Reel Steel Cult Weekender Film Festival at Abbeydale Picture House, Sheffield

Part of our Cinema guide

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
Studio Ghibli

Reel Steel Cult Weekender Film Festival, 15–17 March 2019, from £8 - Book now

Reel Steel Cult Weekender presents some of contemporary cinema’s most enduring classics at an iconic Sheffield venue this March. Held at the Grade II listed, 1920 picture palace, this weekend long film festival matches a fun, varied programme with spectacular surrounds. Indeed, with a solid, crowd-pleasing line-up split equally between American and East Asian works, there’s plenty to please cult film fans, starting with a horror double on the Friday night. Billed as ‘Freddy vs. Nancy’, the weekender opens with screenings of Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street and acclaimed series sequel Dream Warriors.

Saturday starts with a couple of afternoon matinee screenings courtesy of Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford’s ever-popular Indiana Jones franchise. Sheffield film fans can enjoy the archaeologist’s escapades in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom followed by Raiders of the Lost Ark. The films themselves were throwbacks to old-school adventure serials, so it is nice to see them getting an outing in their proper slot.

Saturday evening is reserved for something a little less child-friendly as Reel Steel casts its programming net back to the start of the 21st Century for a pair of films that helped define the Extreme Asian Cinema Wave of the early aughts. Before Katniss Everdeen, 2000’s Battle Royale pitted desperate Japanese teenagers against one another in bloody combat, while Park Chan-Wook’s South Korean thriller, Oldboy takes things further still in its taboo-busting tale of elaborate vengeance.

Sunday sees us back in Japan, with a mellower one-two of Studio Ghibli films directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Screened from rare 35mm prints in the original Japanese with English subtitles, Reel Steel presents animated favourites Spirited Away followed by Princess Mononoke. With films steeped in magic and folklore, populated with supernatural beings, Miyazaki has come to be regarded as one of Japanese animation’s essential voices and tickets to catch two of his most famous works should prove popular.

15–17 March 2019
From £8

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