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Immigration drama, gory classics, and modern angst: this week’s top five film events

Posted at 12:15 pm, June 9, 2014 in Top 5
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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. East End Film Festival: ‘Beautiful Noise’

The East End Film Festival returns with another packed programme of features, shorts and documentaries. As always there’s a particular focus on British film. Highlights in that category include immigration drama ‘Leave to Remain’, compassionate tragedy ‘Lilting’ and crime comedy ‘Hackney’s Finest’. But we’re most excited about a fistful of terrific music docs, including ‘The Blueblack Hussar’ about the mighty Adam Ant, and this long-awaited look back at the ’80s-’90s shoegaze scene, featuring interviews with everyone from Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom to My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields. Drone on! Aubin Cinema, 64-66 Redchurch St, E2 7DP. 3pm. Sun Jun 15.

2. Theatre of Blood

Mark Kermode introduces this screening of the gore-soaked 1973 camp classic. It’s a wild slice of comic horror that really does give star Vincent Price a chance to do his stuff, with deliciously absurd results. He plays a vilified classical actor driven to mount a series of elaborate Shakespearean charades in which eight drama critics will die: one is decapitated in his bed, another is forced to give a pound of flesh, yet another is drowned in a barrel of wine, and all are subjected beforehand to the manic posturing and rambling of the mad actor romping through a succession of tragic characters with grotesque brilliance. ICA, Nash House, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH. 8.55pm. Fri Jun 13. £10, £7 concs.

3. Chris Marker: Time Travel

An ongoing tribute to the great French filmmaker continues with an afternoon of short films exploring ideas of moving through time. The highlight is ‘La Jetée’, Marker’s 1962 ‘photo-roman’ about the power of memory, the story of a man marked by an image of his childhood, looking back from a post-apocalyptic world in which he is now a prisoner. Marker uses monochrome images from the past, such as the ruins of Europe after WWII, to subtly suggest a future environment. Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX. 7pm. Thu Jun 12. £8.50, £6.50 concs.

4. Lucia

Easily the finest film to come out of Cuba in the ’60s, Humberto Solas’s powerful triptych depicts three stages in his country’s – and his countrywomen’s – struggle for liberation. Using a different visual style for each era (high-contrast melodrama for the 1890s, nostalgic irony for the 1930s, carnival slapstick for the 1960s), he manages, without any political simplifications, to bring the historical process to life. The film was way ahead of its time in linking sexual and political oppression: interest stays focused on the three heroines, but part of that interest lies in the extent to which they take their political colour from the men they love. Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. 7pm. Fri Jun 13. £5.

5. Anxiety Arts Festival: ‘Opening Night’

The Anxiety Arts Festival does what its name suggests: explores issues of depression and modern angst through various forms of art. Their film strand is particularly strong, and this week’s highlight is John Cassavetes’s remarkable 1977 melodrama about an actress coming to terms with her own mortality. Gena Rowlands offers a devastatingly tactile performance in the lead role of Myrtle Gordon, a grande dame of American theatre whose total immersion methodology backfires when she unwittingly accepts the part of an ageing inamorata in the suggestively titled ‘The Second Woman’. It’s a baffling and intricate film which, although light on conventional pleasures, still manages to provoke and beguile. Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, E8 1HE. 9pm. Fri Jun 13. £10.60, £9.60 concs.

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

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