This week’s picks are by Manchester based blogger, promoter and lover of all things cinema, Jim Alan.
This Wednesday, both Liverpool and Leeds host their respective Scalarama programme launch parties, a great opportunity to find out more about the festival and meet the organisers. I’ve been speaking to people around Manchester about this year’s festival a lot recently and there’s a real sense of excitement building up for Scalarama 2015. With the sheer number of wonderful cinematic treats happening during September, all over the country, it’s understandable why.
Also this week, we go from the stupefyingly cool (The Craft), to the…well outright stupid (Cruel Jaws), rounding off the week with a startling animated-feature debut and a real contender for film of the year.
18/08/2015 – 07:00 pm
The Book Club – 100-106 Leonard St, London, EC2A 4RH
Having recently been introduced to the wonders of low-budget Italian produced rip-off cinema by Luigi Cozzi’s ‘Alien’ riffing ‘Contamination’ and Star Wars inspired ‘Star Crash’, this 1990’s straight to video gem jumped right out of the listings. This hilariously daft ‘Jaws’ knock off has everything you’d ever want from a ‘crap’ masterpiece; shamelessly derivative plotting, awful dialogue and plenty of laughably OTT deaths. Special shout out has to go to the casting director who gave up on trying to find another Robert Shaw, instead replacing him with a Hulk Hogan impersonator…
19/08/2015 – 12:50 pm
Looe Children’s Centre – Barbican, Looe, PL13 1ET
If I had to give you a my film of the year right now, there would be no question. I loved Selma for many reasons, primarily as a fan of cinema, it’s one of, if not the most “cinematic” work I’ve seen this year. Ava Duvernay crafted a powerful, searing biopic, that managed to avoid the sentimentality that characterises most Oscar season fare, bringing a key, under discussed moment in American history, vividly to life. DOP Bradford Young’s work, reminiscent of the late, great Gordon Willis (Manhattan, The Godfather) is yet to be bettered in my eyes.
And Oyelowo’s performance as Martin Luther King…speaks for itself.
Must be seen on the big screen!
19/08/2015 – 07:00 pm
Live Art Bistro – St Mary’s Lane, Leeds, LS9 7EH
As with Liverpool Small Cinema’s event on the same night, this is a great opportunity to get involved with Scalarama 2015, meet the organisers and find out a little bit more about the festival, it’s ethos and your local independent cinema scene. Having worked on this year’s Manchester Scalarama programme, I can personally testify that these launch events will be a lot of fun and a great chance to meet people who love cinema as much as you do. Prepare to geek out and have a great time.
And on top of that, Leeds Scalarama are screening the fascinating documentary ‘The Mask You Live In’. I heard a lot about this coming out of Sundance, with it’s discussion on the negative impact of ingrained hyper-masculinity on the individual and society striking a chord with both critics and audiences.
20/08/2015 – 07:00 pm
Odeon Printworks – 27 Withy Grove, Manchester, M4 2BS
Fresh from the announcement that a remake is already in the works, Grimmfest‘s screening is a timely reminder of how effortlessly cool and genuinely scary ‘The Craft’ was. Released at a time when both the teen movie and the ‘post-modern’ slasher (Scream, I Know What You Did…) were experiencing a full blown renaissance, ‘The Craft’ took the best bits of both genres, the snappy dialogue and attitude of the former and the dangerous, ‘edge of the seat’ tension of the latter to create a tone all of its own, that still stands up to scrutiny today. No remake neccassary.
Forget ‘The Blair Witch Project’… ‘The Craft’ was the definitive 90’s witchcraft movie. See it on the big screen, if you’re like me, you probably forgot all the jumpy bits…
23/08/2015 – 02:00 pm & 4:00pm
ICA – The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH
I first read about Signe Baumane in the latest Little White Lies cover feature on the 50 greatest female filmmakers working today. ‘Rocks In My Pockets’, a highly personal story discussing issues of sexuality, femininity and mental illness sounds like it bears all the hallmarks the greatest auteur animators. An under appreciated gem that never got the cinema release it deserved, it’s a film I will definitely be seeking out as a priority.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with Bechdel Test Fest, they screen works from great, often under appreciated female filmmakers from all over the world. Their brilliant & lovingly programmed sell-out events are a regular fixture on the London film calendar, often with a post screening panel discussion with filmmakers and film experts.
Londoners, you’d be crazy to miss this one.
This week Cultivate screen Derek Jarman’s poetic ‘The Angelic Conversation’ along with the doc ‘Gay Sex In The 70s’. Usual free entry and popcorn/rum.
Thanks for reading my top 5 and look forward to meeting everyone at the Manchester Scalarama launch party in a few weeks (date & location tbc on scalarama.com soon.
You can get in touch on Twitter via @visavisfilm
Enjoy writing about film? Would you like to choose your top 5 for the week ahead? Get in touch.