Scalarama: 1 – 30 September 2015

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC SCALARAMA! 10 Days To Go!

“I salute the organisers of Scalarama who, every year show us what the Scala and repertory cinema should be like.” Director, Peter Strickland

VOTE CINEMA! Now in its fifth year, Scalarama is back as the annual, one month long celebration of cinema (1 – 30 Sept) that offers audiences nationwide the chance to discover a wide range of seldom-seen films in an extraordinary variety of venues – from cinemas old and new, to screenings in parks, boats and even a zoo.

Hundreds of independent film clubs, cinemas and enthusiasts in over 35 towns and cities across the country (with hotspots  in Nottingham, Leeds, Bristol, London, Brighton, Liverpool and Manchester) have united to transform September into the unofficial month of cinema.



Showcasing  films from audacious classics to banned and underground horror films plus rarely seen gems with Q&A’s and live soundtracks, the programme demonstrates the diversity of cinema in all its forms bringing excitement and adventure to communal film watching for a whole new generation.

This year, Core themes umbrella many of the events as Scalarama celebrates  the cinematic viewing experience in all its formats with Celluloid Forever and VHStival (a celebration of all things video), and the 10th anniversary of Second Run – the DVD company dedicated to releasing classics and lost titles, as well as the work of  John Waters, partnering with the BFI Southbank retrospective.

It also sees the start on an ongoing initiative called Project 51, calling for equality in film programming, with a focus on women behind both the camera and the projector in partnership with the international #DirectedbyWomen viewing party (1-15 September). Highlights include:

  • A Shirley Clarke retrospective including her first acclaimed feature starring jazz giants Jackie McLean and Freddie Redd in The Connection, The Cool World starring Dizzie Gillespie, Portrait of Jason hailed by Ingmar Bergman as “the most extraordinary film I’ve seen in my life”, and Ornette: Made in America featuring Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono and William Burroughs.
  • Two acclaimed films with strong female characters: The Watermelon Woman, a quest for the truth in the exploration of black American culture by Cheryl Dunye and Girlfriends which explores the confusion of female friendships, by Claudia Weill and only available on 16mm film.
  • Plus other titles screened during under both the #DirectedbyWomen and Project 51 banner include works by Penelope Spheeris, Haifaa al-Mansour, Vera Chytilova, Lizzie Borden, Agnes Varda as well as short film events involving female directors and depictions on screen, and many more.

Linked screenings across the UK include: Roar (1981), a jaw dropping creature feature, involving Tippi Hedron and Melanie Griffith and hundreds of real lions, screening in London, Bristol and Cambridge; the Radical Film Network’s People Power double -bill of Franny Armstrong’s McLibel and Nick Broomfield’s A Time Comes playing simultaenously at 6 venues nationwide while the uncut version of Video Nasty title Anthropophagous: The Beast finally gets its UK premiere in Bristol and Liverpool 35 years on! !

Many of the key cities have produced their own Scalarama regional flyers based on the classic Scala Cinema calendar, whilst a bespoke free 32p-page  newspaper with new writing about cinema initiatives, all of the core themes and titles and  including contributions from Peter Strickland, John Waters and Scalarama’s nationwide network  of exhibitors , will be available online and at venues across the UK, see www.scalarama.com for details.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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