Screening Film


Screening Highlights – 18/8: Family Fun and Fantasy


A man well known for his discerning taste, Sam Meech picks five film screenings from the upcoming week.


There are a lot of interesting, challenging, enlightening, alternative film events happening this week: an Ozploitation Double Bill at Derby Quad, the immersive space cinema at The Drum in Birmingham, Nosferatu with a live score in a church and The Art Party at FACT in Liverpool, a roller derby doc at Cube in Bristol, or the dark thriller Stranger by the Lake at Cornerhouse, showing as part of Manchester Pride POUTFEST. But since we are into the final stages of the summer holidays, this week i’m doing it for the kids.  So, I’ve picked five fantastic family friendly film screenings across the uk.


1. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON – Wed 20th Aug, 11am @ City Park, BRADFORD

The Unesco City of Film are hosting an outdoor morning matinée for this highly-rated 2009 fantasy animation. I have to admit i’ve not seen it but as a lover of dragons (Flight of Dragons being my favourite film ever), i’ve been meaning to for a long time. Hopefully the weather stays well.

2. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 – Thurs 21st Aug, 10:30am  @ Selby Town Hall, SELBY
Speaking of weather, it looks like North Yorkshire is in for a ‘meatier’ showe (the film’s pun, not mine). Tom chose the first film as part of his top 5 last week and I am coming back for another helping. There was enough in CWACOMB for adults, but also some important life lessons for children – “I wanted to run away that day, but you can’t run away from your own feet.“. So my hopes would be high for the sequel, plus I like the spirit of the folk behind Selby Globe.


3. BATMAN: THE MOVIE (1966) – Sat 23rd Aug, 1:30pm @ The Electric Cinema, BIRMINGHAM
Is this a choice more for dad or grandad? An academic introduction by Professor Will Brooker (author of ‘The Uses and Meaning of Batman from 1939-99’) might not be aimed at children, but I think they’ll enjoy the film a lot. I have fond memories of the series, and there is an enjoyable innocence and integrity to Adam West’s Batman pitched against the ridiculous and fantastical scenarios schemed up by the cartoonish villains. Did I dream the one where he was suspended above a giant cup of tea? No doubt the 1966 movie contains much of the humour of the series.Check out some other film events tagged ‘duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh’


4. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE – Sat 23rd Aug, 8pm @ Victoria Park, BRISTOL
Bristol Bad Film Club present an outdoor screening of my childhood. Yes, this film meant the world to me. Of course I never saw it at the cinema, but I remember being taken to get it from the video shop, sitting on the sofa with a bag of grapes and being thrilled and a bit scared. It shares a place in my psyche along with Howard the Duck and the Garbage Pail Kids – fantastical outsiders who find themselves transported to the rainy streets of 80s american cinema. Frank Langella is brilliant and terrifying as Skeletor, and Dolph Lundgren has the body of the orginal plastic figure of He-Man. (Interestingly, Ludgren labelled He-Man his “least favourite film role”, whilst coversely Langella considered Skeletor one of his favourites). Sadly, there was no Battlecat or Orko present, but Beastman and Man at Arms are there alongside some bizarre new characters and brilliant make up. MOTU fans should check out this blog featuing interviews with the cast, and the torture themselves with this Streetfighter-style beat em up that will never (legally)  see the light of day.


5. JURASSIC PARK Sat 23rd Aug, 8:30pm  @ De La Warr Pavilion, BEXHILL

I’m in the mood to watch this film again on a big screen. The JP legacy seems to be getting ever diluted by the rolling screenings of the inferior sequels on ITV2 (when they’re not showing Star Wars Episodes 1 – 3). It’s time to watch the original and just remember how brilliant it was to experience those giant dinosaurs for the first time. The bonus with this screening is that it is projected on the sea-facing wall of the De La Warr Pavilion – one of my favourite buildings in Britain. Also, I heard this week that Sam Neill has his own vineyard. As a dinosar survivor, good for him I say.



Sam Meech is a an artist, cinema fan, and founder of Screening Film, based in the North West. Weened from an early age on the vhs rentals of his older brothers and things his mother taped of the tv, his favourite films are Flight of Dragons and An American Werewolf in London. Find him on twitter @videosmithery



Fancy choosing a top 5? If you would like to share your tastes and select 5 highlights from the upcoming week for Screening Film, get in touch.

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