Catch Chicken Run, Memento, Battle Royale and more at MANIFF’s ‘Twenty in 2020’ selection 

Along with their selection of international premieres and new documentaries, the Manchester International Film Festival is bringing back this lot of golden oldies from the year 2000 to the big screen.

By Manchester's Finest | 6 March 2020

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There have been some standout years in the history of cinema: 2007 brought us modern masterpieces in There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men, 1999 saw the releases of The Matrix, Being John Malkovich and Magnolia, and 1960 birthed such classics as Psycho, Spartacus and La Dolce Vida. 

The year 2000 wasn’t too bad either. So, to celebrate their 20th birthdays, MANIFF is screenings these films between 7-15 March. 

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On Sunday 8 March, the greatest retelling of The Great Escape ever will be screening at 11am. Chicken Run made history as not only the first stop motion animation comedy produced by Aardman Animations (the same studio behind Wallace & Gromit) but became the highest ever grossing stop-animation film in history. A sequel is rumoured to be in development, so catch the original on the big screen and book a ticket here.

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The Jared Leto-featuring meditation on addiction from director Darren Aronofsky, Requiem for a Dream, explores the lives of four residents of Coney Island and the subsequent theme of human longing with a drug-induced intensity. This unforgettable picture screens on Monday 9 March at 10pm grab a ticket here.

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Christopher Nolan is without a doubt one of the best filmmakers working today, and Memento, screening on Tuesday 10 March at 10pm, is what catapulted the Dark Knight director to stardom after premiering at the Venice Film Festival 20 years ago. With a non-linear narrative, the Neo-noir psychological thriller follows Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), who suffers from memory loss, as he uncovers the mystery of his murdered wife through his polaroid photographs and tattoos. 

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Alejandro G. Iñárritu is another director at the top of his game today. Best known for recent big hitters Birdman and The Revenant, Amores Perros was Iñárritu’s debut feature film and the first in his ‘Trilogy of Death’. Like its follow-ups, Amores Perros is an anthology film, in which all the stories are connected by a single car crash. The award-winning gritty comedy-drama screens on Wednesday 11 March at 9.30pm.

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Leonardo Di Caprio is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most successful actors around today. However, back in 2000, his performance in Danny Boyle’s The Beach earned him a nomination for the Golden Raspberry Award (or ‘razzie’) for Worst Actor.

Despite this, The Beach is an iconic adaptation of the novel of the same name and in its portrayal of Western travellers in Thailand and has a cracking soundtrack to boot. Catch it on the big screen on Thursday 12 March at 10pm. 

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Long before The Hunger Games novels were adapted into film, Japanese dystopian thriller Battle Royale had been embedding itself on our screens as a cult classic and has been hugely influential in its concept; it even had an entire genre of video games named after it. It’s one of Tarantino’s favourite films, so hopefully, that gives you some idea as to the violence involved… don’t miss it on Friday 13 (!) March at 9.45pm.

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Finally, you’ll be able to catch the classic wuxia film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger from director Ang Lee on Saturday 14 March at 1pm, and Billy Elliot on Sunday 15 Match at 1pm.

Fancy seeing more than one? Check out MANIFF’s 2020 festival pass options here.