London is undoubtedly a great city for film nights, with nightly opportunities to spurn the Odeon and watch something that’s not going to be plastered on the side of a bus any time soon. But standing out even among this cornucopia of esoterica, one monthly film club is consistently able to come up with warped treasures that even the BFI have probably never heard of.
The Duke Mitchell Film Club meets in the basement of the Cross Kings behind Kings Cross, a dark and cozy space decorated in comic-book images of Hell — excellent surroundings for an exploration deep into the footnotes of film history. The club’s patron saint, Duke Mitchell, directed the low budget Massacre Mafia Style and sadly unreleased Gone With The Pope, two of the more unique products of the 1970s Mafia genre. The Duke’s films are yet to be screened, but the club has gone through a whole series of theme nights from blaxsploitation to documentary to The Worst Films Ever Made. February’s is on tonight, an investigation into the shadowy corners of classic Film Noir featuring another rarely seen beauty: 1944’s The Scar, with Paul Henreid two years after Casablanca.
Now running for well over a year, the club grew out of the personal collections of two friends. Evrim Ersoy is the face (and Vincent Price dinner jacket) of Duke Mitchell, while Alex Kidd mans the projector. It’s as comfortable as your mate’s lounge and packs in everything a film night needs, all tied into the monthly theme: music, a poster gallery, trailers, a feature or two, quizzes and mini-lectures, and after-show drinks. Find a spot on the sofas at the Cross Kings, 126 York Way, from 7pm for an 8pm showtime. It’s all free, but you ought to bring a pound to throw in the jar towards projector rental. Consult MySpace or Facebook for details.