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. Look Back in Anger: ‘Cathy Come Home’
The Arthouse Cinema in Crouch End’s ‘Look Back in Anger’ season of important British films continues with Ken Loach’s history-making 1966 television drama about homelessness. Shot in doc-style, ‘Cathy Come Home’ is the story of a family forced out of their flat when the husband loses his job as a driver after an accident. Suddenly their bright and hopeful future vanishes when they’re evicted. As drama, this was so powerful it led to discussions in Parliament and new legislation to tackle homelessness in Britain. It was also fundamental in the launch of the homeless charity Shelter.
Arthouse Crouch End, 159A Tottenham Lane, N8 9BT. Sun May 24, 2.30pm. £11.
2. Southern Gothic Season: ‘The Apostle’
Robert Duvall’s superb second film as a writer-director has dropped out of sight recently, so this BFI screening is welcome indeed. The film charts the backroad to redemption travelled by preacher Sonny Dewey (Duvall), after he takes a drunken swipe with a baseball bat at his wife’s lover. Fearing imprisonment, he ditches his car and his identity, and ends up in a poor, largely black Louisiana town, where he sets about building himself a new church and a new life. This is far more than a beautifully observed character study and an authentic, respectful portrait of the South; it’s also a thrilling, uncommonly honest study of religious experience.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Mon May 25, 3pm. £7.45–£8.20.
3. The Dark Knight Trilogy
A bank holiday treat for all you leather-fetish superhero nuts out there: Christopher Nolan’s none-more-moody Batman trilogy in its entirety. The first film sets the scene smartly, and the final instalment is a weirdly right-wing mess. But the meat in this bat sandwich is ‘The Dark Knight’ itself, which reduced to basics involves the wildly unpredictable Joker wreaking havoc on Gotham. This perverse clown’s keyword is chaos – crime without sense – and the surrounding film is fantastic on the action front, and always feels relevant even when its ideas are drowned out by clatter.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Mon May 25, 2.30pm. £17.50, £15 concs.
4. ‘Black Narcissus’ + ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’
Prepare your eyeballs for some poppin’ with two of British writer-director team Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s most sumptuous masterpieces. ‘Black Narcissus’ explores desire, hysteria, temptation and sexuality in a remote convent high up in the Indian Himalayas. The story and acting are pure gothic melodrama, in a studio setting with beautiful backdrops and vivid colours. ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’, meanwhile, realised Powell’s lifelong dream of creating an entirely ‘composed’ film, blending music, art, design, movement and every cinematic trick at his disposal.
Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Sun May 24, 1.30pm.
A superb and unique film from that master of the morbid, masochistic and macabre, Tod Browning. Set in a travelling circus – a milieu Browning knew and loved from his own experience – it depicts the revenge taken by a group of circus freaks on a beautiful trapeze artist and her strongman lover after they’ve tried to murder a midget for his fortune. The basic themes of the film are the strength in solidarity of the individually weak freaks, and the inner beauty of the physically malformed as compared to the greed and deceit of the physically resplendent. The film remained unseen in Britain until the ’60s, but it has now achieved deserved recognition as a masterpiece.
Stratford East Picturehouse, Salway Rd, E15 1BX. Sun May 24, 4pm. £9.50, £8.50 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.