London film events in January 2012
If cinema is to be believed (and if it isn’t, what the hell are any of us doing?), this is the year that we finally get snuffed out for good. There are two possible responses to this piece of news: crawl, weeping, into a dark hole to rewatch Die Hard and write some sort of scroll for future generations, or seek out some really bloody good film events. And with eleven and a half months to go until the Mayans say our collective number’s up, we just don’t think we like Die Hard enough. Fortunately (at least if you’re based in London), there’s all sorts going on this month to amuse the intrepid cinephile. What else are you going to do?
London Short Film Festival
The legendary LSFF returns for its ninth year this January, showcasing almost 300 films from British directors ranging from first-timers to industry veterans. Stars including Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench and Rosamund Pike will be appearing in various films, and groups of shorts have been conveniently shoved together to aid those with a particular interest. 9 Bob Note, a compendium of shorts showcasing Queer cinema, looks particularly interesting, as does a retrospective of Harmony Korine-esque Geordie director Sean Conway’s work. Popping up all over town at venues as disparate as the Roxy Bar and Screen and the Ciné Lumière, it’s statistically impossible for you not to find something you’ll enjoy.
EXTRA! You can also check out Midnight Movies’ fantastic-sounding Nightcap, a two-hour screening of “mind-bending short films” at the Rio Cinema in Dalston. Expect a surreal and disturbing procession o films, the highlight of which is likely to be Jake and Dinos Chapman’s The Organ Grinders Monkey, starring Rhys Ifans. Head to the Rio at 11pm on Friday 13 January, but not before booking here.
Wise Cracks: The Comedies of Woody Allen
31st December-31st January
Woody Allen seems to be enjoying something of a resurgence of late. His newest film Midnight in Paris recently overtook Hannah and her Sisters to become his highest-grossing feature ever, and the latter film has just been remastered and rereleased in cinemas (as you’d know if you kept up with our OWLs). Maybe this is why the BFI has decided to run a two-month season of 21 of his best comedies, maybe it isn’t – either way, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t pop along. We’re already halfway through Wise Cracks, but there are plenty more opportunities to see cult classics including Annie Hall, Manhattan and the more recent Vicky Cristina Barcelona (as well as lots of films you’ve probably never heard of – he really does make far too many).
The London Comedy Film Festival
The BFI is properly bloody spoiling us this month, isn’t it? The first ever London Comedy Film Festival (that’s LoCo to you) offers a truly flabbergasting array of events, from a double bill of Shaun of the Dead and Life is Sweet introduced by Edgar Wright to Kickstart Your Comedy Career, a two-day workshop for aspiring comedy film-makers. Other highlights include a special preview screening of The Muppet Movie, the world premiere performance of Tony Hancock’s lost script The Day Off and several classic silent films (including Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr.) shown with live piano accompaniment. That’s a lot to fit into four days, so you’d better book some time off work.
Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
Thursday 19th January
The last event in this month’s rundown isn’t as wide-ranging as any of the others, but it has a charm of its own. Everyone knows we love the Tricycle Theatre, and we’re particularly entranced by its superb series of DocHouse documentary screenings (just look at our review of Thieves by Law). This month’s feature is a late Christmas present for music lovers and anyone wanting to blow away the cobwebs – Beats Rhymes and Life is a unique documentary following legendary hip-hoppers A Tribe Called Quest as they tour the US after a decade of inactivity. Featuring interviews with artists including the Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Mos Def and Ghostface Killah, we really suspect this will be something special. Book your tickets and we’ll see you there!