Like movies? Then you’ll love these off-beat London events…
When I was asked to handpick my choice of movie related fun and frolics available to the good people of London Town, the Prince Charles Cinema just off Leicester Square had to be first on my list. This venue is really spoiling us for choice with all of its themed nights and events. Here’s my pick of the best……
Sing-along-a Sound of Music (!)
I’m sure you’ll either be cheering with delight or gasping with horror at the prospect. The audience is treated to a 30 minute pre-film vocal warm-up, a free goody bag containing props for use at certain “magic moments” throughout the film and for those of you who had the foresight to fashion your old drapes into some rather fetching lederhosen, there’s a even prize for best fancy dress. The film is fully subtitled for anyone that doesn’t happen to be a die-hard Julie Andrews fan (what? You neither?!) and if you need some dutch courage before making your west-end debut, there’s also a bar, so no excuses!
Cult Film Season
running each Wednesday from 10th November up until the 15th December. They’ve cherry-picked only the most ass-kicking/rip-roaring/controversial celluloid gold for your viewing pleasure, including the Coen Brothers coolest creation, The Big Lebowski and the indisputable daddy of martial arts movies, Enter the Dragon.
Now how about something for the girls? The name does exactly what it says on the tin (or bottle, rather). Feel-good films, every Tuesday, 2 for 1 drinks at the bar, and no waiting as screenings start at 6.30pm, just perfect for some post-work escapism! Chardonnay Nites next offering will be Flashdance on Tuesday 16th November, with Brit classic 4 Weddings and a Funeral being shown the following week. Go on, indulge your guilty pleasures!
The Barbican, Silk street, EC2
Aspects of Japanese cinema
If you’re after something a little more highbrow than the terribly charming Hugh Grant being all floppy haired and disarming in another formulaic rom-com, then your first stop should be the Barbican, Central London. As part of their Aspects of Japanese Cinema season they are showing girlsworld: women in contemporary japanese cinema. On Saturday 13th November they’ll be screening Memories of Matsuko, directed by Tetsuya Nakashima. The film is described as a “Japanese Amelie” which personally is all the info I need to know that I have to get down to the Barbican pronto! A must-see for hopeless romantics and world cinema buffs alike.
As part of the same season on Sunday 14th November they’ll be screening Sakuran, a period costume drama taken from Moyoco Anno’s manga series of the same name. The directorial debut of photographer Mika Ninagawa, this period drama is visually stunning. Ninagawa’s grounding as a photographer really comes into play and you’ll be treated to beautiful bold colours and sumptuous traditional costumes in abundance. The film is accompanied by a jazz, electro and pop soundtrack, and there’s a love story to boot! What more could you want?
Bad Film Club
For those of you who like a sense of pantomime to your evening (or just a good old heckle) the Barbican are offering you the chance to attend their Bad Film Club. Hosted by comedy duo Nicko & Joe, you’ll be encouraged to jeer, cheer, laugh, shout and generally participate whenever it takes your fancy! The hosts are armed with laser pointers and provide a comedic commentary throughout the brilliantly awful movie that’s been selected. First up is B-Movie Snowbeast on Friday 12th November, described as a ‘woefully low budget gore fest’. Nicko and Joe have been joined in the past by comic special guests such as Rhys Thomas and Stewart Lee, so if you’re up for a laugh or are looking for some like-minded souls to share your hatred of poor continuity, awful one-liners and slow moving plot lines, this should be right up your street……
Harry Potter Tour
Unless you’ve been in hibernation since the cold weather set in you’ll know that the final instalment of the Harry Potter movie franchise is about to hit our cinemas. Why not mark the end of an era with your very own Harry Potter tour of London?!! Luxury coach (not broomstick unfortunately) will be your method of transport, as you visit sights such as platform 9 ¾ ,12 Grimmauld Place and many more, including some of the locations in latest movie The Deathly Hallows. You’ll be able to get off the bus and get right up close to some legendary HP locations, you’ll learn about magic, the making of the films and the books and you better keep your wits about you coz they’ll be trivia tests too! Fancy dress is optional, but in my opinion, essential. So dust off your Gryffindor uniform, brush up on your Muggle Studies and hop on board!
Bond boat trip
My next choice is a corker! Now for anyone that has ever fancied themselves as a bit of a suave action hero type, how does a Bond-esque speedboat trip down the Thames grab you? Your mission will start at The London Eye and will take you to Canary wharf and back again. Accompanied by an award winning comedian for some witty banter as well as some classic tunes from the on-board soundsystem (including, I’m assuming the one and only James Bond theme) you’ll feel like 007 himself! The trip runs 7 days a week all year round and has been met with rave reviews. It promises to be an exhilarating trip that will leave your Martini well and truly shaken!
Cinemas worth visiting
The Aubin Cinema, Redchurch street, E2
Anyone wanting a night out at the movies with a touch of class? Check out the Aubin Cinema in Shoreditch. It’s velvet sofas, adjoining art gallery and varied programme covering mainstream and arthouse flicks, make your cinema experience feel just that little bit more special.
The Electric Cinema, Portobello road, W11
The Electric had to make the list with two seater leather sofas and footstools available and an extensive drinks menu it’s perfect for a romantic night out. The Electric also runs themed film seasons, including Sci-fi & Horror all-nighters, silent movies and special ‘Scream’ mornings for parents with babies under a year old. The beautiful period features of the interior are also well worth a look (not that you’ll see them after the lights go down!)
So there’s the lowdown on all the best movie events and locations in the big smoke this month. Parents, couples, boys and girls all covered. Now get out there and get involved!