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…
BFI Cult: ‘In the Mouth of Madness’
The BFI begins a new monthly programme of cult classics with one of John Carpenter’s best but least-known flicks on a rare 35mm print. In this lightweight but highly entertaining horror movie, Carpenter realises the Lovecraftian weirdness hinted at in the eerie atmospherics of ‘The Fog’ and the monstrous excesses of ‘The Thing’: in short, the idea of an order of beings that exists in a parallel dimension, expelled from this world but waiting patiently to cross back and take control again. Hail Cthulhu!
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Thu Jan 27, 8.30pm. £8.15-£11.50.
‘Groundhog Day’ on Groundhog Day
‘Don’t forget your booties ‘cos it’s cold out there today…’ Yes, here’s a chance to see one of the greatest funny flicks of all time (number eight in Time Out’s massive ‘100 Best Comedy Movies’ list) on the very day that Punxsutawney Phil will deliver his verdict on weather prospects for the foreseeable future. ‘Groundhog Day’ is one of those movies that seems incapable of putting a foot wrong, marshalling a wildly complex plot and a sprawling cast of often unlikeable characters with effortless ease, setting a relentless pace and sticking to it, and chucking in a few unforgettable gags for good measure.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Mon Feb 2, 8.45pm. £7.50, £5 concs.
S4 Film Club: ‘Whisky Galore!’
A free evening of four new shorts – including ‘Night Shift’, introduced by director Richard Higson – plus this classic Ealing comedy. A tale of petty larceny, class warfare and rampant alcoholism from Ealing stalwart Alexander Mackendrick, ‘Whisky Galore!’ isn’t just a jolly comedy about a boatload of the hard stuff washing up on a Scottish island. It’s an unabashed love letter to drink, depicting alcohol as the glue that binds communities together. The result is the sweetest, smartest and most joyous of all the Ealing comedies.
Genesis Cinema, 93–95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ. Tue Jan 27, 7pm. FREE.
Tufnell Park Film Club: ‘Les Diaboliques’
Devilishly suspenseful, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s thriller about two women who conspire to knock off a sadistic boarding-school headmaster – one of the women is his wife, the other his mistress – has all the dark humour and clever tension of a Hitchcock. Simone Signoret as the peroxide-blonde mistress is the harder of the two would-be killers, while Véra Clouzot is shivering and simpering as the wife. It’s a great yarn with a delicious twist, and Clouzot maintains a sense of dread and mystery until the end by taking his shaggy-dog story deadly seriously.
The Lord Palmerston, 33 Dartmouth Park Hill, NW5 1HU. Tue Jan 27, 8pm. £10 m’ship.
Alibi Film Club: ‘Full Metal Jacket’
This month, the Alibi takes a trip back to 1987 with a run of films released in that memorable year. The first half of Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam war movie steers clear of South East Asia altogether, focusing on the dehumanising training programme undergone by a group of novice US Marines. Then, after a suitably melodramatic bloodbath, the action switches to ‘Nam, where star recruit Private Joker soon tires of his behind-the-lines job as a military journalist and provokes his CO into sending him forth into the shit. Black irony abounds, madness and racist bigotry are rampant, and a moral message arises from the mire when the cynical, nominally heroic Joker finally learns to kill.
The Alibi, 91 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Mon Feb 2, 8pm.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.