We Love… St Valentine

We Love... St Valentine

Illustration by Adeline Pericart

Get a bottle of Blue Nun, splash yourself with them cheap Christmas smellies your Auntie got you for Christmas, slip on your Penny’s underwear and turn up the stereo with the sweet, sweet sound of Barry White. And hey, if you have a partner that’s an added bonus. Yes, it’s that time of year, when St. Valentine comes to town. So in his honour the film lovers here at Film Ireland present their favourite lurve-themed films.

Now let’s get it on…


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Ciara O’Brien

Annie Hall – Sarah Griffin

500 Days of Summer – Rory Cashin

Wall-E – Geoff McEvoy

Pretty Woman – Gemma Creagh

Jerry Maguire – Peter White

Harold and Maude – Steven Galvin

The Notebook – Órla Walshe

Gone With the Wind – Charlene Lydon


Irish Film at the 2014 Cork Film Festival

cork film festival logo

The 59th edition of the Cork Film Festival (7-16 Nov, 2014) is packed to the rafters with ‘Films, Music and Ideas’. Amongst the bounties of film lies some great Irish treasure for your delight.


08th November, 14:00
Gate Cinema  |  Tickets € 6.00  |  87 mins
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08th November, 21:00
Cork Opera House | Tickets € 15.00 | 90 mins
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09th November, 14:30
Gate Cinema  |  Tickets € 6.00  |  110 mins
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09th November, 17:00
Gate Cinema  |  Tickets € 10.00 | 90 mins
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11th November, 16:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 76 mins
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12th November, 20:00
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 123 mins
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14th November, 11:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 83 mins
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14th November, 21:15
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 90 mins
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used to liveI USED TO LIVE HERE
15th November, 14:00
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 82 mins
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15th November, 18:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 95 mins
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15th November, 23:55
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 75 mins
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all is byALL IS BY MY SIDE
16th November, 15:30
Cork Opera House | Tickets € 6.00 | 118 mins
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16th November, 16:15
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 107 mins
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11th November, 11:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 84 mins
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08th November, 11:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 53 mins
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ar longDouble Bill:

09th November, 11:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 56 mins
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09th November, 16:15
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 90 mins
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09th November, 21:00
Triskel Christchurch | Tickets Free | 54 mins
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10th November, 13:45
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 94 mins
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14th November, 21:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 75 mins
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14th November, 23:55
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 62 mins
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15th November, 14:15
Triskel Christchurch | Tickets € 6.00 | 57 mins
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riverDouble Bill:

16th November, 11:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 62 mins
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16th November, 16:15
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 74 mins
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Short Film:

11th November, 21:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 74 mins
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12th November, 18:15
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 74 mins
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13th November, 19:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 78 mins
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14th November, 16:00
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 10.00 | 74 mins
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15th November, 11:30
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 87 mins
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12th November, 18:15
Gate Cinema | Tickets € 6.00 | 82 mins
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View the full festival programme


ShortSpace: November 2014

Shortspace trans

7pm Thursday 6th November

When: Thursday 6th November

Time: 7.00PM

Where: Filmbase, Curved St, Temple Bar

Shortspace is BYOB, so come along and enjoy the evening in a relaxed atmosphere and see the films and meet the filmmakers.

Places are limited so please book in advance. Tickets are €5 members or €7 non-members. You can book your tickets by calling reception on 01 679 6716 or emailing info@filmbase.ie. Please note that attendees must be 18+.

***You may pay on the day but you MUST register your place!***

When emailing please remember to put ‘ShortSpace November’ in the subject line.


The Line-Up:

Me First

me first

DIR: Leanne Byrne | WRI: Níle O’Hagan | PRO: Áine Coady | DOP: Penny Merelle Gray |ED: Conor Dowling | CAST: Siobhan Bolton, Ray O’Reilly, Niamh Walsh

Synopsis: Sarah is mother to Sinead and long suffering wife of Tom. She seems to be the perfect wife – ironing Tom’s clothes while he watches football and drinks beer. Sarah even manages to be welcoming to her 23 year old daughter’s friend when Tom places her in a mortifying situation. When Tom’s temper leads to physical violence Sarah seeks solace and comfort in the only person that sees her as a woman, Alex.



WRI/DIR: Garret Daly | PRO: Martina McGlynn | DOP: Kevin Glynn | CAST: Paul Keating

Synopsis: Bogman is a tale set in the Irish midlands about a quiet man whose lonely existence takes a mysterious turn, when he uncovers something while out footing turf.


Monday Night on Friday Hill

monday night

DIR/WRI: Robert McCarthy | PRO: Lochlainn McKenna | DOP: Cristian Paradiso | ED: Donogh MacCarthy-Morrogh, Robert McCarthy | CAST: Judy Donovan, Rowan Finken, Charlie Ruxton

Synopsis: A young man deals with the consequences of his decisions.

Alicia’s Mask


DIR/WRI/DOP: Noel Brady | DOP/Edit: Noel Brady | CAST: Dolores Mulligan, Padraig Murray | Special thanks: Alan Mulligan, Jude Stynes

Synopsis: Internet dating, ever tried it? Well Alicia Heart did, and after a year of being on her own she felt it time to take control, time to take her life back, time to change… That said, some changes are more difficult than others.


ShortSpace Submissions:

  • Filmbase accepts short film submissions for ShortSpace in all genres (drama, documentary, animation, experimental)
  • To submit your film please email the ShortSpace programmer for more details on lynn@filmbase.ie
  • Please note that submitting your film does not guarantee inclusion in the programme
  • Ideally shorts should be ten minutes or under films. Films over 30 minutes will not be accepted.

Short Films at the Richard Harris International Film Festival


Eileesh Buckley gives her report of the Short Films Programme at the 2014 Richard Harris International Film Festival.

The Richard Harris International Film Festival (RHIFF) this year included a short film competition specifically for Irish filmmakers in conjunction with the Newport Beach Film Festival.  It was one of the most anticipated events at the festival.

Eleanor McSherry, Festival Creative Director, made a speech outlining the importance of this event to the festival board and the Harris family.  She stated how the relationship with the Newport Film Festival was unique for an Irish festival, and that it was one the festival board was eager to grow.

The top 10 entries selected by the international selection panel will go on to the Newport Beach Film Festival, where one will be chosen to screen at the prestigious festival in Orange County. The showing of the top 10 was followed by a further selection of six shorts by filmmakers from the Mid-West.

Despite varied budgets, the top 10 selection were all of a similar high standard in their editing and production, the budgetary differences seemed to most impact the number of crew, or experience level of casts.

Gun Down, by Martin Cassidy, Barry Fahy, Nigel O’Brien and Kevin McGuire, had the audience laughing heartily with the unexpected behaviour of both characters before the final sting in the tale.

Adam, from Caroline Farrell and Denise Pattison, was a complete change in tone, entirely serious and shockingly intense. The description of this short in the RHIFF programme was, ‘A little boy withdraws from the wonder and magic of his childhood as he witnesses the destruction of his family life.’

Third to be shown was a “Zomcom” (zombie romantic comedy) from James Skerrit and Peader Clancy, Night of the Lonely Dead. The audience immediately recognised the storm damaged landscape of Lahinch, Co. Clare as the setting for this post-apocalyptic zombie romance.

Cas Timpeall from Mike Guickan and Glen Gannon was the only short scripted in Irish, thoughtfully subtitled; it focused on a school teacher who is internally disconnected and has a life falling to ruins around him.

The final short in the top 10 was the beautifully filmed The Weather Report, which was a historical vignette from Paul Murphy and Deirdre De Grae. Set in 1944, a lighthouse keeper and his wife have their quiet routine unexpectedly interrupted by a phone call, their response to which had far reaching impact in a time before weather forecasting services.

Overall the tone and story lines of the chosen shorts were varied, ranging from the darkness of Adam, to the laughter of Gun Down, with history, horror and philosophy in between.

After a short break, the second half of the shorts screening featured six pieces by filmmakers from the Irish mid-west, in some cases there were visible issues in editing or structure which kept them from the top 10.

There was one very slick production set in the George Boutique Hotel which was head and shoulders above the others in this section. View From a Hotel Lobby, from Apate Films and Dave O’Reilly, was a slick production with nods to various Hollywood blockbusters, including Oceans 11.

Functioning, Not working, from Pa Cronin and Michael Casey, opened the mid-west selection with a comedic look at a faulty product getting to users despite warnings from its engineers.

Steve Spade and Paddy Murphy’s offering was Ensnared ,which was very much an art production from start to finish. From poetry voiceovers to changing colourscapes, this was a piece for art enthusiasts.

The second short from David Harris was Cross Purpose, which had a frantic opening to a story that would be a lesson to many. While the eventual reveal wasn’t surprising, it is still a valid lesson for viewers.

Harris’ first short was Bad Choices, where the law of unintended consequences was illustrated with karma coming home to roost for the irresponsible characters at fault. Somewhat of a similar theme featured in the filmmaker’s other selected short.

5 Things You Need to Know about Dying was set in 1983 where it focused on the impact of an assignment on the journalists involved. What seemed like a trivial assignment caused the journalists to reevaluate their lives.

For more information visit the Richard Harris International Film Festival website.


‘Stalker’ Available on DVD


Stalker, the Irish psychological thriller by director Mark O’Connor, is now available to buy on DVD.

The film stars John Connors (Love/Hate, King of the Travellers), who co-wrote the film with Mark O’Connor, as Oliver, a volatile homeless man who wanders the streets of Dublin at Christmas time. He forms an unlikely relationship with the disaffected young Tommy, played by Barry Keoghan (Between the Canals71), whose uncle Rudyard, played by Peter Coonan (Love/Hate, The Guarantee), is a local drug dealer.

The feature is O’Connor’s third after Between the Canals and King of the TravellersMusic for the film comes from singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey.


Interview: Conor Dowling, Co-Director of ‘The Light of Day’


This week Dublin’s premier filmic fright fest, the Horrorthon, returns blood-stained and shambling to the IFI. Demonic possession and dismemberment are to be expected, but between the shocks and screams there are laughs to be had at the screening of the comedy mockumentary, The Light of Day.

Film Ireland picked at the brains of co-director Conor Dowling ahead of the screening this Friday. 

Set and shot in Dublin, The Light of Day follows a group of amateur filmmakers as they struggle with the horrors of low-budget filmmaking on the set of a vampire horror flick. The mockumentary follows Michael, the DOP trying to salvage the production against a horde of incompetence from the egocentric director, a desperate producer and non-existent budget.

The film was made as part of the MSc in Digital Filmmaking at Filmbase, written by Christopher Brennan and directed by students Amy Carroll, Conor Dowling and Eoin O’ Neill.

After it premiered to rave reviews at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, Conor Dowling, who describes the team as “horror fanatics”, told us what it means to have it shown at the IFI Horrorthon. “We’re over the moon to be screening at the IFI. I’ve been going to the Horrorthon for years and it’s a genuine honour to have our film screen at it.”

The feature was the culmination of a course focused on practically preparing filmmakers for all areas of film production. Conor went on describe how this benefited the making of the film. “The course allowed the class to work together on several projects throughout the year before The Light of Day, giving us the opportunity to see what it was like to work together along with giving us top quality experience and guidance.”

This was particularly relevant for the three directors. “Before we got onto set we were all on the same page in terms of the script, the cast, the shooting style, and how all the scenes would be staged. Having three directors on a film is not very common and people often wonder how it can possibly work, but for us it was a particularly smooth process, and working with two other directors was actually a huge benefit.”

Conor explains that working collaboratively they were able to “work on our shotlists together and give feedback on the other director’s interpretations of how scenes should play out, while each bringing our own unique take and sense of humour to certain scenes. By the time it came to shoot, we were happy to divide the three shooting weeks up evenly with a week each. Having three directors also allowed us to cover more ground and sometimes even shoot simultaneously. For example, one director could be setting up for a scene in the warehouse and the other director could grab some crew, and an actor to film some additional scenes outside.”

Another topic discussed before the shoot was their influences. “When it comes to mockumentary style you have to look at the likes of The Office, both the US and UK versions, and the films of Christopher Guest. These would have been the main influences but we also looked elsewhere to get an idea of how it has been done differently. For example, I was a big fan of Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, which was a great comedy horror mockumentary in 2006 and we were all a fan of the Belgian film Man Bites Dog, which was not tonally what we were looking for but in terms of camera movement and naturalistic staging of scenes it was a great example.

“So for the mockumentary style we intended to make it look as close to real life as we could using natural light where possible, using a lot of camera movement and working with our cinematographer to obtain the fly on the wall documentary style we wanted.”

The Light of Day is told through behind-the-scenes styled footage documenting the production of the vampire horror flick, ‘The First Bite is the Deepest’. The story of the shoot develops alongside footage of the film, creating a film-within-a-film that presented both challenges and opportunities for the filmmakers. “To establish a different look and feel for the film within the film, we used a different camera and shooting style. Stepping away from the handheld mockumentary style for these scenes, we were able to use a more traditional cinematic shooting style with more complex lighting setups. The aim was to have a short cinemtic horror film split up and placed throughout the overall film, and this film was a great opportunity for us to try out different cinematic techniques and styles from some of our favourite horror and action films.”


The Light of Day screens on Friday, 24th October 2014 at 19.10 as part of the IFI Horrorthon 2014 (23rd – 27th October). The directors will attend the screening.

Tickets for The Light of Day are available here


IFI Ireland on Sunday Interview: Lorna Fitzsimons, co-director of ‘Poison Pen’


The comedy feature Poison Pen, the first screenplay from international best seller Eoin Colfer, will screen this Sunday at the IFI as part of its monthly showcase for new Irish film.

The film co-stars Lochlann O Mearáin as a washed-up author, who is coerced into writing for a gossip magazine, alongside Aoibhinn McGinnity as his new boss. Set in London but shot almost entirely in Dublin, Poison Pen is a smart and discerning romantic comedy about the nature of celebrity and integrity.

Poison Pen was directed by Lorna Fitzsimons, Jennifer Shortall and Steven Benedict, and made as part of the Masters in Digital Feature Film Production at Filmbase, which places an emphasis on practical filmmaking to prepare students for a future in film production.

“Anyone who’s made one can tell you what it’s like to make a feature film, but you only really learn when you do it yourself,” explains Lorna Fitzsimons, one of the co-directors and students on the course. “We did classes in everything: script writing, pre-production, casting, camera, sound recording, marketing, funding, etc. Directors, producers, writers, a really impressive list of industry experts came to see us, which was great preparation.”

As one of three directors, Lorna explains how they divided up Eoin Colfer’s script and how artistic continuity was retained. “Essentially we divided the script by locations or ‘worlds’. Steven (Benedict) took the old world, mainly based around Molloy’s apartment and his daughter Sally, I took his new world, mainly based around the magazine offices and London, and Jenny (Shortall) took the Celebrity world which, as you can imagine, was based in hotels, clubs and glamorous places.

“This division worked well, people act differently in different company and places. For example, Molloy is used to his writer’s block while he is at home, it’s comfortable, he owns it. When he gets to the Poison Pen offices, it’s different, he’s different. The influence of a different director is easily worked out this way. We spoke so much about character and story and motivation in preproduction that I don’t think anything was left to chance.”

In addition to the two lead actors, the film boasts an impressive support cast that includes Paul Ronan, Mary Murray, Susan Loughnane, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Aaron Heffernan and Lauryn Canny. Lorna discusses how they acquired the acting talent. “Our producers, Áine Coady and Sharon Cronin, did an amazing job of negotiating with agents and getting people in the room with us. Sometimes we did readings, sometimes we didn’t. I think that the guidance we got from Filmbase on casting was one of the best things about the course. There are no hard-and-fast rules, you have to meet actors and look for the characters; some people surprised us when we looked at the tapes and that was a learning curve, it’s all on the tape, not necessarily in the room.

“Having actors with experience on set is really important but there is such a fine balance, they need to want to be there and be challenged too.”

With over 30 locations and an extremely tight shooting schedule, managing time while getting good performances in the can was another balancing act. The film premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in July which, with principal photography starting in April, gave the filmmakers a tight deadline to aim for.

“Getting to the finish was a challenge. All the little niggly bits that can take months, but because we had this deadline we had to get them done. This is where many people new to filmmaking get lost I think, in the soup that is completing the film”.

Lorna also puts an emphasis on preparation. “Directing on set was the highlight for me. It’s difficult to get practice doing that, so I tried to appreciate every moment. Preparation is necessary and really stands to you. I like being on set with my homework done, observing what it is everyone is doing, answering their questions and giving the actor the right words just when they are needed.”

After the rush to get the film finished for its premiere down in Galway, Lorna is looking forward to its screening at the IFI this weekend. “I feel like we were all a little shell shocked standing on the stage at the Fleadh. It’s been 6 weeks now, so this time I’m looking forward to watching the film with friends and family, seeing how they react.”

Poison Pen screens on Sunday, 31st August 2014 at 18.00 as part of the IFI’s Ireland on Sunday monthly showcase for new Irish film.

The cast and crew will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Tickets for Poison Pen are available now from the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or online at www.ifi.ie


Goltzius and the Pelican Company


DIR/WRI: Peter Greenaway  PRO: Kees Kasander  DOP: Reinier van Brummelen  ED: Elmer Leupen   DES: Ben Zuydwijk  CAST: F. Murray Abraham, Giulio Berruti, Vincent Riotta, Halina Reijn

Hendrik Goltzius, a leading engraver of the Dutch baroque era, visits a margrave’s court in Colmar (now in France). He hopes to secure funding for a printing press and a commission for a collection of illustrated biblical tales. He strikes a deal in which his cohort of actors, writers and artists, the Pelican Company, in return for money, will re-enact six sexually charged sins in tableaux vivants for the margrave’s pleasure.

Though critics still hold in high regard efforts such as The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982) and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), the films of Peter Greenaway are cinematic Marmite.  Viewers tend to either love or hate them. He mixes esoteric subjects with a style that employs multilayered imagery and emphasises artificiality, making his work “inaccessible” or “difficult”, i.e. box office poison. Goltzius and the Pelican Company proves to be no exception.

The film bears the hallmarks of Greenaway’s style: ornate period settings and music, dense, carefully composed imagery, and floating text. Ben Zuydwijk’s impressive production design juxtaposes different influences, drawing on Dutch painting and more contemporary Ikea-style designs.Greenaway’s typical anachronisms also appear. A huge empty industrial warehouse serves as the setting. Goltzius recounts his story directly to the audience, telling of events earlier in his life. The tableaux vivants thus become sets within a giant set, stories within a story, complementing the film’s general theatricality.

Goltzius’ company re-enacts six biblical stories to explore a theme: Adam and Eve (voyeurism); Lot and his daughters (incest); David and Bathsheba (adultery); Joseph and Potiphar’s wife (seduction of the innocent); Samson and Delilah (prostitution); and the New Testament tale of John the Baptist and Salome, with its particularly gruesome ending (necrophilia). The margrave’s court becomes the scene of debates about morality, freedom of speech and the influence of the new humanism, while his courtiers and Goltzius’ associates become involved in sexual liaisons. How will the margrave deal with his own lust and desires?

F Murray Abraham, the Oscar-winning star of Amadeus and more recently featuring in Inside Llewyn DavisThe Grand Budapest Hotel and TV’s Homeland, plays the Margrave of Alsace. The rest of the European cast speaks English with thick accents, mostly Dutch, but this benefits the film in two ways. First, it gives an authenticity to a period film where American accents can jar (à laAmadeus). Second, the accents emphasise the film’s artificiality, adding to the film’s staginess. It also leads to some humorous effects, such as Ramsey Nasr, as Goltzius, pronouncing “Genesis” so that it sounds like “anuses”.

Though Goltzius and the Pelican Company marks Greenaway’s second in a series of films concerning Dutch masters (Nightwatching, 2007, centred on Rembrandt), it might more interestingly belong to the strand of art house cinema exploring sexual explicitness. “Every visual technology, sooner or later, gets into bed with lechery,” remarks Goltzius, and Greenaway’s film comments on the ways ancient cultures, both biblical and baroque, used tales of immorality and indecent imagery to elaborate moral debates, tracing a tradition perhaps continued in recent films such as NymphomaniacBlue Is the Warmest Colour and Interior. Leather Bar.

John Moran

128 mins

Goltzius and the Pelican Company is released 11th July 2014





DIR/WRI: Richard Linklater  PRO: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland   DOP: Lee Daniel, Shane F. Kelly  ED: Sandra Adair   DES: Rodney Becker, Gay Studebaker  CAST: Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater

Filmed over a period of twelve years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s innovative Boyhoood is the first of its kind.  The film traces the story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), from the age of six years old in 2002 to the verge of young adulthood and maturity.  Following the film’s striking first shot of the young, daydreaming Mason, Linklater portrays his handling of key life experiences such as the aftermath of his parents’ divorce and his mother’s ensuing relationships, undergoing puberty, falling in love and eventually leaving the family nest for college.

There is no doubt in arguing that Linkater’s pioneering filmmaking idea is a success.  This is because the use of the same actor to play Mason over a twelve-year period gives the film a sense of realism that makes it impossible not to become emotionally involved with his character.  It is as if we are watching a documentary that allows us to grow up with him and to share his experiences.  Therefore, the film is able to secure an emotional connection without the use of emotive music, opting instead for pop music released during the period of 2002 and 2014.  However, it can be argued that towards the end of the film, the emotional attachment to Mason begins to wane.  This is because his melancholic, teenage angst makes it more difficult to connect with him.  Nevertheless, his quirky personality ensures that he is not completely deprived of his likeability.

It is also impressive that that despite the long filming period, the film still maintains a sense of aesthetic continuity.  Clearly, the film was shot and edited with great focus and discipline in order to give the impression that it was filmed in a few weeks, rather than a period of over a decade.  Moreover, the visual continuity also affirms Linklater’s status as one of the noteworthy auteurs of this generation.

However, the film also reveals Linklater’s development as a filmmaker.  For example, instead of typically relying just on loaded, philosophical dialogue, he allows the characters and the long filming period to imply his philosophical ideas for much of the film.  This is clear from the film’s sense of timelessness.  In other words, it is implied that no matter how much music, trends or political frenzies change over a period of twelve years, what it means to be human and to grow up will always remain the same.  Also, the character of Mason‘s mother Olvia (Patricia Arquette) is used to infer, without any heavy dialogue, that adulthood is only an illusion; no matter how many experiences and important life events one lives through, there is always that permanent feeling of being lost, or of not having reached the point where it all comes together.

Overall, Boyhood is a significant piece of filmmaking and a worthwhile experimentation on the part of Linklater.  There are few out there who could make a simple documentation of growing up into something artistic and absorbing; it proves to show that with the right director, even the simple things can make sagas.

Aisling Daly

15A (See IFCO for details)
165 mins

Boyhood is released on 11th July 2014

Boyhood – Official Website


Begin Again

begin again

DIR/WRI: John Carney  PRO: Tobin Armbrust, Anthony Bregman  DOP: Yaron Orbach  ED: Andrew Marcus   DES: Chad Keith  MUS: Gregg Alexander  CAST: Keira Knightley, Adam Levine, James Corden, Mark Ruffalo

“A true New York story about the magical opportunities that can be found under this great city’s bright lights,” is how John Carney describes his latest film Begin Again.  Featuring musical contributions from names such as Danielle Brisbois, Gregg Alexander and Glen Hansard, Begin Again is a musical comedy-drama that upholds Carney’s belief in the power of musical collaboration to bring lost souls together, as previously seen in his 2006 film Once.

The film stars Keira Knightley and Adam Levine as Gretta and Dave, a long-term couple and songwriting partnership who move to New York where Dave lands a deal with a major label. When Gretta finds herself alone following a betrayal, she meets disgraced record label executive Dan (Mark Ruffalo) at an East Village open mic.  Captivated by her raw talent, Dan insists on a musical collaboration with Gretta in order to harbour the musical authenticity they both value.

While the film could have potentially fallen into the trap of simply ‘Americanising’ the Once scenario, it nonetheless holds its own.  Moreover, the film evokes a sense of universality, as both English and American humour and mannerisms are successfully combined together in a well-written screenplay that can be equally appreciated by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.  However, Carney relies on more than just words for his storytelling power, as he aptly incorporates music into the film in order to expose what happens beyond the dialogue; throughout the film, music is shown to reveal the true nature of relationships and personalities, while at the same time bringing the simple urban surroundings of New York to life.

Furthermore, while Knightley and Ruffalo have a charming on-screen relationship as Gretta and Dan, the most likeable pairing is actually Gretta and her busking friend Steve (James Corden).  This is largely due to the fresh source of comic relief provided by Corden, which works well with the sharp comments of the unassuming yet opinionated Gretta. This is emphasised by the documentary, ‘fly on the wall’ style of the film, which make the character interactions seem genuine.

However, despite the film’s claims of promoting musical authenticity, it nevertheless falls victim to the commercialism that it tries to overthrow.  Knightley’s supposedly ‘live’ vocals are clearly processed by Auto-Tune, therefore depriving Gretta’s music of its rawness and transforming it into a commodity.  It is also difficult to ignore the fact that Gretta never really achieves independence over her own music as Dan, like a true big-label producer, seems to have total control over the production of the album they set out to record.  This would be forgivable if the film included one stand-out song such as that of ‘Falling Slowly’ in Once.  Unfortunately, the soundtrack lacks such a song, which may come as a disappointment to fans of Carney’s previous musical offering.  Moreover, Carney tends to overestimate the power of music to change one’s life for the better, as the outcome of one particular character’s individual story seems too good to be true.  Therefore, like the film’s music, the plot ultimately becomes subject to formulaic mass-production, rather than achieving a sense of authenticity.

While Begin Again does have its obvious contradictions, its fresh wit, likeable cast and musical plot progression gives it the potential to be the ‘feel good’ film of the summer months once it has its Irish premiere at Galway Film Fleadh.

Aisling Daly

15A (See IFCO for details)
103 mins

Begin Again is released on 11th July 2014

Begin Again – Official Website



On the Reel at the Transformers Red Carpet

Transformers premiere

This week sees the release of the latest in Michael Bay’s explosive big budget franchise, and this time Ireland’s own Jack Reynor is along for the ride. On the Reel caught up with Jack at the Dublin Premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction where he talked about Michael Bay, visual FX and slagging Mark Wahlberg.

There was also an appearance from a very special guest who spilt the beans about working with Jack, Michael and his plans for world domination. Check out the video below, and don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe.


It Came From Connemara!!: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh

it came from connemara

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

It Came From Connemara!!

Wed 9th July

Town Hall Theatre


It Came From Connemara!!, the feature documentary about Roger Corman’s film factory in Connemara, will have its world premiere at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. The festival will be a fitting location for a film that documents an exciting but controversial time in Irish cinema history. In the mid 1990’s the legendary Hollywood B-movie producer Roger Corman created the studio that would go on to produce nearly 20 feature films with Irish locations and crews.The film is directed by Brian Reddin, and he spoke to Film Ireland about it screening at the Fleadh.”Galway is central to the story of Corman in Ireland. Galway and Connemara supplied the locations for the studio and the backdrop to all of the movies – regardless of whether they were set in space or Maine – and many of the cast and crew were Galway based. In fact, a great number of people who worked with Corman in Connemara are still working in the business today in Galway, so there is a huge connection with Galway.

“The Fleadh itself played a significant role in the story of Corman in Connemara. It was a screening of Criminal Affairs at the Fleadh in 1997 which lead to negative reports about ‘porn’ being made in the West of Ireland with Údarás grants and a minor controversy about the merits of Corman’s output. Screening the documentary at the Fleadh brings the story of Corman in Connemara full circle and we couldn’t be happier to premiere it there”.

The documentary tells how Corman brought his brand of low-budget, cult, B-movie cinema to Ireland. Responsible for launching the careers of Coppola, Scorsese and Jonathan Demme, Corman came to Ireland and, in a five-year period that was marked with controversies, created films that included Swamp Women, Attack Of The Crab Monsters and The Little Shop Of Horrors.

The documentary features exclusive interviews with Roger Corman, Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson, James Brolin and Corbin Bernsen as well as interviews with the Irish cast and crew, John Brady, Celine Curtin, Maeve Joyce and Evelyn O’Rourke. The documentary was produced and directed by Brian Reddin. The DOP was Gerry MacArthur and it was edited by Ultan Murphy in Windmill Lane. The documentary was funded by TG4 and the BAI.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.


A City Dreaming: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh

a city dreaming

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

A City Dreaming

Sat 12th July



This is a story that weaves its way through half a century of history during a time which saw the city of Derry rise from poverty and neglect, to hitting the headlines across the world. Even though the people lacked material wealth, they certainly were rich in spirit. As the winds of change blew across the globe in the 1960s, so too they swept through the streets of this city. Using unseen archive and home movie footage, this is an homage to the ordinary people,a personal memoir, told through the eyes of a young boy (Gerry Anderson ), born in the 1940s, who witnesses firstly the warmth of his family and street and then the tumultuous events that saw the city and its people almost destroyed.
Could the spirit of the people survive ?

Director Mark McCauley told Film Ireland, “The film started as a collaboration between myself and the broadcaster/writer Gerry Anderson ( BBC ). Northern Ireland Screen immediately came on board when they saw a short trailer we put together. Andrew Eaton came on board as our Executive Producer and that gave us the confidence to believe that we were on the right track as Andrew was working with Ron Howard at the time on Rush. Andrew recommended Chris Martin who became our producer fresh from Good Vibrations and steered us through to the finish line.


I wanted to make a film that somehow captured the spirit of the people of the city where we both were born ( Derry ). My background is as a documentary camera who’s spent 25 years covering the trouble spots in the world from the siege of Sarajevo through to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ( info at www.markmccauley.tv ) My personal experience and lasting memories of all those places is that behind all the headline grabbing violence and power politics lies a real generosity and decency amongst ordinary people. It often gets overwhelmed by the violence and hence we’re often not aware that it ever existed.I thought about how we might make a story about our own city that tried to build up the picture of those ordinary people.


Gerry and I worked on different themes and stories and very quickly it seemed that an authentic way to tell the story was through his eyes. Firstly, growing up in the 1940’s as  World War Two ended, witnessing the social and physical changes in the city, the gradual influence of the outside world on the city, culminating in the beginning of the civil rights campaign and the quick descent into violence. All told from an eyes on the street perspective.


A large percentage of the film is shot on home movie Super 8 film. I worked with the edit team of Justine Scoltock and Michael Barwise sifting through hours of film. The reactions of people to the camera is really natural as most of the material was shot by their own family and friends. In their homes and on the streets. Extraordinary pictures and faces hard to believe that they are from almost sixty years ago . They are so real it sometimes feel that you could reach in to the screen and touch them.


Gerry himself left the city for a period in the early 1970’s as I did in the mid 1980’s, so although we were from the city we were able to look at it from an outside perspective also.


 Music and poetry have been important to both of us and so we were keen try to create augment the atmospheric footage. I enlisted the help of composer Michael Keeney who recorded a beautiful orchestral score for the film, as well as using Debussy and Ennio Morricone ( watch the film to see how that  works ! ).


Marie Heaney kindly gave us permission to use a section  of film which I’d shot with Seamus only a few years ago and it was very emotional for us to use that near the end of the film as we witnessed a people so deeply marked by violence.


It’s a great honour to be selected for the Galway Film Fleadh and a privilege to let the audience see a people’s history unfold before their eyes. Many thanks to all the people, too numerous to name, who generously gave us the footage. It has been been quite a journey full of emotion for Gerry and I putting this film together and we really hope the audience get a chance to feel some of that emotion also .

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.

Director: Mark McCauley

Script: Gerry Anderson

Producer: Chris Martin, Andrew Eaton

Mark Mc Cauley

Stay: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh



Fri 11th July



Stay, the lastest film from director Wiebke von Carolsfeld, has been selected to screen at the 26th Galway Film Fleadh. Co-produced by Samson Films, it stars Orange is the New Black‘s Taylor Schilling as a young Canadian woman who decides to leave her life in Conemara when she discovers the father of her unborn child has no interest in raising the child.

Wiebke Von Carolsfeld told Film Ireland, “I am absolutely thrilled to bring Stay home to Ireland. It was a blast to shoot the Irish part of the film in Connemara. The crew was an absolute delight, working with true dedication under sometimes less than ideal conditions – we managed to shoot the film in the rainiest June on record. The actors were uniformly inspiring”.

Shot across Co. Galway and Montreal, the film is an Irish-Canadian co-production between Dublin’s Samson Films and Canadian-based production companies Amerique Films and Submission Films.

Schilling plays Abby, the woman who’s life is rocked when the man she loves Dermot, played by Aidan Quinn, want nothing to do with their unborn child. Stay is an exploration of how our past defines our present and our need to engage with others defines our future.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie


Producer Martin Paul-Hus will attend the screening.

Director: Wiebke von Carolsfeld

Cast: Aidan Quinn, Taylor Schilling, Michael Ironside

Script: Wiebke von Carolsfeld

Producers: David Collins, Martin Paul-Hus, Andrew Boutilier


Living In A Coded Land: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh

living in a coded land

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

Living In A Coded Land

Sun 13th July



According to director Pat Collins, “Living in a Coded Land is a poetic and imaginative film essay that makes unexpected links between events and locations, history and contemporary life. The film revolves around the notion of a sense of place and stories associated with place, reflecting on the subterranean traces of the past in the present and probing themes such as the impact of colonialism, emigration, the famine, land, housing and the place of art in society. Making extensive use of archive from RTÉ and the IFI, the film seeks to explore the more elusive layers of meaning that make up this country.”

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie

Director: Pat Collins

Producers: Pat Collins, Sharon Whooley



Noble: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)


Sat 12th July

Town Hall Theatre


Noble, a film about the inspiring tale of one Irish woman in post-war Vietnam, will screen at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. Written and directed by Stephen Bradley, it stars Deirdre O’Kane as Christina Noble, an Irish woman whose strength and character allow her to pursue her dream and change the lives of children living in Vietnam. The Irish film has already scooped awards at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Boston Irish Film Festival.

Co-starring with Deirdre O’Kane are Brendan Coyle (The Raven, Downton Abbey), Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones, Safe House), Ruth Negga (Marvel’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., World War Z), Nhu Quynh Nguyen (Pearls of the Far East, Indochine) and Tony nominated Sarah Greene (The Cripple of Inish Maan, The Guard).

Noble tells the true story of a funny, feisty and courageous Irishwoman, Christina Noble, who overcomes a harsh childhood to find her destiny on the streets of Saigon, fourteen years after the end of the war. The film captures the drama of a life that has culminated in Christina Noble helping almost a million street-children and their families in Vietnam and Mongolia.

Written and Directed by Stephen Bradley (Sweety Barrett), the award-winning NOBLE will open in cinemas across Ireland on 19 September 2014.

Vietnam. 1989. Fourteen years after the end of the war.
When the funny, feisty and courageous Irish-woman, Christina Noble, flies into Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) she leaves behind an extraordinary life story. But the best is yet to come.
Christina lands in a country “that she wouldn’t be able to show you on a map”. With a few dollars, a dream and her own hard-won abilities, she is about to change everything, for hundreds of thousands of people. 
Shifting between past and present, the film concentrates on Christina’s strength of character, as she uses music and humour to pursue a seemingly impossible dream, always following her motto that “a little insane goes a long way.”

Noble is the inspirational true story of a woman who believes that it only takes one person to make a difference. And of how she is proved right.

Co-starring with Deirdre O’Kane are Brendan Coyle (The Raven, Downton Abbey), Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones, Safe House), Ruth Negga (Marvel’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., World War Z), Nhu Quynh Nguyen (Pearls of the Far East, Indochine) and Tony nominated Sarah Greene (The Cripple of Inish Maan, The Guard).

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie

Director Stephen Bradley and cast will attend.


Director: Stephen Bradley

Cast: Deirdre O’Kane, Brendan Coyle, Sarah Greene, Liam Cunningham, Ruth Negga

Script: Stephen Bradley

Producer: Melanie Gore-Grimes, Stephen Bradley


The Canal: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

The Canal

Sat 12th July

Town Hall Theatre


Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal introduces us to David, a film archivist who finds out the home he shares with his wife and son was the scene of a ghastly turn-of-the-century murder. At first he dismisses it as ancient history. That is, until the sinister history ripples into the present and casts a shadow over life as he knows it. And when a looming secret shatters his marriage, David can’t help but suspect the dark spirits of the house are somehow involved. In his drive to unveil the shadows hidden in the walls, David begins to descend into insanity, threatening the lives of everyone around him.

Through ghastly imagery and a chilling score, Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal is an Irish ghost story that will leave you with a fear of the dark and a dripping chill down your spine long after the film’s conclusion.

Kavanagh told Film Ireland that , “The film already screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April, where it got amazing reviews and was picked up for North American distribution, but I can’t wait to screen it at the Fleadh.  It’s an amazing festival and it’s always held great memories for me, and I’m sure this year and this screening will be no different.”


Director Ivan Kavanagh and actor Antonia Campbell Hughes will attend.


Director: Ivan Kavanagh

Cast: Rupert Evans, Steve Oram, Antonia Campbell Hughes, Kelly Byrne, Hannah Hoekstra, Calum Heath

Script: Ivan Kavanagh

Producer: AnneMarie Naughton



Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.


Patrick’s Day: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

Patrick’s Day

Sat 12th July

Town Hall Theatre


The first film from Terry McMahon, Charlie Casanova, earned him an IFTA nomination as well as a bathtub load of controversy after it screened at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2011. The director will now return to the Galway Film Fleadh with his new film, Patrick’s Day, which tells the story of a twenty-six-year-old virgin schizophrenic whose life changes when he falls in love.

Speaking about the Galway Film Fleadh, Terry McMahon told Film Ireland, “Gar O’Brien and Miriam Allen had the courage to select Charlie Casanova before anybody had seen it. Despite the insanity of the later attacks on the film, we received a standing ovation at The Fleadh and the Best First Feature Award. Our second film Patrick’s Day is very different in content yet equally provocative in ambition so to be selected again by Gar and Miriam at this year’s Fleadh – particularly among such heavyweights – makes it a terrifying yet exciting sort of homecoming.

The schizophrenic Patrick (Moe Dunford) is warm, open and, thanks to the protective nature of his mother (Kerry Fox), no threat to himself or anyone else. But when he falls for Karen (Catherine Walker), a suicidal flight attendant, his mother enlists the help of a dysfunctional detective called Freeman (Philip Jackson) to help her tear the two apart. Patrick’s Day is a provocative and intimate look at love and mental illness.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.

Terry McMahon, Moe Dunford and more will attend the screening.

Director: Terry McMahon

Cast: Moe Dunford, Kerry Fox, Philip Jackson, Catherine Walker

Script: Terry McMahon

Producer: Tim Palmer

Co-Producer: Rachel Lysaght


The Light Of Day: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh

the lod

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

The Light Of Day

Thu 10th July

Town Hall Theatre


The Light of Day, the mockumentary about the making of a low-budget vampire horror flick, will emerge to sink its teeth into the Galway Film Fleadh this summer. The screening will be the world premiere of a film shot on location in Dublin city by students on the Filmbase/Staffordshire University MSc Digital Feature Film Production Course. For further details on the course, click here. Wooden stakes at the ready, but make sure the camera’s rolling first.

Sophie Burke, one of the producers of the film, told Film Ireland what it means to screen at Galway, “We’re delighted that The Light of Day is to have its world premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh and also that we have been accepted to screen in competition. Taking part in the MSc in Digital Feature Film Production at Filmbase has been challenging and fulfilling, and being accepted into Galway is, firstly, a great honour but also a fantastic way to end a great year.”

The Light of Day stars Jack Hickey as Michael, the DOP on the low-budget film, The First Bite is the Deepest, who must wrestle the a hemorrhaging production from the hapless director (Aidan Lawlor). Along the way Michael must tackle other demons in the form of a desperate producer (Dermot Magennis), the writer of the source material (Lorna Larkin), peanut allergies and product placement deals. This hilarious comedy goes for the neck and gets under the skin of the struggles and stresses of low-budget filmmaking.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.

Cast and Crew will attend

Directors: Amy Carroll, Conor Dowling, Eoin O’Neill

Cast: Jack Hickey, Aidan Lawlor, Lorna Larkin, Dermot Magennis, Carl Shaaban, Niamh Algar

Script: Chris Brennan

Producers: Sophie Burke, Simon Connolly


One Million Dubliners: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh

one million dubliners

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

One Million Dubliners

Sat 12th July

Town Hall Theatre


The feature documentary about Glasnevin Cemetery, One Million Dubliners, is to have its world premiere at the 26th annual Galway Film Fleadh next week.

Directed by Aoife Kelleher and produced by Underground Films, One Million Dubliners uses Glasnevin cemetery as a platform to explore life and death. Ireland’s largest non-denominational cemetery, it is the resting place of over 1.5 million people. In this documentary a tour guide takes us through the headstones, american tourists search for ancestors and gravediggers and musician celebrate.

One Million Dubliners reveals the often unspoken — stories of ritual, emotion, history, and the business of death.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.

Director Aoife Kelleher and producer Rachel Lysaght will attend.

Director: Aoife Kelleher

Producer: Rachel Lysaght


Glassland: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)


Fri 11th July

Town Hall Theatre


Following the success of his debut Irish feature, Pilgrim Hill, Gerard Barrett is back with his new film, Glassland, which premieres at Galway next week. Glassland explores the grim realities of life for those pushed to the fringes of society in contemporary Ireland. Produced by Element Pictures, the film boasts a talented cast that includes Jack Reynor (What Richard Did, Transformers: Age of Extinction), Toni Collette (Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) and Michael Smiley (A Field in England).

Director Barrett said that, “The Galway Film Fleadh gave my debut film Pilgrim Hill a platform, and it’s a privilege for me to go back and launch my second film Glassland there. Miriam and Gar played their part in launching my career and it’s a great honour to return where new filmmakers are valued and encouraged.”

Barrett will be looking to mimic the success he gained after his last outing, Pilgrim Hill, premiered at the Fleadh two years ago, winning him the Bingham Ray New Talent Award followed by the 2013 IFTA Rising Star Award.

Set in Dublin, Glassland tells the story of a young taxi driver (Reynor) who is forced to descend ever further into a criminal underworld while trying to save his mother (Collette) from a crippling alcohol addiction.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie

Director Gerard Barrett will attend the screening. 

Director Gerard Barrett

Cast Jack Reynor, Michael Smiley, Toni Collette, Will Poulter

Script Gerard Barrett

Producers Juliette Bonass, Ed Guiney


Gold: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)


Fri 11th July

Town Hall Theatre


Gold, the feelgood comedy by IFTA-winning writer/director Niall Heery, is to screen at the 26th annual Galway Film Fleadh. Featuring performances from the likes of James Nesbit, David Wilmot, Kerry Condon and Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams, the film focuses on the hilarity of everyday life.

Gold centres around Ray (Wilmot), who resolves to seek out his estranged ex-partner (Condon) and teenage daughter (Williams) so that his dying father can see his granddaughter one last time. When he tracks them down he discovers that they now live with his former P.E. teacher, the controlling and regimented Frank (James Nesbitt).

Having previously screened at the Jameson Dublin Internation Film Festival , Gold went on to secure a North American distribution with indie distributor Synergetic back in May.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.

Director Niall Heery and members of the cast will attend.
Director: Niall Heery
Cast: David Wilmot, James Nesbitt, Maisie Williams, Kerry Condon
Script: Niall Heery, Brendan Heery
Producers: Tristan Orpen Lynch, Aoife O’Sullivan


Poison Pen: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

Poison Pen

Fri 11th July

Town Hall Theatre


Poison Pen, the first feature film script by Artemis Fowl author, Eoin Colfer, will premiere at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. The film stars Lochlann O’Mearain (The O’Briens, King Arthur) as a Man Booker-winning author who is coerced into writing for a tabloid gossip magazine. A smart and savvy romantic comedy, Poison Pen asks questions about the nature of celebrity, integrity and deception.

Sharon Cronin, one of the producers of the film, told Film Ireland, “I think Poison Pen is an intelligent film, it has a lot to say and it’s very relevant. The film has some phenomenal performances, which I think will surprise people. We are all really proud to be premiering the film at The Fleadh, Galway has such a rich history of screening the very best of Irish cinema, I think we found a really good home for the first screening.”

When PC Molloy (O’Mearain) gets blackmailed into writing for the celebrity gossip magazine, ‘Poison Pen’, he begins to fall for his new boss, April Devereaux (Aoibhinn McGinnity). Soon the spotlight is turning on Molloy and he struggles to keep his own secrets off the front page. This heart-warming romantic comedy is enhanced by a talented supporting cast that includes Paul Ronan (One Hundred Mornings), Aaron Heffernan (Obama Mia!, Love/Rosie), Susan Loughnane (The Food Guide To Love, Love/Hate), Lauryn Canny (A Thousand Times Goodnight, Amber), Gemma-Leah Devereux (Get Up and Go, How to be Happy) and Mary Murray (Stalker, Love/Hate).

Poison Pen was made by students on the Filmbase/Staffordshire University MSc Digital Feature Film Production Course. For further details on the course, click here.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie

Cast and Crew will attend.

Directors: Steven Benedict, Lorna Fitzsimons, Jennifer Shortall
Cast: Lochlann Ó Mearáin, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Lauryn Canny, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Susan Loughnane, Paul Ronan
Script: Eoin Colfer & Graham Cantwell
Producers: Aine Coady, Sharon Cronin

Get Up and Go: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

Get Up and Go

Thu 10th July

Town Hall Theatre


The world premiere of writer/director Brendan Grant’s new feature, Get Up and Go, will take place on 10th July 2014 at the Galway Film Fleadh. Starring Killian Scott and Peter Coonan, the film takes a bohemian trip through Dublin as two 20-somethings come to terms with their failing artistic careers. Get Up and Go, the second feature written and directed by Grant, was produced by Fastnet Films and was acquired by Wildcard Distribution in June.

Speaking about the film’s premiere at Galway, Brendan Grant said, “It’s great that the film is on in Galway and that it can be our premiere too; we haven’t even had a cast and crew screening so it will be amazing to see it for the first time in front of a live audience. The Fleadh is synonymous with receptive and knowledgeable audiences and has always proved to be a great launch-pad for Irish cinema.”

When Alex (Coonan) discovers that his girlfriend is pregnant, he refuses to allow her derail his plans to leave Dublin for the bright lights of London. Meanwhile Coilin’s (Scott) carefully constructed world of hopes, dreams and expectations begins to come crumbling down around him. Set against the backdrop of famous Dublin locations, pubs, and clubs, Get Up and Go shows a youthful and vibrant Dublin, rarely seen on film.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie

Cast and crew will attend.

Director: Brendan Grant

Cast: Killian Scott, Peter Coonan, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Sarah Lloyd-Gregory, Sarah McCall

Script: Brendan Grant

Producers: Macdara Kelleher, Juliette Bonass (Co-Producer Felicity Oppé)


Close To Evil: Extended Cut – Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh

close to evil

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

Close To Evil: Extended Cut

Fri 11th July



The extended cut of the award-winning documentary, Close to Evil, will screen as part of the 26th annual Galway Film Fleadh. A ‘work in progress’ version of the film received acclaim when it screened as part of last year’s fleadh, getting a runner-up spot for Best Irish Feature Documentary. Director Gerry Gregg will now return to the Fleadh with an extended cut complete with extra footage.

Close to Evil follows Tomi Reichental, one of two surviving Holocaust victims living in Ireland, on a quest to find one of the SS guards who kept him captive. Director Gerry Gregg told Film Ireland that  “I want to sincerely thank Miriam Allen and Gar O’Brien for encouraging us to finish the film and for endorsing what we have made by screening the extended cut in Galway this year. From the outset when Miriam and Gar saw an early rough cut they supported us.

“Last year’s success at Galway greatly helped us and made life a bit easier for our champion in RTÉ Colm O’Callaghan. It was Colm, our RTÉ Executive Producer who stepped into the breach when the Film Board surprisingly declined to back the project.  It was Colm who made sure that we kept going, put us back on location when and where it mattered and oversaw a film that none of us involved could have foreseen how it would end.”

Director Gerry Gregg gives Film Ireland the background to the new extended cut of his film Close to Evil here.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.



The Stranger: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

The Stranger

Thu 10th July

Town Hall Theatre


Neal MacGregor was an English artist who died alone aged 44 in a cave on the remote island of Inishbofin. A new documentary by Neasa Ní Chianáin uses reconstructions, animation and archive material to reconstruct the story of this mysterious hermit, and will screen at the 26th annual Galway Film Fleadh.

Neasa told Film Ireland, “We are delighted to be screening the world premiere of the film in Galway in July. The Fleadh was the first festival I ever attended as a punter many moons ago, and has since remained one of my favorite festivals to attend.”

When we are gone, what do people remember of us? Neal MacGregor, an English artist, died alone, prematurely, aged forty-four, in a stone hen-house that he couldn’t stand up in, where he lived without water, electricity or heating on a remote island. The Irish-speaking islanders on the rapidly depopulating island knew little of Neal during the eight years he lived there. Who was this stranger? Was he a British spy recording IRA gun-running routes, as some islanders thought? Was he trying to take control of the island? Was he crazy, as others thought? Or was he just seeking solitude? Neal left behind volumes of beautifully illustrated notebooks and secret diaries, and this beautiful enigmatic film pulls together the jigsaw of missing pieces and sensitively paints a portrait of a man living on the edge, physically and mentally, and the insular island community he lived amongst.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.

Director Neasa Ní Chianáin will attend.

Director: Neasa Ní Chianáin

Cast: Edward Humm, Kloe Humm

Script: Neasa Ní Chianáin, Maria Gasol

Producer: David Rane


Darkness On The Edge Of Town: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh

darkness on th eedge of twon

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Wed 9th July

Town Hall Theatre


The cast and crew of Darkness on the Edge of Town will be in Galway for the world premiere of the art house crime thriller. Shot in Kerry, it is the latest film from award-winning writer/director Patrick Ryan and has been described as a modern-day western revenge drama. The story follows Cleo, a troubled teenage sharpshooter who plots a course for revenge after her sister is found murdered in a public bathroom.

Patrick Ryan spoke to Film Ireland about the origins of the film and what it means to have it screen at the Galway Film Fleadh.

Darkness on the Edge of Town is a crime genre film with art house sensibilities. It takes the structure of a classical tragedy, emboldened with the visual overtones of a Western. It was our intent to do something different to the current trends of Irish cinema, to make something a little more leftfield and stay true to our sensibilites. Our influences on the film were wide and varied; everything from Asian cinema to Shakespeare, from Morricone to Caravggio.

Darkness is an entirely indpendent film, from blank page to festival screener, and to have the backing of the Galway Film Fleadh along with a national platform on which to showcase our film, is invaluable to us. The Fleadh has a well-maintained tradition of supporting new independent Irish cinema and we’re more than proud to join those ranks. Essentially, we’re just thrilled to show our story to an audience and thankful to the Fleadh for the opportunity”.

Ryan’s screenplay was selected for the BBC Writersroom 2012, came second in the Screenwriting Goldmine Competition, and won twice at the ENGAGE European Pitching Forum. The film stars a host of Irish talent including  Emma Eliza Regan (Love Eternal, The Shadows, Jack Taylor: Dramatist), Brain Gleeson (The Stag, How to be Happy, Love/Hate) and up-and-coming Emma Willis (The Christening).

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie

Cast and Crew will attend.

Director: Patrick Ryan

Cast: Emma Eliza Regan, Emma Willis, Brian Gleeson, Chris Fitzgerald, Olwen Catherine Kelly, Clodagh Downing

Script: Patrick Ryan

Producer: Lisa Mackintosh, Tommy Fitzgerald, Patrick Ryan


A Nightingale Falling: Preview of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh

A nightingale falling

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh (8 – 13 July, 2014)

A Nightingale Falling

Wed 9th July

Town Hall Theatre


A Nightingale Falling, the Irish historical period drama set during the War of Independance, will get its world premiere at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. Directed by Garret Daly and Martina McGlynn, it tells the story of two sisters who, against the backdrop of war-torn Ireland, take in a wounded British soldier. The lead actress, Tara Breathnach, has been nominated for the Bingham Ray New Talent Award.

Directors Garret Daly and Martina McGlynn told Film Ireland “We are thrilled to be in the Galway Film Fleadh. As an independent film, it gives us the recognition we needed to vindicate our passion for this film and to demonstrate what we’ve always believed, that this story needs to be told and seen. We can’t wait till the premiere, because there is something magical about the festival and walking up the steps of the Town Hall for our first feature will be a special moment. That’s how important a festival of this magnitude is to an indie film. Already it has brought great attention to the film, so we are very excited”.

May Collingwood (Breathnach), is forced to make critical and difficult decisions when she rescues a British soldier and must now protect herself and sister Tilly. They live in fear of the British Black and Tans, the rising IRA, their own entrapment, and ultimately the dark secrets of unrequited love unfolding from within. This is a powerful drama of lives overtaken and destroyed by the events and hardships of the period.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie.

Cast and crew will attend.

Directors: Garret Daly, Martina McGlynn

Cast: Tara Breathnach, Muireann Bird, Gerard McCarthy, Brian Fortune, Elliot Moriarty, Andy Kellegher

Script: Garret Daly, Martina McGlynn, PJ Curtis

Producers: Martina McGlynn, Gerry Burke, Garret Daly, PJ Curtis



Jersey Boys

Jersey boys


DIR: Clint Eastwood • WRI: Marshall Brickman • PRO: Clint Eastwood, Graham King, Robert Lorenz • ED: Joel Cox, Gary D. Roach • DOP: Tom Stern • CAST: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lamenda, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken

Why is Clint Eastwood directing a musical?? As someone who is very familiar with Eastwood’s filmography as both an actor and a director, this question immediately came to mind when I heard he was directing an adaptation of hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys. Dirty Harry doing show tunes just somehow seems wrong, but after scratching the surface a little bit, it starts to make a lot more sense. Eastwood it turns out has always been infatuated with music, from studying it after leaving High School to composing the scores to some of his most famous films such as Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. He also directed the Biopic of Jazz Musician Charlie Parker in the 1988 film Bird, so it’s safe to say a musical novice he is not. Unfortunately for me this newly found information only serves to augment my disappointment at this messy adaptation.

Jersey Boys chronicles the rise and fall of popular ’60s pop band The Four Seasons and their lead singer Frankie Valli. The film is shown to us in a linear chronology from the band’s original incarnation as The Four Lovers, to their development into The Four Seasons and the huge success they enjoyed throughout the ’60s, and the subsequent fallout between the members of the band.

The film is scored wonderfully by the band’s biggest hits as we are treated to almost all of their hits, including “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes off You”; believe me you’ll know most of them, and you’ll find yourself You Tubing the songs incessantly for days  after viewing the film.

Despite the strong musical numbers the film as a whole never really works. Its major downfall is that it bites off more than it can chew. It tries to cover too much ground from 1951 to 1990 leading it to fall flat in the middle and closing stages after a bright and vibrant start. The film jumps so quickly and loosely between situations and time periods that it leaves the audience member slightly confused. Numerous characters end up being very underdeveloped, the most striking of which is Frankie’s wife whose development from the love of his life to an embittered alcoholic goes wholly unexplained. The four members of the band act as narrators at different stages of the film, addressing the audience directly in an attempt to contextualise what we’re seeing on screen, but it fails to make the film in any way cohesive.

The cast is comprised mainly of unknown actors. John Lloyd Young is solid in the main role of Frankie Valli after his Tony award-winning turn in the Broadway version, with the role allowing him to show off an incredible vocal range. Other notable performances include Vincent Piazza as the troublesome band member Tommy De Vito who can never seem to break free from his roots in petty crime and the always delightful Christopher Walken as Gyp De Carlo, an emotional Mafia Boss who serves as the band’s Guardian Angel.

The film does have its moments, particularly one or two great ones involving a well-known Italian American actor who was genuinely involved with the band before he broke into acting, I won’t spoil what is a very amusing surprise. Despite this, it has to be said, the film falls in line with a disappointing run of recent films from Eastwood including J Edgar and Hereafter. Let’s hope a return to form is on the near Horizon for the great man.

Michael Rice


15A (See IFCO for details)
134 mins

Jersey Boys is released on 20th June 2014

Jersey Boys – Official Website


The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivot

TSS Day 20 "The young and Prodigious Spivet" Photo: Jan Thijs

DIR: Jean-Pierre Jeunet • WRI: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Reif Larsen, Guillaume Laurant • PRO: Frédéric Brillion, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Gilles Legrand, Suzanne Girard, Brian Oliver • ED: Hervé Schneid • DOP: Thomas Hardmeier • CAST: Kyle Catlett, Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Callum Keith Rennie, Niamh Wilson, Jakob Davies

The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivot is a sublime and tantalizing feast for any dedicated cinephile. It marks the return of Jean Pierre Jeunet into the cultural Zeitgeist after the mish mash that was his last film, the poorly reviewed Mic Macs. Adapted by Jeunet from the book by  Reif Larsen The Selected Works of TS Spivet, the film is essentially a coming-of-age story about young wunderkind T.S Spivot candily portrayed by  Kyle Catlett.

T.S Spivott, child genius, prodigy lives Montana with his loving but oblivious parents. Things take an interesting turn when Spivot seemingly creates a perpetual motion machine and runs away to Washington to receive a Smithsonian award. Overall the film  doesnt pack the same energetic punch as Delicatession or Amelie. This is a much more wistful and sombre film, an exploration of mise en scene and of the nature of illusion.

Jeunet’s imagery captivates the randomness and colour of Spivot’s imagination in saturated colours and blown-out images. This is a carefully constructed film, the product of a master craftsman.  Helana Bonham Carter and Judy Davis have notable performances. Spivott certainly marks a return to form for Jeunet though perhaps too sombre a return to make any noticeable impact.

Michael Lee


105 mins

The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivot is released on 13th June 2014