Cinema in Manchester and the North

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

Our cinema guide becomes a streaming guide for the time being as we look at compelling new releases, some of the highlights of the year in film, and point the way towards a few familiar classics now available to watch from the comfort of your home.

Starting with our favourite film of the year, now streaming is American Utopia, Spike Lee’s blistering film of David Byrne’s Broadway concert. A state of the nation address and a reminder of both Byrne’s spectacular back catalogue and the power of live performance, this is a real tonic and a truly joyous experience. On another note, we’d recommend Hong Sang-soo’s quietly extraordinary The Woman Who Ran — it won’t garner the attention of fellow South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, but its unanswered mysteries are just as compelling.

From the exuberant to the understated to the downright unhinged, Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor is an unrelenting, visceral thriller that combines speculative techno-sci-fi with elements of horror and no little style. This is filmmaking that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn’t let go — be warned. Infinitely gentler, but with its own sense of ferocity is Wolfwalkers, the charming new Irish animation about a young huntress and her shapeshifting companion from directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

Here are our picks

More in Cinema

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £9.99

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Streaming on Mubi

Brittany, France 1770. Portrait painter Marianne (Merlant) is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Haenel), a reluctant bride to be who has just left the convent.

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £9.99

Bacurau – Streaming on Mubi

The follow-up to Aquarius from director Kleber Mendonça Filho, this time co-directing and co-writing with long term producer Juliano Dornelles merges sci-fi, the western, Brazilian bandit movies (cangaço) and horror for a highly original and ultra-violent look at a town under siege from a mysterious threat.

Dogs Don't Wear Pants at HOME Manchester.
Cinema Until 20 March 2021, from £4.99

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants – Streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Heart surgeon Juha has lived life at an unengaged distance since his wife’s passing. And although it is often debilitating, his grief also throws up some rather surprising sexual urges.

System Crasher at HOME, Manchester - director Nora Fingscheidt's distinctive depiction of dysfunction in an under-resourced care system.
Cinema Until 2 April 2021, from £4.99

System Crasher – Streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Controversial from the moment it premiered in Competition at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, documentarian Nora Fingscheidt’s fiction feature debut portrays the life of a chaotic and troubled young girl.

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £5.99

The Irishman – Streaming on Netflix

Martin Scorsese’s epic saga of organised crime in postwar America, The Irishman weaves an engrossing and intricate web of connected events, audaciously cutting back and forth across decades.

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £5.99

Marriage Story – Streaming on Netflix

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson excel as a couple whose once enviable union crumbles under the weight of mounting resentments and divergent needs.

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £4.99

Stop Making Sense – Streaming on BFI Player

Jonathan Demme x Talking Heads. Find out why Stop Making Sense is widely regarded as the greatest concert film ever made.

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £3.50

Black Narcissus – Streaming on Apple TV

Bigger Than Life presents a 35mm screening of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1947 film, Black Narcissus at Stockport Plaza on Sunday 2nd September with an introduction by film scholar, Andrew Moor.

Cinema Until 31 January 2021, from £5.99

Beach Rats – Streaming on Netflix

Frankie, an aimless Brooklyn teenager is having a miserable summer. With his father dying and his mother wanting him to find a girlfriend, Frankie escapes with his delinquent friends and flirts with older men online.

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