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. ‘S Wonderful! Hackney’s Hollywood Film Season: ‘Top Hat’
At the Hackney Empire this weekend, enjoy four days of classic movie musicals, many of them accompanied by live performances, fancy dress and special guests. Showing alongside favourites like ‘West Side Story’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Cabaret’, our top pick is glorious Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers hoofer ‘Top Hat’. The film sports an outstanding Irving Berlin score (songs include ‘Isn’t This a Lovely Day?’, ‘Top Hat, White Tie and Tails’ and ‘Cheek to Cheek’), and equally brilliant routines. The archetypal Fred ’n’ Ginger movie.
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, E8 1EJ. Fri May 1, 6pm. £10, £5 concs.
2. Welles Weekend: ‘The Stranger’ + ‘Too Much Johnson’
The conclusion to three days of Orson Welles at Curzon Bloomsbury is a rare screening of his third film as a director, 1946’s anti-Nazi thriller ‘The Stranger’, supported by his recently discovered avant garde student film ‘Too Much Johnson’. ‘The Stranger’ is a hugely enjoyable thriller, as Edward G Robinson’s man from the Allied War Crimes Commission patiently stalks Welles’s former top Nazi, now ensconced as a prep school teacher in a small Connecticut town. It’s studded with great scenes and terrific camerawork.
Curzon Bloomsbury, Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AW. Mon May 4, 3pm. £12.
3. Science Fiction Theatre: ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’
London’s finest sci-fi film club completes a run of ‘Mad Max’ movies in preparation for the new film, ‘Fury Road’, next month. ‘Beyond Thunderdome’ was Mel Gibson’s swansong as Max, cleaning up the dustbowls of post-apocalyptic Oz. This time around, he’s matched against Auntie (Tina Turner) and the denizens of the pig-shit powered Bartertown in a rather erratic plot which rambles around the Outback before finally pulling itself together for the usual stunning chariots of fire and brimstone chase scene.
The Alibi, 91 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB. Mon May 4, 8pm. FREE.
4. Juliette Binoche Season: Three Colours Blue
In advance of her new movie ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’, the Ciné Lumière presents a month of films by France’s greatest international star. ‘Blue’ was one of Binoche’s breakthrough roles, playing a woman who, after the death of her husband and infant daughter in a car crash, decides to build a new, anonymous and wholly independent life. Krzysztof Kieslowski’s film – the first of three inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution – is an arresting study of notions of individual freedom in the modern world.
Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT. Mon May 4, 4.10pm. £8, £6 concs.
5. Rosemary’s Baby
There’s no better place in London to watch a classic horror film than the ornate, elegant Masonic Temple in the Andaz Hotel on Liverpool St. The latest in a series of classic spookers screened in tandem with the East End Film Festival, satanic shocker ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ has the distinction of being voted number seven in Time Out’s list of the 100 Best Horror Films. It’s a supremely intelligent movie about a woman who believes herself impregnated by the Devil, its main strength coming from director Roman Polanski’s refusal to simplify matters. Ambiguity is constant, and we’re never sure whether Farrow’s paranoia about a witches’ coven is grounded in reality or her frustrated imagination.
Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool St, EC2M 7QN. Thu Apr 30, 7.30pm. £10.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.