Northwest Film Event Highlights – March 2016

This month brings film seasons dedicated to JG Ballard and Chris Petit, and Manchester Film Festival returns with a bursting programme

Feature by Simon Bland | 01 Mar 2016

Always (Crashing): JG Ballard 

Stop scoffing your face, there’s more to March than chocolate eggs, you know. Head into HOME and you’ll find a selection of cinema treats that beat any religious-themed confection. The Manchester moviehouse is celebrating the May release of Ben Wheatley’s claustrophobic High-Rise by scheduling a series of films celebrating the work of acclaimed author JG Ballard. Always (Crashing) (18-31 Mar) inspects the cinematic chaos of environments on the verge of collapse and resurrects Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville (20 Mar), the unconventional The Atrocity Exhibition (25 Mar), Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun (27 Mar) and George Miller's Mad Max sequel The Road Warrior (31 Mar).

Gavin Scott Whitfield

The same venue also explores the vulnerable and powerless with Voices from the Margins: Four Films about Contemporary Britain (18 Mar). Here you’ll find extraordinary shorts The Last Regal King Size, Thomas Hartley, The Slain and Murderous Injustice alongside an introduction from writer-director Gavin Scott Whitfield.

Chris Petit season

Meanwhile, HOME’s Chris Petit season comes to a close with a handful of films from this unsung voice of contemporary British cinema. Expect Flight to Berlin (5 Mar), Unrequited Love (10 Mar), a London Labyrinth and Negative Space double-bill (11 Mar), Chinese Boxes (14 Feb) and Content (17 Mar).

Outside of HOME, Manchester’s Hold Fast bar is screening a schlocky double bill of Frankenstein Conquers the World and Blood Devils (1 Mar), and the Humanities in Public festival explores gay culture with its Queer Story Showcase – ‘Let’s Talk about Sex’ screening event at 70 Oxford St (3 Mar).

Manchester Film Festival

What’s more, the city’s central AMC, Odeon and HOME cinemas all play host to the Manchester Film Festival (3-6 Mar), where you’ll find a selection of feature film premieres, documentaries, short film showcases and film events all packed into one long weekend. Feature football doc Dennis Viollet – A United Man will kick things off, while among the short film highlights are Strange Weather with Maxine Peake (5 Mar), local filmmaker-actor Ben Price’s I’m Sorry to Tell You (5 Mar) and the world premiere of Break (5 Mar), starring Sir John Hurt. The festival is chock-a-block and bound to please cinephiles of any taste.

Classics at Liverpool FACT

FACT in Liverpool bring a few cinema greats back to the big screen. Disney’s soon-to-be-live-actioned animation The Jungle Book (5 Mar) is joined by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock’s nail-biting classic Psycho (6 Mar), François Truffaut’s seminal, stylish and highly influential Jules et Jim (13 Mar) and the tense Hitchcock thriller Rear Window (20 Mar). On second thoughts, there’s so much cinema fun this month, you could probably do with a little extra chocolate to nibble on. Enjoy!