Los Angeles Film Festival

James Bartlett casts his eye over the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival.

SEPTEMBER 26TH-30TH, 2012.

At the end of September, there was a huge event for the Irish in Los Angeles. Though it’s hard to believe that the LA Irish Film Festival is already five years old, the annual celebration of Irish storytelling and storytellers – now grown way beyond its humble roots – again took place between 26th and 30th September at the Linwood Dunn Theatre at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, with a program of short films at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on 1st October.

Fresh from Toronto, Walsh’s Jump was the opening night movie – who introduced the film  – and on the 27th director/writer Kirsten Sheridan’s movie Dollhouse hit the big screen. It explores a night in the life of a group of street teens from Dublin’s inner city who break into a house in an upper class suburb – and what happens afterwards. Sheridan accompanied the screening too and featured in a Q&A with actor Jack Reynor after the screening.

Also showing is Superhero, director Ian Fitzgibbon’s story about Donald (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), a teenager with extraordinary artistic talents and vivid daydreams – daydreams that become dangerous when he realizes someone is trying to kill him. Can unorthodox psychologist (Andy Serkis) help Donald find the light in the dark?

Citadel and Terry McMahon’s Charlie Casanova made a dark double bill the next day. Citadel finds agoraphobic Tommy (Anuerin) trapped in a towerblock and being menaced by a teenage gang who seem to be after his infant baby, while in Charlie Casanova, Charlie (Emmett Scanlon) seems to have the perfect life, but in reality he’s a lying cheat who is going bankrupt. Then he kills a girl in a hit-and-run and, terrified, he uses a deck of cards to determine his fate.

Documentary Bernadette, Notes On A Political Journey is Leila Doolan’s look at the life of controversial Northern Ireland activist/politician Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, plus there’s Let the People Sing, a documentary on The Wolfe Tones, Terry George’s Oscar®-winning short The Shore, and a fascinating double bill: classic silent/Gaelic-featuring documentary Man Of Aran (1934) and a 1979 piece about a man whose grandfather featured in the earlier documentary: How The Myth Was Made.

James Bartlett



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