This week’s picks are by LIFFlaura.
Laura can often be found hiding in the dark, clutching a box of popcorn in the historic cinemas of Leeds and Hebden Bridge or working on film programmes for Leeds International Film Festival and her year-round series of screenings at The Reliance at Left Bank Leeds.
22/06/2015 – 08:00 pm
Saffron Screen – Saffron Walden County High School, Audley End Road, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4UH
A delirious and darkly comic psychological drama set in the 1960s, with a strong female cast and a wonderful soundtrack by Tracey Thorn.
The story revolves around Lydia, a teenager at the centre of a fainting epidemic which inexplicably sweeps through her prim, starchy English school. While at home she puts up with her despicable brother’s hormone-drenched antics and her dysfunctional, agoraphobic beehived mother (brilliantly played by Maxine Peake), at school she is branded a troublemaker by teachers and probed by psychiatrists.
I agree with Peter Bradshaw’s review in The Guardian that The Falling is as “murky, wet and luxurious as the water in which Millais drowned Ophelia”.
23/06/2015 – 07:00 pm
The Continental, Preston – The Continental, South Meadow Lane, Preston, PR1 8JP
High above a jungle in Nepal, pilgrims make an ancient journey by cable car to worship at Manakamana Temple. A camera is placed in a fixed spot in the cable car, observing a series of very different passengers in real time on their journey up the mountainside with an extraordinary vista from the windows.
An almost virtual reality travel experience and an ingenious device for people-watching, Manakamana is the latest feature documentary from The Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab. It is also now a haunting reminder of the recent destruction of parts of Nepal after two huge earthquakes.
Documentary distributors Dogwoof have kindly waived the fees for UK community screenings of Manakmana to raise money for the villagers who feature in this film to help them rebuild their lives and community.
24/06/2015 – 07:30 pm
Liverpool Small Cinema – Liverpool Small Cinema, 57 – 59 Victoria Street, Liverpool, L1 6DE
I have always had an enormous fondness for the stars of the vintage horror era and Ed Wood, director of this 1959 black and white, er, classic, clearly did too. Plan 9 From Outer Space was the Hungarian-American star of Dracula Bela Lugosi’s last movie, in which aliens resurrect dead humans from the grave, but the fotage of Lugosi wasn’t actaully shot for this film, which makes continuity a challenge to say the least.
The film is low-budget, high-camp and on the face of it, appalling in almost every way, with poor continuity, terrible acting, nonsensical dialogue and franky laughable special effects (pan lids as flying saucers suspended on strings which are clearly visible) but it has a brazen greatness and purity of vision that is a joy to behold.
Often called ‘the worst film ever made’ but I strongly disgree and suggest that if you haven’t seen it, go and make up your own mind, and if you have seen it, you’ll need no encourangement from me – unless you hated it, of course.
25/06/2015 – 06:00 pm
Manchester MMU – Lecture Theatre 1, Brooks Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Bonsall Street, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5JH
The Manchester Modernist Society say they are a small band of urban enthusiasts who lead tours around the city centre and organise photography exhibitions and other cultural events that explore the rich and complex relationship between architecture, art and design and public space.
This is a selection of short films made between 1968 to 2009 which they describe as a ‘dedicated to the recent history of Hulme’.
Only £3 in so why not?
26/06/2015 – 07:30 pm
Hepworth Village Hall – Hepworth Village Hall, Towngate, Hepworth, Holmfirth, HD9 1TE
Yorkshire-based screening group Holmfirth Silents are new to me, but I’m delighted to say they’re lovely chaps to work with and have carved out a niche for themselves presenting silent film with improvised scores in historic cinemas, village halls & community venues across Yorkshire.
“We keep tickets as cheap as we can” they say and proudly declare that no two performances are the same. The Mark of Zorro (1920) sees Douglas Fairbanks in bombastic, swashbuckling form, a masked crusader with a dual identity (sound like any other superheros we know?) fighting for justice and the right to wear tight trousers.
Accompaniement for this film in Hepworth will be by Jonathan Best and, importantly, Hepworth Village Hall bar will be open!
Passengerfilms, University of London’s cultural-geography-inflected intellectual film society, present a collision of human geography and psychoanalysis with a screening of Spider (David Cronenberg, 2002) and panel discussion about madness and materiality.
Uberto Pasolini directs the story of a meticulous council worker who’s job it is to track down relatives of the deceased in an area of South London, until he is told he is about to lose his job and embarks on his final case. Death and unemployment – always good subjects for a film in my opinion.
Filmmakers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of food waste from farm and retail – all the way to the back of their own fridge, pledging to quit grocery shopping and only eat food that has been discarded. Post-screening discussion with the Real Junk Food Project, a cool-lective who repurpose food destined for the bins in their Leeds community cafe. Door price includes a raffle ticket for a Suma Co-op hamper!
Telling the true story of a complex relationship between the son of a Hamas leader and the Israeli secret service agent who recruits him as an informant. I haven’t seen this film yet but it certainly looks good, from the producer of fave docs Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man.
A week of events in unusual spaces, celebrating all that is pop-up and lo-fi with a selection of fiction and non-fiction cinema experiences to be had around the country. Let me know what you think if you make it to any of them, via @Lifflaura on Twitter.
Enjoy writing about film? Would you like to choose your top 5 for the week ahead? Get in touch.