This autumn’s BFI screenings celebrate sci-fi on screen all over the UK. From October to December, its Scottish programme includes classics like Alien and The Thing, with screenings spanning the length and breadth of the country.
Yep, that Paul Feig and Katie Dippold all-female Ghostbusters 3 might be hogging the headlines. But it’s the original’s 30th birthday this month – so sit back and remember just what made it so special.
Selected release on Tue 28 Oct, see film.list.co.uk for screenings.
Three years after its London Run, National Theatre Live’s encore performances of Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein are still going strong. Mark Hallowe’en in ghoulish style, as twin Sherlocks Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller take turns playing Dr Frankenstein and his legendary creature.
Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts
Three disgraced parapsychology researchers team up to fight spooks. An efficiently-managed plot, solid jokes, a cast let off the leash – Murray in particular – and thrilling and imaginative effects combine in a masterful balance of respect for the sci-fi genre and mockery of it; sly humour and wide-eyed wonder; star…
Cast: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Agatha Christie in outer space as a freighter lands on a mysterious planet and is ingeniously invaded by a ravenous intruder which proceeds to chomp its way through the cast list. Edge-of-the-seat suspense thriller with a strong cast and ghastly special effects.
Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Issacs, Scott Eastwood
UK release: 22 October 2014
The tale of a Sherman tank crew, led by Sgt Don 'Wardaddy' Collier (Pitt), in the final weeks of WW II. Grim and intense (heads and limbs blown off, bodies crushed under tanks) but in one of his finest performances, Pitt shows the humanity beneath the gung-ho façade; Lerman is also impressive as the rookie.
Cast: Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Polly Bergen, Susan Tyrrell, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords
Baltimore, 1954, and droolsome drape Depp's across-the-tracks romance with once prim Square gal Locane is the catalyst for open warfare between the town's teen factions, but love is to prove itself stronger than prison bars. Boasting the usual theoretical trash casting (Traci Lords, Ricki Lake, Patty Hearst, Iggy Pop)…
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eric Christian Olsen
UK release: 2 December 2011
In this prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 horror classic, Norwegian researchers in Antarctica discover a bloodthirsty alien which imitates human life-forms. Derivative and shapeless, with slack dialogue, vacuous characters and a less-than-impressive Thing, this is not so much homage as rip-off.
Cast: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson
UK release: 31 October 2014
Portrait of the last 25 years of the life of painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (Spall). A work of great beauty, wit and poignancy, presenting the artist as unapologetically gruff but sympathetic and spectacularly eccentric. Leigh's latest demonstrates a command of his craft to rival that of his subject.
After 39 years together, NYC couple Ben (Lithgow) and George (Molina) get married, whereupon George loses his teaching job at a Catholic school and the couple have to live apart while they find a cheaper apartment. Lithgow and Molina are a joy and in spite of uncertain pacing it has all the ingredients of a modern classic.