Cinema in Manchester and the North

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor


One of the great pleasures of cinema is the variety of forms in which greatness can appear. Great cinema seldom comes in the form of the stuffy, awards-baiting dramas that dominate screens during this time of year – although Martin Scorsese’s Silence and Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea are both well worth seeking out this January. As an alternative to all of those cynically green-lit Oscar candidates stinking up the multiplexes, we’ve tried to highlight some of the more disreputable treasures, and genuinely ambitious pieces of film art that are screening near you in the coming weeks.

Look for the humorous, left-wing writing of Neville Smith in HOME’s retrospective, or the extraordinary work done by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul in Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives which is showing as part of the FACT’s Haunting the Unknown season. We also make a case for the gold hidden in action stylist, John McTiernan’s Predator and look at why you really shouldn’t miss the chance to see the five-and-a-half hour restoration of Napoleon.


Here are our top 5 picks

  • 1. Film Season: Haunting the Unknown

    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - Image courtesy of FACT
    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - Image courtesy of FACT

    Film Season: Haunting the Unknown at FACT, City Centre, 19 January–02 February 2017 , from £6.50 - Book now

    Programmed in conjunction with No Such Thing as Gravity at FACT, Haunting the Unknown is a film season that takes a look at the spaces science leaves to the imagination and the supernatural presences that pop up to fill those spaces.

  • 2. New Release: Manchester by the Sea

    Image courtesy of HOME.
    Image courtesy of HOME.

    Manchester by the Sea at HOME, Manchester, 13–27 January 2017 , from £5.00 - Visit now

    Kenneth Lonergan’s third film in sixteen years is a supremely intimate excavation of familial grief and tragedy. Starring Casey Affleck delivering a career best performance, this is one of the most exiting new releases of the year.

  • 3. Napoleon at HOME

    Image courtesy of HOME

    Napoleon at HOME, Manchester, 28 January 2017, from £10.00 - Book now

    Abel Gance’s extraordinary depiction of the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte is a landmark in cinema history, lauded by directors such as Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick, but a film that few audiences have had the opportunity to experience until now.

  • 4. Predator: 30th Anniversary RAD Screening

    Image courtesy of RAD Screenings
    Image courtesy of RAD Screenings

    Predator: 30th Anniversary RAD Screening at Gorilla, Manchester, 29 January 2017, from £5.00 - Book now

    Whether you choose to focus on its depiction of the fragile nature of muscular masculinity or just enjoy the rollicking thrill ride, John McTeirnan’s Predator is definitely worth catching on the big screen.

  • 5. Neville Smith: A Retrospective

    Neville Smith: A Retrospective
    Still from Gumshoe, 1971

    Neville Smith: A Retrospective at HOME, Manchester, 08–29 January 2017 , from £7.00 - Book now

    This January HOME continue their now annual series of retrospectives of work by overlooked British screenwriters by showcasing the work of actor and scriptwriter Neville Smith.

Culture Guides

Castle Rock


It’s a busy time for theatre followers, with two amazing festivals – Queer Contact and PUSH – as well as some exciting new stuff over at The Lowry.

Points of View by Tony Cragg. Photo: Charles Duprat.


For our Exhibitions guide in January, we’ve sifted through our calendar of upcoming exhibitions and picked out the very best from 2017. Step right this way…

Just So Festival


Follow a 175-foot long dragon and book now for a Grimm’s fairy tale with a difference and the mighty Just So Festival.

Writer Adam O’Riordan. Photo by George Chevalier Lewis.


Start popping events for the new year in your shiny box fresh diary – there’s lots of live lit going on!

The Unthanks: How Wild The Wind Blows


Why not try some new music for the new year? How about a residency (or two) in a former mill, an original take on a film soundtrack, or the cream of Manchester’s current music scene coming together for an action-packed all-dayer?

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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Picture Stockport
Exhibitions 12 January–12 February 2017 , FREE

Picture Stockport

Theatre 14–28 January 2017 , from £1.00

PUSH Festival 2017 at HOME

Wynford Dewhurst: Manchester’s Monet
Exhibitions 09 December 2016–23 April 2017 , FREE

Wynford Dewhurst: Manchester’s Monet

Yves Klein
Exhibitions 21 October 2016–05 March 2017 , from £06.00

Yves Klein