Glasgow Film Festival celebrates The Matrix's 20th anniversary with underground screening

Glasgow Film Festival celebrates The Matrix's 20th anniversary with underground screening

GFF announces first films in 2019 programme and accompanying special events, including Alien with laser-tag and 1969 US film retrospective

Glasgow Film Festival has become renowned for its incredible events, and its newly announced 2019 special screenings are no exception.

The 15th edition is hosting the first official 20th Anniversary screening of The Matrix in the subterranean caverns of the Argyle Street Arches. 'Mind-bending immersive installations' will set the misè-en-scene, but the audience is encouraged to don black sunnies and dark leather to get involved with the full experience.

In keeping with the throwback sci-fi theme, a warehouse in North Glasgow will drown out screams at a pop-up Alien event, with laser-tag, comic books and themed cocktails. If you're really unlucky, you might have an encounter with a Xenomorph.

Festival co-director Allison Gardner said: 'The team have pulled together a brilliant series of events and both The Matrix and Alien will be the pop-up events of the year. As ever it's our audiences who add the fun and frivolities to our immersive events and they have never let us down and always exceed our expectations and ensure the events are fun.'

The retrospectives continue with 1969: End of Innocence, devoted to 10 American films of the year. 1969 capped a decade of trauma for the country, and famously saw the release of counter-culture classics such as Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Best Picture Oscar winner Midnight Cowboy. Programmed screenings include Alice's Restaurant, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Medium Cool, Sweet Charity, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, The Wild Bunch, and True Grit.

For its 2019 country focus, GFF will also cast light on Belgian cinema with the Both Sides Now programme of contemporary filmmaking. Highlights include the Scottish premiere of Lukas Dhont's award-winning Girl, Marta Bergman's feature debut about a Romani woman who becomes a mail-order bride Alone At My Wedding / Seule à mon mariage and stop-motion animated feature This Magnificent Cake! The festival will be welcoming a host of Belgian directors and actors and screening some much-loved Belgian classics.

Allan Hunter, festival co-director: 'Hotly-anticipated Oscar contender Girl underlines the quality of films that are made in Belgium each year. Our country focus offers the chance to see a handpicked selection of the finest new features from Belgium ranging from the wonderfully stylish thriller Mother's Instinct / Duelles to actor Olivier Gourmet at the top of his game in Those Who Work / Ceux qui travaillent and the striking drama Angel at Sea / Un ange à la mer. It is a snapshot of a national cinema that never gets the attention and admiration it deserves, until now.'

Tickets for Alien and The Matrix go on sale 12pm on Monday 26 November from glasgowfilm.org. The full programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2019 will be announced on 23 January.

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Glasgow Film Festival

Since 2005, Scotland's fastest-growing film festival has become a force to be reckoned with in the movie world. This year's event features an exploration of classic and less-renowned American films from the epochal year of 1969, the best of Belgian cinema, and anniversary party celebrations of sci-fi cine-epics Alien and…

Various venues: Glasgow

Wed 20 Feb

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

Thu 21 Feb

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

Fri 22 Feb

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

…and 9 more dates until 3 Mar

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