Monday, March 29, 2010

What's On in April

The first in a monthly feature detailing exciting happenings in the film calendar.

The BFI will spend April paying tribute to two legends. Throughout the month, Paul Newman will be celebrated with a retrospective of his work, from his star-making turn in Somebody Up There Likes Me to classics such as The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Cool Hand Luke, The Verdict and The Hudsucker Proxy. The extraordinary range of brilliant performances showcased in these films again proves that Newman was both one of our greatest actors and one of our greatest movie stars. The other legend being honoured by the BFI in April is Alfred Hitchock's Psycho, which turns 50 this year. Their season A Classic in Context offers us the chance to see films that may have inspired this indelible chiller, as well as subsequent works that owe a debt to Hitch's masterpiece. This approach has yielded an eclectic and fascinating collection of movies, and I'm personally looking forward to seeing Nicholas Ray's On Dangerous Ground for the first time, as well as enjoying my favourite Orson Welles film, Touch of Evil, on the big screen. The other intriguing event taking place at the NFT this month is a weekend devoted to HBO, the US cable network responsible for the most groundbreaking and brilliant television of the past decade. Highlights include a preview screening of David Simon's Treme and a showing of the first two episodes from the new war drama The Pacific. HBO bigwigs Richard Plepler and Mike Lombardo will be present to discuss the secrets of their success, while the great Larry David will be appearing for an onstage interview that is sure to be memorable.

Elsewhere, the Barbican is hosting the 2010 London International Documentary Festival – which will be opened by Abel Ferrara's Napoli, Napoli, Napoli – as well as highlighting the work of Jane Campion in a retrospective. The ICA have planned a short season entitled Movies + Music = Morricone, which will give viewers the welcome opportunity to see The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, The Battle of Algiers and The Thing, while the weekend of the 24th and 25th sees the staging of Fan Fest, which is billed as the The Ultimate Spy and Sci-Fi event. Taking place at The London Film Museum, the weekendwill be heaven for James Bond fans, with confirmed guests including Richard Kiel, George Lazenby, Honor Blackman, Jesper Christensen and Sir Christopher Lee, who will be receiving a lifetime achievement award and taking part in a Q&A session. The legendary Ray Harryhausen will also be appearing at this event, and there will be memorabilia on display from a wide variety of classic films and TV shows. Finally the East End Film Festival kicks off on April 22nd, with eight days of new films and Q&As from local talent. Michael Nyman and Paul Andrew Williams will be among the guests appearing at this year's festival.

If you know of any upcoming film events that you'd like me to include in future articles, please let me know at