Friday, October 01, 2010

What's On in October

London Film Festival screenings begin for me on Monday, and the rest of October will be dominated by that festival, with a couple of films a day being on my list until the end of the month. However, there is still plenty going on for people who aren't attending the LFF, with the Barbican's Japanese season looking like the tastiest offering. The highlight is undoubtedly their retrospective of Kenji Mizoguchi, one of the greatest Japanese filmmakers, but one who too rarely seems to be considered alongside the great masters Kurosawa and Ozu. The season will include two of his greatest films, Sansho the Bailiff and Ugetsu monogatari, but the most exciting event is a presentation of an early Mizoguchi work. The Water Magician will be introduced by Tony Rayns before being screened along with a live score and a benshi narrator. It certainly sounds like an event not to missed (although, regrettably, I'll be doing just that due to a prior engagement).

The Barbican's focus on Japan continues with their GirlsWorld strand, which features films like Kamikaze Girls, Memories of Matsuko and Sakuran, while more sedate fun is offered by The Bicycle Film Festival, a celebration of two-wheeled adventures that includes screenings of The Bicycle Thieves and ET. The other major film festival to take place this month is the 2010 Raindance Festival, with the most notable coup being their success in finding a loophole that allows an uncut screening of A Serbian Film. Bruce LaBruce's LA Zombie will ensure A Serbian Film doesn't hold a monopoly on shocking cinema, however, and the eclectic programme also finds room for interesting-looking features like Son of Babylon, Huge, Autumn Adagio and Yuriko's Aroma. Sci-Fi fans are catered for by Sci-fi London's Oktoberfest, which runs from the 14th to the 16th, and the ICA's Story of London season contains an old favourite of mine, The London Nobody Knows starring James Mason.

After all of that, the month ends with a variety of Halloween-themed events. The Prince Charles Cinema will be screening a singalong version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (be afraid, be very afraid), The Curzon Soho will be hosting a special night of screenings, and so will Frightfest, with an all-nighter being planned for the 30th. Finally, Reel Music III, the third in the increasingly popular series of film music-themed nights, takes place on Friday October 29th at the Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, offering film fans the perfect opportunity to unwind at the end of a manic month.

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