With BFI’s London Film Festival done and dusted, we round up all the best film festivals, screenings and seasons happening in the capital this November.
October was a heavy month for film nerds (hello, how do you do!) – it was chock full of good stuff (LFF kicked ass) and evil stuff (so many ghastly horror films to get through). But time, like the petulant child that it is, waits for no one, and drags us straight into November. Or as Emily Dickinson describes it, “The Norway of the year.”
The international comparison is actually quite fitting as November in London is absolutely crammed with film festivals focusing on different countries around the world. France, Ireland and Korea are all represented across some wonderful festivals this month. Meanwhile the BFI’s Black Star season, which celebrates black screen talent, has already started and there’s a spooky John Carpenter season for those still in the midst of a Halloween hangover. We also round-up all the month’s new releases and check in on what’s still showing including Doctor Strange and American Honey.
Soooo here’s our guide to all fun film things to do in London this November.
For a more up-to-date guide, check out the best London film events in December 2016.
Film Festivals and Seasons:
black star [oct-dec]
BFI presents a season of film, TV and special events celebrating black screen talent. Films include classics such as In the Heat of the Night, Paris is Burning and Bird. Various strands focus on black actors in every genre, from blaxploitation icons like Mario van Peebles and Pam Grier, to emerging talent like John Boyega and Lupita Nyong’o. There’s also a nationwide re-release of John Singleton’s seminal Boyz n the Hood.
Tickets: BFI Black Star
The cult of John Carpenter [1st-28th November]
Celebrating the incredible and terrifying John Carpenter, who is currently touring the UK right now. Highlights include a new digital restoration of Halloween, and classics such as The Thing and Escape From New York.
London Korean film festival [3rd-27th November]
Back for its 11th edition, the London Korean Film Festival will showcase films including Lee Kyoung-mi’s The Truth Beneath, the UK premiere of Hong Sang-soo’s Yourself and Yours and the biggest Korean box office hit of the year – the unstoppable Train to Busan. There’s also a special strand about the lives of Korean women through the eyes of women directors, which showcases fiction features from a feminine point of view.
Tickets: Korean Film Festival
Made in prague film festival [3rd-29th November]
Another month-long film festival, Made in Prague celebrates the country’s vibrant cultural scene, presenting excellent films such as The Noonday Witch, I Olga Hepnarova and a special tribute to Vojtěch Jasný, celebrating the highly influential filmmaker’s 90th birthday. This includes Jasný’s three Cannes Film Festival winners and lesser-known works made in exile.
French Film Festival [3rd Nov-7th December]
Now in its 24th year, the French Film Festival goes national with the best of contemporary and classic French-speaking cinema showcased in independent cinemas up and down the UK. London locations include the Barbican Centre, Ciné Lumière and Regent Street Cinema and these will show new releases such as The Death of Louis XIV and Willy 1er.
UK International Jewish film festival [5th- 20th November]
The 20th edition of the UK International Jewish Film Festival will proudly showcase world, European and UK premieres of new feature dramas, documentaries and shorts. Highlights include James Schamus’ Indignation, an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel about a Jewish man’s university experience in 1950s America.
gfest gaywise festival [5th-19th november]
London’s eclectic Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) festival showcases film screenings, art exhibitions and performance works by LGBTQI artists. Highlights include an afternoon focused on African LGBTQ Cinema, a rare chance to see and discuss films about African LGBTQ communities with local community groups.
Tickets: GFest Gaywise Films
Irish Film festival [23rd-27th November]
The Irish Film London presents the latest and greatest of Irish film & animation to a London audience through premiere screenings, director Q&A sessions, related workshops, exhibitions and performances. Last year’s highlight included the wonderful Room, this year look out for A Date for Mad Mary and Young Offenders. The festival will take place at five venues across London, including Regent Street Cinema and Tricycle Cinema from Wednesday 23rd November to Sunday 27th November.
Tickets: Irish Film Festival
And if you’re feeling slightly more jet-setting: the Mallorca International Film Festival takes place between 3rd-12th November and will have a special tribute to actor and director Danny DeVito as well as a screening of the Oasis: Supersonic documentary. Tickets: Mallorca International Film Festival.
Repertory Screenings and Reissues:
Atonement, Casablanca, Full Metal Jacket, [2nd-4th November], Nomad Cinema, Imperial War Museum. (See a bunch of war-related movies while a Spitfire dangles over your head – what could be more appropriate?)
Spirited Away [5th November], Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Place. (Edward Scissorhands is also on that day, just in case you’re somehow not enchanted enough)
Pulp Fiction [10th November] BFI Southbank, Southbank (Sure you’ve seen it a million times, but not at the BFI right? Oh you have. Well go again)
Hellboy [11th November], House of Vans, Waterloo (You gotta love Ron Perlman, particularly when the screening is FREE. When painting yourself entirely red, do remember to shower before bed)
The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long [13th November], Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Place (Dressing up as your favourite character is encouraged… unless your favourite character is Herr Zeller, but then you probably have far larger problems to address)
Batman/The Dark Knight [26th November], House of Vans, Waterloo. (Hero or Fascist? Our very own Ted Wilkes has some pretty strong feelings about this one)
The Nice Guys [27th November] Nomad Cinema, The Hoxton. (Tickets include a cocktail, but just be careful near any high ledges. You are NOT Gosling)
Se7en [28th November], BFI, Southbank. (Whatever is in the box, it doesn’t pardon the title’s ludicrous stylisation)
BFI Film Quiz [2nd November] BFI Imax, Southbank
You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat [15th November] Hackney Attic, Hackney
ArtHouse Crouch End Film Quiz [29th November] ArtHouse, Crouch End
New films due out in November:
The Light Between The Oceans [1st November]
Based on the novel of the same name by M. L. Steadman, The Light Between the Oceans is a romantic period drama about a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander) who adopt a young girl, whose real parentage throws up some real problems for the couple years later.
The Accountant [4th November]
It’s Ben Affleck playing an autistic accountant who is also incredibly handy with guns and hand-to-hand combat. Insert Batman meets Rain Man joke here.
Nocturnal Animals [4th November]
Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford’s follow-up to A Single Man, is a stylish, brooding, bespectacled beast that lacks subtlety but remains gripping throughout.
A Street Cat Named bob [4th November]
Based on the sweet true story of James Bowen, a recovering addict living in sheltered accommodation and busking in Covent Garden who nursed a cat back to health, which then helped him rebuild his own life.
Arrival [10th November]
Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is an intelligent, beautiful sci-fi film that grounds the extraordinary very firmly in the ordinary and explores themes of linguistics, community and determinism. One of the best films at this year’s London Film Festival.
American Pastoral [11th November]
Ewan McGregor is the director and star of American Pastoral, an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel about a 1960s family man who watches his life crumble before his eyes as his daughter’s controversial political beliefs threaten the family.
Dog Eat Dog [18th November]
So many adaptations! Although this one isn’t a Philip Roth novel (see above AND Indignation). Based on Edward Bunker’s (Reservoir Dogs’ Mr Blue) novel, Dog Eat Dog is about two robbers (Nicolas Cage and Willem Defoe) tearing shit up and getting involved in a baby-napping case.
Fantastic Beasts And where to find them [18th November]
Your Harry Potter appetite was whetted by the Cursed Child play and now it will be sated by what appears to be the first of FIVE spin-offs. Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, a British Ministry of Magic officer who tracks and protects endangered magical creatures… until one day they’re set loose on the streets of New York.
Gimme danger [18th November]
Jim Jarmusch’s new documentary on the legendary punk bank The Stooges charts their beginnings in the late 60s and how they influenced generations of alt-rock bands.
Your Name [18th November]
This Japanese animated fantasy film is about two people who end up being transported into each other’s bodies and gradually becoming accustomed to the changes. A huge hit in Japan and was nominated for Best Film at this year’s BFI London Film Festival.
Allied [25th November]
Brad Pitt clearly hasn’t had enough of fighting Nazis (Nayzeeeees). In Allied he plays a Canadian intelligence officer who falls in love with a French resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard), but their relationship is tested by the pressures of the Second World War.
Creepy [25th November]
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the director of Pulse, unleashes his new film Creepy this month. It’s an intriguing thriller that proves you should never interact with your neighbours.
The Wailing [25th November]
Korean director of The Chaser, Na Hong-jin delivers epic supernatural thrills with his new film The Wailing. It’s quite the most bonkers horror film we’ve seen this year. And we’ve seen The Void.
Bad Santa 2 [25th November]
YES! Billy Bob Thornton is back as the sweary, abusive Santa Clause! Will it be as good as the first? Probably not. Will Thornton say “fuck” a lot? Of course! So therefore it doesn’t matter.
Paterson [25th November]
In Jim Jarmusch’s other latest film, Paterson, Adam Driver plays a bus driver called Paterson who lives in Paterson, New Jersey. It may not sound like much but it’s a profound, sweet and contemplative film that finds duality in the minor details of everyday life. One of the highlights of LFF2016.
A United Kingdom [25th November]
A United Kingdom tells the true story of a Bechuanaland (modern-day Botswana) prince who falls in love with a white London office clerk (Rosamund Pike) and thus incurring the wrath of British and South African governments. The film opened this year’s London Film Festival but unfortunately reduces a fascinating true story to nothing more than a superficial paint-by-numbers romantic drama.
Still on General Release:
For a 14th chapter in a movie franchise, Doctor Strange achieves a surprising number of firsts for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also highlights its worst underlying problem.
Andrea Arnold’s first US-set movie American Honey is a resonant, freewheeling epic, where youthful abandon triumphs over economic and social adversity.
If you run a film event in London and what to be included in our monthly round-up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org