Call For: Audience for Test Screening

Callfor-Final12Illustration: Adeline Pericart

If you want to be one of the first people to see a new international movie, due to hit the cinemas worldwide at the end of the year, send your name, age and profession to the address info@blinderfilms.com

Once registered, you will be sent details of the screening location for this Sunday at six o’clock. You will be asked to fill out a test screening form and participate in a discussion about the film after the screening.

Feel free to invite a friend, but only those whose name, profession and age are included in the email will be considered for registration.

Share

A Million Ways to Die in the West

A-Million-Ways-To-Die-In-The-West-Movie

DIR: Seth MacFarlane • WRI: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild • PRO: Jason Clark, Seth MacFarlane, Joseph J. Micucci, Scott Stuberf • ED: Jeff Freeman • DOP. Michael Barrett • DES: Stephen J. Lineweaver • MUS: Joel McNeely • CAST: Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, Seth MacFarlane

I was nervously excited when first I heard that Seth MacFarlane would turn his hand to live-action parody. I enjoy parody with affection; think The Cornetto Trilogy or even Family Guy’s Star Wars spin-offs, which George Lucas himself was so happy with he let them use the music. I was slightly more nervous when I learnt MacFarlane would be tackling the Western genre. Would saddles blaze?

Saddles do not even smoulder.

Arizona, 1882: Everyman Albert Stark (MacFarlane) loses his sweetheart Louise (Amanda Seyfried) to Neil Patrick Harris’ moustache enthusiast. Albert mopes about with his mate (Giovanni Ribisi) until Charlize Theron arrives in town and provides Albert with a man-makeover, let’s hope her husband Clinch (Liam Neeson) doesn’t arrive before the third act. That would be inappropriate.

This is awful. When serious films fail to this extent it is often funny but when your aim is to be funny the failure seems all too serious. The whole film feels like sitting through a dinner party with David Brent knowing you’ll have to ask him for a favour at some point. At one point Albert literally stops the action to explain a joke he has just made.

I could banter on extensively about the many (million) ways A Million Ways bothered me but that would likely get as boring as the film. I counted six laughs:, a cinema snack I’d like a go at (sugared butter shavings), a cameo too good for this film and a psychedelic sequence narrated by Patrick Stewart in the entertainment corner. At a stretch that will soak up six minutes of this dull-fest, which borders on two hours. It’s Alvy Singer in the Old West without the loveable neurosis. It’s low-brow humour with no wit or reason-for-being.

It’s a million ways to tell the same bad joke. In the West. Don’t listen.

Donnchadh Tiernan

16 (See IFCO for details)
115 mins

A Million Ways to Die in the West is released on 30th May 2014

A Million Ways to Die in the West– Official Website

Share

Out Now! This Week’s Cinema Releases Reviewed

edge-tomorrow-tom-cruise-reviews edge-tomorrow-tom-cruise-reviews

…in a loop. This week’s reviews are in a loop. This week’s reviews are in a loop. This week’s reviews…

 

Edge of Tomorrow – Richard Drumm does it again.

Jimmy’s Hall – Stephen Totterdell on Ken Loach’s latest.

Maleficent – Stacy Grouden gets gothic.

A Million Ways to Die in the West – Donnchadh Tiernan wonders where the beans are.

Venus in Fur – Donnchadh Tiernan gets saucy.

Share

Liam Bates’ score for ‘Last Passenger’ to be Released

Liam Bates

 

The soundtrack by Irish composer Liam Bates for the action film Last Passenger is available to buy on CD on 19th November 2013.

The score, which was recorded with The Orchestra of Ireland at Studio 8, RTÉ, and mixed at Windmill Lane was influenced by high-octane action scores form the 1970s and 80s to fit the exciting, tense and dark nature of the the film. Last Passenger is a claustrophobia thriller directed by Omid Nooshin. Dr. Lewis Shaler, along with his son Max and his love interest, are travelling on a commuter train that misses out on the last of its stops. The small group of surviving commuters must work together to stop the train before they meet their doom.

“I thought that the score should be emblematic of the film’s overall direction,” explained Omid Nooshin, the director, who also co-wrote the film, “personal approach spotlighting emotion and character, but also evoking the central theme of everyday heroism in the face of mortality. Liam’s initial composition was an opening salvo of racing brass and percussive pulses. The sheer excitement he conjured put the hook in me.”

Liam Bates talked about his concept for the score. “Interestingly, the music for a movie which is literally constantly on the move, required particular attention to that second musical element, the vehicle of rhythm. This element which was laid out with strongly defined pace and carefully marked tempo transitions, would become the back-bone for the steadily rising tension in the film, leaving pitch or melody to draw out the emotion surrounding the characters and their interplay.”

“Being mindful not to simply emulate the rhythmic sound of the train on the track, I looked for various metallic sounds to add to the existing chosen orchestral pallet of strings and brass. The musical themes drawing the emotional play between characters, albeit occasionally sweet or romantic, still seemed best served with a slightly unnerving restlessness”.

The Last Passenger: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is published by Bucks Music Group and is released by MovieScore Media & Kronos.

Share

Preview of Irish Film at Cork Film Festival: The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology

perverrts

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

Saturday, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

16th November, 10:30

Cork Opera House
Tickets €6.00
136 Minutes

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, that once again pairs together philosopher Slavoj Žižek and director Sophie Fiennes after the success of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, will screen at this year’s Cork Film Festival.

Starting from the provocative premise that political and commercial regimes regard us as ‘subjects of pleasure’, controlling us by offering us enjoyment, director Sophie Fiennes and charismatic philosopher Slavoj Žižek repeat the formula of their 2006 success.

The quirky, genial Žižek employs cleverly chosen clips from a huge variety of movie, including Brazil, M*A*S*H, The Sound of Music, and Brief Encounter, to illustrate his fascinating monologue, frequently appearing on sets and in costumes that replicate scenes from the films in question. For example, dressed as a chubbier, bearded Travis Bickle, he expounds the darker subtexts of Taxi Driver’s plot from within the anti-hero’s grotty apartment. This entertaining approach helps to ensure that what might otherwise have been a dense, even daunting, intellectual challenge is actually an engaging and unexpected delight.

Click here to Book your Ticket.

www.corkfilmfest.org

Share

Irish Shorts at the Cork Film Festival 3: To Hell With Common Sense

the missing scarf

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

15th November, 15:30

Triskel Christchurch
Tickets €6.00
90 Minutes

Each of the films in this programme beguile and bewitch in differing fashions, common sense is discarded in favour of mysterious decisions and unimaginable consequences.

The Line-Up:

The Hard Way

A troubled teenage girl and an unhappily married man meet in secret. They think their problems are over. But they haven’t counted on each other.

Director: Imogen Murphy
Producer: Simon Doyle
Ireland / 2013 / 13 Minutes / Colour

 

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning and nine year old Kiva is getting up to mischief around her palatial home. However, things take a darker turn after a scary experience in the swimming pool.

Director: Brian O’Toole
Producer: Michael Quinn
Ireland / 2013 / 22 Minutes / Colour

 

The Missing Scarf

Albert is desperately in search of his favourite scarf which has vanished in the forest. But his problems are soon put into perspective.

Director: Eoin Duffy
Producer: Jamie Hogan
Ireland / 2013 / 7 Minutes / Colour

 

Rough Cut

Kate, a troubled film editor, receives news that her ex husband, Alrecht, is trying to reunite with their severely brain damaged, eleven year old son, Kai, after completing a lengthy prison sentence.

Director: Laura Way
Producer: Liam Beatty, Niall Owens, Ian De Bri
Ireland / 2013 / 9 Minutes / Colour

 

All Mortal Flesh

A suburban family man and sometime contract killer reluctantly interrupts his Christmas shopping in order to complete a last-minute assignment.

Director: John Corcoran
Producer: John Corcoran
Ireland / 2013 / 13 Minutes / Colour

 

Furniture – Murder and Love

Murder, lust and love in the world of Irish furniture. Will our hero Peadar survive to save his love, the wonderful, beautiful Deirdre?

Director: David Quin
Producer: David Quin
Ireland / 2013 / 5 Minutes / Colour

 

The Last Days Of Peter Bergmann

Peter Bergmann – a man who would go to great lengths to ensure no one would ever discover who he was or where he came from.

Director: Ciarán Cassidy
Producer: Morgan Bushe
Ireland / 2013 / 19 Minutes / Colour

Share

Preview of Irish Film at Cork Film Festival: How To Be Happy

m-how_to_be_happy

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

How to be Happy

Friday, 15th November, 19:30

Triskel Christchurch
Tickets €9.00
90 Minutes

The Irish-made romantic comedy about a marriage councillor who gets involved with his clients, How to be Happy, will screen at the Cork Film Festival 2013. Hot from its success at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh the feature, starring Brian Gleeson and Gemma-Leah Devereux, was made as part of the Filmbase Digital Feature Production MSc.

Richard Bolger, producer and former Filmbase student, told Film Ireland that ‘being a part of the Cork Film Festival this year is huge. How to be Happy being chosen as one of the very selected few Irish feature films to feature in this years festival is a huge show of support for grass route filmmaking in this country and once again is testament to the support out there for the film.

‘All of those involved with the making of the film could not be more proud or more excited about bringing this film to another part of the country, hopefully the first of many in this country. This film had a huge amount of supporting and hard working individuals and being selected for the festival is wonderful for all involved to be able to tell fellow filmmakers and friends alike’.

Cormac Kavanagh (Gleeson) is a marriage councillor who, off the back of messy break-up, starts sleeping with his clients in a misguided pursuit of happiness. Flor (Devereux), a private detective, is charged with investigating Cormac’s unconventional treatments, but things get complicated when she begins to have feelings for him. Between friends with the best intentions, misunderstandings and a client who also happens to be a notorious gangster, Cormac must navigate his way through the more erratic and chaotic elements of love and relationships before realising How to be Happy.

Click here to book your ticket

Click here for an interview with the film’s producer

www.corkfilmfest.org

Share

Preview of Irish Film at Cork Film Festival: Dark Touch

dark touch

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

Dark Touch

Tuesday, 12th November, 23:45

Triskel Christchursh
Tickets €9.00
90 Minutes

Dark Touch, the psychological horror directed by Marina De Van, will screen at the 58th annual Cork Film Festival. Made as part of an Irish, French and Swedish co-production, the film focuses on Niamh, an 11-year-old who is the sole survivor of a supernatural massacre that destroyed her family.

Niamh and her family are in an isolated house in Ireland when the house and furniture take on a life of their own and attack the inhabitants, leaving all but the young girl dead. The police will not believe her story and she is taken in by family friends. But the danger persists and Niamh comes to realise she has powers that will put more than just herself in danger.

Within the context of a horror movie, Dark Touch deals with issues of child abuse and trauma.

Click here to book your ticket.

www.corkfilmfest.org

Share

Irish Shorts at the Cork Film Festival 2: An Exile in the Home

IS2-Hannah-Cohens-Holy-Communion-650x290

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

15th November, 13:30

Triskel Christchurch
Tickets €6.00
94 Minutes

Escape from adversity is exacerbated if the hardship surround you from all angles. These six films straddle the boundaries between natives and outsiders, the foreign and the familiar.

The Line-Up:

El Toro

Cian is persistently bullied at school until the chance to surmount his difficulties arrives in the form of an encounter with a bull…matador style!

Director: Tomás Seioghe
Producer: David Clarke
Ireland / 2012 / 14 Minutes / Colour

 

Kindred

Leah tries to shield her younger brother from the grim reality of home by taking him to a place he has never been before.

Director: Stevie Russell
Producer: Michael Donnelly
Ireland / 2013 / 14 Minutes / Colour

 

Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion

Set in Dublin in the 1970’s Hannah can’t wait to make her Holy Communion – only problem is she’s Jewish.

Director: Shimmy Marcus
Producer: Rachel Lysaght
Ireland / 2012 / 13 Minutes / Colour

 

Echo

Emily has to face up to life’s inevitabilities from an early age, living with her wheelchair-bound grandmother, Halina, in a cavernous old house.

Director: Ela Gas
Producer: Shane Andrew Kelly, Amber Miles
Ireland / 2012 / 14 Minutes / Colour

 

Do Not Enter

Terry repairs motorbikes for a local bike club, a job which helps him deal with the shocking discoveries he has made.

Director: Martin O’Donoghue
Producer: David Duffy
Ireland / 2013 / 10 Minutes / Colour

 

Volkswagen Joe

Joe is a dedicated, hardworking mechanic who services cars for both sides of the political divide. Unfortunately for Joe, both communities view his evenhandedness with suspicion. One of the big issues that we wanted to examine as filmmakers was the.

Director: Brian Deane
Producer: Anna O’Malley, Kevin McCann
Ireland / 2013 / 29 Minutes / Colour

Share

Interview: James Mullighan, Director of the Cork Film Festival

 

James Mulligan

 

With the 58th Cork Film Festival kicking off this weekend Glenn Caldecott sat down with the newly-appointed festival director James Mullighan to talk about what audiences can expect from Cork this year.

Now in its 58th year, the Cork Film Festival has built up a reputation for showcasing some of the best global arthouse cinema and has maintained a strong commitment to supporting up-and-coming filmmakers. The newly-appointed festival director, James Mullighan, was keen to stress that he wanted to remain faithful to this tradition. ‘The thing that audiences this year can expect to be the same is a continued commitment to exhibit the best recent arthouse cinema from around the world. So there is a touching human drama from Turkey and a Cannes award winner in The Opera House.

‘Again we are determined to do what we can for emerging filmmakers and we have three programmes of short films, for those made in Cork, in Ireland and the rest of the world. We also have a 10 event film education scheme for emerging filmmakers, which is a mix of a meet the sales agents panel all the way through to the bold new conference, Emerge, on the last Saturday’.

Emerge will feature discussions from filmmakers, technologists and transmedia producers, and will explore the convergence of film and technology to cover areas such as crowdfunding, transmedia, making films for web and connecting to audiences. ‘Ireland is rich in conferencing but it doesn’t have anything quite like this. I’m sure that the Cork Film Festival is a great home for it with its commitment to helping emerging filmmakers’.

Born in Adelaide, Australia, James Mullighan worked as a freelance arts journalist before moving to London to embark on a busy career that involved being the Creative Director of Shooting People, the producer of Marketing and Distribution for the Sleep Paralysis Project, and a Contributing Editor for VODO, Cinovate and Rich Pickings. In 2011 he directed the Edinburgh International Film Festival through a turbulent transitional year.

‘I wont pretend that I had a particularly easy time running the Edinburgh Film Festival’, admitted James, ‘but it was in many ways one of the most satisfying thing ive ever done’. In May 2013 he got the fateful call from the board of the Cork Film Festival asking him to once again reprise his role as a festival director. ‘My stomach flipped over. The idea of running a film festival again filled me with absolute delight. It wasn’t hard to convince me to take the job, I just then had to convince others that I was the right guy for it’.

So what does he feel he has brought to the festival this year? ‘If you look at the new logo, next to film in smaller letters is ‘music’ and ‘ideas’. This is a musical city in a musical country and there will not be a day that goes by where there won’t be music events’. Such events include the psychedelic rock band ‘Teeth of the Sea’ performing a live score to A Field in England, and harpist and vocalist Serafina Steer is doing a new score to Amer, the giallo film by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani. ‘Also, the Emerge conference is very close to my heart, I hope it sticks and is something we can build upon.’

And what is he particularly looking forward to. ‘If someone was thinking about going to the festival and only seeing one film, the sure fire winner for me is Lukas Moodysson’s Swedish comedy drama, We Are The Best, about three eleven-year-old girls who, not letting their complete lack of musical talent hinder them, start a punk band’.

 

The 58th Cork Film Festival runs from the 9 – 17  November 2013.

For more information visit www.corkfilmfest.org

Check out our previews of Irish film screening at Cork plus exclusive coverage from the festival

Share

Preview of Irish Film at Cork Film Festival: Moon Man

moon_man

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

Moon Man

Tuesday, 12th November, 11:00

Triskel Christchurch
Tickets €4.00
95 Minutes

Moon Man, the 2D animation that came out of an Irish, German and French co-production, will screen at the 58th Cork Film Festival. Based on Tomi Ungerer’s best selling children’s book, Moon Man is a family story abut the man in the moon, who embarks on an adventure when he hitches a ride on a commet headed for earth.

The screening at Cork will be followed by a animation workshop for all ages. The workshop includes post-it animations, making something move, storyboards, creating your own characters and stories, and will be hosted by Cartoon Saloon’s Fabian Erlinghauser, the animation supervisor on Moon Man. Tickets for the workshop are €4 and can be booked by emailing industry@corkfilmfest.org

Moon Man is a loving family tale about the man in the moon, who isn’t even aware how much children love him. When a shooting star passes by on its way to earth, he hitches a ride and crashes down on a planet ruled by a tyrannical President. Escaping the president’s soldiers, Moon Man sets off on an adventure , where he will marvel at the many wonders the Earth has to offer and realise how much children love and need him.

Click here to book you ticket for the screening.

www.corkfilmfest.org

Share

Irish Shorts at the Cork Film Festival 1: Unfinished Dreaming

grey

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

Thursdat, 14th November, 13:30

Trskel Christchurch
Tickets €6.00
93 Minutes

The presence of absence looms large in this presentation of films focusing on near-forgotten dreams, often – but not always – to be superseded by the calming re-assurance of a second chance.

The Line-Up:

Bridge Station

An old man sells scratch cards outside of a train station watching the people pass by. Everyday, they emerge from the station at the same time without paying attention to him. Until one day…

Director: Christopher Brennan
Producer: Francois Farrugia
Ireland / 2013 / 16 Minutes / Colour

 

Grey

Grey abducts the sweetheart of raccoon T-Rex in the hope that he’ll be hers.

Director: Claire Lennon
Producer: IADT
Ireland / 2013 / 3 Minutes / Colour

 

Unfold

A chance encounter in a coffee shop between Mark and Sara results in a wondrous new perspective.

Director: Steven Daly
Producer: Oisín O’Driscoll, Steven Daly
Ireland / 2013 / 14 Minutes / Colour

 

Mechanic

A mechanic at the end of his tether finds solace in old age.

Director: Tom Sullivan, Feidlim Cannon
Producer: Tom Sullivan, Siun O’Connor
Ireland / 2013 / 15 Minutes / Colour

 

The Beauty of Ballybrack

Under the guise of being just another Home-stay Hostess from Ballybrack, Bríd invites a gaggle of beautiful young Spanish girls to come and stay with her while they learn English, but for a price.

Director: Megan Woods
Producer: Amber Miles
Ireland / 2013 / 15 Minutes / Colour

 

Rainbow Chaser

Patrick Campbell Lyons jumped from Co. Waterford straight into the 1960s London psychedelic scene with his band Nirvana. 45 years on, he retraces his steps.

Director: Conor Heffernan
Producer: Conor Heffernan
Ireland / 2013 / 30 Minutes / Colour

Share

Preview of Irish Film at Cork Film Festival: Call Girl

CALL-GIRL-3-LARGE

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

Call Girl

11th November, 21:00

Gate Cinema
Tickets € 9.00
140 Minutes

Hot on the back of multiple awards,Call Girl, the story of underage prostitution the high society of 70’s Stockholm, is coming to the Cork Film Festival. Directed by Mikael Marcimain and co-produced by Lesley McKimm, the Irish-Scandinavian co-production exposes the disturbing truth behind a curtain of glitz and glamour.

McKimm, talked to Film Ireland about having the film screen at Cork, “I’m delighted that Call Girl is on in Cork. I’m very proud of our involvement with the film, and it’s hard with foreign language art house films to really get them out there, they just tend to have very short releases and in the case of Call Girl is was just released in Dublin. So it’s great to have the chance to show it in Cork and bring a wider audience to it”.

The story is based around a shamefully corrupt world of politicians, prostitution, drugs, and stripping discotheques. Iris Dahl (Sofia Karemyr) is a young adolescent girl who is living in a youth house for troubled teens when she is recruited into a sordid underworld with her friend. Dagmar Glans (Pernilla August) is at the heart of the recruitment, buying the girls clothes, giving them money and fuelling them with alcohol and drugs under the rouse of befriending and mothering the girls.

Click for an interview with co-producer, Lesley McKimm.

Click here to book your ticket.

www.corkfilmfest.org

Share

BFI London Film Festival: ‘Salvo’ & ‘My Class’

Matt Micucci continues his report from the BFI London Film Festival with a look at Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s Salvo and Daniele Gaglianone’s My Class.

salvo

Salvo (Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza)

Set in hot Palermo, this is the story of a cold-blooded killer who gets himself into trouble with his own people when he can’t kill off the blind sister of a man who tried to murder him. Conveying the element of the girl’s blindness, the film is quite a sensorial experience that drifts away from the usual cinematic language by putting less emphasis on dialogue and more on creating a compelling atmosphere moved forward by the titular character’s conflict of emotions.

Without disregarding its moments of tension and an intense show down, what seems to start as a violent gangster film becomes a hopelessly tragic love story that is at once harrowing and charming. Saleh Bakri is an excellent choice as Salvo, and delivers a penetrating performance as the man of few words, one that recalls Clint Eastwood in the renowned Sergio Leone Dollars trilogy.

 

my-class

My Class (Daniele Gaglianone)

Gaglianone takes on an issue as difficult, particularly in Italy, as immigration by filming in a real classroom where immigrants learn English but with a fake teacher, one of contemporary Italian cinema’s greatest actors Valerio Mastrandrea. In My Class, the documentary intersects naturally within the artificial narrative structure, and as a result the film ends up becoming a most inventive and powerful exercise in docufiction.

There are many laughs and many tears. One may be inclined to think that Gaglianone actually comes across as a winner only in selfish terms – the message the film carries is far too grand for the artistic vision he has in mind and sometimes he may comes across as slightly exploitational as well as self-apologetic, particularly in a sequence where he fails to help an African man get his work permit renewed. Yet, in knocking boundaries, he is quite successful in making a subject so difficult to understand suddenly universal and showing a helplessness and frustration that goes along with dealing with this particular subject.

My Class is uncomfortable, perhaps even controversial, but the simple fact that it raises such an important issue makes it brave and ambitious.

On a side note, considering the factor of the Italian language classroom, somehow remarkably manages not to restrict its audience in the international film and not much of the appeal of the film’s dialogue is lost in translation.

Share

Preview of Irish Film at Cork Film Festival: Breaking Ground

breaking ground

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

Breaking Ground – The Story of the London Irish Women’s Centre

11th November, 19:00

Gate Cinema
Tickets € 9.00
63 Minutes

The documentary, Breaking Ground – The Story of the London Irish Women’s Centre, will be screened alongside the short Muriel Matters in a double bill event at the 58th Cork Film Festival.

The film surrounds a group of inspirational Irish women living in London who formed the radical organisation in the 80’s. It will be screened along with the short film, Muriel Matters, that documents the influential Australian woman of the title who fought for women’s suffrage in the early 1900’s.

Michelle Deignan, the director of Breaking Ground, spoke to Film Ireland. ‘It’s very significant for Breaking Ground to be screened at Cork International Film Festival, the most established of the film festivals in Ireland. I have always regarded it as an innovative and eclectic festival that is very supportive of Irish film, particularly films that look at alternative subject matter. I am looking forward to seeing the two films in the same context, films that in very different ways look at the representation of women’s political history. It seems a very apt curatorial decision on the part of the festival programmers’.

Deignan’s documentary was made by and all-female crew and tracks the organisation over its 29 year history. The London Irish Women’s Centre was formed when against a backdrop of social and gender divisions and anti-Irish sentiments when Irish women made up 10% of London’s female population. The footage cuts never seen before archive material with interviews with the women that made it all happen.

Click here to book your ticket.

www.corkfilmfest.org

Share

Preview of Irish Film at Cork Film Festival: The Shadows

shadows

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

13th November, 10:30

Gate Cinema
Tickets €6.00
85 Minutes

The Shadows, an Irish feature directed by Colin Downey and produced by Eimear O’Kane, is to be screened at this year’s Cork Film Festival. The film tells the story of a young boy’s journey as he ventures into ‘the World of Shadows’.

Eimear spoke to Film Ireland about what it means for The Shadows to be screened at Cork this year. “It is an honour to screen The Shadows at the Cork Film Festival this year alongside such high calibre films. We hope the audience there responds as warmly to the film as they have at previous festivals”.

The film was shot in Bective and Navan, County Meath, and evokes a longing for adventure and escape seen through the prism of a child’s imagination.

The Shadows follows the adventures of a lonely young boy, Matthew (Lorcan Melia), as he discovers a key to a parallel world of mystery and magic beneath his grandmother’s garden. Matthew meets a Shadowman named Yorrick (Michael Parle) who guards an ancient crown of gold and his Shadow Guardian, Alice (Emma Eliza Regan) and learns of his great destiny to one day rule the legendary Kingdom of Shadows. But in an icy lair far to the north, the wicked witch Geldren (Natalia Kostrzewa) soon hears of the boy and comes to take his crown away.

Click here to book your ticket

www.corkfilmfest.org

Share

Preview of Irish Film at Cork Film Festival: The Lord’s Burning Rain

lords burning rain

The 58th Cork Film Festival (9 – 17 November)

The Lord’s Burning Rain

Sunday, 10th November, 14:00

Cork Opera House
Tickets €6.00
89 Minutes

Adapted from the 2005 short story of the same name, the Irish feature, The Lord’s Burning Rain, will screen at this year’s Cork Film Festival. The film draws on Homer’s Odyssey and is set in the Sheha Mountains of West Cork against a backdrop of Ireland’s war of Independence.

The director, Maurice O’Callaghan, told Film Ireland, “Nineteen years after Maureen O’Hara launched my last international feature film, Broken Harvest, at Cork, I’m delighted to return with my latest feature, The Lord’s Burning Rain. The film is produced by my daughter Maud aged only 21 and written and directed by myself”.

The film tells the story of Donnchadh Diarmuid, a 16-year-old who sets out with his father and uncles to buy a horse. When they leave him to ride the horse home he embarks on a journey where he encounters a seductive tinker woman, a Protestant farmer and some ghostly apparitions, and takes tentative steps to adulthood.

Click here to book your ticket

www.corkfilmfest.org

Share

… Halloween. Arghhhh – Screen Screams. Memories of Horror

Halloween

Alien – Peter White


In space no one can hear you scream. I can say that over and over and it never loses its power. Much like the film itself, Alien‘s tagline is hypnotic, terrifying and utterly memorable. Sitting down to watch this bona fide classic again this week, I struggled to approach it with anything but wide-eyed wonder. I had to remind myself that Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ripley, hasn’t always been around. That in 1979 people sat down to watch this film and fully expected the ship’s captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), with his roguish good looks and manly beard, to save the helpless lady astronauts. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t remove the facehugger from my psyche or the residue of the exploding-chest xenomorph which coated Alien‘s innards all over the face of modern cinema.

Having discarded my attempts at an unbiased reading of Alien, I settled in with the crew of the Nostromo and we screamed our silent screams together. What struck me over and over was how well the visual design of Alien has held up. For a modest budget of $11 million, Ridley Scott and his crew created an environment which remains absolutely believable today. The sets for the interior of the spaceship have a solidity to them which computer effects and green screens fall far short of today. The familiarity of the Nostromo’s design with its recognisable cockpit and mess room amidst airlocks and hibernation stations adds enormously to the film’s believability; fuelling the terror of the whole messy situation.

As impressive as the set design is, the iconic design of the film’s titular enemy remains Alien’s strongest asset. The perfection of the xenomorph’s biology combined with its demonic appearance makes it one of cinema’s greatest creations. Watching the ship’s crew initially chase the creature with a net is, from our vantage point thirty years later, sadistically hilarious. How quickly they run out of ideas and go from hunter to hunted, being outsmarted at every turn, is terrifying and testament to the dazzling design of the alien.

While the alien does indeed look like a man in a suit when we see it briefly in its entirety, I would still take this over the more recent swimming, computer-animated incarnations. The animatronic close-ups of the alien have lost none of their impact. Similarly, the face-hugger remains skin-crawlingly effective. Watching it tighten it’s grip when the crew attempt to remove it from John Hurt’s face before it bleeds acid through the floor is as much nightmare territory now as it would have been thirty years ago.

To appreciate Alien is to appreciate cinema. While it is an excellent story in its own right, it is the design of Alien which makes it so memorable. It has lost none of its aesthetic pleasure and still looks more realistic than most special effects oriented films today. For a sci-fi film to retain its impact after so many years places Alien within a very exclusive echelon of cinema. Treat yourself this Hallowe’en to a face-hugging film you won’t soon forget.

 

Carrie – Sarah Griffin


It’s one of those films that everyone thinks that they know – so embedded in our collective consciousness that even those who have never seen it feel as though they have. Carrie emerged from a hive of creativity and innovation in 1970s Hollywood, where directors were defying boundaries and making waves in every genre, blowing apart preconceptions of what a movie should be. No other horror movie is so lovingly rendered and artfully shot, and very few shlockers manage to cross the barrier and impress the Academy with its skills. Echoes of Carrie still ripple through horror movies today, as the formula of sympathetic terror is often copied but never equalled in its nuances – and there is no greater compliment to the prescient status of its iconography that it has remained a benchmark for the psychological horror.

What terrifies and enthrals about Carrie is the slow pace – the loving introduction of its main character, and her terrible life. The persistent bullying and aggression, followed by her mother’s religious freak-outs, are all underscored by Sissy Spacek’s soft-voiced, sad and lonely Carrie. She is a fully rounded psychologically realistic character – a rarity as a horror film antagonist – and within moments, our sympathies are fully with her. In fact, our compassion is so closely contained in Spacek’s unprepossessing portrayal of this little girl that as the climax excruciatingly builds, we almost wish the apocalypse upon these townsfolk. When that iconic pigs blood begins to pour, we yearn for the flames and carnage – vicariously cheering on Carrie’s revenge, then breaking down alongside her in terror and fear at her (and our) horrifying actions.

Perhaps my viewing of Carrie is coloured by being a girl, and having seen the movie post-puberty…when her craziness seems just that little bit more understandable. There is a nagging feeling throughout that, though her emotions are exaggerated and accompanied by telekinetic power, there was a touch of kinship in this movie relationship. And perhaps even a moment of vindication and relief…the vicarious living out of puberty fantasy, where the boiling emotions inside could result in flipping over a car or burning down the school!

Again though, the film’s director Brian De Palma – in a career kick-starter – defies our cheering dualism. Carrie is still lost and terrified, and after her cathartic high-school revenge, returns to her state of confusion and horror. She is no devil, despite her mother’s fanaticism, and wants only to be loved. Her tragic avowal of this is her inability to continue living with what she has done – the revenge now seemed outside of herself, and beyond her control. When she returns home to her mother, seeking reassurances and some semblance of love, she is greeted with the biggest betrayal of all…and her emotional collapse at this final insanity is so painful to watch that it bleeds onscreen. But at its centre, under the complex psychologies and emotional rendering, Carrie is still a horror movie – and its beating heart is terror. Carrie might be sympathetic, she might be understandable…but she is still a supernatural murderer, who wreaks a terrifying revenge. The prom-night massacre is no simple matter – she methodically locks the doors, and picks off her victims one by one as her eyes flash and the music soars. Spacek, covered in pig’s blood, stands compressed on the platform, electricity surging through her movements and fists clenched in concentration, slowly and gruesomely murdering her foes. And the final terror is yet to come – generations of movie-goers have still to discover that unbelievably horrific final jump. How I envy anybody who has never seen Carrie, who has yet to experience that moment of release as you think it’s all over, before it delivers its final, terrifying, screaming, wake-you-up-sweating-in-the-middle-of-the-night punchline. If you’ve got a taste for terror, take Carrie to the prom!

 

Drag Me to Hell – Geoff McEvoy



I love the logo for Ghost House Pictures, one of the production companies behind Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell: A skull jauntily bounces out of the screen with the company name written in ‘spooky’ letters. It’s great. Its retro style reminds me of the yellowed horror novels you see gathering dust in second-hand bookshops. But it also serves as a sort of mission statement, it promises a movie that will provide old school scares with a few knowing winks to the audience.

Of course this all came with hindsight. At the time I didn’t really settle in to the movie until about half an hour in. By that stage we’d already had some enjoyable, mild gross-out comedy when the elderly Mrs Ganush arrives at the sweet-natured Christine’s bank. Then there was an uproarious fight scene followed by a gypsy curse. Brilliant. But it was when the curse took effect and Christine’s home was attacked by a shadowy something that I realised I was in the hands of a master. I had laughed when he wanted me to laugh and now I was jumping when he wanted me to jump. It sounds simple I know and yet so many get that balance wrong. Sam Raimi gets it exactly right; the laughs enhance the scares without ever undermining them. After that I settled down and let the film carry me along safe in the knowledge that it wouldn’t disappoint.

It didn’t. It never misses a trick, the jokes are funny, the scares are scary and for two glorious hours Sam Raimi wrested control of the horror genre from crass remakers and torture pornographers and reminded us how it should be done. Oh, and it features the best use of a goat in motion picture history.

 

The Exorcist – Ciara O’Brien


Horror is not a genre of subtleties, it reflects the world it is created in, and it pulls no punches and whimpers no niceties about the era. Horror not only shocks its audience with what is on screen, but also with revelations about the world outside the doors of the cinema; it ain’t pretty, but somehow we always go back for more. Human suffering was the cinematic flavour of the day in the 1970s, with scandals piling upon scandals, no one was to be trusted. The Exorcist explores the subject in a manner that no film before or since has attained.

The Exorcist marked a turning point in cinema in many ways. After its 1973 release horror was no longer wholly associated with exciting Vincent Price chillers, but could now be a vicious assault on the audience. Many have taken the idea of audience and gotten carried away but few have succeeded in replicating the atmosphere of The Exorcist, which abuses its audience and yet leaves them wanting more. The film is a possession in and of itself as it both shows suffering onscreen and causes suffering amongst its audience, it remains one of few films which have caused fainting and hysterics in its audience, and one of even fewer to be so sought after that bus trips were arranged to see it during its UK ban. So what made The Exorcist so special? And why should we care now?

The Exorcist was the beginning of atmospheric horror, which remains the most profoundly affecting form of the genre. The set was cooled to below freezing in Reagan’s bedroom and whether we watch it in the depths of winter or the middle of summer, there’s a moment in which we believe that we have seen fog on our own breath.

The Exorcist can also be seen as the origin of character-driven horror. Until that moment it was rare to truly love the characters in a horror movie, but here we had an ensemble cast who captured the heart of an audience, and for me, that is the true genius of director William Friedkin and writer William Peter Blatty. The Exorcist marked the beginning of the end for pre-pubescent children in horror, it seems that one fear has transcended eras. There is nothing more frightening than a little girl, particularly if she’s not quite a little girl anymore. Since its release it’s impossible for an audience not to feel some level of suspicion as soon as little Timmy appears on screen, something that recent release Paranormal Activity 2 has utilised fully in advertising. So Reagan is verbally and physically aggressive throughout her possession, and we see very little of her prior to the possession, and yet somehow we love her, we feel her mother’s growing frustration, and we want her to be healed.

The reason for this is simple. As visually violent as The Exorcist is, it has remained on the right side of a very thin line. There is more character than pea soup, and everything stays just below that visual wasteland of ‘too much’. The ‘spider-walk’ sequence is an impressive, now over-used one, and Friedkin’s removal of the scene is necessary to retain some level of ambiguity. Whilst it is suggested that Reagan’s possession is real, it’s also suggested that it’s the result of mental illness, we will never really know, and the psychological impact of not knowing is what creates true terror and cements The Exorcist as the genre’s first bona-fide mainstream classic.

With this Halloween seeing the most violent audience assault we have seen in the shape of Saw 3D, it’s easy to lose sight of the origins and purpose of modern horror cinema. Each time The Exorcist is popped into a DVD player something special happens. When we lose sight of that little silver disc, we enter a world where the special effects of a long-lost era are still affecting, the characters remain dazzling. The first horror film to be nominated for an Academy Award®, The Exorcist is the horror genre’s greatest cinematic triumph.

 

The Fly – William O’Keefe


There is many a hardy soul immune to the gore and frights of horror; the classics may have become muted over time, through re-watching or over exposure, and contemporary horror can be as frightening as an Andrex puppy through predictability and reliance on gore. Away from the movie screen however and offer that same person a piece of chicken, left atop a kitchen counter and let them see for a moment that a fly has had a moment to perch on the chicken meat and do its worst – even in pangs of humour, the meat will be avoided. While there may be scientific fact and documented medical cases, there is the much more impactful warnings of our mothers of flies landing on food intent on planting eggs to gestate. This is not a pleasing prospect – food, riddled with the spawn of a matted black, winged buzzing insect with compound eyes. So, even with all the detachment you can afford yourself in watching a horror movie and assurances this could never happen, the events of The Fly; the literal erosion of Jeff Goldblum’s human body, and transformation and mutation to one that seems comprised of oozy, navy cream filling when splatted on a window will strike a pre-natural fear in you.

The Fly is uneasy to watch, though of course entirely watchable – it is a visceral story which hardly steps outside the doors of our ill-fated scientists lab and as with most stories there is a girl at its heart. Film, and in particular horror, is full of morphed characters, awakened to instinctive, primal urges, becoming heightened versions of their former selves and most often maniacally violent. Everyone from Harvey Dent to Tweety Bird has had some evil unleashed from within, but this has always been tempered by the effort of their good intentions to win through. There is no finer example of this conflict than Jeff Goldblum and the work he does in The Fly – no amount of gore and dismemberment by toxic vomit can take from the compassion for our hero as he struggles with the way his body and mind changes and the desire he has to right things. His initial self is arrogant but determined, not a clean living character to corrupt but nonetheless the tension that follows puts us on a journey with him. For all the cliché that may smack off, we do want to support his search for a solution no matter how desperate the predicament becomes and unlikely a positive outcome will be. Even in the final moments he looks for solutions and to construct a family. His final resignation is all the more wrenching. Whatever science fiction or horror genre you might assign to The Fly it is most certainly a tragic tale.

The look of the transformation is key; it is convincing and it is vivid. The slow but steady change is unnerving, expanding from odd hair growth to a complete grotesque molting at the finale. (Should the rumoured re-make go into production, it is doomed if it considers CGI – only man-made, caked-on layers of crusty make up that needs peeling off will create the right effect). All the while love interest Geena Davis stays as loyal as possible, her own sense of dread growing, she gets to offer the ultimate of warnings and a now classic movie tag line ‘Be Afraid… Be Very Afraid’. The Fly is considered one of the finest movies of the ’80s and it is a very worthy entry for your DVD collection. It is a simple construct but over achieves in its noble aims, telling a good horror story with plenty of images to make you shudder.

 

HalloweenGemma Creagh

 

One of the original slasher movies; my mum wouldn’t let me watch Halloween when I was a ‘tween. She claimed (and rightly so) that it would give me nightmares. In retaliation, myself and my merry young amigos arranged an evening of horror at one of the less clued-in parental homes, where we had a triple bill of Jason, Chucky and Freddie himself. A few bowls of popcorn, two multipacks of sweets and a whole host of nervous squealing later, my devious band and I had one of the fearful and restless sleepovers in history.

Although not quite as frightened during my latest viewing, as I had been in that golden era of the mid-nineties, I was taken aback at how, after over three decades, the classic film’s tension and story still remain strong. Halloween was the ultimate low-budget independent horror, with meagre funding of $320,000. However, not only did it manage to gross over $60,000,000 but it spawned one of the most well-known and profitable franchises in horror movie history. The Halloween universe now spans a total of 10 films as well as a number of books, graphic novels and a range of stylish masks – the original of which, Jason’s mask, is actually an old William Shatner death mask from a Star Trek episode, only painted white.

By taking time to get to know the likable characters and their small cosy world of Haddonfield, Illinois, and then introducing an almost supernatural element of threat and terror; Halloween challenges the ideas of home and safety. In fact, Michael Myers is such a great evil figure because although we know his back-story, we essentially see so little of him that we can create the monster in our own imagination; a much scarier world than that any Hollywood prosthetics of CGI could ever create.

Apart from the odd slices of ham, there are some truly talented actors in the cast; the highlights being Donald Pleasence as the hapless Dr. Loom; and a young and talented Jamie Lee Curtis playing the prim and proper Laurie Strode. (Spoiler) It’s Laurie’s strong will and lack of interest in the less-fair sex that ultimately sees her survival.

Meanwhile her more promiscuous classmates get hacked to pieces mid-to-post coitus as a severe punishment to their loose morals.

Here’s an interesting side note courtesy of IMDB; the adult Michael Myers was portrayed by Nick Castle in almost every scene, except for a number pick-up shots and the unmasking scene, where he was replaced by Tony Moran. Castle was an old friend of John Carpenter and went on to be a successful director himself, now with the children’s movie Dennis the Menace under his belt – a far cry from his previous position, stalking and murdering young teens.

One of the best, and also the most frustrating aspect of this slasher classic, is its lack of reveal. This is instrumental in creating the tone, both with the gore as well as in constructing the mystery of Jason’s character. John Carpenter does a superbly subtle job of building the tension excruciatingly slowly so the viewer is both rooting for the spunky teens but also dying for some gory action. Then the murderous rampage is delivered in a swift and clean blow, so by the time the credits roll, you’re left abruptly with an odd sense of unease as the iconic music plays in the background – it’s hard to imagine that Williams composed and recorded that eerie soundtrack himself within four days. Legend.

 

The Omen – Peter Larkin


The Omen is a part of a group of films that symbolise a child being associated with devil. Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973) also feature this theme. It is written by David Seltzer who famously said, ‘I did it strictly for the money.’ Jerry Goldsmith’s epic film score won the much deserved Oscar® in 1976. The film was released in the U.K. on 6th June 1976; it stars Gregory Peck as Dr. Robert Thorne, his wife Katherine is played by Lee Remick. In Rome, on 6th June, Robert Thorne is told that his newly born has died, he decides to substitute it with an orphan and protect his wife by never telling her the truth.

Soon after, Thorne is elected as the US Ambassador to Britain, He moves to Fulham to live happily with his wife and the child whom they name Damien. On Damien’s fifth birthday, the nanny commits suicide on the top floor looking out at all the guests. A new nanny Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw) replaces her shortly afterwards. Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton) knows of Damien’s origins and warns Dr. Thorne and also tells him that Katherine is pregnant and Damien plans to kill the unborn child. Photographer Keith Jennings (David Warner) has been investigating the Thorns ever since the Nanny’s suicide.

The thing that makes the original 1976 Omen so memorable is that it is so believable. What would you do if you were told that your child was the literal antichrist? Ignore it as Peck’s character does?

First-time actor Harvey Stephens plays Damien with a sense of subtle ambiguity. Gregory Peck and Lee Remick give brilliantly realistic performances. Billie Whitelaw is unforgettable as the mysterious Mrs. Baylock. There is good support from David Warner and Patrick Troughton.

Every time that I hear the track from Jerry Goldsmith’s score on my iPod as the Thorns approach the church, I can feel the roots of my hair being pulling at, just as the late great Lee Remick’s hair was by the little devilish Harvey Stephens.

It is a film about our fears. Richard Donner’s dazzling direction not only illustrates the material, but also orchestrates it to a high intensity. Gilbert Taylor’s cinematography makes England a bleak and eerie place. Stuart Baird’s editing is sharp and coherent.

The Omen is a masterpiece of horror cinema. Every time I watch it I marvel at how seriously it takes itself. You will never forget that last shot. It is one to truly remember.

Psycho – Steven Galvin


‘No! I will not hide in the fruit cellar! Ha! You think I’m fruity, huh?’

‘Mother-m-mother, uh… what is the phrase? She isn’t quite herself today.’

Ah yes…  My youth. Coming out of Rocky and wanting to be World Heavyweight Champion. Rushing home from Karate Kid to aim high kicks at my younger sister, and, of course, after seeing Psycho, hanging around outside showers brandishing a knife dressed in Mother’s clothes. Such memories…

Alfred Hitchcock is undoubtedly one of the oddest characters ever to have had their wicked way with film. He totally understood how it worked upon the audience and ceaselessly re-invented genres with his perverse mangling of storytelling and in doing so shaped so much of what is modern cinema.

If cinema is the best medium for suspense, then Hitchcock directing Psycho stands tall as one of the finest manipulating inducers of celluloid tension. He is the master magician, using sleight-of-hand, pulling rabbits out of his hat, employing techniques that mischievously implicate the spectator in the evil at the heart of the film. Who hasn’t unwittingly found themselves holding their breathe when Norman pushes the car with Marion’s punctured body into the swamp and, for that brief moment, it seems the car won’t sink. ‘Sink… sink… please sink’, you find yourself willing. Indeed, Hitchcock ensures that for the most part the viewer is essentially seeing through Norman’s eyes.

From Saul Bellow’s introductory screen credits that dementedly cut apart the screen backed to the manic paranoid-fuelled music kicking off Bernard Herrmann’s wonderful score, so essential to the mood of the film, through to the last shot of Norman Bates’ face with a still frame of Mother’s skull superimposed over it, Psycho is a feast of demented thrills and intense bursts of psycho-illogical eruptions. Hitchcock took Anthony Perkins’ timid monster, took the Norman out of normal and shacked him up in that eerie house with the skeletoned corpse of his own mother. What can possibly go wrong?

Anytime I see a house that reminds me in any way of Bates’, I always check the upstairs window for ‘Mother’ and can always hear her calling Norman’s name in her twisted voice and goading him: ‘As if men don’t desire strangers! As if… ohh, I refuse to speak of disgusting things, because they disgust me! You understand, boy? Go on, go tell her she’ll not be appeasing her ugly appetite with my food… or my son! Or do I have to tell her because you don’t have the guts! Huh, boy? You have the guts, boy?’

God knows what Hitchcock’s own Irish mother would have made of it all…

I once drunkenly argued that Psycho was the reason people replaced shower curtains with those horrible glass doors on their showers. People laughed at me but deep down I reckon I’m right – and they should consider themselves lucky they don’t have shower curtains; otherwise I’d be there, in Mother’s clothes, with my knife – cue shrieking violins and stabbing cellos.

Thank you Mr Hitchcock…

Rosemary’s BabyLiam Brennan

Over the past five years I have rented four different apartments and every time I attended a showing I always started out by asking the same question: What are the other tenants like? Are they quiet, easygoing neighbourly types who will nod their heads as you pass them in the hallway or step into a crowded elevator? Or are they rambunctious sex-fiends whose padded leather headboards will bark at you through the walls all night long? In my case, it was inevitably the latter and the same thought popped into my head by the end of the first week in a new pad: I wonder if they’re part of a satanic cult?

I have but one man to thank for these thoughts and his name is Roman Polanski. I recall the night I first watched his 1968 horror classic, Rosemary’s Baby. It was a warm summer night in Winnipeg, Canada and, being a homely teenage shut-in, I’d taken to renting heaps of old Hitchcock thrillers each week until the manager of the video store so kindly asked me to ‘watch something other than that old shit already’.

I asked him what he’d recommend, what would really scare the shit out of me? He started rooting around in the returns bin, which was nothing more than a cardboard box sitting underneath a broken window at the corner of the store, and returned with a video he assured me would be the scariest thing I’d ever seen.
He was right.

Hell, even the cover of the box scared me; that ominous green glow across Mia Farrow’s blank profile, that tiny black pram which seemed to be staring back at me saying, ‘You really don’t wanna see what I’ve got in here’. And for a moment I didn’t, but curiosity gets the best of you and, well, I’ve hated the process of renting apartments ever since.

The film itself is so perfectly executed that it’s hard to say where its blood-dimmed dreamscape begins and Rosemary’s reality ends. But that’s what makes it the quintessential horror film; Polanski knows that, as with any good scary story, the screams are only as horrifying as they are true. In this case, the viewer never really knows what’s to be believed and what isn’t. There is no line on the horizon that marks the waypoint between belief and, gasp, what lies beyond belief.

 

Salem’s Lot Charlene Lydon

It may seem rather an odd addition to this list of such great horror films, a three-hour-long TV adaptation of a Stephen King story, but this is definitely a film that deserves a second look. I read King’s novel when I was way too young to be exposed to such horror and it started a lifelong love affair between me and King’s books. I first saw the movie as a child, rented by my older sister from the video shop and I remember it being the scariest thing had seen in my life, up until that point. I revisited the film recently and despite the fact that it has aged terribly in parts, including the odd freeze-frame here and there and the dodgy floating demon children, the film still terrified me and the other members of the audience. Because it was originally a TV movie, there is surprisingly little blood in the film. This is something I realised after the fact and had trouble believing how little onscreen violence there actually was, especially considering Tobe Hooper was at the helm.

Salem’s Lot is a story about a journalist, Ben (David Soul) who returns to his home town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine to write about the Marsten House, a place that had frightened him as a child and has haunted him since. He has arrived at the same time as the mysterious antiques dealer Mr. Straker (James Mason) and his as yet unseen partner Mr. Barlow, who have rented the Marsten House.

The film is part haunted house horror, part vampire thriller, part indictment of the passive masses. King has been known for his tendency to favour small-town Americana. Perhaps this is because his good-evil dichotomy has always had an observer; the passive townsfolk who get picked off one by one. Salem’s Lot is a fine example of this.

The standout aspect of Salem’s Lot is the fact that it features a truly terrifying vampire, a rarity in cinema these days. Mr. Barlow is not sexy, he is not a tortured soul and he is not tragic…he’s evil, he’s ugly and he’s scary! I can’t remember the last time I saw a depiction of a vampire that was truly a bloodsucking demon and nothing more. The introduction of Barlow after almost two hours of anticipation is brilliant, one of the greatest scares in all of horror cinema.

The very long running time of the film may seem excessive but the character exposition and the slow burning tension ensures that it rarely drags. Some of the characters stories may seem superfluous but it all acts as a gateway into the lives of the town’s inhabitants and how far they all are from the world of vampires and demons.

Salem’s Lot is a genuinely tense and scary film; a good, old-fashioned horror film and a film example of what can be done without overuse of blood and gore. Flawed and at times a little cheesy, this is still a truly terrifying film which has been unfairly overlooked for a long time. Maybe it’s time to give ol’ Mr. Barlow another look. You might just find it’s the perfect film for a dark, spooky, Halloween night.

 

The Shining – Scott Townsend

For any misguided soul who views the horror genre as inferior, The Shining is probably the definitive response. Stephen King’s lengthy novel provides a cheap pulpy premise: a writer takes a job as a caretaker in an abandoned hotel for the winter with his family. The hotel, however, has a dark past, and begins to cloud his mind. King’s book took this premise and filled it with literal monsters and the supernatural. Kubrick, meanwhile, threw out the hokier parts of the book (living hedge-monsters anyone?) and instead focused on the family and psychological elements. Famously, King wasn’t impressed, calling Kubrick a man ‘who thinks too much and feels too little’. It’s this rejection of horror-movie grammar, however, that makes the film great. Almost every scene takes place in either a brightly lit area or in daylight. There are no shadows for anything to hide in, no darkness. In Kubrick’s world, evil is perfectly visible, staring you straight in the face. There is no direct antagonist, with the only villain being the hotel itself and the madness it brings out it in the characters. Kubrick’s mastery of atmosphere, compostion and editing brings out a chilling quality in the most ordinary things – a ball being bounced against a wall, a child’s tricycle. Case in point – the scariest image isn’t the tidal wave of blood, or the hag in the bathtub, but simply two twin girls standing in a hallway with dodgy wallpaper.

Despite lukewarm critical reaction at the time, and King’s dismissal of it, The Shining endures as one of the greats. It remains terrifying despite one of the finest ever Simpsons spoofs (‘That’s odd. Usually the blood gets off at the second floor’). Even on television, its chilling composition and electrifying sound design can haunt your dreams. The final shot raises a fascinating, head-scratching mystery that haunts you the more you think about it. And those twins are unspeakably creepy.

 

The Thing – Jack McGlynn

I was fully grown when first I saw The Thing. Darkness was no longer scary, night-time bumps were easily identified, and blood and guts in films was yearned for, not feared. A veritable Big Brave Dog, if you will.

And still it scared the piss out of me.

Long had I been searching for a horror that could evoke genuine fear, not cheap jumps or scares. I had tried and tested all the great horror classics, finding them wanting. Then one cold dark night, a friend suggested John Carpenter’s underrated masterpiece, so we flicked off the lights and settled in for two hours of isolation, tension and grotesquery.

I realised this was a particularly distressing feature as I was laughing inside of ten minutes. Each of us responds to fear and tension in different ways. The Thing was so distressing, I laughed hysterically. And it wasn’t simply the ingenious creature effects which caused it (though I’d be lying if I said they didn’t help).
It’s actually The Thing’s subtler themes which haunt us so much: An isolated station, no help coming, an unknown threat, friends turning on friends. Mundane yet effective. In fact, the only aspect not immediately relatable in this horror is the titular creature.

There are no plucky virgins, no chauvinist jocks who could probably benefit from a good stabbing, no would-be heroes offering a glimmer of hope before some wrestler wearing a hockey mask rends him in two with a gigantic butter knife. Every single character is average, relatable, and ordinary.

The real terror here comes not from the prospect of being absorbed by the gross alien baddie, as that’s a relatively unlikely scenario for any of us to encounter. Instead the idea of best buddies turning on each other, becoming each other’s nemesis due to the fear and isolation, that’s what’s really affecting.

Death may come to us all, but it only comes the once. Fear on the other hand, has no such limits, and can take generally decent, civic minded folk, and turn them petty, selfish and unpredictable. What’s so scary about The Thing is that by the time the credits roll on this depressing film, you’ll be a lot less confident in how good and decent a person you really are.



Share

Interview: Tom Ryan, director of ‘Trampoline’

trampoline

 

Trampoline, the independent Irish feature about a woman returning home and having to readjust to the life she left behind, had its world premiere at the Indie Cork film festival last week. Glenn Caldecott bounced some ideas around with first-time writer/director Tom Ryan about the film and the challenges of independence. 

 

What inspired you to make Trampoline?

Trampoline was born out of a lifelong desire to be a writer/ director. After finishing college I worked within the film industry as a camera assistant for three years which was a huge learning curve for me. Working on shoots with the camera department meant I was always privy to watching how different directors interact with actors. Late last year I eventually felt confident enough to write a feature script and put it into production. I wrote the script around my production limitations. For example, I knew that it would more cost effective to shoot it in my hometown of Nenagh than it would a big city like Dublin, Cork or Galway. I was drawn to the idea of people my age who feel lost and directionless after finishing college. I have many friends in that position so that was the basis of the script. I really didn’t think that there were any Irish movies that dealt with this kind of idea so that was another reason for me to want to make it.

 

What considerations are there when making an independent film?

Making an independent film is a tough but extremely rewarding process. The only problem is that you don’t get any of the rewards until you have the entire project completed. Being an independent movie means that you have no safety net, no major financial support and absolutely no promise that it will ever be screened. All of this can be quite daunting but it is also an incredible learning experience. You also have to choose your cast and crew carefully, it’s an intense process and you need people that you can count on and who you trust. I was incredibly lucky with my cast and crew. Filmmaking is a collaboration and in order to get through the stress and torture that can sometimes arise from shooting you need a team of people who are all incredibly willing to support each other.

 

Can you talk about how the film was financed? What was the motivation behind getting local Nenagh businesses to sponsor the film?

We were unable to get any official funding of any kind so we decided to ask the local businesses in the town of Nenagh if they would help sponsor the film. In exchange for a donation they would get a mention in the credits and a shot of their shop-front in the movie. It was product placement of sorts but it worked. One of the major advantages of shooting your first film in your hometown is that there is amazing goodwill and support from everybody there so we were extremely fortunate that the local businesses were so kind to us, otherwise we really wouldn’t be where we are today with the movie.

 

How did you work with the DOP to get such a great looking film on a budget? 

My DOP, Cian Moynan, is one of those rare talents in the business. He has such a good eye for visuals and he is very confident when it comes to setting up shots. I found early on in the shoot that the best way to get natural performances from the actors would be to let them have free reign of the room during the scene. This way they would not have to worry about hitting marks or delivering lines certain ways as they turn to hit specific lights on set and things like that, so as a result of this Cian had to throw his shotlist out the window and improv his shots around the actors. That might sound a bit crazy but Cian was more than capable of stepping up to that challenge and he did a fantastic job. It is very important for the director to have a cinematographer that he/she can trust implicitely. We didn’t have the budget for any monitors or equipment like that so I put a lot of trust in Cian to get the right shots and he went above and beyond the call of duty for us.

 

What was the most valuable thing that you learnt while working as a camera assistant that you could apply to making Trampoline?

I have worked on good shoots and bad shoots throughout my years as a camera assistant and the difference between and enjoyable experience and a horrible one is all down to the way the set is run and whether or not there is a mutual respect there for everybody involved. It doesn’t matter if you are the director or the camera assistant, there should be no real hierarchy. Everybody is their to do their job and make sure that things run smoothly so that you can all get the best results for the finished film. Filmmaking is a team effort and every member of that team is essential, that was one of the most important things I learned while working as a camera assist.

 

The film  played last week at the IndieCork Film Festival, what’s the plan for it going forward?

Going forward we are hoping that Trampoline will have a healthy and successful festival life. We are thrilled to bits with the wonderful reactions that it has been getting so far. We would ideally love for it to get picked up by a distributor. We strongly believe that there is an audience for this kind of film in Ireland and we’re eager to get it out to more people. We are being screened as part of the Clones Film Festival on Sunday, 27th October, which is going to be a great experience. We are also in the early stages of development with our second feature so fingers crossed I’ll get all the team back and we can get cracking on the next one soon!

 

Share

Cinema Review: Looking for Hortense

looking-for-hortense

 

DIR: Pascal Bonitzer • WRI: Agathe de Sacy, Pascal Bonitzer • PRO: Ben Said • DOP: Romain Winding • ED: Elise Fievet  • CAST: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Kristen Scott Thomas, Claude Rich, Isabelle Carre

Pascal Bonitzer’s new Parisian romantic drama stars Jean-Pierre Bacri and Kristin Scott Thomas as a dysfunctional middle-aged couple. A film that features some fantastic performances, convincing dialogue, absorbing sound and some beautiful visuals is let down in one crucial area, the story. For all its style, Looking for Hortense ends up having very little to say.

Damien Hauer (Jean-Pierre Bacri) is a mid-life-crisis-bound intellectual whose strained relationship with the chain smoking Iva (Kristen Scott Thomas) is being drawn out for the sake of their 12-year-old son. When Zorica, an illegal alien and friend of Iva’s, is threatened with deportation Damien promises to ask his estranged father (Claude Rich), a state councillor, to intervene.

Damien spends the first half of the film trying to track down his busy father for a 5-minute conversation. It is as riveting as it sounds. If your friend told you, over a café au lait, that all of this happened to him you would nod along and think it vaguely interesting. However, if he then said he was going to make a film from this story you would wonder why anyone else would care. No doubt some will applaud the anti-Hollywood slow pace of Looking for Hortense, but while it is certainly not “Hollywood”, there is not much payoff for the humdrum story.

There seems to have been an attempt to forgo depth in pursuit of naturalism and, to its credit, in this it succeeds. Strong performances create a convincing portrayal of a dysfunctional family, and the protagonist’s predicament, while uninteresting, is entirely believable.

The cinematography by Romain Winding makes Paris look truly beautiful, which might get you thinking about your next weekend break as the story meanders slowly to its underwhelming conclusion. The music from Alexei Aigui is fantastic, giving those who can overlook the lack of substance enough style to chew on.

Pascal Bonitzer made his mark as a screenwriter for the likes of André Téchiné and Jacques Rivette, but his latest directorial venture offers nothing new and feels disappointingly light.

Glenn Caldecott

Rated 12A,

100 mins
Looking for Hortense is released on 9th August 2013

Share

25th Galway Film Fleadh Awards – All the Winners

m-run_and_jump

Run & Jump, which won the Best Irish Feature Award at Galway

Feature Awards:

The Best Irish Feature Award:
Winner: Run & Jump
Director : Steph Green
Producer : Tamara Anghie and Martina Niland

Second place: Life’s A Breeze
Director: Lance Daly
Producer: Macdara Kelleher

Best International Feature:
Winner: Discoverdale
Director: George Kane
Producer: James Dean and Chris Carey

Second Place: Ernest et Celestine
Director: Benjamin Renner, Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar
Producer: Didier Brumner and Stephan Roelants

The Best First Irish Feature in Association with Crowe Horwath:
Winner: Run & Jump
Director: Steph Green
Producer :Tamara Anghie and Martina Niland

Second Place: Out of Here
Director: Donal Foreman
Producer: Emmet Fleming

The Best International First Feature:
Winner: Boy Eating The Birds Food
Directed: Ektoras Lygizos

Second Place: Closed Season
Director: Franziska Schlotterer

Documentary Awards:

Best Irish Feature Documentary:
Winner: Coming Home
Director: Vico Nikci
Producer: David Collins

Second Place: Close To Evil
Director: Gerry Gregg
Producer: Gerry Gregg

Best International Feature Documentary:
Winner: Plot for Peace
Director: Carlos Agullo’ and Mandy Jacobson
Producer: Mandy Jacobson

Second Place: The Search for Emak Bakia
Director: Oskar Alegria
Producer: Oskar Alegria

The Best Human Rights Documentary in Association with Amnesty International:
Winner: Coming Home
Directed: Vicki Nikci
Producer: Viko Nikci & David Collins

Short Film Awards:

The Tiernan MacBride Award for Best Short Drama in Association with Network Ireland Television:
Winner: Mechanic
Director: Tom Sullivan and Feidhlim Cannon
Producer: Tom Sullivan, Suin O’Connor and Derek O’Connor

Special Mention: Rubai
Director: Louise Ni Fhiannachta
Producer: Gemma O’Shaughnessy

The Best First Short Drama in Association with Mazars
Winner: Rubai
Director: Louise Ni Fhiannachta
Producer: Gemma O’ Shaughnessy

Special Mention: Unfold
Director: Steven Daly
Producer: Oisin O’Driscoll

The Best Short Documentary Award in Association with Teach Solas:
Winner: The End of The Counter
Director: Laura McCann
Producer: Aisling Ahmed

Special Mention: Town
Director: Orla Murphy
Producer: Orla Murphy, Orla McHardy

The Donal Gilligan Award for Best Cinematography in a Short Film:
Winner: D.O.P. James Mather for The Girl

Animation Awards:

The James Horgan Award for Best Animation in Association with Telegael:
Winner: The Missing Scarf
Director: Eoin Duffy
Producer: Jamie Hogan

Special Mention: Coda
Director: Alan Holly
Producer: Ciaran Deeney

Best First Animation Award in Association with Cartoon Saloon:
Winner: That’s Not Supposed to Happen
Director: Rory Kerr
Producer: IADT

Special Mention: The Ledge End of Phil (from accounting)
Director: Paul O Muiris
Producer: Pearse Cullinane

Don Quijote Prize in the Animation Short Film Category:
Winner: Coda
Directro: Alan Holly
Producer: Ciaran Deeney

Special Mention: Two Wheels Good
Director: Barry Gene Murphy
Producer: John Kelleher

Special Awards:

Galway Hooker Awards:
Saoirse Ronan
James Morris
Miriam Allen

The Bingham Ray New Talent Award in association with Magnolia Pictures:
Winner: Kelly Thornton for her portrayal of Emma in Life’s a Breeze.

30 Minute Film Festival in association with Galway Film Centre and Solid Media:
Audience Award: The Bank Holiday (Rory Walsh)
Judge’s Award: The Canon (Robert Gaynor)

The Galway Film Fleadh Pitching Award:
Winner: Jacinta Owens for her project, C-Me 2020.

Share

‘Run & Jump’, ‘Coming Home’ and Saoirse Ronan triumph at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh Awards

awards_1

The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

After a week of Irish and international premieres, short films, documentaries, workshops and panels, the 25th Galway Film Fleadh came to a close with the annual awards ceremony. Taking place on Sunday 14th July before the closing film, The Sea, the awards were attended by international film stars Saoirse Ronan, Zachary Quinto, Fionnuala Flanagan and Will Forte, as well as the President of Ireland, Michael.D.Higgins.

Steph Green’s Run & Jump scooped the awards for Best Irish Feature and the Crowe Horwath Award for Best First Irish Feature. Steph Green’s feature debut after her short New Boy received an Oscar nomination, Run & Jump is an unconventional love story set in rural Ireland and stars Maxine Peake and Will Forte.

Other winners included Dead Cat Bounce’s comedy mockumentary, Discoverdale, which picked up Best International Feature. Viko Nikci’s documentary, Coming Home, which follows Angel Cordero, a man who has served 13 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, won both the Best Irish Feature Documentary Award and the Amnesty International Award for Best Human Rights Documentary.

President Higgins presented the special Galway Hooker Awards, which this year went to Miriam Allen, managing director and co-founder of the festival, James Morris, former chair of the Irish Film Board, and Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.

Click here for a list of all the winners at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh Awards.

Share

Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh preview: The Sea

the_sea

The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

The Sea

Sunday, 14th July

Town Hall Theatre

20.00

The Sea, directed by Stephen Brown and based on the Booker prize-winning novel by John Banville, will close out the 25th Galway Film Fleadh this Sunday. Produced by Dublin-based Samson Films, Ciarán Hinds leads an impressive cast as a widower returning to the seaside resort where he spent summers as a child. The setting for the novel, Wexford, was the location for much of the principle photography.

It is director Stephen Brown’s first feature, and he has been working in TV since he made his last short, the successful The Curious, 18 years ago. Stephen spoke to Film Ireland saying that he was “honoured that The Sea will be shown at the Galway Film Fleadh and that it is recognised as an Irish film. In making it, Ireland has come to mean a lot to me. I found a poetic resonance in the way words are spoken and I found an exacting beauty in the landscape and weather which, all combined, gave me a powerful set of materials to work with. As an Englishman whose contact with Ireland feels like a delight and a beginning, I hope Galway enjoys my movie. Thank you!”

Ciarán Hinds, fresh from the successes of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, heads up a cast that includes Natascha McElhone (Californication, The Truman Show), Charlotte Rampling (The Duchess), Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist), Sinead Cusack (Eastern Promises, V for Vendetta), Bonnie Wright (Harry Potter) and Ronan Keating’s daughter Missy Keating.

The Sea tells the story of Max Morden who returns to the seaside resort where he spent his childhood in search of peace after the death of his wife. After finding lodges at a boarding house run by the frosty Miss Vavasour, his trip begins to dig up ghosts from his past. His mind returns to the idyllic and eventful summer when he met the Grace family. As Max returns to memories of this unconventional family, and of his departed wife, he will also uncover a distant trauma long forgotten.

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

Share

Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh preview: How to be Happy

how to be happy

The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

How to be Happy

Sunday, 13th July

Cinemobile

11.00 & 12.30

How to be Happy, the new Irish comedy, will have its world premiere this Sunday at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh. The story of a relationship councillor who starts sleeping with his clients, the feature was shot on location in Dublin as part of the Filmbase/Staffordshire University MSc Digital Feature Film Production course.

Mark Gaster, who directed the film along with Michael Costine and Brian O’Neill, told Film Ireland, ‘I’m delighted that we’ve made it to Galway. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been involved with such talented, hardworking and dedicated people. The crew, cast and Filmbase had to push extremely hard to get from the initial concept of How to be Happy to a finished feature in the space of about six months. It’s great everyone’s efforts were rewarded with a showing at the Fleadh and, on top of that, not only did we sell out in twenty four hours but when the Fleadh announced a second showing it sold out even faster’.

Brian Gleeson (Love/Hate) stars as Cormac Kavanagh who, after a bad breakup, starts sleeping with his clients in a misguided attempt to reignite their passions. Things get complicated when he falls for Flor, played by Gemma-Leah Devereux (Stitches, The Tudors), a private investigator charged with investigating his affairs. Meanwhile, his cousin Al, played by Stephen Mullan, is an accountant with a marriage in crisis who tries to get Cormac back together with his ex-wife. In a twisting comedy of misunderstandings, their worlds will come crashing together before they all learn How to be Happy.

Share

Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh: Moon Man

moon_man

The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

Moon Man

Saturday, 13th July

IMC 6

12.15

Moon Man, the 2D feature animation based on Tomi Ungerer’s best-seller, takes giant steps to the Galway Film Fleadh this weekend. Ireland’s Ross Murray and Paul Young, from Cartoon Saloon (The Secret Life of Kells) produced the film along with the German director, Stephfan Schesch, and French company, Le Pacte. Irish animators who worked on the project include Fabian Erlinghauser (The Secret of Kells), Sean McCarron (Song of the Sea) and Marie Thorhauge (Old Fangs).

Catherine Hehir, Studio Manager at Cartoon Saloon, told Film Ireland, ‘We are delighted that the Galway Film Fleadh will be screening Moon Man, and the fact that author Tomi Ungerer will be there makes it a very special event’.

Ungerer, who is now based in Cork, acted as a consultant to the filmmakers and will be taking part in a Q&A with Stefano Scapolan from Cartoon Saloon after the screening.

Moon Man is a loving family tale about the man in the moon, who isn’t even aware how much children love him. When a shooting star passes by on its way to earth, he hitches a ride and crashes down on a planet ruled by a tyrannical President. Escaping the president’s soldiers, Moon Man sets off on an adventure , where he will marvel at the many wonders the Earth has to offer and realise how much children love and need him.

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

Share

Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh preview: Cold

cold

The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

Cold

Saturday, 13th July

Town Hall Theatre

23.00

Eoin Macken writes, directs and stars in a new feature, Cold, set to premiere on Saturday at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh. Partly funded through an indiegogo campaign, the film is centred around two disconnected brothers, and is partly inspired by John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.

Film Ireland spoke to Eoin Macken about what it means to have his feature premiere at the Fleadh. ‘For me, having my film premiere in the main hall in Galway is an honour. Galway is my favourite film festival, and is a huge part of Irish filmmaking. Ever since I first started attending the festival I have wanted to premiere a feature I directed in the main hall, so it’s very exciting and humbling, and a testament to the talented people who trusted me on this film’.

When Jack (Eoin Macken) returns home due to the mysterious death of his father, a dark history between him and his brother, Tom (Tom Hopper), resurfaces. Events take an unexpected turn when they find a girl dumped still alive in the moors. What follows is a tragic and surreal tale of love and redemption.

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

Share

Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh preview: Run & Jump

run_and_jump

The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

Run & Jump

Saturday, 13th July

Town Hall Theatre

21.00

Oscar-nominated Steph Green’s first feature, Run & Jump, will have its Irish premiere this weekend at the Galway Film Fleadh. Green was nominated for an Oscar for her short New Boy. Her new feature, written by Ailbhe Keogan and produced by Tamara Anghie, is an unconventional love story set in rural Ireland about a woman’s relationships with her husband, after he suffers a stroke, and with the doctor treating him.

Talking about the Fleadh, Tamara Anghie told Film Ireland, ‘We wrapped shooting on 13th July 2012, so it’s particularly exciting to have our national premiere exactly a year later to the day at the Galway Film Fleadh. Having had our shorts play here over the years, it’s a real honour for Steph, myself and Ailbhe to have our first feature as part of the 25th anniversary of one of the most vibrant, fun and noted festivals on the circuit’.

The film follows Vanetia Casey (Maxine Peake), who is struggling to return her family to normality after her husband, Conor (Edward MacLiam), suffers a rare stroke that changes his personality. When an American doctor, Ted (Will Forte), comes to stay with the family to study Conor’s condition, relationships are strained. With two children and two men in the house, Vanetia treats Ted with hostility, before seeing the calming effects he has on the family.

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

Share

Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh preview: Out of Here

out of here

The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

Out of Here

Saturday, 13th July

Town Hall Theatre

19.00

This Saturday the 25th Galway Film Fleadh will host the world premiere of Dublin-born filmmaker Donal Foreman’s debut feature, Out of Here. Producer Emmet Fleming and Stalker Films independently raised the money to complete this coming of age story about a young man returning home from travelling to a recession-hit Dublin.

Emmet Fleming told Film Ireland, ‘I’m hugely excited to be premiering Out of Here in Galway, as it’s a festival I’ve always loved attending. We’ve got a great slot in the Town Hall and we’re delighted with the reaction the film’s received so far’.

Donal Foreman talked to us about the influence the Fleadh had on him as a young filmmaker. ‘It means a lot to me to premiere at the Fleadh, especially because it was the first “grown up” film festival that accepted one of my short films when I was 17. I also discovered a lot of great international cinema at the Fleadh as a teenager (Abbas Kiarostami and Alexander Sokurov, for example), and got to rub shoulders (and argue with) pioneers of Irish film like Bob Quinn and Joe Comerford in the Rowing Club, which really left a lasting impression. Considering the Fleadh was really a formative part of my development as a filmmaker, it seems fitting to be back here premiering my first feature’.

Out of Here, which was shot on location around Dublin, stars Fionn Walton (What Richard Did) as Ciaran, a passionate college dropout returning home to contemporary Dublin. Having to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend, his parents and a social scene he left behind, Ciaran questions whether he should stay or go – and comes to realise the difference between being stuck and being present. Out of Here explores the dilemas facing young people in a culture still recovering from the economic crash, and will likely strike a chord with Irish audiences at home and abroad.

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

Share