Marilyn Monroe season, ‘Hardware’ 25th anniversary, ‘The Ipcress File’ and more film fun happening this week
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. Sci-fi London: ‘Hardware’ 25th anniversary
Celebrate a low-budget British horror classic, as composer Simon Boswell celebrates the DIY magic of Richard Stanley’s full-throttle feature debut, ‘Hardware’. In the barren wastelands of the future, a zone trooper stumbles upon the remains of an advanced killing machine, the Mark 13 cyborg. Stanley’s gaudy vision achieves a roller-coaster pace, swept along by an incessant industrial soundtrack, the perfect backdrop for Image Animation’s deliciously fetishistic creation, all pumping pistons and sinewy flex. An energetic Pandora’s box of delights, tailor-made for the disposable ’90s. The screening will be followed by a live show by TheAND and a psychedelic club night.
Ritzy Picturehouse, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW2 1JG. Thu Jun 4, 9pm. £11.60, £10.60 concs.
2. Marilyn Monroe season: ‘Clash by Night’
The BFI’s month-long tribute to the greatest movie star of them all kicks off with Marilyn’s first major role, in this adaptation of Clifford Odets’ play, a hoary slice of Broadway neo-realism in the Arthur Miller vein. At heart, it’s a mature study of a cynical woman’s adultery with an equally cynical man. Director Fritz Lang transposed the setting from Staten Island to a small fishing village, and what follows is an excellently acted, very Langian picture of the dangerous undercurrents in emotional relationships.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Fri Jun 5, 8.45pm. £8.35–£11.75.
3. The Ipcress File
Sandwiched between ‘Zulu’ and ‘Alfie’ on Michael Caine’s extensive and, let’s say, ‘varied’ filmography, ‘The Ipcress File’ was the first of four films in which the actor played gentleman spy Harry Palmer. The plot is a mild headache of deceit and double-dealing that glides stylishly around Palmer, a cocky London bachelor and middle-ranking scion of the MoD’s counter-espionage department. Palmer is redeployed from the command of one stuffy chief to another in order to investigate a mysterious ‘brain drain’ of scientists and along the way discovers a suspicious reel of 8mm film that, it turns out, has mind-wiping properties.
Stratford East Picturehouse, Salway Rd, E15 1BX. Sun Jun 7, 3.45pm. £9.50, £8.50 concs.
4. The Frighteners
Peter Jackson’s SFX-heavy scarefest looks at first like a return to the slapstick horror-comedy of ‘Braindead’. Later, however, it flips into a grim, disturbing horror movie about the malevolent spirit of a serial killer back from the grave to increase his body count. Though funded by Hollywood, this New Zealand-shot movie was creatively controlled by Jackson and co-writer Fran Walsh. So while the on-screen violence is toned down, there’s no soft-pedalling the ugliness of mass murder. At times the relentless special effects and tangled plotting veer towards overkill, but the final tonal swerve is shocking and effective.
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Wed Jun 3, 8.45pm. £7.50, £5 concs.
5. The Killing of Sister George
Catch a rare 35mm screening of Robert Aldrich’s entertaining adaptation of Frank Marcus’s play about an ageing gay actress whose life falls apart as she loses her job in a TV soap series. To be fair, the film could never be described as either realistic or sensitive. With its grotesque stereotyping and tour de force bitchiness and hysteria, it’s more like a sequel to ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’. The result is cynical, objectionable and fun, distinguished by Beryl Reid’s marvellously energetic performance.
Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, W1B 2UW. Sun Jun 7, 9pm. £11, £10 concs.
For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.