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…
This week sees classic Sherlock Holmes movies screening across London. The best of them is undoubtedly Hammer’s 1959 take on Holmes’s creepiest adventure. Director Terence Fisher, at the peak of his career, used Arthur Conan Doyle’s plot to establish a stylish confrontation between Holmes’ nominally rational Victorian outlook and the fabulous cruelty behind the Baskerville legend. Peter Cushing gives one of his very best performances, ably supported by Christopher Lee as the Baskerville heir.
Rio, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Sat Apr 4, 11.30pm. £8.50.
The BFI’s month-long tribute to great film noir director Siodmak kicks off with his remarkable silent debut, one of the earliest movies to renounce stars, drama and the other paraphernalia of commercial cinema in favour of a non-professional cast and an everyday storyline. Amazingly, its variety of ‘realism’ has hardly dated at all. Most of it centres on a Sunday excursion from the bustle of Berlin to a countryside lake. Hardly anything happens, but the play of gazes, emotions and counterpoints becomes deeply engrossing.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Thu Apr 2, 6.10pm. £8.35–£12.15.
The limitless nature of animation remains purpose-fit for Katsuhiro Otomo’s city-razing futuro-fantasy about a floppy-fringed retinue of cyberpunk bikers and their dealings with a group of telekinetic sages. To cut a long story short, the film places a rivalry between road-racing teenage screw-ups Kaneda and Tetsuo against a ‘Blade Runner’-like backdrop of Neo-Tokyo, a city in the midst of a rebuild after the metropolis was nuked at the end of World War III. If you haven’t seen it, prepare to have your gob well and truly smacked.
The Alibi, 91 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Mon Apr 6, 8pm. FREE.
An appropriately eccentric and monumental marvel from director Werner Herzog. Operatic excess is both the subject and the keynote, as Klaus Kinski’s visionary Irish adventurer obsessively hatches grandiose schemes to finance a dream of bringing Caruso and the strains of Verdi to an Amazon trading post. Staked by loving Molly, a madam, he pilots the resurrected tub ‘Molly-Aida’ down an uncharted tributary, wooing the fierce natives with gramophone arias before securing their inexplicable collaboration in the ludicrous task of hauling the ship manually over a hill towards a parallel waterway.
Curzon Bloomsbury, Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AW. Thu Apr 2, 5.45pm. £8.50.
One night. Five films. No clues. If Secret Cinema isn’t secret enough for you these days, might we suggest you head down to the Prince Charles for a completely unpredictable night of cinematic surprises. There’s not much more we can tell you – except to say that the Prince has a largely unblemished record, screening everything from established classics to exploitation oddities to total freakout weirdies. Expect all of the above to be represented tonight.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Fri Apr 3, 11.59pm. £12.50, £10 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.