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NW6 Film Club is back!

December 8th 5.30pm – Blue is the Warmest Colour – JW3

by Nathan Williams

After a slightly extended break (sorry about that!), the film club returns with a special event: an epic romance that’s received rave reviews at a stunning new venue.

The film is Blue Is the Warmest Colour – the story of a passionate affair between two women based on a graphic novel. The film is controversial, both because of its explicit nature (one sex scene reportedly took 10 days to shoot) and because the author of the original novel disowned it as a straight person’s fantasy. Others have been much kinder. It won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and has been getting great reviews.

It’s not often that The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph agree on something but both have given this film 5 stars.

It’s been called “an extraordinary, prolonged popping-candy explosion of pleasure” (Telegraph) and “a film of extraordinary richness and emotional complexity” (Independent). But what will NW6 make of it?

We’re seeing the movie at the neigbourhood’s latest addition to an already stellar collection of cinemas: JW3.

This new Jewish Community centre has a luxury 60 seat cinema that shows a wide variety of films. It also has a cafe/bar where we’ll gather after the film to discuss the movie and enjoy a drink or food.

The film is at 5.30pm on Sunday December 8th. It’s three hours long, so you definitely get your money’s worth – but as it should starting at 5.30 prompt there will be plenty of time to chat afterwards.

We’ll meet around 5pm in the cafe and we recommend you book your cinema ticket in advance as we’ve no idea how popular it will be. There’s a special event page here.

We’ll have a reserved block so, if you book by phone, mention the film club if you want to sit with the rest of us (you don’t have to!)

As usual, follow Mark’s @NxNW6 twitter account and the #nw6filmclub hashtag for the latest and if you can, drop us a tweet to let us know you’re coming.

Hopefully see you there,

Nathan, Mark and Jonathan

JW3 Cinema

JW3 cinema: comfortable and eclectic

As keen readers of this website, you will have of course know about JW3, the brand spanking new Jewish community centre that has opened on the corner of Finchley Road and Lymington Road. But had you caught up yet with the fact that it has its very own cinema? Clearly, I had to investigate.

The JW3 centre officially opened late last month, and cost a reported £50m. It is aiming to become a cultural hub for north-west London and beyond. The facilities are impressive: a large hall with the capacity to hold concerts, theatre shows, weddings and bar mitzvahs and a kosher restaurant. They also include a 60-seat screening room which hosts both recent cinema releases as well as Jewish film festivals.

Keen to check out the centre, we went to see Woody Allen’s latest, Blue Jasmine, last Saturday night. The experience was excellent, akin to a private screening room (think great comfort and relaxed atmosphere). We booked ahead (advisable) and our seats were unreserved, so my advice would be to get there early. Tickets were priced at £12 (equivalent to the multiplex and notably cheaper than the Everyman), and there are no pre-film trailers or advertisements.

If you are thinking of heading down and, based on my experience, you really should, it’s worth noting that the JW3 cinema will offer an eclectic programme. It won’t necessarily screen the latest blockbusters so check its website as well as the NxNW6 film listings on these pages to check out what’s on when. There are regular slots for “Golden Oldies”, family films, and all manner of other film delights, such as the Misogynists Film Club (don’t worry, it’s “a feminist celebration of the terrible portrayal of women in cinema”), and even some Israeli TV.

With six cinemas all within walking distance of West End Lane [Ed: you walk faster than most people!], we were already spoiled for choice. With the addition of this new jewel, we now have an embarrassment of riches. Let me know what you think.

Film on Fortune Green: We’re on a mission from God

Yes! Sanity prevailed. The people spoke (well, 186 of them did) and the overwhelming winner in the vote for August 31st’s Film on Fortune Green is The Blues Brothers.

This classic musical comedy from 1980 stars Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi and was directed by John Landis. It features cameos from some of America’s musical legends – most famously Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and James Brown. It also has one of the best (and longest) car chase sequences of all time and spawned a thousand tribute bands, imitators and wannabes.

It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.

The film starts at 7.45pm, and will once again be bike-powered (volunteers are very welcome indeed), but come earlier to grab a good spot and bring a picnic. It is a 15 certificate, though that’s really for a few swear words (always in context, of course) rather than anything more disturbing for younger kids. It’s really a glorified cartoon – and brilliant for it.

These film nights are getting more and more popular and this one should be even better. Bring your dark glasses and thin black ties and lets get our whampblues on.

Jake and Elwood Blues – They’re on a mission from God
Rapt audience for Back to the Future in June

Vote for the next Fortune Green film

Everyone agreed that the screening of Back to the Future in June was a huge success, and the Friends of Fortune Green raised enough money that night to put on another bike-powered summer film on Saturday August 31st.

Photo via Mark Stonebanks

Mark “The Hills are Alive” Stonebanks, chair of the FoFG, is determined that it should be a musical, but is leaving the choice up to the Great Whamp Public. He’s come up with a shortlist based on some early suggestions and you can vote for your favourite.

The choices are:

  • Bugsy Malone (1976, Jodie Foster, dir Alan Parker – famous for the custard gun scene)
  • Fame (1980, Irene Cara, dir Alan Parker – famous for legwarmers (but not as good as the TV series))
  • Footloose (1984, Kevin Bacon, dir Herbert Ross – famous for the theme tune)
  • The Blues Brothers (1980, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, dir John Landis – famous for being bloody brilliant)
  • Les Misérables (2012, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, dir Tom Hooper – famous for being entirely in song)

You have to go the Friends of Fortune Green event site to vote (scroll down when you get there). Far be it from me to sway your vote in any particular direction. I shall just leave you with this.

NW6 Film Club: The Bling Ring on July 14th

It’s nearly time for the next instalment of NW6 Film Club, and this month’s offering is not only a great pick, but also one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year.

Sofia Coppola’s films have fallen into two distinct camps: either they focus on the reality of celebrity, especially its claustrophobic qualities (Lost in Translation, Somewhere), or they feature teenagers who are desperate and isolated from society (The Virgin Suicides). It could be argued that The Bling Ring contains elements from both strands.

The Film Club screening is at The Tricycle Cinema in Kilburn at 8pm on Sunday 14th July. We’ll meet in the bar at the Tricycle from 7.30pm. There’s no need to tell us you’re coming – though a tweet is always welcome.

You can book through the Tricycle Box Office on 020 7328 1000 – we will have a reserved block right in the centre of the cinema so mention “NW6 Film Club” if you want to sit with us (or don’t if you don’t!). It’s unlikely to be booked out so feel free to come along on the night as well.

After the film we’ll go to the Black Lion opposite the cinema for a drink and a chat. We’ll wait at the top of the stairs for a few minutes after the film finishes and head over together but if you miss us there then just head over.

The film is 90 minutes long, so there should be time for a good post-movie discussion. As always, follow @NxNW6 for updates on Twitter (or the #nw6filmclub hashtag), and hopefully we will see you on Sunday 14th.

Mark (@NxNW6) and Nathan (@nathankw)

NW6 Film Club: Once more unto the breach

A slightly different tack for June’s NW6 Film Club – and a discount price! The Tricycle is one of the cinemas that’s teamed up with the Globe Theatre to show three productions from last year’s season at the open-air theatre on the South Bank.

First up is perennial crowd-pleaser Henry V, on Sunday June 9th. The screening starts at 5.30pm and there’s a Q&A afterwards with artistic director Dominic Dromgoole, Jamie Parker who plays the title role, and Brid Brennan who plays Queen Isabel. The screening includes the interval.

The production was very well received by the critics (see here, and here), and is always apt whenever the country finds itself in conflict – be it to support or criticise the idea of war and leadership. If you’re not sure about Shakespeare, this might be a good one to try out. The story is easy to follow, there’s not too much witty wordplay or sub-plots involving twins, and it’s fairly action-packed.

The Tricycle has very kindly given us a discount for this screening. Normally, tickets are £15, but NW6 Film Clubbers can get them for £10. To benefit from this, either ring the box office on 020 7328 1000 or book online using code “NW6FilmClub”.

You do need to book in advance for this one and we don’t have a pre-booked block of seats. However, we’ll meet beforehand in the bar as per usual, and we’ll also have a table reserved in the bar for the interval. What’s not to love?

See you there!
Mark, Nathan and Jonathan

Back to the Future on Fortune Green

This Saturday, the Friends of Fortune Green will pick up where they left off last summer with the first outdoor film screening of the year. Powered by bike (not DeLorean).

If you didn’t come to these last year, they were a great success. The premise is simple: a large screen is put up on Fortune Green and everyone bring a picnic, settles out on the grass from about 6.30 in the evening and then as the sun sets the film starts. With people cycling on fixed bikes to generate the power. Volunteers are needed to do a bit of the cycling (10 minute spells are fine) and a few bikes are also needed. Please contact FoFG if you can lend a bike for the evening.

The first film this year is 1980s cult classic Back to the Future with Michael “never gets older” J Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Sure, you’ve seen it before, but films like this always merit watching again.

The forecast is reasonably good for the week, so the FoFG are optimistic that it will go ahead. The film is PG, and it’s free thanks to sponsorship from Benham & Reeves estate agents.

The one lesson from last year: bring some bug spray.

See you there.

NW6 Film Club: Trance on April 7

It’s nearly time for the third instalment of the monthly NW6 Film Club, and this month’s offering is a great pick!

Trance is Danny Boyle’s (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later) first film since his legendary Olympic opening ceremony last summer and looks set to be another rollercoaster ride.

Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a Goya painting worth millions of dollars but after suffering a blow to the head during the heist he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting. When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang’s leader Frank (Vincent Cassel) hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon’s psyche. As Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon’s broken subconscious, the lines between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur.

The film is screening at The Tricycle at 20:00 on Sunday 7th April and tickets are already available.

How do I book?
Through the Tricycle Box Office on 020 7328 1000- we have a block of seats reserved right in the middle of the cinema so mention “NW6 film club” if you want to sit with us (or don’t if you don’t!). It’s unlikely to be booked out so feel free to turn up on the night as well.

How do I find you?
We’ll meet up in the bar area at the Tricycle from 19:15, so collect your ticket and come and say hi. You’ll spot the crowd! There’s no need to tell us you’re coming – though a tweet is always welcome.

After the film we’ll go to the Black Lion opposite the cinema for a drink and a chat. The film is only 100-something minutes long so there should be time for a good post-movie discussion.

It;s going to be a great night, I hope you can join us. As always, follow @NxNW6 for updates or the #nw6filmclub hashtag.

Mark (@NxNW6) and Nathan (@nathankw)

NW6 Film Club launches

This month we’re launching the imaginatively named NW6 Film Club – an informal meetup of local film buffs. It’s basically like a book club only with a screen instead of pages! Or is that what book clubs will be like anyway in a couple of years?

Enough biting satirical commentary. You need details:

When?
The first Film Club will be on Sunday 27th Jan (the plan is to do it on the last Sunday of every month). The exact time will depend on the film time but we’ll usually meet 45 minutes before the Sunday evening showing. This Sunday, that means meeting at 6.45pm.

Where?
Our first and usual venue will be the Tricycle Cinema on Kilburn High Road. If you don’t know it, this lovely cinema has a good screen, comfortable seats and usually shows excellent films.

It’s also good value compared to most London cinemas. Standard tickets are £9.50 and if you plan to go regularly then become a Tricycle member and get £1.50 off.

What films will we see?
Generally whatever is showing at the Tricycle; they usually show interesting films – not too blockbuster but not too “art-house” either.

The first film is Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow’s dramatisation of the capture of Osama bin Laden.

How does it work?
Just buy a ticket for 7.30pm showing on the 27th, and come and join us at the Tricycle Bar before the film. We’ll be there from 6.45.

After the film we’ll head across the road to the Black Lion to drink and chat about the film for as long as we want (or until we get thrown out).

We’re not arranging tickets – it’s much easier if you just buy your own. You can usually buy tickets on the night, but to be sure you might want to book in advance (online or at the box office). If it looks like its really filling up we’ll let you know via twitter.

The Tricycle has allocated us some seats so if you want to sit together with the group just mention the Film Club when you book over the phone. If you have your own favourite seat you’re welcome to sit there – we won’t be offended!

How to find out more?
The best way is to follow @NxNW6 on twitter and/or read this website. If you want to get in touch with us tweet @NxNW6 or @nathankw or if you’re not a tweeter you can email moc.l1558604100iamg@1558604100bulcm1558604100lif6w1558604100n1558604100.

It would be great to get a rough idea of numbers so if you can let us know if you’ll be coming that would be a real help.

Hope to see you there!

Mark, Nathan and Jonathan

NxNW6 Film Review of 2012

I have been writing this column for eight months and have been blown away by the local appreciation and passion for film. North-west London is a genuine oddity in cinema terms. How many other neighbourhoods (outside of the West End)  can boast seven cinemas (five independent) all within walking distance of each other?

I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank the 60 of you who came to our first #whampfilm events for Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises. It was very much appreciated and we plan to run similar events in early 2013. We’re also starting a monthly film club night at the Tricycle. However, as you all know, the first rule of film club is that you can’t talk about film club, so I’ll stop talking. More on that later!

There is a slight change in format for this week’s listings. Along with the Film of the Week, US musical comedy Pitch Perfect is the only other new release in the area, so I’ve taken the opportunity to compile my personal list of the films that I thought were outstanding in 2012 – please let me know your favourites as well (either in the comments below or via Twitter @NxNW6).

Have a great Christmas one and all and keep loving cinema.
Mark

Film of the Week

Life of Pi
(2012, adventure drama, 127 mins, PG)
The first Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger) film for three years tackles the much loved Yann Martel novel. The 3D rendering is apparently excellent and this is very likely to become a staple of the awards season.
  • Everyman Maida Vale 2D
  • Everyman Hampstead 3D
  • Finchley Road Vue 2D & 3D
  • Swiss Cottage Odeon 3D

Films of the Year
(in no particular order)

Films that just missed the cut: Damsels in Distress, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Shame, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Dredd.

And, for balance, here are my worst five: Battleship, John Carter, Rock of Ages, Wrath of the Titans and The Lorax.

Listings back to normal next week!

COMING SOON
Dec 26 – Jack Reacher, Midnight’s Children, Safety not Guaranteed.
Jan 1 – The Impossible, Quartet, Playing for Keeps, Texas Chainsaw 3D
Jan 11 – Les Miserables, Gangster Squad, Jiro Dreams of Sushi
All times correct at time of publication.
*new release.

Contact Mark via Twitter or .

Cinema listings Dec 13th-20th: Hobbit Special

The Tricycle ¦ Everyman Belsize Park ¦ Everyman Hampstead ¦ Everyman Maida Vale
Finchley Road Vue ¦ Swiss Cottage Odeon

There’s only one game in town this week: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released on Thursday and is showing in five of our six local cinemas in a mind boggling four different formats. As well as the standard 2012 dilemma of deciding whether to see the film in 2D or 3D, there is also the option of seeing it in a higher frame rate of 48fps (24 is the standard). Screenings at the HFR all tend to be in 3D, are limited to the multiplexes and tend to be more expensive. As always, do tweet me your thoughts on this or anything else cinematic @NxNW6.

Film of the Week

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
(2012, adventure fantasy, 169 mins, 12A)
Early reviews have been split down the middle. Some have called it tedious and have criticised the decision to make three films from the one text, others say it is a worthy prequel to the Lord of the Rings films.
  • Tricycle 2D £9.50, £6 (£4.50 for Brent residents) on Mondays.
  • Everyman Maida Vale & Belsize Park – 3D only £15
  • Finchley Road Vue 2D £11.80, 3D £15 and 3D HFR £17.50
  • Swiss Cottage Odeon 2D £11.50, 3D IMAX HFR £14.50 week, £16 weekend (only HFR IMAX screening in London)

Hampstead Film Society
Hampstead Town Hall – 213 Haverstock Hill, £7
The Artist (2011, comedy romance, 100 mins) Tue 18th 7pm. Hampstead Town Hall.
The Best Picture winner is a crowd-pleaser, so if you missed it during all the hype now would be a great chance to settle back and enjoy this gem of a modern silent film. And yes, the dog really does steal the show.

The Tricycle Cinema
£9.50 adult, £8.50 concessions, Mon £6 adult, £4.50 Brent resident
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey* (see film of the week)

The Everyman Cinemas
Prices vary, but expect to pay ~£13 (~£10 for a concession). Booking advised.
Belsize Park
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey* 3D (see film of the week)

Hampstead
Seven Psychopaths (2012, crime comedy, 110 mins, 15)
The follow up to the modern classic In Bruges, sees a struggling screenwriter become entangled in the LA underworld. The cast includes Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell. I found it to be deriative of Quentin Tarantino’s films, and Charlie Kaufman’s writing, misogynistic and ultimately a disappointment.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012, romantic comedy, 122 mins 15).
Ignore the terrible marketing campaign and the confusing title – this is being talked up very seriously as the rom-com of the year. Don’t be surprised if it picks up Oscar nominations across the board, not least for Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. Perfect date movie material, and has received very positive local word of mouth reviews.
Argo (2012, thriller, 120 mins, 15).
Great slice of American cinema. Limited screenings only (Sat, Sun, Thu).
Life of Pi (2D from Thurs 20th only – more next week).

Maida Vale
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey* 3D (see film of the week)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, family comedy, 85 mins, U).
Classic Muppet caper based on the Dickens novel gets a timely re-release for its 20th anniversary. Difficult not to love.
Silver Linings Playbook
Life of Pi (2D from Thurs 20th only – more next week).

Finchley Road Vue 
(click here for pricing)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey* 2D, 3D 3D HFR(see film of the week)
Seven Psychopaths
Rise of the Guardians
Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger!
The Silver Linings Playbook
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Argo
Skyfall

Other films show in Kids Club slots

Swiss Cottage Odeon
(click here for pricing)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey* 2D 3D IMAX HFR (see film of the week).
Rise of The Guardians 2D 3D
Great Expectations (limited)
Argo (club)
Skyfall

COMING SOON
Dec 21 – The Life of Pi, Pitch Perfect.
Dec 26 – Jack Reacher, Midnight’s Children, Safety not Guaranteed.
Jan 1 – The Impossible, Quartet, Playing for Keeps, Texas Chainsaw 3DAll times correct at time of publication.
*new release.

Contact Mark via Twitter or .

Opening night Skyfall tickets – Bond is back

It’s the most successful film franchise of all time (probably, I have no idea – but it’s got to be a frontrunner, right?). Now Bond is back with Daniel Craig’s third outing as 007.

Skyfall opens in the UK on October 26th and you can get to the 19.30 Imax screening that very night at the Swiss Cottage Odeon with our second #whamppremiere event.

Tickets are £22, which gets you a premier seat (all sold out for this first night screening – so this is your only chance), and a free specially designed “M” vodka cocktail just for us (house wine/bottled beer available).

We have just 30 tickets available. Those of you who came to the Dark Knight screening will be pleased to know we’ve ironed out the kinks in the process. Now you pay us directly, so you don’t have to collect your tickets in advance or pay separately at the bar.

To reserve your space, asap. It’s first come/first served. Maximum 2 tickets per person (do say whether you want 1 or 2). I’ll send you payment details.

Cancellation policy: please don’t cancel.

Stand By Me on Fortune Green

Short notice, yes, but I just got confirmation that the second Friends of Fortune Green outdoor film screening will happen this Saturday evening. It’s Stand By Me.

If you came along to Breaking Away earlier in the summer you’ll know how this works. Basically, the film is powered by bicycle. Now, Breaking Away is a film ABOUT cycling, which probably inspired people. Stand By Me isn’t (although I do seem to recall a couple of scenes on bikes?), but people still need to be willing to do a 5-10 minute stint on a bike. It all worked fine last time, and there’s no obligation at all to get on your bike and ride.

The film, if you don’t know it, is a 1980s coming-of-age classic, starrring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix and Corey Feldman (Richard Dreyfus and Kiefer Sutherland are also in it). It’s based on a Stephen King novel and was directed by Rob Reiner. So, basically, it’s a good film. If you’ve already seen it you’ll know it’s well worth watching again and if you haven’t then now’s the perfect time to rectify that.

The screening starts at sundown – which is 7pm, though if you want a good spot I’d get there quite a bit earlier as the bikes do slightly limit the viewing angle. Last time there must have been at least 200 people there, so hopefully there’s a similar turnout this time – and hopefully it’s too cold for the mosquitoes that plagued us all. Bring a picnic blanket, bring a picnic (Nautilus should be open for a sustaining fish & chips takeaway), and bring some friends.

The event is free, but FoFG will be asking for donations to help cover similar future events, so be nice and give a little something for this great community event.

Outdoor film bonanza in NW6

An extra post for you from @NxNW6 (aka Mark, the Tommy Lee Jones of NW6)

There are an unprecedented five outdoor screenings scheduled locally in September. I thought it would be worth quickly looking at all of them, and where and when you can catch them.

The Kilburn Grange Pop-Up Cinema Weekender Sep 7-9

Located 2 minutes walk from Kilburn tube (entrance next to The Black Lion). There will be a bar on site and hot food will be available as well as popcorn.
Doors open at 7pm and the films start at 8:30pm.
Friday: Dazed & Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993, 102 mins)
Ensemble slacker comedy that kick-started the careers of Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Renee Zellweger and Ben Affleck among others. Set on the last day of school in mid-70s America.
Saturday: Grosse Point Blank (George Armitage, 1997, 107 mins)
High school reunion film with a twist – John Cusack plays a freelance hitman (a growth industry). Notable for the killer soundtrack and the last time Dan Ackroyd was funny.
Sunday: Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986, 110 mins)
We lost the great man the other week. This is a small but fitting tribute.
Single film £8, weekend ticket £20.

The Nomad Cinema comes to Queens Park

Located physically in Queens Park itself. Access from Harvist Road
Saturday Sep 8: The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967, 106 mins)
“I’ve got one word for you Benjamin – plastics”. Incredibly, now 45 years old, The Graduate more than stands the test of time. Worth it for the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack alone.
Saturday Sep 22: The Big Lebowski (The Coen Brothers, 1998, 117 mins)
Was not considered a massive success when it first came out, but has grown in stature over the 15 years since its release. ‘The Dude’ is surely one of the best onscreen characters of recent times and with a supporting cast including Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman, you’re on to a winner. Great subtle Kraftwerk joke as well.
Tickets are £12.50 (£8.50 concessions). Doors at 6:30pm, films start at 8pm (The Graduate) and 7:30pm (Lebowski).
The films will be enhanced by musical and theatrical surprises themed around the eras that they were made (60s, 90s). There will be food and drink available in the form of tapas, popcorn and ice cream.

Now we just need to hope for some sunshine…

Large crowd for Fortune Green film

As the sun went down on Tuesday, a crowd began to assemble on Fortune Green. The screen was slightly smaller than some had anticipated; the bikes that would be used to power the equipment blocked the wider viewing angle; there were a couple of technical hitches and everyone was bitten to shreds by mosquitoes.

And it was great.

Photo via @chipstoph

This felt like a real community event. People brought picnic rugs and bottles of wine, volunteers got on the bikes to ride for as long as they could; there was free popcorn courtesy of the Mayor of London’s Showtime funding; and the film was the charming Oscar-winning 1979 coming-of-age cycling film Breaking Away.

The Friends of Fortune Green, who put on the event, are already making plans for a second screening – most likely at the end of September. Keep your eyes peeled.

Free outdoor film back on

Back in May, the Friends of Fortune Green planned an outside film screening on the green. For free! It rained. Obviously.But as the weather seems to be improving, the screening has been rescheduled for this Tuesday July 24th and has now received a small grant from City Hall as part of the Mayor’s Showtime scheme.

And now you can unleash your inner Bradley Wiggins (he’s from Kilburn y’know), because this screening will be bike-powered. If you can lend a bike (and ideally your legs) on the night then please e-mail moc.l1558604100iamg@1558604100neerg1558604100enutr1558604100of1558604100

Each shift on the bike will be about 20 minutes, but you can be inspired by the choice of film. Breaking Away is a 1979 classic film starring Dennis Quaid. I’m not going to recap the plot here, come and watch the film dammit. But I will tell you that the film won the 1979 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and nominations for Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Score and Best Picture. It’s also number 8 on the American Film Institute’s 2006 list of America’s 100 most inspiring movies (which is actually a pretty good list of films worth watching).

The film will start at around 9.30pm on Fortune Green, but I’d suggest turning up from about 8.30pm with a picnic.

Special offer: Dark Knight Rises local premiere

Don your cape, check your batarangs, get into your batmobile and speed through the mean streets of Gotham to get to the Swiss Cottage Odeon on July 20th for opening night of the Dark Knight Rises.

STOP PRESS: SOLD OUT

Photo via @tomrye (edited by @LollyGee)

Thanks to the nice people at the Odeon, we’ve got special priority booking for the IMAX screening on the film’s opening night. For £20 you’ll get a top-end “club” seat and a free glass of wine from the Ambar’s rather good (that’s me saying that, not them) selection. This screening will sell out once it goes on general release, so here’s a chance to bag yourself a prime spot for the third and final film in the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale version of the caped crusader story. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy also star in this dark tale of the Dark Knight, along with Anne Hathaway in a leather catsuit. Ahem.

It’s also our first crack at a film-oriented get together, in line with the new local film listings page that appears every week written by West Hampstead’s answer to Mark Kermode, @NxNW6. So come and mingle before the film starts over a glass of something, then settle into your extremley comfortable seat as the Bat does his thing on the big screen.

There are just 17 spots available  27 spots available. To register you need to , the cinema will then get in touch with you directly to arrange payment. This is first-come first served, and there’s a max of 2 tickets per person.

I think this should be a great event, and as a fan of these latest Batman films I’m pretty excited. I hope lots of you feel the same. If you’re not sure.. here are not one but TWO trailers to convince you!

North by Northwest (Six)

Welcome to a new weekly section providing a roundup of film screenings in and around West Hampstead, brought to you by Mark – NW6’s very own Cary Grant (tweeting at @NxNW6).

For this inaugural edition, Mark’s also provided a quick rundown of the cinemas we’ll generally be covering – the aim is to focus on smaller cinemas and special screenings, with a round-up of what’s on at the multiplexes.

A quick reminder before the listings about the event on Fortune Green on May 18. The Friends of Fortune Green are putting on a FREE screening of  the 70s classic cycling movie ‘Breaking Away’. The event is scheduled to start at 20:00 and is well worth a look (weather permitting).

Film Listings for May 11May 17

A typically busy and varied week with hopefully something for everyone, and a UK premiere for good measure.

The Everyman Cinemas
This small chain is devoted to North London with cinemas in Maida Vale (Sutherland Avenue), Belsize Park (Haverstock Hill) and Hampstead (Holly Bush Vale).

Luxurious and small (usually two screens, only one at Belsize), service at your seat and comfortable sofas are the norm. Prices vary for all three cinemas, but expect to pay around £13 for an adult ticket and £10 for a concession. Booking advised.

Belsize Park
Jeff who Lives at Home* (2011, Comedy, 83 mins).
Well regarded US indie comedy starring Jason “Muppets” Segal.
Fri–Thu 16:15, 18:30, 20:45 (apart from Sun when 15:50, 17:55, 20:00, Mon –16:15 only).
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011, Romantic comedy, 107 mins).
Successful Middle England romantic comedy with Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor and a film-stealing Kristin Scott Thomas.
Daily screening at 13:50 (except Sat 13:45 and Sun 13:15).

Hampstead
Dark Shadows*
Fri, Sat, Mon, Tues, Thu  15:30, 18:20, 21:15 (Sat 12:55)
Sun 12:00, 14:30, 17:20, 20:15.
Wed 15:20, 18:00, 20:40.
Monsiuer Lazhur (2011, Comedy drama, 94 mins).
French-Canadian film nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Academy Awards.
Fri-Tue 15:15, 18:00, 20:50 (Sat 12:40).
Sun 11:40, 14:15, 17:00, 19:50.
The Dictator (2012, Comedy, 90 mins approx).
New character comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen released May 16.
Wed 16:35, 18:40, 21:05.
Thu 17:10, 19:15, 21:25

Maida Vale
Dark Shadows* (2012, Fantasy comedy, 113 mins).
New Tim Burton film based on the 60’s US TV show.
Fri, Mon–Thurs  15:40, 18:20, 21:00 (Sat 13:00)
Sun 12:30, 15:10, 17:50, 20:30.
American  Reunion (2012, Comedy, 113 mins).
Fourth cinema outing for The American Pie team
Fri–Thu 15:20, 18:00, 20:40. (apart from Sun when 14:50, 17:30, 20:10, extra screening Wed 12:40).

The Tricycle Cinema
Stylish grand theatre at 269 Kilburn High Road that specialises in alternative programming at very reasonable prices. (£9.50 adult, £8.50 concessions, Mon £6 adult, £4.50 Brent resident).

Click for interview with Vanessa Paradis

Café de Flore* (2011, Romantic drama, 120 mins).
A French new release with Vanessa Paradis. Set in both present day Montreal and 1960s Paris.
Fri –Wed 18:15, 20:40 (extra screening Fri 14:15, Thu 18:00 only)
Marley (2012, Music documentary, 144 mins).
A well reviewed documentary on the life, loves and legacy of Bob Marley directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void).
Sat 15:15, Thu 14:30.
Surviving Progress* (2011, Documentary, 86 mins) UK PREMIERE + panel discussion
Scorsese-produced Canadian film that examines where we are as a global society. Talking heads include Margaret Atwood and Stephen Hawking. Panellists are Dr Jonathan Aldred (Economics) and Dr Marcus Kwint (Visual Culture).
Thu 20:30.

Hampstead Film Society
Fortnightly screenings (usually of foreign films) in Hampstead Town Hall at 213 Haverstock Hill. Projected onto a 15′-wide screen, screenings are usually well attended so arrive early. Seating isn’t raked, so you might want to sit nearer the front. Membership is £15 (£10 conc.), and tickets are then £4 per screening (£6 for guests). Alternatively, day membership is £7. Wine and beer available too, and all profits to charity.

Colonel Redl (1985, Historical drama, 144 mins)
Mittel-European fact-based drama based on the 1913 suicide of a colonel in the Austro-Hungarian army directed by Oscar winner Istvan Szabo (Mephisto).
Tue 19:00

Multiplexes

Finchley Road Vue
8-screen multiplex at the top of the O2 shopping centre. Tickets are £11.25 for an adult and £8.40 concessions. Before 17:00 on a Mon, Tue or Thu, adult tickets are £8.00. All screens are in the standard multiplex set up, some screens smaller than others.

Dark Shadows*
Marvel’s Avengers Assemble
(2D and 3D)
The Dictator (from May 16)
Pirahna 3DD*
The Lucky One
Safe
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
American Reunion
Beauty and the Beast 3D
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
The Hunger Games

Other films show in Kids Club slots at weekend.

Swiss Cottage Odeon
Recently refurbished cinema just outside Swiss Cottage tube station with an IMAX screen and a large bar (AMBAR). Screens vary between standard multiplex and premium ‘club’ cinemas (think Everyman experience). Adult standard price is £10.75 ,children £8.75 (£2 extra for 3D, £4 for IMAX). An adult seat in a club cinema is £16.00, a child’s £12.50.

Dark Shadows* (normal + IMAX)
Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (3D and 3D IMAX)
The Dictator (from May 16) TBC
American Reunion
Café de Flore
Headhunters
(Club)
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

All times correct at time of publication.
*new release.

Contact Mark via Twitter or .

More Sundance, less raindance

On Friday May 18th, the Friends of Fortune Green are going to do something I think sounds great. An outside film screening on the green. For free!

STOP PRESS: Unfortunately, due to the high chance of rain, this event has been postponed until June 22nd or 23rd

This is a great example of the sort of community event West Hampstead needs more of – something with broad appeal, irrespective of age or income.

It’s Olympic year (I expect some of you knew this), so the FoFG have opted for a film with a sporting bent. Breaking Away is a 1979 classic film starring Dennis Quaid. I’m not going to recap the plot here, come and watch the film dammit. But I will tell you that the film won the 1979 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and nominations for Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Score and Best Picture. It’s also number 8 on the American Film Institute’s 2006 list of America’s 100 most inspiring movies (which is actually a pretty good list of films worth watching).

The screening will start about 8pm, and there’ll be popcorn for sale courtesy of The Kitchen Table to raise funds for the community group. You may also want to bring a picnic (and maybe a blanket unless the weather picks up).

Those of you on Twitter, keep an eye out for the hashtag #whampfilm for updates. We’re hoping for upwards of 200 people on the night, so should be a great event.

Odeon Swiss Cottage reopens with Imax

After a £3m redevelopment, the Odeon at Swiss Cottage is reopening its doors on Friday 16th September. New features to the 5-screen, Art Deco venue include north London’s first IMAX screen and, at the top of the building, a large bar area called ‘Ambar’.

The first thing that strikes you is how bright and welcoming the cinema now is, it has benefitted from the lick of paint and feels modern and fresh. Reassuringly, it is still the labyrinth of old, with the narrow staircases and never-ending corridors, but unfortunately the large “retail” area that dominates your eye line on entry is still American in both look and feel.

The new bar area upstairs is a very welcome addition.It’s spacious and comfortable and works as a meeting place. Odeon is offering 30 different types of wine as well as a selection of appetisers and desserts here. If you were being cynical you could say it is a blatant attempt to take a larger share of their customers’ wallets, but I would rather spend my extra dime here, than on some popcorn and a drink downstairs.

The other major change is in the nature of the cinema’s five screens. They have been split into three distinct groups. The Imax is an impressive state-of-the-art facility that will show modern classics (Dark Knight, Inception) and Imax events. Two of the other cinemas are standard multiplex screens with 100 or so seats. The third and most interesting category comprises the two ‘club’ cinemas, which will house 60 guests and offer a premium experience (think Everyman in Hampstead).

I was impressed overall and will return, however I did have an issue concerning the film rota strategy and pricing.

In a normal week, the four non-Imax screens will share only three films. One each for the first multiplex and club screens, and then a third will show in a standard multiplex screen and in the second club screen.

This, coupled with the pricing strategy (10.75 Adult std vs. £16 Adult club) looks slightly misguided and overpriced. A comparable club ticket at the Everyman in Hampstead or Belsize Park is £13.

So, overall, the Odeon Swiss Cottage has made a welcome return to the neighbourhood and is a great place to watch film. However if you’re pushing the boat out for a premium experience there are cheaper options available.