Proper films, on a proper screen, in their proper formats. That’s the promise of the expertly curated Widescreen Weekend at Bradford’s National Science and Media Museum’s Pictureville Cinema — which includes both an IMAX and the UK’s only public Cinerama screen.
Now in its 25th year, Widescreen Weekend has become something of a pilgrimage for cinemagoers looking for some real movie magic, and its 2021 programme of big screen classics and significant modern films doesn’t disappoint.
Starting on Thursday 7 October with a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s rousing 1960 epic, Spartacus, the programme includes such cinephilic delights as a 70mm showing of Jacques Tati’s seminal comedy Playtime and a 35mm outing for Roland Joffé’s 1986 Palme d’Or-winner The Mission, starring Robert De Niro.
Audiences can also look forward to strands dedicated to The Sound of Cinema and Women in Widescreen, which this year explores female and non-binary score composers and includes screenings of the Mica Levi-scored Monos, sci-fi classic Tron and 2015’s Dope.
Widescreen Weekend has become something of a pilgrimage for cinemagoers looking for some real movie magic
The festival also welcomes broadcaster Edith Bowman for an exclusive live recording of her podcast Soundtracking, where she speaks with film directors, actors, producers and composers about the music that inspires them.
Beyond this, there are plenty more films and events, including kids screenings and walking tours. Plus, for the festival’s 25th anniversary, there are partnerships with local screening spaces ranging from bars, to village halls, to Bradford Cathedral itself, in an effort to expand the widescreen celebrations.
Of course, Widescreen Weekend always closes with a bang, and this year is no different. Festivities conclude on Sunday 10th October with Clint Eastwood in a 35mm screening of Sergio Leone’s dazzling western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.