FILM FESTIVAL OF THE WEEK: London Underground Film Festival
Four days and nights of cult, genre-defying oddities; pagan sex rituals in Temple Wood: A Quest for Freedom, celluloid hallucinations in the films of Tony Lawrence, and new adventures in pornography with Bruce La Bruce’s blood-spattered LA Zombie, starring tattoo-scalped porn star Francois Sagat as an alien zombie who rises out of the Pacific and proceeds to fuck fallen Angelenos – OD’d drug addicts, homeless corpses, car crash victims – back to life again.
6-9 Dec at the Horse Hospital
The Horse Hospital is juggling the twin approaches of Christmas and the Mayan apocalypse with a festive night of disaster films and discussion. They’re screening sci-fi Deep Impact (apocalypse by meteorite) and Twilight Zone episode Time Enough At Last (apocalypse by H-bomb), followed by talks on pre-enactment, post-disaster practice and architecture. Also: free mince pies.
13 Dec at the Horse Hospital
SCREENING OF THE WEEK: My Own Private River
A remix of River Phoenix’s most famous role as a narcoleptic street hustler in Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho, Van Sant and James Franco edited 25 hours of raw rushes into this mercurial portrait of the young star. “Often what’s left on the cutting room floor is inferior,” Franco told the Paris Review. “But sometimes – as when they feature an actor like River Phoenix, the best of his generation giving his best performance – every scrap is gold.”
Sun 9 Dec at the ICA
OLD FILM OF THE WEEK: Plein Soleil
The Criterion Collection re-releases Plein Soleil this week, Rene Clement’s 1960 tale of murder and seduction on the Italian coast. An adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Talented Mr. Ripley (but loads better than that Jude Law one) it was Alain Delon’s first major role and its gorgeous mix of sunshiny creepiness made him a star.
Out on 4 Dec
CHRISTMAS FILM OF THE WEEK: Gremlins
Don’t get them wet, don’t feed them after midnight (and don’t bother with the sequel)… 28 years since Gizmo and Stripe first hit the screen, Joe Dante’s subversive comic horror is back with its timely anti-consumerist Christmas message and its satire on Reagan-era America. Worth catching again for all the in-jokes you might have missed first time round – spot the Spielberg cameo.
Out from Friday 7 December