Northwest Film Event Highlights – May 2014

Eccentrics make up the bulk of this month's film events, with a season of Studio Ghibli and their surreal worlds, Crispin Glover bringing the strange to FACT and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace getting a resurrection... again. Plus the return of Screenfields

Feature by Simon Bland & Jamie Dunn | 30 Apr 2014

As the long summer nights slowly creep in, the pull to the cosy darkness of the cinema auditorium gets slightly less strong. That’s why the return of Screenfields is such a godsend. Every Thursday, from 1 May ‘til 21 Aug (with a break in between for some soccer competition), The Lawns of Spinningfield become an outdoor cinema. The season kicks off with Back to the Future, and we’d encourage you to make it along every week, particularly on 5 Jun for Some Like It Hot, which The Skinny are hosting. Nobody’s perfect, although Wilder’s 1959 comedy is pretty close. This tale of two down-on-their-luck showband musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who dress up as dames and join Marilyn Monroe’s all-female band to escape the Chicago mob remains endlessly rewatchable and wickedly funny. Head down 5 Jun, grab a yellow deck chair and watch the sun go down with one of the greatest films of all time.

If you’re goal was to break into film, then Cornerhouse Manchester might be your saving grace this month, with Oscar-winning editor Mark Sanger visiting the cinema to give a BAFTA masterclass (10 May). He’ll be here to discuss his storied career and offer valuable guidance on working at the cutting edge of visual technology. Known for his work with Alfonso Cuarón, Sanger bagged a golden bloke last year for his work on Gravity – has also played a part in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd and Wolfgang Petersen’s action epic Troy. Looking for inspiration? Look no further.

Liverpool welcomes one of Hollywood’s most intriguing actors on 4 May as Crispin Hellion Glover brings his Big Slideshow to FACT. Best known for his work as the jittery George McFly in Back to the Future, Glover has made a career out of his inability to be pinned down. He’s in town to perform a dramatic reading of his books and screen It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine, an art film co-directed and funded by Glover, and often cited as his life’s work. Part two of a proposed trilogy, it’s written by and stars cerebral palsy sufferer Steven C. Stewart and follows his attempts to navigate his sexuality on screen, blurring the lines between fiction and reality.

FACT also continue their Studio Ghibli retrospective throughout May, with a bumper selection of the Japanese Disney’s greatest hits flecked throughout the month. You’ll know it’s started when pigs fly with Porco Rosso (3 May), followed by the sombre Princess Mononoke (10 May), fantastical Spirited Away (17 May), grand Howl’s Moving Castle (24 May), and kid-friendly Ponyo (31 May) finishing things off.

And finally, Grimm Up North head to Gorilla to celebrate ten years of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (18 May). Expect a back-to-back marathon of this cult-fave TV show, topped off with a few special guests, including screenwriter and actor Alice Lowe and the man himself, Matthew Holness. And if you’re still itching to get creative, don’t miss Grimm’s all-day masterclass with El Mariachi producer Carlos Gallardo (5 May). This one-day event offers indie cinema advice and invaluable insight for producers looking to launch their big ideas.