Category Archives: Events

Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer + Q&A with Charlie Ahearn | BFI, 18 June, 18:10


I’m properly excited about this event, so I thought I’d give it a plug here. The BFI is hosting the UK premiere of this documentary by celebrated hip-hop historian and director, Charlie Ahearn (Wild Style). Its subject, Jamel Shabazz, started out as a teenage photographer in early ’80s Brooklyn, and set out to document the then nascent hip-hop movement. According to the blurb, “Ahearn takes us on a modern day and very personal journey with Shabazz as he revisits old neighbourhoods and talks to friends and colleagues about life in New York, hip-hop culture and its 30-year history.”

Anyway, it looks great. You can book tickets here.

Here’s some more of Jamel’s work to get you in the mood.




See you there.

Festival alert! | Elefest 2013 (4-6 Oct 2013)


Hailing, as I do, from Streatham, I’m always pleased to see artistic attempts to reframe, develop and provide counternarratives to traditional ideas about oft-misrepresented areas of London.

So I’m especially happy to report the return, this week, of the Elefest festival of arts and culture focusing on the Elephant and Castle, South-East London. There’s plenty of great multidisciplinary stuff going on, and though it’s not particularly imaginative on my part, I’d thought I’d simply repurpose the event’s punchy press release here on PPH. All the info you could possibly need on Elefest is below, but if I had to pick a highlight, it would be the special screening of Perry Henzell’s classic Jamaican drama The Harder They Come followed by a DJ set by the inimitable Don Letts at the Hotel Elephant.

Press Release

Elefest is the Elephant & Castle Festival. It is a celebration of one of the best-known but misunderstood parts of London. Elefest is now in its 11th year, and the area once known as the “Piccadilly of the South” is once again on the verge of massive change. Elefest’s programme celebrates the past, present and future of the Elephant and Castle. It mixes home-grown with national and international talent and some that are in-between.

Over the past 11 years Elefest has brought to the area a wide variety of live events, set up a solar-powered cinema on the Heygate Estate, curated photographic exhibitions in the subways of the Elephant & Castle, and showcased emerging artists that have gone on to hit the spotlight (including Paloma Faith).

This year Elefest is bigger, better and bolder than ever. For the 2013 edition, Elefest is bringing top class entertainment to the Elephant & Castle and surrounding areas with three major pop-up cinema and music events:Noise of Art (DJ Ben Osborne, DJ Justin Robertson, Coldcut, The People Pile – feat. RSC actor Nathaniel Parker) presenting their live film/dance/electronica remix of classic British horror film The Wicker Man; an anniversary screening of ’70s cult movie The Harder They Come with a special DJ set by punk/reggae legend Don Letts; and a screening of award-winning British thriller London to Brighton plus Q&A with international film star Johnny Harris (born and bred at the Elephant & Castle).


The StockMKT will be returning to Elefest with their traders offering food and artisanal products over the festival weekend in a bespoke new indoor venue on Newington Causeway set up in conjunction with Hotel Elephant Gallery, where there will also be popup ping pong offered by PuPP and live bands.

For the second year running Elefest is also hosting the UK Skateboarding Film Festival for a day of live shows and music acts headlined by British Beatbox Champion Reeps One – a performer of such incredible vocal ability that he has been the subject of a scientific study by UCL.

Events including an Elephant & Castle Subway Murals tour with the artist David Bratby, a talk about the local history with Stephen Humphrey accompanied by a slideshow on glorious 35mm film at Perronet House, a free screening at The Electric Elephant Café and Gallery, an interactive art installation in the E&C Shopping Centre, a Treasure Hunt and a Guerrilla Gardening event will showcase the urban landscape of the E&C and some fantastic new venues.

We are linking up with Corsica Studios for a special closing night party (headline acts: Smoke Fairies and a special appearance fromSaint Saviour and guests), as well as The Cinema Museum, The London College of Communication and South Bank University to establish a new creative hub for South London at the Elephant and Castle roundabout.

Lots of the events are free of charge, which means you can just turn up. But for the full programme, click hereAnd for more information, you can contact Irene Musumeci at or on 07855 201 725.

5 reasons to come and see The Warriors

In case you’ve missed our occasional blogging and tweeting about the matter, we’re screening Walter Hill’s cult classic The Warriors at London’s Clapham Picturehouse tonight! Prior to the screening we’ll have fun times in the bar, an intro and a prize draw. But if that isn’t enough, we’ve put together 5 more reasons to convince you to part with your cash.

1. There will be pizza

The Warriors is New York City cinema at its finest, and, as we all know, the reason why everyone loves New York is because of its pizza. So in order to replicate the NYC experience, we’ve flown in some authentic pies from The Bronx for your gastronomic pleasure*. Who can say no to free pizza in the bar beforehand (from 8pm)?


*actually from down the road in Clapham, but that’s our little secret.

2. We’re screening it from a 35mm print

We’ve managed to source an original print, so your experience of the film will be enhanced by the warmth and feel that only celluloid can give you. It’s the perfect showcase for Andrew Laszlo’s superb cinematography and the film’s myriad amazing NYC locations. Here’s a snap of the print! (P.S. We should say at this point that the print is an old one – not a restoration. As such, it’s picked up a fair few bumps and scratches along the way, and has a slight pink coloration).


3. It’s the perfect summer movie

The weather’s scorching outside, so cool down in the cinema. You never know, you might pick up some clothing tips for the rest of the summer. The Baseball Furies (below) know what’s up.


4. It’s exemplary action cinema from a master at the top of his game

the warriors carousel_0

Walter Hill developed his reputation making lean, mean action classics, and The Warriors found him bang in the middle of a run that included the likes of Hard Times, The Driver, The Long Riders and Southern Comfort. There’s no fat here, just 90 minutes of suspense, music, dry humour, and fighting… lots of fighting. Just how action cinema should be.

5. Because could you really live with yourself if you missed the chance to spend some quality time with Luther?

Exactly. So, you can buy tickets here or grab them on the door. Food and drink in the bar from 8pm, film at 9. See you later!

PPH presents The Warriors | Here’s the poster!

Now just a shade over three weeks away, our 35mm screening of Walter Hill’s cult classic The Warriors at the Clapham Picturehouse is starting to cause some serious flutters of excitement. Join us on Monday 15 July 2013 for the big event.

You can – and absolutely should – book tickets by following this link. Our last few events (including a super-rare 35mm screening of Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai ) have been very busy indeed, so book now to avoid disappointment!

If you’re on Facebook, you can also use our event page to tell us you’re coming. Spread the word!

Here’s a running order:

8.00 Join us in the bar for drinks, free pizza and snacks, soundtracked by classic 90s hip-hop and soul

9.00 Introduction and prize giveaway

9.10 The Warriors starts

To further whet your appetite, we’re delighted to unveil the event poster, designed by the ridiculously talented Piccia Neri.Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 14.32.21

Screening Announcement | PPH Presents The Warriors

the-warriors, luther

For the fifth edition of our ongoing series of special events, Permanent Plastic Helmet is delighted to present a rare, 35mm screening of Walter Hill’s classic action adventure The Warriors. The time and place? 21:00 on Monday 15 July 2013 at south London’s lovely Clapham Picturehouse.

This gaudy urban odyssey follows the eponymous Coney Island gang on their perilous journey home after they’ve been falsely accused of the murder of a major gang boss. Blessed with stunning cinematography, a host of superb New York locations, and a pumping soundtrack, The Warriors is one of the best American films of the 1970s.

Join us in the bar from 8pm for food, drink and a playlist of classic soul. The film will be preceded by a prize giveaway and an introduction by film critic Ashley Clark (Sight & Sound, Little White Lies). Come out to play!

You can, and absolutely should, buy tickets here. To get yourself in the mood, watch the trailer below:

PPH Presents Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai | How it went down – in pictures

On Thursday 21 March, we hosted our fourth Permanent Plastic Presents… event at London’s lovely Clapham Picturehouse – a rare, 35mm screening of Jim Jarmusch’s cult classic Ghost Dog: The Way of the SamuraiFrom the reliable combination of free pizza, drinks and vintage hip hop in the bar beforehand, through the film, and up to the final round of applause to accompany the end credits, it was clear a good time was had by all.

Luckily, we had ace photographer Yves Salmon (check out her website here) on hand to record the evening’s events. Here’s how it went down:

In good company

In good company

Credit to the talented Ben Collison for the chalkboard artwork

Credit to the talented Ben Collison for the chalkboard artwork

Crowds gather downstairs in our special bar area for pizza and chat

Crowds gather downstairs in our special bar area for pizza and chat

Alas, pizza isn't the type of food to hang around for long...

Alas, pizza isn’t the type of food to hang around for long…

Ticketholders make their way to the cinema screen (past Piccia Neri's brilliant artwork)

Ticketholders make their way to the cinema screen (past Piccia Neri’s brilliant artwork)

Your friendly host (that's me) introduces the screening

Your friendly host (that’s me) introduces the screening

Just some of the prizes up for grabs (DVD bundles, Picturehouse membership) in our pre-screening quiz

Just some of the prizes up for grabs (DVD bundles, Picturehouse membership) in our pre-screening quiz

A nice big crowd settles in, and the film gets going

A nice big crowd settles in, and the film gets going

The screening's over... and it's hometime

The screening’s over… and it’s hometime

A big thanks to: Picturehouses/City Screen for supporting the screenings; Dan Hawkins and Kate Coventry for their support; Clapham Picturehouse managerial & front of house staff; artwork designer Piccia Neri; photographer Yves Salmon; Park Circus Films for the 35mm print; and finally everyone who bought a ticket and came along! Until next time!

5 reasons to come and see Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

In case you’ve missed our occasional blogging and tweeting about it, we’re delighted to be hosting an extremely rare screening of Jim Jarmusch’s oddball cult classic Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai at London’s Clapham Picturehouse on Thursday 21 March (aka tomorrow to you and me, or today if you’re reading this tomorrow. Or perhaps yesterday, in which case you may as well close the page). Anyhow, if, for whatever reason, you weren’t sure whether or not to part with your cash, here are five reasons to swing you.

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1. We’re screening it from a 35mm print


Such is the proliferation and “advancement” of digital technology, it’s increasingly rare these days to come across new films either being shot on film or older films projected from their original negatives. (The whole issue was recently explored in an absorbing, Keanu Reeves-fronted doc named Side By Side). So we’re extra elated to confirm that, thanks to top UK distributor Park Circus, we’ll be screening the film from an original, rich and warm 35mm widescreen print. It’s really the only way to appreciate cinematographer Robby Müller’s astonishing work.

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2. There will be pizza


Whenever Permanent Plastic Helmet puts on an event, we like to look after our customers. So as well as a carefully selected soundtrack in the bar beforehand (you’re all welcome from around-about 7.30 onwards), a chance to win some prizes, and an introduction from “celebrated film critic Ashley Clark” – aka me – ticketholders will be able to wrap their gums around some free pizza from local restaurant extraordinaire Eco.

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3. Time Out London selected it as one of the best film events in London this week…


…and they know the score

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4. It has one of the greatest soundtracks of all time

Provided by the inimitable RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan (who also cameos). Here’s proof

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5. It stars Forest Whitaker. That’s Forest Whitaker. As a samurai. Who likes pigeons. And kills mobsters. And it’s directed by Jim Jarmusch. And it’s an homage to Melville’s Le Samouraï 


You can’t seriously need any more convincing that that, can you?

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So, it is decided. You’re coming. You can book tickets online by following this link, over the phone on 0871 902 5727, or risk it on the door to save yourself a booking fee.