SCREENING ROOM: Belfast Festival

'Here's....the Belfast Festival at Queen's Film Theatre.'

As part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s Susan Picken, Head of Queen’s Film Theatre, has put together an eclectic programme of films. It includes everything from high-brow experimental movie-making to the original Japanese version of The Ring, Ringu. (It is far more scary than the Hollywood remake.)

Picken is excited about the experimental films season that she put together with the assistance of LUX, stating ‘A festival is the time to experiment with new things. So what better time to come and experience the best of experimental cinema from the last 40 years?’

A diverse mixture of shorts and feature length movies, animation and music, the Experimental Season includes BS Johnson’s You’re Human and She Had Her Gun All Ready from Vivienne Dick, Ireland’s leading experimental film-maker.

The season runs from Oct 14 and is a must for those interested in film as an art form.

For those, however, who prefer the visceral to the intellectual, there is Apparitions: The Spectral Screen season. Horror-buff Picken has scheduled a smorgasbord of spine-tinglers for the run-up to Halloween.

The season includes modern-day horror movies such as The Blair Witch Project and The Stand (the Jack Nicholson original, not the mini-series remake), as well as some old-fashioned classics such as MR James Night of the Demon and the ever-terrifying The Haunting.

There is even a little light relief in the 1945 ghost film, Blithe Spirit. Apparitions: The Spectral Screen season launches on Oct 21 with a special talk by John Connolly and Dr Daryll Jones and continues until Oct 28.

Nor is it only horror classics that Picken has unearthed for the season. As part of the Ulster Folk and Transport’s Titanic Film Weekend (Oct 14-15) there is a showing of the 1958 A Night to Remember. Patrons are asked to come dressed to impress in period costume.

Finally, on Oct 23 there is the rescored version of The Great White Silence, footage captured by cinematographer Herbert Ponting of Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.

‘Unmissable,’ Picken dubs it.

To book tickets for any of the above films go to the Queen’s Film Theatre. For more information about events taking place during the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s check out CultureNorthernIreland’s What’s On Guide.