Alex Reid, Arts and Entertainments Co-Editor.
In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the QFT opening, a slate of hotly anticipated films, exhibitions, and Q&A’s have been released. The cinema opened in October 1968, and has prided itself on exhibiting the best cinema has to offer.
The main attraction will be the opening and closing nights. A screening of First Man on October 5th, the hotly anticipated Neil Armstrong biopic directed by Hollywood darling Damien Chazelle, made waves at Venice Film Festival and is teeing up to be a strong Oscar contender come February.
QFT50 will close with Widows, the story of four women forced to pay off their husband’s debts when they’re killed in a robbery attempt. Widows is directed by Steve McQueen, whose last film, 12 Years a Slave, marked a considerable shift in the subject matter of western filmmaking.
QFT50 also offers a carefully curated selection of classic films encapsulating the spirit of the cinema. A special screening of Viva Maria! will be held on the 16th of October. Not only was this the first film QFT ever exhibited, but it’s being shown again precisely 50 years since QFT first opened its doors.
Other crowd favourites are sure to fill out the seats. My Left Foot, a biopic following a painter who can only paint with his foot will be shown on the 19th October. The film is often accredited with launching Irish Cinema onto the world-stage, and it proved a hit at the QFT when it was first shown in 1989.
Good Vibrations, the story of Terri Hooley and his rise to punk stardom in Belfast will screen on 13th October. The irreverent spirit of Good Vibrations is paired well with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a scathing satire of the Hollywood epic and Christianity as a whole.
QFT will also host several pertinent talks focused on Northern Ireland, cinema, and the future culture of film. Dr. Sian Barber will host a talk on the 30th October on the history of censorship in Northern Irish cinema, and the rationale behind the bans. Film critic Mark Kermode will be hosting a screening of The Breadwinner on the 20th October, followed by a night of stories and music as he tours his new book How does it Feel? across the UK.