Ready to get bundled up with a nice bowl of horror this winter? Yeah, we knew you would be. The UK’s Grimm Up North has partnered with the BFI to host a series of screenings in unique and atmospheric venues across Greater Manchester as part of their national Gothic season, and here are the details of what’s ahead.
The two events that complete the BFI (British Film Institute)’s Gothic season will be site-specific, in which the atmospheric location will add an eerie element of supernatural ambience to the proceedings. The Innocents and The Others are screening at the supposedly haunted Tudor mansion Ordsall Hall on 13th December 2013 with Bride of Frankenstein and La Belle et La Bete following on 10th January 2014 at Victorian Gothic beauty John Rylands Library.
Ordsall Hall, 13th December 2013
The Innocents (1961) + The Others (2001)
Doors open at 18.30 with the first film beginning at 19.00.
Incongruously situated in the centre of Salford, Ordsall Hall, a Grade 1 haunted Tudor manor, is the perfect venue for a double-bill screening of ghost films. It is also home to the mysterious, ghostly White Lady, who walks the hall by night. Is she the spirit of Margaret Radclyffe, Maid of Honour to Elizabeth I, or Viviana Radclyffe, beloved of Guy Fawkes? This could be your chance to ask her in person.
The Innocents: Arguably the greatest haunted house film of them all, THE INNOCENTS is Jack Clayton’s eerie and beautiful realisation of Henry James’ “The Turn of The Screw,” itself often regarded as the finest ghost story ever written. James’ story has been adapted many times over the years for stage, screen, and television.
The Others: A more recent but equally unsettling take on the classic ghost story is Alejandro Amenabar’s smart and spooky THE OTHERS. Inspired, as the director freely admitted, by James’ story and conceived in part as an homage to Clayton’s film, with Nicole Kidman’s performance clearly and consciously modelled on Kerr’s, the film nevertheless offers some effective and affecting chills of its own.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) + La Belle et La Bete (1946)
This event is free of charge.
For the grand finale of the season, you’ll find yourself in the John Rylands Library, one of the great literary treasure houses of the world. The Library, designed by Basil Champneys, is a startling example of late Victorian neo-Gothic architecture at its most imposing and delightfully decadent… a perfect space in which to hold the final site-specific screening, featuring a brace of book-born monsters, both of whom can be traced back to the earliest literary manifestations of the Gothic imagination.
Bride of Frankenstein: James Whale’s darkly funny and mordantly mischievous take on Mary Shelley’s celebrated parable of overweening pride, scientific arrogance, and man-made monsters. With its inventive production design and expressionist visuals; archly witty and moving script; and striking, eccentric performances, this exploration of the need for love – even among monsters – offers a high-camp, Hollywood-Gothic take on the fairytale which forms the basis of the second film of the evening, Jean Cocteau’s lyrical, surreal, and startling LA BELLE ET LA BETE.
La Belle a La Bete: Jean Cocteau’s cinematic interpretation sees him utilising all of his considerable skills as poet, playwright, artist, and designer to create a truly magical film, by turns elegant and eerie, romantic and nightmarish, with a powerful performance from the great Jean Marais as the suave, sinister, and strangely seductive Beast. A fairytale for children and adults alike, and a far cry from Disney’s saccharine animated version, this is a dark and delirious movie that will haunt your dreams.
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