Northwest Film Event Highlights – August 2013

This month, Cricfest proves that cinema has the power to make a sport as boring as cricket compelling, while Picnic Cinema offer up two movies about going nuts in the great outdoors

Preview by Simon Bland & Jamie Dunn | 31 Jul 2013

It’s test cricket season. Test cricket is rubbish: five days of men standing in a field that often end in a draw. Films about cricket, on the other hand, are surprisingly thrilling, as anyone heading to Cricfest at A Small Cinema in Moston will discover. Included in the cricket-themed mini-festival are two docs and a feature. From the Ashes (1 Aug) takes us back to the summer of 81, when “Beefy” Botham’s England knocked the Aussies for six, while Out Of The Ashes (2 Aug) tells the story of Afghanistan's cricket team and their phenomenal rise from the rubble-strewn pitches of post-invasion Afghanistan to the world stage. But the pick of the trio is P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang (3 Aug), Jack Rosenthal’s sweet drama about a cricket-obsessed teen looking for that coming-of-age-movie holy grail: his first kiss. [JD]

If all that sport makes you want to get out of darkened cinemas and into our balmy summer heat, be sure to stop by Picnic Cinema. They’ve got a couple of outdoorsy belters this month, including Ben Wheatley’s schizophrenic caravanning slasher Sightseers (at The Pencil Museum, Keswick, 3 Aug) and a trip into the heart of darkness with Apocalypse Now (at Gisburn Forest, Clitheroe, 24 Aug). While miles apart in story, Wheatley and Coppola’s movies share common themes of madness and landscape. Watching them on Picnic Cinema’s airy outdoor screen would be a real trip.

London’s David Bowie Is exhibition culminates this month with a synchronised screening of David Bowie is happening now on 13 Aug at Manchester’s Cornerhouse, Liverpool’s FACT and other cinemas across the country. Boasting special guests and insight into objects taken directly from the David Bowie Archive, it’s your last chance to view the exhibit before it disappears on an international trek.

Oh, and while you’re at the Cornerhouse, be sure to catch Studio Ghibli’s new one, From Up on Poppy Hill, which is showing from 2 Aug. This colourful teen drama follows a group of youths trying to save their clubhouse from demolition and is worth seeing for Ghibli’s trademark charm and beautiful animation.

As this guide comes to a close, so does Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy. The concluding chapter of Jesse and Celine’s fateful relationship, Before Midnight, hit cinemas back in June but Liverpool’s FACT invites you on a trip down memory lane with a Before Sunrise and Before Sunset double-bill on 11 Aug. Meanwhile, in Manchester, the Printworks’ Flashback Film Series resurrects a slew of classic films each Monday throughout Aug, with Total Recall (19 Aug) and American Psycho (26 Aug) being our personal picks. [SB]