Northwest Film Event Highlights – July 2014

Plenty of opportunity to sample cinema in the outdoors this month, with Picnic Cinema kicking off and Screenfields back after its Wimbledon break

Preview by Simon Bland | 01 Jul 2014

Still a bit gutted you missed Glastonbury? Don’t worry, you can dust off your camping gear and pitch your tent at Picnic Cinema instead. This immersive movie experience returns for another summer of outdoorsy fun, inviting happy campers to a handful of picturesque locations to catch a classic movie back on the big screen. An impromptu trip to Uncle Monty’s cabin (aka Cumbria’s Sleddale Hall) kicks off this year’s proceedings, with three screenings of Brit-comedy classic Withnail and I (3-5 Jul). A couple of creepy castles form the backdrop for the next two events, with Hammer Horror’s The Woman in Black appearing at Lowther (16 Jul) and The Shining taking over Muncaster two days later (18 Jul). It’s not all horror in the hills, though, as Grease (19 Jul) arrives just in time to bring some summer lovin’ to the Cumbrian countryside. Leather jackets and combs at the ready, people. 

In Liverpool, FACT revisit Jules and Vincent with Pulp Fiction (3 Jul), host a digitally restored Mad Max double bill (5 Jul) and run around with The Beatles for A Hard Day’s Night (7 Jul), all before getting a bit silly with (most of) the Monty Python crew at the end of the month. This special screening sees John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle and the two Terrys (Jones and Gilliam) back together for the first time in three decades as the hugely anticipated Monty Python Live (mostly) is zapped via satellite from the O2 on to FACT (and Cornerhouse) screens (20 Jul). Expect lifeless parrots, funny walks and new gags. Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...

Over in Manchester, the Dancehouse theatre closes out its John Carpenter season with paranoia body-shock flick The Thing (17 Jul). Here, you’ll be able to relive the slime-covered genius of special-effects pioneers Rob Bottin and Stan Winston, as scientist Kurt Russell finds out just how much he can trust his colleagues when a shape-shifting alien infiltrates their snowy compound.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Manchester’s Screenfields continues to offer some sunny cinema fun with three events scheduled for the last three Thursdays of the month. It all starts with musical epic Les Misérables on 17 Jul, followed by Rob Reiner’s coming-of-age classic Stand by Me on 24 Jul and Tim Burton’s emo-tacular Edward Scissorhands finishing things off on 31 Jul. So forget festivals, grab a beer, plonk yourself in a deckchair and relax. You’ve earned it... probably.