Northwest Film Event Highlights – February 2014

Cinema, like love, has many shades. Sometimes it’s all kissing in the rain and romantic meetings at New York landmarks; at other times it’s all joyless sex and projectile vomiting. This month’s film events have both in equal measure

Preview by Simon Bland | 03 Feb 2014

It’s February! A time for lovey-dovey made up words of smushy-mushy sentimentality. So if you’re looking to treat your special someone, give them the gift of Ryan Gosling by heading down to Manchester’s Dancehouse Theatre on 20 Feb. There you’ll find tearjerker classic The Notebook, plus plenty of damp tissues and folks gently whispering, “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” Director Nick Cassavetes’ gushy tale of enduring love has quickly become a staple ingredient of any girly night in. Catching it at this gloriously retro Mancunian setting has all the components for a perfect (late) Valentine’s date.

Liverpool’s Cineworld, meanwhile, is hosting its own Valentine’s do with a screening of Nora Ephron’s charming 90s rom-com Sleepless in Seattle (14 Feb). Arguably the movie that redefined the romance genre, this crowd-pleaser stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as two singletons inexplicably drawn together. If you’re looking for a reason to cuddle up, nobody does it better than Ephron.

Lovesick? The Dancehouse has something for you, too. Celebrate the big day by exchanging flowers and chocolates for green vomit and Ouija boards with The Anti-Valentine’s Night Out (14 Feb). This lovingly sinister Valentine’s alternative summons William Friedkin’s infamous horror The Exorcist back to the big screen. You’ll also get two demonically alcoholic cocktails to sip while you watch poor Regan flirt with the Devil. Aww, young love…

After something a little more hands-on? Visit Cornerhouse Manchester for a steamy double bill of Lars von Trier’s new two-parter Nymphomaniac (22 Feb). This controversial offering spans eight chapters and chronicles the life of sex-addict Joe, played by von Trier regular Charlotte Gainsbourg. Already infamous for its scenes of unsimulated sex, Nymphomaniac follows Joe’s erotic ups and downs as she encounters an all-star cast of familiar faces. This one-off screening will be broadcast live from London’s Curzon and introduced by selected cast members, who’ll also stick around for a post-film chat.

From the scarily good to the scarily bad, Liverpool’s FACT will be hosting two special screenings of Tommy Wiseau’s notorious cult fave The Room (13 Feb). As one of the most beloved terrible movies of recent years, The Room is a perfect storm of dodgy acting and questionable filmmaking. Naturally it’s become an unintentional hit, with Paul Rudd reportedly hosting regular screening parties for his famous mates. Writer, director, producer and star Tommy Wiseau will be in attendance, along with castmate Greg Sestero for an exclusive pre-film Q&A. Unmissable.