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The reopening of Regent Street Cinema, the London Turkish film festival and more of this week’s best film events

Posted at 12:30 pm, May 5, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment
Regent Street Cinema

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.    Cat People + White God

The brand new Regent St Cinema – London’s first ever film venue, history buffs – is reopened to the public with a terrific programme of new indies and classic double bills. ‘Cat People’ features a superbly judged performance from Simone Simon as the young wife ambivalently haunted by sexual frigidity and by a fear that she is metamorphosing into a panther. ‘White God’, meanwhile, is a powerful Hungarian drama featuring the Al Pacino of dog actors, real-life mutt twins Body and Luke. They share the role of Hagen, the four-legged best friend of 13-year-old tomboy Lili who falls into the clutches of a ferrety dog fighter who trains the big softie into a killing machine.

Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Mon May 11, 6.30pm. £15, £13 concs.

2.    Southern Gothic season: ‘The Beguiled’

The BFI kicks off a new season of sweaty thrillers set in the American South. Combining the conventions of both Western and Grand Guignol chiller, and often directed as if it were an art movie, this is the ‘Dirty Harry’ team of Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood’s strangest – and most beguiling – collaboration. Eastwood is the Yankee soldier, who after being wounded during the Civil War, takes refuge in an isolated Southern seminary for young women. Shut away from the world, the women project their romantic fantasies on to him, and he responds with callous, male manipulation.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Sun May 10, 8pm. £8.35–£11.75.

3.    London Turkish Film Festival: ‘Thou Gild’st the Even’

The London Turkish Film Festival returns with another packed programme of films from the continent-straddling nation. The central strand this year is a tribute to director Onur Ünlü (‘Polis’, ‘Son of the Sun’), whose latest work ‘Thou Gild’st the Even’ won the Best Film prize at the 2013 Istanbul Film Festival. A brooding, monochrome black comedy about a depressed football referee in a small town, it bears comparison with the work of cinematic outsiders like David Lynch and Guy Maddin.

Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Sat May 9, 11.15pm. £8.50.

4.    The Time Machine

A Royal Observatory scientist will introduce this classic version of HG Wells’s sci-fi genre-setter. If nothing else, the film proves that you can have millions of pixels at your disposal, but there’s something magically simple about time-lapse photography, which comes into its own when Rod Taylor’s Victorian scientist boards his self-designed contraption and heads straight for the future. It’s a film with passionate things to say about making the most of mankind’s gifts, but for anyone who first saw this as a little kid, the Morlocks’ dark eyes illuminated by pinpricks of light may have haunted your dreams ever since.

Royal Observatory Greenwich, Blackheath Ave, SE10 8XJ. Thu May 7, 7pm. £8, £7 concs.

5.    Classic Cinema Club: ‘Spirit of the Beehive’

Victor Erice’s remarkable film sees rural Spain soon after Franco’s victory as a wasteland of inactivity, thrown into relief by the doomed industriousness of bees in their hives. The single, fragile spark of ‘liberation’ exists in the mind of little Ana, who dreams of meeting the gentle monster from James Whale’s ‘Frankenstein’ and befriends a fugitive soldier just before he is caught and shot. A haunting mood-piece that dispenses with plot and works its spells through intricate patterns of sound and image.

Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, W5 2BY. Fri May 8, 7.30pm. £7, £6 concs.

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

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