Northwest Film Event Highlights – March 2014

We celebrate Spanish-language cinema with Cornerhouse, revel in Wes Anderson’s fastidiously-framed comedy at FACT and get down and dirty with a night of Grindhouse at The Dancehouse

Preview by Simon Bland | 03 Mar 2014

It’s March and in Manchester that can mean only one thing: time to return to Cornerhouse for its annual celebration of new filmmaking from across Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America, ¡Viva! film festival (7-23 Mar). Comedy is big at this year’s event, with newcomer director Gabriel Nesci’s chirpy Días de vinilo (Days of Vinyl) kicking things off with a laugh. This Argentinian feel-gooder follows four music-obsessed 30-somethings forced to face that most terrifying of realities: growing up. Nesci will fly in on opening night to present his movie, and host a post-screening chat at a second screening on 9 Mar. There is lots to see at this Spanish cinema celebration but if you can only catch a few ¡Viva! gems we recommend post-apocalyptic thriller Los últimos dias (The Last Days) (15, 16 & 20 Mar), Peruvian Oscar hopeful El limpiador (8 & 13 Mar), insane horror comedy Las brujas de Zugarramurdi (Witching and Bitching) (15 & 21 Mar) and sexuality doc Born Naked (11 & 15 Mar). Viva España!

Meanwhile, the Liverpool FACT folks are gearing up for the release of Wes Anderson’s new one, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The latest niche comedy offering from the twee movie king stars Ralph Fiennes alongside Anderson’s regular set of players and follows the escapades of a young concierge at a popular European hotel. It’s officially released on 7 Mar but you can catch it five days early at FACT (2 Mar), with a selection of Anderson back catalogue faves peppered throughout the remainder of the month. The Darjeeling Limited rides again on the 3 Mar, Fantastic Mr. Fox makes an appearance on 10 Mar, and scout camp calls on 17 Mar with Moonrise Kingdom. OCD filmmaking at its finest.

Those Grimm Up North guys have a back-to-back dose of sleazy gore scheduled for 14 Mar. They’ll take over Manchester’s Dancehouse Theatre for a special Grindhouse screening of Robert Rodriguez’s Mexploitation horror Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino’s high-octane stunt car thriller Death Proof. This cinematic double-punch is a rare chance to catch these movies in their original intended format, complete with hilariously OTT fake trailers in between screenings. Simply unmissable.

And finally, the Flashback Film Series at Manchester’s Printworks continues to resurrect a selection of classics to the big screen each Monday evening. David Fincher’s modern-day noir Se7en kicks things off 3 Mar, followed by Brian de Palma’s crime epic The Untouchables (10 Mar), teen horror prototype A Nightmare on Elm Street (17 Mar), campy cosmic adventure Masters of the Universe (25 Mar) and sentimental classic Forrest Gump on 30 Mar. Happy viewing!