The big screen is back, and Manchester’s HOME have sorted a blistering reopening programme that combines new releases and awards contenders with rare screenings of films plucked from the history of cinema. Of course, there will also be a selection of Q&As with talent and filmmakers, as well as introductions from film experts.
Opening in line with government guidance and with safety precautions in place, the cinema’s five screens are set to light up with the season’s biggest films, including the likes of Lee Isaac Chung’s affecting multiple Oscar-nominee Minari, Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield in Shaka King’s acclaimed civil rights drama Judas and the Black Messiah, and Ammonite, Francis Lee’s earthy period romance starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
Some films, such as Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland — a sweeping trip across modern America built around Frances McDormand — are presented properly on the silver screen following streaming debuts earlier this year. While brand new titles, including Christos Nikou’s high-concept Apples, and Billie Piper’s much-anticipated, and highly regarded, Rare Beasts have been held back to make a big screen bow. As an added incentive, Piper, who stars and directs for the first time, will be at HOME for a Q&A to promote Rare Beasts on Tuesday 25 May.
Filmgoers familiar with HOME will know that new releases are only half the story here though. A brand new programme entitled “The Reverse Gaze: Filmmaking on Screen” mixes new titles such as Mank — David Fincher’s look at Citizen Kane and Herman J. Mankiewicz — and a Q&A screening of Prano Bailey-Bond’s video-nasty themed Censor with some dives back into cinema history that remind us of what we’ve been missing.
Featuring live introductions from HOME staff, film historians and academics, the series focuses on the artistic endeavour and the very act of creating moving images. Our pick of the season is Olivier Assayas’ dreamy meta-thriller Irma Vep, in which Hong Kong star Maggie Cheung plays a version of herself caught up in a remake of Louis Feuillade’s classic silent crime serial Les vampires. Michael Powell’s vicious and voyeuristic proto-slasher Peeping Tom, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s brilliantly chaotic Beware of a Holy Whore and François Truffaut’s Day For Night are also highly recommended.
The full reopening programme is available on HOME’s website, where you can find details of further releases such as Gerard Johnson’s British bruiser Muscle, punk rock doc Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché and Tilda Swinton’s turn in Pedro Almodóvar short The Human Voice, amongst a host of others. Tickets for all films and events will be available following the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the roadmap out of lockdown on Monday 10 May, with priority booking going to HOME Friends, followed by members.