The IFI will share the 25th-anniversary celebrations of its landmark premises in Temple Bar on Saturday, September 16th with the public, as it hosts IFI Open Day, a jam-packed day of free film screenings, and behind-the-scenes activities. This year also sees the addition of a very special gala cine-concert, with an evening screening of 1926 classic The Cohens and Kellys with live musical accompaniment.
A key event in every cineaste’s calendar, the IFI Open Day is a chance for film fans to sample a specially curated programme of films that show the wide range of cinema on offer at the IFI all year round; this year’s programme includes Hollywood classics such as The Big Sleep and Harold Lloyd’s Speedy, alongside cult favourites such as Intermission and Miller’s Crossing on 35mm. IFI Open Day is also an opportunity to explore unique aspects of the institution, from the only 70mm projection booth in Ireland, and for the first time, guided tours of our Digital Restoration Suite in the IFI Irish Film Archive. A special competition will be run for visitors that day, as courtesy of Air France, one lucky winner could be jetting off to the city of lights.
Tickets for each film will be distributed in the IFI Foyer one hour before each screening starts. Limited tickets for the Gala cine-concert will be available in the IFI Foyer at 18.30. Places on our Projection Booth tours and our Digital Restoration tours can only be reserved by emailing Sharon Corrigan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling 01 679 5744 – email subject line should include either ‘Open Day: Projection Booth’ or ‘Open Day: Digital Restoration Suite’. All screenings and tours are strictly on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Commenting on this year’s Open Day, IFI Director Ross Keane, said: “Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the IFI’s home in Temple Bar is a hugely important milestone for us. Following a major conversion of the old Quaker Meeting House (which dated back to the mid-19th century), 1992 heralded the beginning of an exciting chapter in the organisation’s history and has since been the home of one of Ireland’s most visited and accessible cultural institutions. Our venue in Temple Bar is all about the people who come here to engage with our extensive programme and, to celebrate our anniversary, we’re delighted to be throwing open our doors for a day of free screenings and events for old and new audiences as we welcome everyone to join our birthday celebrations. As we look back over 25 important years, we’re proud that we also launched our IFI Strategy 2017-22 this summer which details the exciting plans we have to bring the IFI right up to its 30th birthday in five years’ time. While anniversaries always offer a great and important opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved, we also want to use the occasion to be forward-thinking and we look forward to implementing our exciting plans for our future.”
This year is a real treat for archive film fans – The Big Sleep is a true classic, in which Humphrey Bogart plays private detective Philip Marlowe, who increasingly gets drawn into a tangled web of intrigue by Vivian Rutledge (Lauren Bacall). Speedy, Harold Lloyd’s final silent film released in 1928, sees him play a baseball-obsessed New Yorker (the film features a cameo from the legendary Babe Ruth) who becomes determined to save the city’s last horse-drawn streetcar.
For Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Carl Reiner and Steve Martin reteamed for this subversive homage to the pulp fiction adaptations of the 1940s, while William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, a film long unavailable for cinema exhibition, will also return to the big screen. For fans of Irish film, there’s a chance to see the wildly irreverent cult classic Intermission, starring Cillian Murphy, Colin Farrell and Kelly Macdonald.
Other cult favourites include screenings of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Miller’s Crossing on 35mm. Ten years after the cancellation of the original Star Trek television show, and in response to its continued success in syndication, the legendary crew of the Starship Enterprise made their first appearance on cinema screens. Arguably the Coen Brothers’ greatest work, Miller’s Crossing stars Gabriel Byrne as Tom Regan, right-hand man to mobster Leo O’Bannon (Albert Finney) during Prohibition and Delicatessen, a post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who prepares a delicacy for his unusual tenants.
2017’s Open Day will include a Gala cine-concert of The Cohens and Kellys (1926), a lively comedy of feuding Irish and Jewish families in 1920s New York. The film will be accompanied by live music from award-winning accordionist Dermot Dunne and saxophonist Nick Roth, Artistic Director of the Yurodny Ensemble.
The popular Audience Choice screening returns, with the public asked to choose from a shortlist selected by IFI staff. In recent years, winners have included Submarine, Good Vibrations, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Audiences can vote online at ifi.ie/openday until September 8th. The winner will be announced just before the screening on Open Day.
In addition to free screenings of old favourites and archive gems, Open Day visitors will also have a chance to learn about the incredible preservation, digitisation and restoration work of the IFI Irish Film Archive team at the ever-popular ‘Ask the Archivists’ desk. There will also be a rare opportunity to take a highly-sought-after trip to the Projection Booth.
The IFI will be offering annual IFI Membership at a discounted rate during the day, special offers to anyone who signs up as an IFI Friend.
13.00 The Mighty Ducks
13.15 The Big Sleep
13.00 Digital Restoration Suite Tour
13.45 Digital Restoration Suite Tour
14.00 Projection Booth Tour
15.00 Digital Restoration Suite Tour
15.10 Star Trek: The Motion Picture
15.15 Projection Booth Tour
15.30 Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
15.45 Digital Restoration Suite Tour
16.00 Projection Booth Tour
16.30 Projection Booth Tour
18.00 Miller’s Crossing
20.20 Audience Choice
20.30 Gala Cine-concert: The Cohens and Kellys