Northwest Film Event Highlights – September 2014

In Liverpool, film fans are putting their noses on the line with a scratch-and-sniff screening of a John Waters classic, while GrimmFest brings a brace of horror previews to Manchester

Preview by Simon Bland | 01 Sep 2014

In Liverpool, the fun starts with a scratch and sniff screening of John Waters’ Polyester at FACT (10 Sep). Known for pushing the boundaries of taste and culture, Waters’ black comedy took aim at the nose when it was released back in 1981, offering viewers scratch-and-sniff cards for an immersive (and smelly) experience. Now 33 years later you’ll be able to view Polyester just as Waters’ intended, complete with cards boasting pizza, glue and erm, ‘natural gas’ smells, among others.

Does that idea stink? Then perhaps a glimpse inside the life and career of musician Nick Cave at the very same venue would smell better. On 17 Sep, 20,000 Days on Earth offers an introspective guided tour into one of music’s most mysterious and alluring characters, led by the man himself. After the screening Cave joins the crowd for a live satellite Q&A, providing the complete experience.

In Manchester, it’s never too early for a bit of Halloween fun – just ask the guys at GrimmFest. They kick things off this month with a mini-preview season to get northern horror fans in the macabre mood for their annual October event. First up, it’s over to Manchester’s Dancehouse Theatre for the world premiere of British zombie-ghost story Devil’s Tower (10 Sep) starring Emmerdale’s Roxanne Pallett and Kevin Smith’s hetero life-mate, Jason Mewes. This splatterfest follows two friends who stumble upon an evil secret in their tower block home and must do battle with the undead to set things straight. Meanwhile, the self-professed ‘Scotland referendum horror’ White Settlers makes multiple appearances throughout the month (15-18 Sep) for four equally special screenings. This rural nightmare stars The Tudors’ Lee Williams and The Woman’s Pollyanna McIntosh as a very unwanted couple who wish they hadn’t relocated to bonny Scotland. Grimm promise special guests each night and even throw in a few giveaways, but sadly you’ll have to bring your own Irn-Bru.

And finally, Shermer High is transported to Manchester Central Library as John Hughes’ angsty classic The Breakfast Club is booked in for one more day of detention (16 Sep). Not only does Hughes’ second film showcase the late writer/director firing on all cylinders but it’s also widely regarded as one of the seminal movies of the 80s. Re-live the frustration, confusion and awkward humour of adolescence in Central Library’s newly refurbished performance space for one night only. Jocks, geeks, freaks, outcasts, princesses, neo-maxi-zoom-dweebies – all are welcome.