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Orson Welles, Elvis and zom-coms in this week’s top film events

Posted at 6:55 pm, October 14, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment

Every Monday, 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. London Film Festival: ‘The Lady From Shanghai’

It’s the final week of the London Film Festival, and there are still tickets to be had for plenty of films. This year’s festival has showcased a particularly strong strand of rediscoveries and reissues, from Jean Cocteau’s timeless ‘La Belle et la Bête’ to controversial 1960s doc ‘Portrait of Jason’, a profile of a gay hustler in New York. But our pick in this final week has to be Orson Welles’s sumptuous, mindbending 1947 romantic thriller ‘The Lady From Shanghai’. If you’ve ever been fed that old line that Hollywood’s greatest genius went off the boil after ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’, this should be the first step in your re-education. It’s a dazzling film, richly visual, with one of the most memorable endings in cinema. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. 6.30pm, Sat Oct 19 – £12.50.

2. Elvis: That’s the Way It Is

Bob Stanley – author, journalist and one third of London’s foremost electronic nostalgists St Etienne – has a new book out. Called ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’, this mighty tome aims to tell the full story of modern popular music, from ‘Rocket 88’ right through to One Direction. And to celebrate the book’s release, Stanley will be on hand to present a screening of this flawless documentary about the making of Elvis Presley’s 1968 TV comeback. If you’ve ever looked at old swivel-hips and wondered what all the fuss was about, this smouldering, hard-rocking, leather-jacketed vision should set you straight (or just the opposite). Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. 8.30pm, Thu Oct 17 – from £9.50.

3. No Such Place as Bethnal Green: ‘The Small World of Sammy Lee’

Over the next three weeks, the St John on Bethnal Green church will play host to a mini-season of films looking at how London’s East End has been depicted on screen. First up, it’s this little-seen 1963 comic drama starring everyone’s favourite actor, songwriter, playwright and Bowie-inspirer Anthony Newley. Based on a TV series in which Newley also starred, the film follows a strip club compére whose nocturnal activities have led him into trouble with a local gang. The film is also playing as part of writer Iain Sinclair’s ‘70 x 70’ birthday celebrations, and he’ll be on hand to deliver an introduction. St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA. 8pm, Thu Oct 17 – £5.

4. Wimbledon Film Club: ‘Do the Right Thing’

Spike Lee’s vivid, sweltering portrait of urban life on the streets of Brooklyn remains a true masterpiece of American cinema. Lee himself plays Mookie, pizza delivery man for Italian Sal and his two sons. Though selfishly neglectful of his Hispanic lover and their child, Mookie is mostly Mr Nice Guy, ever ready to lend his calming influence to the storm of insults that fly between the local blacks, Italians, Koreans and white cops. Eventually, however, the heat takes its toll, and petty disagreements escalate into a full-scale riot. Lee contrives to see both sides of each conflict without falling prey to simplistic sentimentality. HMV Curzon, 23 The Broadway, SW19 1RE. 8pm, Thu Oct 17 – £10.

5. Zom-Com All-Nighter

Laugh like you just had your lungs ripped out… This night of undead hilarity features a pretty sterling lineup: Edgar Wright’s beloved ‘Shaun of the Dead’ naturally, but there are many, many other treats on offer, from Peter Jackson’s gore-splashing romp ‘Bad Taste’ through the punk-rock apocalypse classic ‘Return of the Living Dead’ to the reigning champion of comic horror, the masterpiece that is ‘Evil Dead 2’. There’ll be time for a bar break during Robert Rodriguez’s underwhelming ‘Planet Terror’, but otherwise this is a rock-solid set of savagely silly screamers. Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. 8.45pm, Sat Oct 19 – £25, £22.50 concs.

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

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