Northwest Film Event Highlights – November 2014

Extraterrestrials, flying saucers, mysterious clones and malevolent robots from the future invade the Northwest this month

Preview by Simon Bland | 31 Oct 2014
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

With Halloween behind us and Christmas not quite here yet, there’s plenty of time to escape the crappy weather in the warmth of a cinema auditorium. We start our film fun by looking to the stars with Duncan Jones’ ace claustrophobic sci-fi Moon (28 Nov). Hosted by immersive cinema team Spectacle, Spectacle, this screening takes place directly under the observatory tower at Manchester’s Godlee Observatory, bringing you closer than ever to space miner Sam Bell and his intergalactic identity crisis. Attendees will also get free guided tours of this century-old building, promising an evening that you (or your double) wouldn’t want to miss. 

If Zowie’s space-indie gets you in the mood for men who fell to Earth, don’t miss documentary David Bowie Is at Liverpool’s FACT (6 Nov). Hamish Hamilton’s film gives viewers the chance to revisit the now-closed V&A Museum exhibit of the same name, delving deep into the various artefact and oddities that constitute Bowie’s legendary career. Filmed on the gallery’s closing night, the doc features special guests galore, each sharing stories behind key objects. From Ziggy Stardust to The Thin White Duke, it’s all here.

Talking of out-of-this world experiences, Manchester’s audiovisual curators Video Jam take to the road this month, bringing their innovative image and sound events to three UK cities. The tour, named SPACES, sees Video Jam join forces with record label Slip Discs to take specially commissioned experimental film and live music to Leeds (1 Nov), London (8 Nov) and Liverpool (14 Nov). We’re particularly looking forward to their final show at the Kazimier, which promises music from Bernard & Edith, Sex Hands and Wanda Group, with Deep Hedonia providing an audiovisual afterparty. Full details at videojam.co.uk.

Back in Manchester the sci-fi fun continues at Cornerhouse with film season Days of Fear and Wonder. Cataclysmic 1951 thriller When Worlds Collide sets the pace (4 Nov), following a group of scientists who must escape a doomed Earth before a rogue planet hits. Meanwhile, Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey (28 Nov) offers a glimpse of where we’re going and where we’ve been. If all that wasn’t enough, the venue also has Insomniac Invasion (15 Nov), a 12-hour back-to-back sci-fi allnighter. Expect The Terminator, Godzilla (1954), Fantastic Voyage, Flash Gordon, the rarely screened Late August and the Hotel Ozone and more dystopia than you can shake a spaceship at.

Missing Halloween by a hair, Kevin Smith finally brings his twisted body-shock horror Tusk to our neck of the woods with a debut at Leeds International Film Festival (8 Nov). Devised during a hilariously leftfield episode of his weekly SModcast podcast with producer Scott Mosier, Smith’s dark tale is part comedy, part beast. It follows a podcaster who gets much more than he bargained for when interviewing an elderly recluse with a penchant for walruses. Special guest and French Canadian Guy LaPointe may raise eyebrows but it's screen vet Michael Parks who owns here. Smith will even pop by after the screening for a Skype Q&A. #WalrusYes.