Above The Line presents: Screening 08. Mother! & The Exorcist at YES

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

Above The Line presents: Screening 08. Mother! & The Exorcist at YES, Manchester 31 March 2019 Entrance is free

Head to YES this month for the most anxiety-inducing Mother’s Day imaginable. The latest Above The Line double-bill screening pairs Darren Aronofsky’s bonkers, art-horror fable mother! with William Friedkin’s petrifying hall-of-famer, The Exorcist. It’s not standard Mothering Sunday fare, we’ll admit, but if mum’s got a strong stomach and a taste for video nasties, then this could be an outing to remember.

Aronofsky’s mother! prompted walkouts, moralising and a fair bit of flak on release in 2017. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as the young wife of Javier Bardem’s poet. Together they live in an idyllic country house where Bardem’s character is trying to write while Lawrence’s works hard on renovations. One day a man (Ed Harris) and a woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrive, beg to for a room and soon overstay their welcome. It’s a simple premise of fraught domesticity, but Aronofsky borrows from Biblical blueprints to build it into something grander as a quiet opening opens up into a horror of mobs, blood and relentless screaming. Somewhere within there is a climate change parable and a statement on the pains of artistic creation. It’s certainly overwrought, but undeniably effective stuff.

Now, mother! generated its fair share of op-ed finger wagging, but it’s got nothing on The Exorcist. William Friedkin’s 1973 adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel follows the demonic possession of 12-year-old Regan (Linda Blair) and famously features enough vulgarities and creative use of a crucifix to keep the film from a home video release in Britain until 1999. Frequently cited as one of the scariest films of all time, the story is loosely based upon the last known official Catholic exorcism in the United States. Fictionalising the tale, Blatty lowered the age and changed the sex of the child from a boy to a girl — decisions that almost certainly helped fuel the controversy. For his part, Friedkin created some of horror cinemas indelible images, including Blair scurrying down the stairs on all fours and that paranormal head twist.

Perfect preparation for the week ahead.

Above The Line presents: Screening 08. Mother! & The Exorcist at YES, Manchester 31 March 2019 Entrance is free

Where to go near Above The Line presents: Screening 08. Mother! & The Exorcist at YES

Music venue
Joshua Brooks

Long-established Manchester bar and nightclub, Joshua Brooks is just off student hotspot Oxford Road. Open until 4am on the weekends with regular DJ-led club nights.

Manchester Wine Tours

Manchester Wine Tours is a relaxed, fun wine tour, full of the city’s best food and drink, led by an effortlessly engaging host.

The Dancehouse

From its charming Art Deco interiors to a quirky, highly original creative arts output, our theatre is firmly established within the city’s famously vibrant cultural scene.

Bar or Pub
The Thirsty Scholar

Friendly pub under a railway arch serving vegetarian and vegan pub food, as well as hosting regular live music.

The Cotton Factory

This residency restaurant opened in summer 2019, at Locke Hotels’ Whitworth Locke. The first residency comes courtesy of Mexican specialists El Camino.

Peru Perdu

Peru Perdu has an all-new food and drink menu, with some of the best-looking dishes in the city.

Event venue

We check out the new festive changes to Hatch, Manchester’s favourite collection of small independents.

What's on: Cinema

CinemaCheetham Hill
Jewish Culture Club

Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum.

free entry
Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum: A photograph showing a theatre stage. On the right side we can see a woman in a pink hijab with a travel bag in her hand. She has a yellow star pinned to her black blouse. She looks concerned. In the background there is a group of 5 musicians playing medieval instruments.
Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum

Be transported back to 15th-century Andalucia for a screening of a concert play tackling stories around integration, love, heritage and racial identity. Part of Manchester Jewish Museum’s Synagogue Scratch Season.

from £10.00
A still from Now, Voyager featuring Charlotte Vale played by Bette Davis.
Now, Voyager at Cottage Road Cinema

Bette Davis stars as a wealthy young woman who escapes her domineering mother in this classic melodrama selected to show as part of Classics at the Cottage this June.

from £7.00

Culture Guides

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Cinema in Manchester and the North

From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.