Top 5 London Summer Film Events

We don’t know about you, but when summer rolls around there’s only one thing we feel like doing; sitting in the dark and watching movies. However, it may be that some of your friends aren’t as cool as you and want to pretend that they’re doing something ‘interesting’, ‘different’ or even (gasp!) ‘outdoorsy’ with their summer – and next time they bring up the thorny topic of fresh and and sunshine, you’ll be ready for them. Here, in no particular order, are the unusual (and, at times, open air) film events we’re most excited about this summer.


Double Bills at the Prince Charles Cinema

God, we love the Prince Charles. It’s not really summer-specific, but any list of the top film events in London is incomplete without a mention of its unique charms and matchless programme of events. This summer’s highlights include the next in the PCC’s hugely successful series of ‘Schwing Along With Wayne’s World‘ events (featuring free jelly doughnuts and a 90s-themed pre-party!), a real life Rex Manning Day to accompany a screening of coming-of-age classic Empire Records, and a quote-along-with-Clerks night for die-hard fans of Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse. Add that to the ever-popular double bills (American Psycho and Fight Club? HELLO) and you’ve got a pretty good summer set up without even leaving Soho.


Film4 Summer Screen

An oldie, perhaps, but a goodie nonetheless. Somerset House is once again the host of a huge variety of films old and new, to be screened in the open air (there’s a lot of that about this year) in its beautiful Thamesside courtyard. Highlights of the 2011 programme include the UK premiere of Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film The Skin I Live In, plus classics like Thelma and Louise, The Princess Bride (swoon!) and an extraordinary triple bill of Gremlins, Troll Hunter and Tremors. Make sure you take food, drinks, cushions and blankets (plus a cagoule if you’re a big girl’s blouse or a stoic expression if you’re a LAD) – it’s not especially comfortable, but it is the biggest outdoor film event you’ll go to this summer. A classic.


Queen of Hoxton’s Rooftop Cinema

If you’re near Best For Film Towers in Shoreditch, pop in and say hello – or better yet, come by as we’re crossing the drawbridge and offer to buy us a drink. However, once you’ve done that and we’ve gone off somewhere more interesting, you’re liable to be at a loose end. Point your feet, therefore, towards the Queen of Hoxton and its extraordinary Roof Top Film Club, a delightfully luxurious open-air setup with comfy chairs, a huge screen and wireless headphones so you don’t miss any dialogue when the chap next to you gets up for another beer. The Queen’s summer of screenings is nicely balanced between classics (Belle du Jour, anyone?) and popular favourites including a weekly chick flick. There are only 100 seats and tickets go fast, so pop along for dinner and book for the week ahead!


Watch Me Move

Watch Me Move might be the most interesting animation festival ever to visit London. Eschewing traditional gallery-style setups in favour of an interactive and immersive design, the Barbican’s love letter to all things cartoonish is running throughout the summer and incorporates clips and shorts from animators as varied as Walt Disney, Ray Harryhausen, Pixar, the Lumière Brothers and Aardman, many of which run constantly so visitors can wander in and out of screening rooms at their leisure. This extraordinary smorgasbord of rare animated treats is bolstered by a unique programme of live events at the Barbican Gallery and big-screen specials including a variety of Studio Ghibli films (we’ve already been along to see Akira). An absolute must for animation fans of all kinds.


Folly For A Flyover

Assemble, the extraordinary creative team that brought you last year’s Cineroleum Project (that’s ‘cinema in a disused petrol station’ to you), is at it again – and this time they’ve scaled up. Their summer project Folly For a Flyover is an installation built under the A12 where it crosses the Lea Navigation Canal in Hackney, and for the next few weeks it’s playing host to some of the most interesting cinematic events in the capital. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night until the end of this month sees unique open-air screenings of classic movies on their big screen (we went to see Sleeping Beauty, which was accompanied by live opera singers; future treats include Akira (in case you missed it at the Barbican), 2001: A Space Odyssey and Leone classic For A Few Dollars More), whilst other arty endeavours far too varied to mention are planned in the daytime every weekend. We’re particularly excited about the tiny, 12-seat Floating Cinema. With support from both the Barbican Centre and CREATE11, this year’s incarnation of the superb CREATE arts festival which enlivens the East End every summer, Assemble have created one of the most inviting and exciting spaces we’ve visited.


Have we missed your favourite upcoming film event? Let us know below!

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