Cinema is having quite a moment in London this month, with lots of excellent free screenings south of the river. Not only has the 10-day Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival just kicked off, but all September long there is also Scalarama, formerly Scala Forever and Scala Beyond (after the King’s Cross venue where the event first took place).
Scalarama describes itself as a call-to-arms for people to “fill the land with cinemas” and “experiment with watching films they might not have heard of before or uncover gems from across the history of cinema”. As such, all sorts of venues have signed up to show an excellently varied roster of movies – and this Saturday Camberwell’s Cool Cats’ Cafe, a newish and nice-looking little bar/restaurant hidden in the backstreets, is hosting a screening of 1969 classic, Alice’s Restaurant.
The film, a clip of which you can see above, stars the folk singer Arlo Guthrie and is based on Guthrie’s epic narrative song of the same name. Alice’s Restaurant wittily and musically captures some of the reality behind the hippie movement and charts the journey of a young guy (Guthrie, as himself) trying to shirk military service and getting into all sorts of scrapes along the way.