JOHN Grieve, the founder of Manchester Film Weekender, is planning a monthly viewing of Japanese films at Altrincham Little Theatre. on Sunday afternoons as part of the Japan-UK season of culture.

There will be nine screenings altogether.

John has loved movies since going to the pictures as a kid, and joining the Odeon Club for children in Dundee,

He began work as an apprentice projectionist at Green’s Playhouse in Dundee but eventually owned a business distributing car parts.

After moving to Timperley 50 years ago, he joined the Manchester and Salford Film Society in 1988 and was secretary from 2002 – 2016.

When a film weekend he regularly helped to organise at Alston Hall, near Preston, folded, he approached Altrincham Little Theatre.

“Ian Bowden, their Chairman was most helpful and still is,” he said.

“I love Japanese films. I have seen Sweet Bean three times. It’s about a street vendor who employs a woman to make sweet bean paste for his dorayakis. All goes well until her background is revealed.”

He believed one of the most moving films was Departures, It tells of an unemployed cellist who applies for a job about departures which is not what he expects. There is a surprise, emotional ending.

The season starts on Sunday, September 8 with Tokyo Story, which consistently appears in the top ten of best films ever made. “It reflects changes in Japanese society,” said John.

The films are introduced by Maggie Hoffgen, who has an MA in film studies and lectures about film at Home.

“She gives a 20 minute introduction and afterwards leads a discussion on the screening”

Films are shown at Altrincham Little Theatre which opens at 2.15 with screenings at 3.

•For more information about screenings and prices, telephone 07925 382 805 or see

Julia Taylor