This year, the festival kicks off with a world premiere of Stiff Upper Lips, a white-linen spoof which gently unpicks the costume dramas of Merchant Ivory. Directed by Gary Sinyor, the film stars character stalwarts Peter Ustinov and Prunella Scales, while Georgina Cates gives a Helena Bonham Carter to die for (Pictureville Cinema Fri 6pm). Also previewing is Everybody Says I Love You, Woody Allen's latest offering. After the Greek chorus of Mighty Aphrodite, Allen has this time decided to tackle the musical genre - with the likes of Goldie Hawn, Drew Barrymore and Alan Alda crooning their way around the usual romantic/neurotic territory (York City Screen, Fri 8.30pm).
Other highlights include a 70mm weekend (14-16 Mar) which celebrates the glorious expanses of widescreen. Screenings which will leave you wide-eyed with their luscious lengths of celluloid are Independence Day (yards of explosions, and a low-flying saucer so big it'll cast a shadow over your seat), Lawrence of Arabia (a young Peter O'Toole kicks up a desert storm) and Hitchcock's Vertigo (with the original ice queen, Kim Novak). Cinerama screenings include the Museum's own precious print of How the West Was Won, and a very rare screening of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
If classic prints don't get your pulse racing, why not investigate a few of the more arcane corners of cinema? Film from Hong Kong and China comes under the spotlight next Saturday with a day of diverse works which illustrates the range of Asian cinema from John Woo's shoot 'em-up actioners to Hollywood kung-fu classics such as Bruce Lee: The Man, The Legend.
And if, as the credits roll at the end of a James Bond movie, you've ever wondered just who owns the fabulous moniker "Cubby Broccoli", then you can find all you need to know at this year's Lumiere lecture, where writer/producer Michael Wilson will be talking about how the Bond script veteran shaped his own career.
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