody phones home; ‘The ABCs of Death 2’, a sequel to the recent portmanteau horror flick with segments directed by Vincenzo Natali (‘Cube’) and the Soska Sisters (‘American Mary’); ‘The Last Shift’, in which a young cop tangles with the head of a bloodthirsty cult; and a welcome outing for Hammer cult classic ‘Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter’. Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. 9pm, Sat Oct 25. £40, £37.50 concs.
3. J’accuse + live soundtrack
To mark the centenary of the First World War, a screening of Abel Gance’s striking silent masterpiece with a live piano soundtrack by Karol Beffa. The film begins with a close-up of Gance himself staring into the camera: ‘j’accuse!’ But who is he accusing of what? This WWI melodrama is bursting with ideas and energy. Taking his characters from nineteenth century century romance (the poet, the brute, the dying mother, the illegitimate tot), applying lashings of symbolism (from nature and religion), Gance compounds the artifice with some frontline realism. Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT. Sun Oct 26, 7pm. £15, £12 concs.
4. South Norwood Free Film Festival Double Bill: ‘Pulp Fiction’ + ‘Jackie Brown’
Okay, you’ve seen these movies before, but this is great chance to catch them in a friendly pub atmosphere – and all for free! ‘Pulp Fiction’ is a sprawling, discursive fresco: three stories bookended by a prologue and epilogue. There’s plenty of sharp, sassy, profane dialogue, and plenty of acute, funny references to pop culture. ‘Jackie Brown’, meanwhile, is Tarantino’s most mature movie to date, a subtle poignant account of middle-aged people trying to come to terms with failing faculties, fading looks, diminishing options and a need to make their lives count somehow. Pawson’s Arms, 69 Pawsons Road, CR0 2QA. Sun Oct 26, 4.30pm. FREE.
5. Illuminations Festival: ‘Wild Combination’
Illuminations is a new music and arts festival featuring a smattering of film screenings and events including this wonderful doc about New York scenester and musical prodigy Arthur Russell. ‘He had to be the funkiest white boy I’ve ever met,’ praises Lola Love, a former dancer and singer with James Brown, of the slight, acne-scarred, little-known musical genius from Oskaloosa, Iowa. But ‘Wild Combination’ is also a celebration of New York itself, a city that could (and still can) attract a gay weirdo from the Corn Belt to record avant-Buddhist chants with Allen Ginsberg, play cello on an early version of “Psycho Killer” and produce some of the greatest disco ever. Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE. Mon Oct 27, 9pm. £6, £5 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.