Glasgow Film Festival 2020 brings sci-fi classics back to the big screen

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  • Argyle Street Arches will be transformed into a futuristic venue and play host to a weekend of special immersive film screenings of sci-fi cult classics from Total Recall to Tank Girl

The first of Glasgow Film Festival’s legendary Special Events have been announced for 2020.

The 16th annual festival takes place from February 26 to March 8, showcasing the best new films and classics from Scotland, the UK and around the world.

Glasgow Film Festival will take over Argyle Street Arches for an epic weekend, transforming it into Neo-Glasgow.

The world as we know it will be ending and there is only one safe place for adventurous film fans to take shelter.

Under the safety of the Hielanman’s Umbrella – the Glaswegian nickname for the railway bridge outside Glasgow Central station – travel deep underground to experience a pseudo-vacation to dystopian Neo-Glasgow.

The weekend will see beloved sci-fi cult classics returning to the big screen alongside a host of special on-site free events that will run throughout the day, teaching audiences how to separate science from fiction, survive the apocalypse and save the planet.

Experience hi-tech light installations and interactive pop-up performances, plus sustainable food, drinks and handmade gifts from the stalls at Platform market.

The takeover kicks off on Friday night (February 28) with Arnold Schwarzenegger on a virtual vacation to Mars gone awry in 1990’s Total Recall. Adapted from Philip K Dick’s short story ‘We Can Remember It For You Wholesale’, viewers of Paul Verhoeven’s film are left doubting everything they thought they knew about their life, unable to trust their memories and asking themselves: “If I’m not me, then who the hell am I?”

On Saturday night (February 29), hurtle through time to the year 2033 with the 25th anniversary screening of Tank Girl (1995). Earth is a desolate wasteland after a comet disrupts the planet’s natural rain cycle. Water is scarce and huge corporations fight to control the dwindling supply. Survival on this planet is tough, but Tank Girl is even tougher. Join the rebellion and hide out from the W+P troops in Neo-Glasgow as Lori Petty, Naomi Watts and Ice-T join forces to take down the system.

On Sunday (March 1), Neo-Glasgow entertains its youngest residents with an all-ages showing of the timeless heartwarmer Wall-E. Wall-E is the last robot left on earth. With only a single cockroach as a companion, he spends his days clearing trash, watching vintage musicals and dreaming about love. That is until the mysterious EVE pays a visit to earth and his life changes forever. Since its release in 2008, Disney and Pixar’s Wall-E has captured hearts and opened eyes to the role humans have to play in the future of our planet. This fun-packed event will put a family-friendly spin on robots, zero-waste lifestyle and reducing your carbon footprint.

Neo-Glasgow bows out in style on Sunday night (1 March 2020) with Train to Busan (2016), a harrowing, adrenaline-filled train journey to rival the final Friday night service from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley. After a breach occurs at a local biotech facility, a workaholic father boards a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan with his estranged young daughter. This high-octane zombie thriller will spill off the screen as audiences try and make it through the night avoiding infection from the hordes of the undead. Remember, look out for signs of infection and trust no one!

Glasgow Film Festival’s special event screenings are the stuff of legend and an undisputed highlight of the festival. Previous special events have seen audiences braving the woods of Mugdock Park for a late-night screening of The Blair Witch Project, wrapping up against -12°c temperatures for a screening of The Thing at an indoor snow slope, or donning orange jumpsuits and being bussed to an aircraft hangar for the Nicolas Cage epic Con Air.

Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “The Special Events are one of my favourite parts of working at Glasgow Film Festival. Every year the team bring a special kind of magic to well-loved films and a new audience are introduced to our wonderful festival. As a huge fan of sci-fi films, I am so looking forward to Neo-Glasgow and the terrors and exciting adventures we’ll encounter together. As they say in Total Recall – Get ready for the ride of your life.”

Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “Who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend in Neo-Glasgow when the films are this cool? The mind-blowing, Oscar-nominated Total Recall might just be Arnold Schwarzenegger’s finest hour, Tank Girl celebrates its silver anniversary as a firm cult favourite, and the zombie virus chiller Train to Busan ensures you will never feel the same about the daily commute. Then along comes Wall-E to break your heart. It is a fantastic line-up that is bound to sell-out quickly.”

Tickets to all the film screenings at Neo-Glasgow are on sale now from the Glasgow Film website and GFT Box Office.

The immersive programme of events will run throughout the day and are free and non-ticketed.

The full programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2020 will be announced on January 29.