The Don Herzfeldt Experience, Adam Leon's debut and the new film season at the Barbican
NEW FILM OF THE WEEK: GIMME THE LOOT
New York-based director Adam Leon's debut feature Gimme the Loot follows two Bronx graffiti artists (played by Ty Hickson and Tashiana Washington) through a couple of hot summer days as they try to finance their ambitious new venture - tagging the giant apple at the Mets' new home - through shady means. While set today, the grimy but upbeat indie is a throwback to '80s street-culture classics like Wild Style. It opens in the UK on Friday 3 May.
EVENT OF THE WEEK: THE DON HERZFELDT EXPERIENCE
Bill is a stick figure prone to anxiety and nightmarish imaginings that any day-to-day thing - from a dead bird on the sidewalk to the crotch-level nature of supermarket bins - can set off. Hand-drawn by revered animator Don Hertzfeldt, Bill has appeared in a number of his shorts - three of which have been gathered together to make up charming, bittersweet portmanteau It's Such a Beautiful Day. A week-long run of the film at London's ICA starts on Friday 3 May. Other Herzfeldt shorts will accompany it on opening night, with a party in the bar after.
OLD FILM OF THE WEEK: EL TOPO
El Topo, an extravagant 1970 acid western from Chilean maestro of whacked-out surrealism Alejandro Jodorowsky, became the first-ever cult midnight movie in the US, and prompted John Lennon to provide the director with a cool million to fund his next film. Jodorowsky himself plays El Topo, a black-clad gunfighter roaming through the Mexican desert on a mystical search for enlightenment amid episodes of outrageous cruelty and violence.
Screening on Tuesday 7 May at London's Prince Charles Cinema.
TRAILER OF THE WEEK: PERFORMANCE
Mick Jagger had his big-screen debut playing a reclusive former rock star who lets an east London gangster lay low in his bohemian home in Performance. The dark, druggy film, co-directed by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg and influenced by Argentinian writer Borges, caused a notorious distribution headache for studio Warner, who were shocked it wasn't the mild, upbeat romp they'd been expecting. A disgusted Warner exec said of a notorious bathtub scene with Jagger, Anita Pallenberg and Michele Breton: "Even the bath water was dirty."
Screening at London's Rio Cinema on Saturday 4 March.
FESTIVAL OF THE WEEK: PALESTINE FILM FESTIVAL
This year's London Palestine Film Festival opens with a rare chance to see director David Koff's controversial doc Occupied Palestine, which records the detrimental impact on Palestinian villages of Israeli settlements. Its 1981 premiere was disrupted in San Francisco by a bomb threat, making other cinemas reluctant to screen the film. The rest of the fest includes shorts, animation, and experimental work - and 20 premieres of fresh new Palestine-related fare.
It runs from 3 to 15 May at London's Barbican Cinema and the University of London.