Northwest Film Event Highlights – May 2015

There's sci-fi galore at FACT, HOME opens its doors with a brace of live scores and Grimm Up North take us on an epic journey back to Middle Earth

Feature by Simon Bland | 30 Apr 2015

Sure, it may be getting sunnier but who needs sunshine and all that ‘real life’ malarkey when there’s so much to catch at the cinema? Let’s start with Liverpool’s FACT. Their Sci-Fi Season boasts two space-age greats, with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (7 May) and Christopher Nolan’s 2014 wormhole epic Interstellar (20 May). The former offers a sterile glimpse into an unrealised future, which raised eyebrows when it was released back in 1968. The latter takes a fantastic yet sobering look into our troubled present, asking where we’ve been and where we’ll go next. Both test our understanding of humanity and both look great on the big screen.

Also at FACT, you’ll find Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (3 May) and 1932’s Freaks (24 May) as part of their Vintage Sunday Screenings, as well as the great music doc The Devil and Daniel Johnston (13 May), which explores the bipolar career of its titular troubled star. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Small Cinema hosts a handful of exciting events – however, if we had to pick favourites, we’d suggest the local premiere of media corruption doc The Fourth Estate with director Q&A (9 May) and Cheap Thrills’ presentation of schlocky Brit-horror The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (27 May). The perfect highbrow-lowbrow cocktail.

Back in Manchester, Cornerhouse settles into its new home at HOME with two cinematic events on its opening weekend. Hungarian director Pál Fejös’s New York City romance Lonesome gets the live-score treatment courtesy of Dutch Uncles’ bassist Robin Richards on 24 May, while Manc songstress Josephine brings a live multimedia performance to North West Film Archive footage on 25 May. Both events form part of the venue’s inaugural season and set the tone for the fun that’s sure to be had there in 2015.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Serenity, Joss Whedon’s big screen bookend to his ill-fated 2002 space opera series, Firefly. To celebrate, Manchester’s Grimm Up North team are hosting a special anniversary screening at the Odeon Printworks (12 May) where fancy dress is encouraged and shiny prizes are available. Then it’s off to Middle Earth for an epic back-to-back screening of Peter Jackson’s extended Lord of the Rings trilogy (30 May). One for die hard fans, this 1pm to 1am Grimm screening takes place at Z-Film Studios in East Didsbury and the ticket price includes enough food, drink and lembas bread to keep you going throughout. If ever there was one screening to rule them all, this is undoubtedly it.