Northwest Film Event Highlights – September 2015

There's a flurry of repertory screenings this month thanks to Scalarama's month-long cinephilic celebrations, as well as the return of Sheffield's Sensoria and the Northwest premiere horror festival, Grimmfest

Preview by Simon Bland | 01 Sep 2015
  • Edward Scissorhands

Scalarama’s epic line-up leads the way this month, hosting a variety of events in spaces all across the UK. For us Northerners, the fun kicks off at Liverpool’s Small Cinema with the Scalarama Launch and Film Jam (1 Sep). Here you’ll be able to meet the festival organisers and fill your diaries with all the screenings you definitely don’t want to miss – and with more films on offer than this puny film column can handle, you’re bound to have a hard time whittling down your list.

Will you catch Liverpool Small Cinema’s mad scientist double bill, featuring Eyes Without a Face and The Skin I Live In (6 Sep)? What about the Godfather of Gore twosome at Manchester’s Hold Fast bar (8 Sep), where schlock doc Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore screens before trashy trailer compilation The Best of Sex and Violence? Speaking of rough and ready rarities, Kinorama’s Viva VHS! (10 Sep) invites Scalarama-ers down to Manchester’s Three Minute Theatre to rewind to the 90s for some once-controversial underground shorts. Each will be shown using original bruised and battered VHS screeners for extra fuzzy fun.

Meanwhile, Gorilla Manchester explores the flip side of 90s cinema, with R.A.D’s charity Robin Williams all-dayer (13 Sep). It’s hard to think of another actor that’s had the same impact on twentysomethings than Williams. The 90s saw him performing at the top of his game, producing some of his most memorable roles and bagging an Oscar in the process. Hook, Jumanji, Dead Poets Society and Mrs Doubtfire feature at this day-long event and with 20% of proceeds going to mental health organisation MIND Manchester, there’s never been a better time to revisit Williams’ heartwarming back catalogue.

Manchester’s Apotheca also gets in on the Scalarama fun with a tongue-in-cheek creature feature double bill boasting lo-fi spoof Mutantis (a UK premiere) and Ed Wood’s classic Bride of the Monster (17 Sep). Liverpool’s FACT has an Ed too, with Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (27 Sep) adding some pastel-coloured relief in this rare 70mm screening. It’s not long before things turn dark again, however, with William Friedkin’s 1978 thriller, Sorcerer, at Islington Mill (22 Sep), and even darker at HOME, with a showing of Pasolini's disturbing anti-fascist statement, Salò (12 Sep), screening from 35mm.

All this grittiness blends nicely into Grimmfest 2015, which features the UK premieres of Henry Rollins’ He Never Died, sci-fi noir Synchronicity and body horror Excess Flesh all showing between 1-4 October at Manchester Printworks. Got all that? Good.

Despite this wealth of local screenings, there’s also a good reason to take a trip across the Pennines this month: top notch film and music celebration Sensoria (25 Sep-3 Oct). The Sheffield festival’s cinema lineup is particularly enticing. The most road trip-worthy screening has to be the UK premiere of B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989, a vibrant doc that recreates the music and art scene of West Berlin during its punky 80s heyday (25 Sep). Or why not just go across for the whole shebang? Head to sensoria.org.uk for more details.