Cinemas are scheduled to open this month (pending government announcement) and we can’t wait to bask in the flicker of the big screen once again. Streaming options have proliferated in recent times and we’ve been grateful for the chance to watch from home over the past year, but as an experience, it’s hard to beat the darkness, the lack of distractions, the pristine sound and the giant, dwarfing image provided by a real cinema.
There’s a backlog of new films scheduled to make their big screen debut too. Some, such as award-winners Minari and Nomadland have already been made available to stream, but will be available to see in their proper proportions for the first time. Other titles such as Kelly Reichardt’s quietly stunning pioneer drama First Cow and Billy Piper’s acclaimed Rare Beasts have been held back until now, waiting until audiences can see them as the filmmakers intended.
At HOME this month, expect a mix of these new releases alongside a post-lockdown season dedicated to films about films: ‘The Reverse Gaze: Filmmaking on Screen’. Scheduled to welcome back cinemagoers, this curated programme combines some recent hits with gems from legendary filmmakers such as François Truffaut and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, in order to highlight the artistry, struggle, chaos and ego that it takes to get a film to screen.
Also in Manchester, Chapeltown Picture House is a new space from the folk behind foodie faves GRUB. They’ve lined up an opening week full of classic films that range from feel good classics like Singin’ in the Rain and a marathon Lord of the Rings event, to a 4K double bill of cult horror flicks Demons and Demons II. Keep your eyes peeled as more venues start to announce their opening dates and programmes.
Of course, outdoor venues are up and running already. The Luna Cinema at Tatton Park is showing some tried and tested classics, while upcoming later in the year, the new Film & Food Fest at Heaton Park is one to mark in your diaries.
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
Cornwall has seldom seemed eerier than in Make-Up, the vivid first feature from director Claire Oakley.
To coincide with LGBT History Month, Heart of Glass launches Queer Treatment, a new animated short film by the amazing Amy Pennington. Queer Treatment is inspired by conversations with members of the LGBTQIA+ community and explores connection, identity, representation and celebrating queer icons past and present.
The story of Fred Hampton, the gifted civil rights leader who rose through the Black Panther party to became chairman of the Chicago chapter, is often missing from history. And even lesser known is the role that petty criminal and FBI informant William O’Neal played in his downfall.
Christos Nikou’s wonderful feature debut, written and directed before the COVID-19 pandemic began is a soulful rumination on who we are and what defines us.
A fictionalised account of the life of the 19th century palaeontologist Mary Anning, Kate Winslet plays the pioneering scientist with Ronin as the gentlewoman who falls in love with her while staying in Mary’s beloved Lyme Regis.
Madness and melancholy intersect to thrilling effect as Almodóvar reimagines Jean Cocteau’s short play The Human Voice for an era in which isolation has become a way of life.
1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish Citizen Kane.
A cast and crew wait in a Spanish hotel for the arrival of finance, their director and lead actor to begin filming. To fill their time, they partake in series of personal and professional games built upon exploitation and manipulation.
It’s the March edition of the Food and Drink Guide to Manchester and the North and things are slowly starting to feel more promising. Spring is here, the weather is mostly warming up and in just a few weeks we’ll be allowed to eat and drink outside at venues with outside space.