Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Ey up, if it ain't near tarm fer t' Bradford Fantastic Filums thingumibob...

Souls with a mind like yours will be heading up to Bradford in June, to partake in the fine wine that is the annual Bradford Fantastic Films Festival. Sadly I won't be going (boo!), but there's still plenty to get your collective fangs into:

9th Fantastic Films Weekend, Friday 4 - Sunday 6 June 2010
National Media Museum, Bradford
0870 7010200

The National Media Museum, Bradford, presents the 9th Fantastic Films Weekend (FFW) promising three fear-filled days of thrills and spine-tingling chills for fantasy, horror and sci-fi fans. This year’s Fantastic Films Weekend takes place from Friday 4 – Sunday 6 June.

As part of the weekend the Museum welcomes British directors Stanley Long (Screamtime and cinematographer of The Sorcerers) and Michael Armstrong (The Image starring David Bowie and Mark of the Devil). This year, the weekend also includes a special guest appearance by English screenwriter and FFW patron Jeremy Dyson, best known for his contribution to the well-known British TV series, The League of Gentlemen.

Films screening over the weekend include Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, an exclusive midnight screening of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, a double-bill of horror with 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later and a selection of popular titles from the Museum’s own film archive including Robocop, The Giant Spider Invasion and Patrick.

Stanley Long has worked with the likes of Roman Polanski on Repulsion and with Peter Cushing on The Blood Beast Terror as well as on the 1960s classic The Sorcerers. He co-directed Screamtime with Michael Armstrong. Both British horror features will be screened at the 9th Fantastic Films Weekend; Stanley will also be signing copies of his autobiography X-Rated: Adventures of an Exploitation Filmmaker.

Writer/director Michael Armstrong is best-known for his cult horror films and for providing David Bowie with his screen debut in the short film The Image, which was also Michael’s first film. Michael will be discussing his career in the Museum’s Cubby Broccoli Cinema ahead of a screening of Mark of the Devil. The event starts at 6:15pm on Saturday 5 June. Mark of the Devil is a notorious and long-banned film in which a twisted witch hunter hands out God’s will, punishing an array of innocent women.

Hitchcock fans will be thrilled with the 1960 version of Psycho showing in the Museum’s Pictureville Cinema. This 50th anniversary re-release is a welcome reminder of Alfred Hitchcock’s genius for creating heart-stopping cinema. There will be three separate screenings of the classic thriller during FFW.

Fantastic Films Weekend is proud to announce a special midnight screening of Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Influenced by Hitchcock’s The Birds, Birdemic was first screened at the Sundance Film Festival in the United States and since has played to sell-out theatres across the USA. This amateur but cult film was created on a micro-budget by first time director James Nguyen who has been compared to legendary dud-maker Ed (Plan 9 from Outer Space) Wood.

For those who don’t scare easily, don’t miss the double-bill of shock that will leave viewers hanging on the edge of their seats with Danny Boyle’s zombie chiller 28 Days Later, where animal rights activists storm a laboratory and unwittingly unleash a plague virus that turns humans into mad-eyed, homicidal maniacs. The double-bill continues with 28 Weeks Later, starring Robert Carlyle. This sequel offers cat-and-mouse chases and lashings of gore and blood, definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Once again the National Media Museum has dug deep in its unique film archive and dusted off some blasts from the past that will be showing on the big screen during the weekend. The films include Robocop in which Officer Murphy’s memorable catchphrase “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me” will take fans back to the first time they watched this sci-fi action thriller. Other favorites from the vault include The Giant Spider Invasion, the rarely-seen Three Cases of Murder and Patrick.

Other film highlights from this year’s Fantastic Film Weekend include Plague Town, a film about an American family in search of their roots in Ireland who instead discover a small village with a terrible truth from generations past; Videodrome starring James Woods and eXistenz starring Jude Law. Both films – a David Cronenberg double-bill - are linked to the Immersion exhibition (running in Gallery Two until September 5), in which photographer and video artist Robbie Cooper focuses on our obsession with screen media. Finally, audiences will get the chance to see the sell-out Avatar 3D and Alice in Wonderland 3D on Yorkshire’s only IMAX screen.

For festival passes, day passes or individual tickets visit www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/fantastic or call the NMeM box office on 0870 7010200. Weekend pass £50 (£40 concs), day pass £20 (£15 concs) (passes do not include IMAX titles). 28 Days Later/28 WeeksLater double-bills £10 (£7 concs). Single tickets £6.50 (£4.50 concs), Imax DMR £9 (£7 concs) - FFW pass holders receive £1 discount on IMAX films.

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