Northwest Film Event Highlights – June 2015

Cockney gangsters, dandy vampires, gonzo journalists and singing nuns: it's another eclectic cinematic offering this month

Feature by Simon Bland | 01 Jun 2015
  • The Long Good Friday

June is here, which means only one thing: we’re officially halfway to Christmas. Before you rush out and bulk buy some tinsel, though, there’re a few filmy events that are well worth your time. First up, Stockport Town Hall hosts a Sound of Music sing-along (19 Jun) celebrating 50 years of catchy tunes and awkward Von Trapp romance. Filmed just one year after Uncle Walt’s passion project Mary Poppins, Robert Wise’s Sound of Music showed audiences that Julie Andrews had much more to offer than a just a spoonful of sugar. As the film turns half a century old, it’s still as powerful and resonant as ever and remains one of the most important entries in its leading lady’s IMDB CV.

After an indie alternative? Head to Moston Small Cinema for touching drama I’m With You (12-13 Jun). Based on real events, this tearjerker follows Emily, a girl who discovers her dead father has left a series of homemade DVDs for her to watch at key moments in her life. Meanwhile in Liverpool, FACT has music doc The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead (9 Jun) looking at the forgotten pioneers of punk and featuring exclusive interviews with Motorhead’s Lemmy, The Clash’s Mick Jones and many more. Director Wes Orshoski will be live for one night only too: he'll be around for a post-screening Q&A.

There’s more than one movie anniversary this month. Gangster epic The Long Good Friday brings cockney powerhouse Bob Hoskins back to the big screen for the film’s 35th birthday. Director John Mackenzie’s gritty tale sees Hoskins firing on all cylinders as cockney hardman Harold Shand, a mobster whose dreams of going straight go tits up when a rival syndicate tries to muscle in on his turf. Helen Mirren and a young Pierce Brosnan round out the cast of what’s become a Brit crime classic. Go wish it Happy Birthday at FACT (21 Jun).

Grimm Up North have a couple of belters for you too. Neil Jordan’s seminal Interview with the Vampire comes to The Dancehouse (11 Jun), chronicling the ups and downs of Anne Rice’s legendary neck-biter Lestat de Lioncourt and bigging up vamps before it was cool. Also, Terry Gilliam does a good job of unraveling Hunter S Thompson’s twisted Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, roping Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro into the shoes of Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo respectively. Head to Manchester Central Library on 4 Jun if you want to take the trip deep into bat country – but please, bring your own ether.