The Canal – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

06-The-Canal-WEB 

Ruairí Moore stretches his legs along The Canal, Ivan Kavanagh’s latest nightmare, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

So much of what constitutes classic horror is bound up in style and aesthetic – with each successive slasher flick where the order and extent of grotesquery is generally ranked by ethnicity or attractiveness, the gateway to the true shock and awe that horror is capable of providing creaks a little further shut. With The Canal, Ivan Kavanagh plants a foot in the jamb and barrels the door wide open.

A loving father and husband, David (Rupert Evans) is surprised to learn that his new family home was once the scene of a series of horrific murders. Initially dismissive, the mild-mannered film archivist soon begins to question his sanity when the brutal images begin to insinuate themselves among the various aspects of his personal life.

Nothing ground-breaking, but then it is not the plot that will see audiences stuck to their seats. Kavanagh’s love of cinema is immediately evident; the hum of film-reel and the snap-hiss of the projection light are the first images to startle, and it’s a device the director returns to time and time again.

Where much modern horror subsists on jump-scares, The Canal opts for a much more humdrum brand of dread, where the everyday is an invasive force. Sound design is key here, the growl of coat-zippers and the sudden slamming of doors adding a more ominous dimension the haunted-house scenario.

Neither is Kavanagh afraid to let silence and space stretch, favouring largely static cinematography but for the odd tight zoom – the end result is a gathering sense of genuine dread that is a welcome tonic to the flimsy and fleeting hysteria that is the foundation of so much of the genre.

There is much and more that could be said of the cast, but suffice to say that newcomers Kelly Byrne and Calum Heath can’t help but steal the show, particularly in the funny and all-too-brief respites from the unrelenting force that is the rest of the film.

Raw, visceral and atmospheric, The Canal is one of the best horror films to grace Irish screens in far too long a time, and possibly the best these shores have ever produced. For those unmoved by patriotic sycophancies, a decent core workout is promised at the very least.

 

The Canal screened on Saturday, 28th March 2015 at The Light House Cinema as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Check out our reviews of the Irish films that screened at this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Share

Glassland – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

grassland

 

Anthony Assad delves into Gerard Barrett’s Glassland, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

John (Jack Reynor) lives a life of monotony driving a taxi, often pulling late night shifts just to keep afloat while playing parent to his alcoholic mother Jean (Toni Collette). When John attempts to sober her up and encourage a reconnection with her younger son Kit (Harry Nagle) all hell breaks loose as John’s off-the-meter pick up jobs take a dark and desperate turn to fund his thankless efforts.

Gerard Barrett’s previous feature Pilgrim Hill was a monumental film from the then debutant writer/director, working from a truly miniscule budget that managed to capture the hearts and minds of audiences nationwide, even skimming the pond to achieve resonance across UK, US and Chinese theatres in 2013. Going on to garner the Rising Star Award at the IFTAs meant that expectations were inevitably sky high in the run-up to that all important second feature and I’m happy to say the Dublin premiere of Glassland at this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival proved that his is a star still on a safe and steady rise.

Swapping the rural for the urban may seem like quite a risqué tonal shift but just like the former environs of Pilgrim Hill, Dublin in Glassland is similarly populated by the lost and lonely-hearted with tense familial relations and tethered responsibilities once again the resounding themes. All of these rest upon John’s shoulders who’s caught up in the same vicious circle day after day, he wonders when his mother will come home knowing full well that when she does he’ll have to pick up the pieces. His nights prove just as loathsome with wheels spinning running circles around the city streets picking up strangers and sex workers for a living that quite simply isn’t living. Reynor carries the role with an air of disembodiment, channelling a husk of young man weighed down by the duties an absent father and self-destructive mother have forced upon him. During a habitual visit to A&E, however, the doctors’ reveal that Jean is effectively drinking herself to death and an intervention is at hand, which she’ll prove to fight tooth and nail against.

As such, Toni Collette delivers a ferocious performance as Jean, a granite-faced ghost of a woman walking among the living, haunting her son and would be saviour for prolonging a life she feels has long since past, hers to end however and whenever she so wishes. And yet, there’s a soft core, evoked by an impromptu party scene fuelled by cheap wine and music administered by John to loosen tongues and heartstrings so to get to the bottom of what she’s been running from before going cold turkey. The means to this end is an expertly poised scene as mother and son dance in each other’s arms to Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ before a clever jump cut leads us towards a harrowing confession that really pushes the prowess of the proceedings, especially Reynor and Collette’s quietly chaotic heart to heart, a world away from the dish throwing teeth baring savagery of prior scenes and yet all the more powerful.

The rest from the wicked is shared among scenes with John and Shane (Will Poulter), his go-to friend whose antics provide some welcome, if not sometimes, guiltily enjoyed comic relief (the video-store dust-up comes to mind). It’s not just a pit stop from the drama however as Barrett creates an interesting duality between the two to highlight the life John has been deprived of. Shane is jobless, living at home off his all too accommodating mother and plotting a hell-raising break away from Dublin, in-between the important stuff like playing video games and avoiding movie rental fees for his own obnoxious amusement. He also found time to father a young child from a one-night stand, obviously not ideal scenarios but these follies of youth are rites of passage, mistakes John can never afford to make (and learn from) when forced instead to look after a stranger in his own home who breaks his heart everyday. Accordingly Reynor downplays the gaiety of their activities, more a silent observer, seeking to revert to his friend’s carefree mind-set but constantly aware and distracted by the myriad of responsibilities all around him.

John’s only fault is that his heart is too big, he alone attends his brother Kit’s eighteenth birthday party struggling to explain why their mother isn’t present and why Kit can’t live with them when in truth it’s because Jean never accepted and blames her life’s downfall because of his down syndrome. Again John is playing the parent and the older brother, the latter letting loose when he joyrides at his brother’s request, and in tow, around an empty car park. When he’s forced to reprimand his mother and drag her to a rehab clinic John’s pushed beyond his limits and loses it, as much for her sake as his, in a stand-out scene that reverberates throughout the rest of the movie and long after the credits roll.

She needs 24-hour surveillance for at least a month to sober-up in a controlled environment where she can push through the withdrawal but even a favour from former addict and councillor Jim (Michael Smiley) is an expense John can only afford if he ups his dark dealings with an illegal trafficker. He’s given an address to pick ‘something’ up for delivery and the resulting scene proves how far into hell and back again he’s willing to venture for his family. He enters the desolate house on the outskirts of town tip-toeing from darkness into light with the camera creeping along behind him like Peter Pan’s shadow, mocking what little innocence he has left in a heart-stopping scene paced to perfection.

There’s heaps of drama (some of it heavy-handed), but the moments of silence coupled with long locked-off compositions of seemingly natural light illuminating unnatural events will either pull you to the edge of your seat or out of the narrative. Yes, the pace may upset some, but it’s a journey that avoids the pitfalls of its genre (gratuitous sex and violence) to reach a destination fuelled by an earnest and unflinching eye.

Deservedly the film went on to win Best Film at the Galway Film Fleadh complimenting Reynor’s nod at Sundance for his outstanding performance and recently picked up the Best Irish Film award at JDIFF and the Michael Dwyer Discovery for cinematographer Piers McGrail’s inimitable contribution. This really is Irish cinema at its best, a truly transcendent and palpable experience shedding glorious light on an issue all too relevant from a bold and emphatic director at the top of his game.

Glassland screened on Friday, 27th March 2015 at the Light House Cinema as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Share

The Great Wall – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

31

Darragh McCabe moves across Tadhg O’ Sullivan’s documentary The Great Wall, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

The Great Wall, Tadhg O’ Sullivan’s second documentary feature, is a series of vignettes depicting the literal and metaphorical walls that enclose Europe. The concrete-and-steel wall that’s rising around the Spanish Moroccan city of Melillia, for decades a chink in Europe’s armour, serves as a point of departure; from there the film examines other, less literal barricades, as well as their victims, from the City of London, to protesters in Greece during last year’s unrest, to a roadside camp in Bulgaria. There’s music, but no narration proper – the Franz Kafka short story, ‘The Building of the Great Wall Of China,’ read by Dr. Nicola Creighton, acts as aural counterpoint to the imagery. (Kafka’s story describes the building of the Great Wall as a sort of symbolic exercise undertaken for the purposes of self-definition.) The initial strangeness of this cinematic territory is eventually made familiar as certain conventions – the dynamic pairing of music to editing, the length and virtuosity of some of the shots – orient us. We’re in a land claimed by Chris Marker and previously visited by directors from Agnès Varda to Godfrey Reggio.

Without exposition or interviews, the film doesn’t form an explicit argument. O’Sullivan’s images can only be rhetorically effective if we’re already having the discussion he’s weighing in on, and he assumes that we are. But when the twin tyrannies of argument and narrative are overthrown, we go to great lengths to re-establish one or both and make safe again the broad avenues of explanation and exposition. For example, the music offers a sort of story; the progression from klezmer fiddle, the music of a people with a storied past of exile (and of Kafka’s own heritage), to Bach, to droning synths, might be a comment on the dangers of an approaching European monoculture. There are a few instances of written text; graffiti on the wall of a ruin just outside Melilla that serves as a way-station for African refugees – “think positive” “I will never stop my journey until I reach my home” – struggles uselessly against the bureaucratic injunctions on the wall of a border control office in Bulgaria. Looser signifiers abound, too. Footage of Greek riot police, lined up with shields raised, speaks the language of the headlines, and the camera swoops around the City’s cathedrals of capitalism in a stylistic parody of corporate advertising.

There’s a disconnect here. The Great Wall often looks like a work of anthropology. It obviously took a lot of time and effort for O’Sullivan and his cinematographer Feargal Ward to infiltrate some of these environments and to earn the trust of their subjects. Yet the footage is often so loaded, even disturbing, that to fail to comment could be seen as a cop-out. This is an old argument, one that it mightn’t even be worth having anymore, which is why I’m hedging my language. At the screening’s Q&A, one man asked O’Sullivan whether he thought he might have overestimated the parallels between Kafka’s text and the cumulative meaning of some the film’s more affecting imagery. Does modern Europe, he asked, really understand and identify with barbed wire, concrete and red tape, the way Kafka’s engineers understand and identify with their structure?

O’Sullivan’s answer was a qualified yes. Qualified because the questioner, in one sense, was pointing at the issue I’ve mentioned – that the narration, one of the techniques that transform what could have been a piece of reportage into an art film, might also manage to generalise out of existence whatever political statements the film is attempting to make. O’Sullivan bristled at this suggestion, insisting that we are culpable in the building of these walls around us. We’re terrified that a pistol shot from outside might crack the biodome that’s keeping us alive. Bare life absolutely isn’t just a feature of the faraway east or south; it’s evident in the arid lots that border our golf courses. There are some sequences, particularly those shot in Melilla and Bulgaria, where this is heartrendingly obvious.

The Great Wall engages with debates around documentary cinema’s form and political efficacy that have been around for decades. It’s a profound and chilling piece of filmmaking, but in order to take the film on its own terms you must accept a degree of culpability that will not be comfortable for most, and that may even be counter-productive. A cri-de-coeur in place of an accurate diagnosis, then, or a poem when what’s required is an independent report. Is it enough to simply pay attention to an unfolding atrocity? It might be. Another German-speaking writer, Berolt Brecht, closed his poem ‘Bad Time For Poetry’ with the following stanza:

Inside me contend
Delight at the apple tree in blossom
And horror at the house-painter’s speeches.
But only the second
Drives me to my desk.

 

The Great Wall screened on Monday, 23rd March 2015 at the IFI as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Share

Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

image

 

Check out our reviews of the Irish films that screened as part of the 2015 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. More to come…

 

After The Dance (Daisy Asquith) – Ronan Daly 

 

The Canal (Ivan Kavanagh) – Ruairí Moore

 

Dare to be Wild (Vivienne De Courcy) – Cathy Butler

 

Eat Your Children (Treasa O’Brien & Mary Jane O’Leary) – Alisande Healy Orme

 

Glassland (Gerard Barrett) – Anthony Assad

 

The Great Wall (Tadhg O’ Sullivan) – Darragh McCabe

 

Tana Bana (Pat Murphy) – Gemma Creagh

 

Ten Years in the Sun (Rouzbeh Rashidi) – Cathy Butler

 

Talking to my Father (Sé Merry Doyle) – Grace Corry

 

Yximalloo (Tadhg O’Sullivan & Feargal Ward) – Stephen Elliott

Share

Audience Award Winners Announced for the 2015 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

bill-stephens-feeds-lion-mouth-to-mouth-630x437

4 Irish films were named among the Audience Award Winners at this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Joe Lee’s Wheel of Fortune (pictured) claimed second place to the winning film from Wim Wenders, The Salt of the Earth. Vivienne De Courcy‘s Dare To Be Wild, Pat Murphy’s Tana Bana and Daisy Asquith’s  After the Dance also featured in the top ten.

1.    The Salt Of The Earth – Wim Wenders
2.    Wheel of Fortune – Joe Lee
3.    Dare To Be Wild – Vivienne De Courcy
4.    Tana Bana – Pat Murphy
5.    Take The Boat – Camille Hamet & Serena Robin
6.    The Breach – Mark Titus
7.    Shoulder The Lion – Erinnisse Rebisz
8.    The Fool – Yuriy Bykov
9.    Samba –  Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano
10. After the Dance – Daisy Asquith
Share

Yximalloo – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

maxresdefault

Stephen Elliott pricked up his ears to Tadhg O’Sullivan and Feargal Ward’s documentary Yximalloo, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

Yximalloo, an Irish documentary filmed over the course of a year, follows Nao Ishimaru, a Japanese experimental musician and performance artist who has made a career out of abstract avant-garde music since the 1970s and has been living in Ireland for the past 10 years. He muses that similar artists reside in greater cultural spaces such as New York or Paris but this isn’t the case for Nao who lives with his ill, long-term partner, Ger, in a Dublin suburb.

Although the documentary opens with a civil marriage ceremony between Nao and Ger, there is no doubt that Nao is unhappy with his relationship and his life in Ireland. Struggling to find work, he jets to Tokyo to take up a job but consequently becomes homesick for Dublin. Despite his eccentricities and green leggings, we eventually see that Nao is like everyone else – trying to find his way in the world. The film is testament that no matter what age you are, you can still be searching for answers.

Yximalloo is crammed with beautiful shots including a stunning transition shot from Dublin to Tokyo. We are also treated to a selection of Nao’s greatest hits throughout the film. The experimental soundtrack unfortunately creates unease by juxtaposing the visual of Nao’s present domestic life such as cooking chicken and cutting shrubs in the garden.

O’Sullivan and Ward sought to create a cinematic piece in a documentary style. This is pure cinéma vérité – there are no interruptions or probing questions from the filmmakers. We are simply the spectator watching on as Nao silently carries on with his life. You’d be forgiven for thinking Nao and Ger have no idea there is a camera watching them but that said, Nao acts up in front of the camera on a few occasions by breaking into spontaneous dance.

Nao is an endearing character stuck between two places he calls home. He is lost and unsure of where to be. While there is no conclusive narrative to this film, Yximalloo provides an interesting insight to the life of a truly individual artist.

 

Yximalloo screened on Saturday, 28th March 2015 at the Light House Cinema as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Share

Tana Bana – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

2400-9871c7003ac2001f6c506d8ebd6aa64be573f02b_large

Gemma Creagh weaves her way into Pat Murphy’s Tana Bana, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

‘Banarsi fabric is the life of a wedding. The chandari silk is handloom work…. there’s gold thread called zari in some of it, so its proper Banarsi sari. A wedding is not complete without Banarsi sari,’ states a wedding guest in Lucknow, India in a piece to camera.

Pat Murphy’s Tana Bana (The Warp and the Weft) is as vibrantly rich as the fabrics produced by her subject matter. The sold-out Lighthouse screening was introduced to a receptive audience by Murphy, alongside JDIFF’s director, Grainne Humphreys.

The film opens slowly, with measured shots and lingering pans introducing the world of the Moslem silk weavers in Uttar Pradesh. Over the past thousand years, Varanasi, an ancient city on the Ganges, has seen conflict between the Moslem population (the creators and weavers) and Hindus (the traders and merchants). Early on, we witness one weaver selling his wares to a haggling merchant, which, as the film unfolds, is revealed to be a metaphor for his struggling industry.

Subtly, and with as little interference as possible, Murphy examines each facet of production, from designers, dyers, spinners, weavers to the silver-tongued salesman. She focuses not only on the labour – it takes one month to make each hand woven sari – but on how political and economic shifts have affected the business. While many of the weavers are facing poverty, elsewhere their work is being sold for a small fortune. This issue is heightened by the onset of computerisation, embodied by the loud ominous clacking of the power loom. Using an automated machine means one man can work four looms at the same time, lowering the market value of hand-woven goods substantially.

The heart of the film, however, is rooted in community. Ahmed Tahir, a designer (nakshaband) describes this best when he says: ‘For us it is like this, if we can receive income from any profession, we must use it to take care of our children and our family. Their needs are my duty. For us, work is a form of prayer.’ Murphy emphasises the closeness and involvement of families in the weaving process, as well as the changing role of women and education. At one point the discussion amongst schoolgirls turn to weddings; they unanimously laugh at the idea of a ‘love marriage’ – as, of course, it’s doomed for failure.

Tana Bana is an immersive and significant piece of filmmaking. It documents the human side of a failing industry that, without preservation, could be lost forever.

 

Tana Bana screened on Friday, 27th March 2015 at the Light House Cinema as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Share

Ten Years in the Sun – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

CA2QyJKXEAANb0W

Cathy Butler gets her sunscreen out for Rouzbeh Rashidi’s Ten Years in the Sun, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

Rouzbeh Rashidi’s Ten Years in the Sun, which had its premiere at this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, describes itself as an experimental film. While it is a bit of a catch-all term, it does signal to any potential audiences that this may be a film with a non-linear narrative, and an intent to challenge and provoke a response from the audience in various ways and to varying levels.

 

This is true of Ten Years in the Sun, which defies the usual summarisation that a film review might prompt. Its opening sequence bombards the viewer with flashing lights and a wall of sound, making for a visual experience that borders on the physically unpleasant. This sets the bar for the rest of the film, which is composed of images of varying tone and content; there is a vaguely film noir-esque feel to the scenes of two men discussing villains named Scorpio and Boris, who grow increasingly confused as their conversation continues; the various inserts of outer space imagery add a sci-fi slant; additionally, multiple sequences featuring naked or partially clothed women veer somewhat oddly into the realm of pornography.

 

This varying tone is clarified by the director’s comments in the subsequent Q and A that the subject of his work tends to be film itself, and a comment on the nature of cinema. This sampling of common tropes of cinema, and their combination in an abstract form with an often disconcerting or distorted audio track, delivers to the audience an assault on the senses that differs wildly from the more traditional forms of storytelling employed in filmmaking.

 

There is fine framing and composition throughout, and great use of a variety of different locations and lighting set-ups. There are moments of humour as well as moments of foreboding, providing for quite a wide scope of evocative visuals.

 

Again, it would be simplistic and also inaccurate to say that Ten Years in the Sun is an ‘enjoyable’ film. It is a film that demands much from its audience, and challenges the viewer to draw its own conclusions as regards any resulting message. It is a multi-sensory experience, having effects both physical and psychological, which is a powerful effect for any visual medium to have.

 

Ten Years in the Sun screened on Friday, 27th March 2015 at the Light House Cinema as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

119235226

 

 

Share

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Kurt-Cobain

Katie Kelly finds nirvana in Brett Morgan’s documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

There has been a plethora of documentaries relating Kurt Cobain over the past twenty years. Unlike Nick Broomfield’s Kurt and Courtney, or Michael Azzerad’s Been a Son, Montgae of Heck is 100% authorised by Cobain’s now nineteen-year-old daughter, Frances. This is personal, and 100% agenda-less. There is no finger pointing, no blame; just pure, unadulterated Kurt Cobain from start to finish.

The documentary features interviews with various family members. Kurt’s mother’s [Wendy] honesty is admirable. She delivers a frank and sincere account of Kurt’s childhood. Growing up in Aberdeen in Washington, Kurt’s childhood went from almost idyllic to relatively fragmented and chaotic in a short space of time. Mostly unseen home videos of the blonde, blue-eyed toddler Kurt accompany his mother’s sentimental musings.

A real surprise was Donald Cobain, Kurt’s father who is notoriously un-emotional. Cobain himself famously sang about him in Serve the Servants, “I tried hard to have a father, Instead I had a dad.”

Donald Cobain also talks about Kurt’s childhood and adolescence. He is joined by his wife, and Kurt’s stepmother, Jenny Cobain. In a rare glimpse of emotion Donald becomes upset. He allows his wife to answer more of the difficult questions, obviously unable to maintain composure. Cobain is clearly unaccustomed to the cameras, and, unlike Wendy, struggles with his answers. His interview makes this documentary stand out from the crowd. Raw and unbridled, there is no doubt that this man was just as devastated by his son’s demise as anyone else, despite all the negative publicity.

Hisko Hustling’s animation brings adolescent Kurt alive to the sound of old audio recordings and diary excerpts. The sometimes disturbing sequences perfectly capture what it was like to experience the total isolation of being one of the weird ones in this relatively backwards town. Not only does the animation invigorate, but it literally brings to life some of Cobain’s many drawings and artwork from his journals. It is as if he was drawing live, on screen – a truly unique touch.

The inclusion of live, behind-the-scenes footage of the band on tour is an excellent balancing act with the interviews. Here, Nirvana are Nirvana. We have goofy Dave Grohl, sarcastic Novoselic, and a contemplative Kurt Cobain, launching themselves at drum kits, laughing, and behaving the way a young band on tour do. Kurt at the beginning of Nirvana and Kurt by the end seem like two different people. In such a short time, the toll of life on the road, coupled with drugs, the stress of being famous had broken the star.

Like Donald Cobain, bass player Novoselic remains quite sombre and contemplative throughout his interviews. He appears to find it quite difficult to talk openly about his former band-mate. Clearly some wounds never heal, and this is in stark contrast to the Novoselic on tour in 1990. Perhaps there may be a certain sense of guilt, or just outright despair. The same can be said of Tracy Marander, Cobain’s first serious girlfriend. She has been dubbed the ‘Godmother of Nirvana’. When Kurt lived with her, she provided for him and allowed him to practice music, make art and not go out to work. It was during this time that Kurt wrote many of the songs on their debut album Bleach.

Marander vehemently denies any knowledge of Cobain’s drug use when they were together. She has appeared in various other documentaries about the singer, and has remained entirely positive about him, even his major downfalls.

No Kurt documentary would be complete without Courtney Love’s crass and overbearing opinion. As usual it’s the Courtney way or the highway. Her answers to questions seem fairly contrived and long-winded, sometimes straying from the point. But the inclusion of many home videos of her, Kurt and Frances as a baby are probably the best thing about this documentary.

These never-before-seen crude home videos show what life was like at home with the Cobains – their highs and lows… literally in some cases. Kurt is clearly on drugs in some, slurring his words, and barely remaining conscious. There are also many truly touching aspects of the young couple, fussing over their new daughter, and behaving like a normal, young, family.

Montage of Heck is a must for Nirvana-lovers, and documentary-lovers alike. In true HBO style, it is gripping without being over-bearing. Just like Cobain’s life, the film ends abruptly. Unlike many documentaries, books and TV shows, this was entirely focussed on his life, and not his death. The only thing that would have improved it would have been the inclusion of Dave Grohl. But the interviews, home movies, animation, and live performance mix together perfectly to provide one of the most honest, and unbiased documentaries of recent years. A credit to executive-producer Frances Bean Cobain.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOacVhXAmX0

Share

After the Dance – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

B-t-w5BXAAAfJrQ

Ronan Daly shimmied his way into After The Dance, which screened at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

After The Dance, directed and filmed by Daisy Asquith, is a documentary following her mother’s search for family and the scars that shame and secrecy can leave behind.

Conceived by unmarried parents after a local dance in Co. Clare, Pat, Daisy’s mother, was given up for adoption to an English couple and remained a family secret for some forty years, until she met the eight half-siblings that were born after her mother’s marriage. Pat was overjoyed to have found a flesh and blood family, but soon found that their familial bond was overshadowed by the still present feeling that she was a black stain on the family’s pride and she was effectively banned from ever setting foot in Co. Clare. However, in the Irish West, Catholic shame and guilt so often go hand in hand with a great deal of craic to be had, so don’t write this film off as a gloomy affair just yet.

The documentary begins with Pat and Daisy exploring the local church that Pat’s parents would have attended, with Pat noting that, although the Catholic Church has been responsible for her effective banishment from her homeland and caused a profound sense of loss and isolation throughout her life, (okay, it is just a little bit gloomy at times, but it gets better, I promise), she nonetheless finds herself essentially programmed by her upbringing to respect the church and its teachings. Twenty years after she was first told not to set foot in the county, Pat’s mother is now dead and she feels that her right to know her heritage outweighs the likelihood of embarrassment reaching beyond the grave.

With the support of Daisy and just one of her eight siblings, Pat steps bravely into the rural West, looking to find her father, with only the name Tom Brown and a few bare facts to go on. We’re given a pretty colourful look at the locals, who all seem to be variations of the same drunken old charmers, with their heavy accents carefully subtitled. This is interspersed with a few black and white short pieces of footage of the Ireland of yesteryear, with Sean and Mary O’Reilly walking barefoot home from school and the bent, smiling Mr. O Flaherty working away happily in his potato patch. The effect here feels very tongue in cheek and is definitely a lot of fun, though it does skirt dangerously close in its editing to patronising the quaint wee country Irish folk.

All of this is put phenomenally into perspective when we encounter John and Mary Browne, who seem to have a reputation for being “a bit odd” and who live with an insistence on sticking to tradition, feeling that “with every advance, you lose something.” Johnny has never travelled farther from home than Limerick while Mary is a woman of few words with an impressive collection of woollen hats. While at first glance, this couple seem to embody the decades old Ireland which would have branded Pat as the social equivalent of leprosy, they’re very soon revealed to be the warmest, most welcoming sort of family Pat could have asked for, not giving an ounce of undue worry to what people might say.

“We find that if people don’t do any harm, we’re happy with them, like.” – Johnny Browne.

Pat and Daisy’s journey doesn’t end in Clare, and they soon set out to find out as much as they can about where and who they came from.

“It’s like putting the piece in a jigsaw that brings out the picture.” – Pat.

Charismatic and honest, hilarious and heartbreaking, this film speaks volumes about shame, guilt, the all-too-Irish obsession with not ‘letting the family down’ and the hopefully equally Irish sentiment of ‘Family’s family, and feck anyone that has a problem with that.’

After The Dance  is a healthy reminder that although some of the ignorance and apathy in recent Irish history is staggering, maybe sweeping our shame under the rug isn’t the best response.

 

After The Dance screened on Thursday, 26th March 2015 at the Light House Cinema as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Share

Eat Your Children – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

505447333_1280x720

Alisande Healy Orme looks at the nature of Irish protest in Treasa O’Brien and Mary Jane O’Leary’s documentary Eat Your Children, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

Taking its name from Jonathan Swift’s 1729 satirical essay A Modest Proposal – in which the author suggested that the impoverished Irish population sell their young as a foodstuff to the wealthy as a way to alleviate the dire economic conditions of the time – ex-patriot Irish women Treasa O’Brien and Mary Jane O’Leary’s documentary Eat Your Children examines whether Ireland today is too inactive when it comes to political protest.

 

The reputation of the Irish abroad is that of the “fighting Irish” – one of a people who have never been afraid of protest and taking up arms when necessary. Here, O’Brien and O’Leary ask why the nation has not done so in the face of austerity measures that will cripple at least the next two generations to come. Unsurprisingly, though interesting, the tightly-budgeted film is not the most cheerful to watch.

 

Taking the form of a road-trip around the country, Eat Your Children has its makers meet with activists, economists, sociologists and members of the public who outline Ireland’s history of protest and how, in spite of it, the country today can appear apathetic or even complacent in the face of constant constraints and demands put upon it by politicians from across Europe.

 

Interviews with members of the public reveal a state of indifference that hinges on a two-pronged, thoroughly depressing consensus: they feel that any protest would make little to no difference anyway, and are planning to take another route that has long-served the impoverished of this country well – emigration in order to seek work.

 

Granted, there’s nothing revelatory in these disclosures (they’re certainly nothing you haven’t heard down the pub) but these sad facts of modern Irish identity are only rendered more strongly when shown alongside historical footage and accounts of how direct action benefitted citizens of this country in the past. It’s to be hoped that when it comes to future protests the filmmakers prediction that “this is not the end” holds true.

 

Eat Your Children screened on Sunday, 22nd March 2015 at the Screen Cinema as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Dare to be Wild – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

dare-to-be-wild-emma-greenwell-tom-hughes

Cathy Butler smells the roses in Dare to be Wild, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

Landscape design is not a subject frequently examined in cinema, and the premise of Vivienne De Courcy’s Dare to be Wild certainly instils curiosity; based on the true story of Irish garden designer Mary Reynolds, it follows her quest to win the gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show.

 

Mary (Emma Greenwell) is a young Irish woman with a passion for nature and gardens, and is looking to break into the world of garden design. She gets her first opportunity with ‘celebrity garden designer’ Charlotte Heavey (Christine Marzano), which eventually turns sour when she finds herself robbed of original work and out of a job. Not to be defeated, she bounces back with a determination to take home the winning prize at the esteemed Chelsea Flower Show, despite all obstacles. On her way she meets and falls for heart-throb botanist Christy (Tom Hughes), eventually following him on a trip to Ethiopia, to win his heart as well as the aid of his botany skills.

 

The curious mix of landscaping and love story could have been charming, but somewhat misses the mark tonally. De Courcy gives the story the epic treatment, putting the love story at its core, and surrounding it with stunning shots of sweeping landscapes. While Mary’s cause is noble, it is hard to get on board with the high drama when it is centred around a topic such as garden design. Mary wants Christy to help with her garden instead of focusing on the much-needed irrigation projects he is installing in Ethiopia. When he objects, it seems reasonable – his is the more important task. Mary, though well intentioned, comes across as naïve in comparison. Yet she brings Christy around to her way of thinking; it is a love-conquers-all narrative, no matter how impractical.

 

The film’s central message is reiterated time and again throughout – the importance of the wild and wild nature, and the connection between man and the environment. It is a feel good film, with an ecological message running through it, but it may have benefitted from a more scaled back tone. Visually, the film is stunning. Never has Ireland looked so colourful and inexplicably sunny as it has in this film. The Ethiopian sequences are equally beautifully shot, and the scenes in Chelsea are a bombardment of colour. Costume design is also particularly notable here, with Mary having quite the enviable wardrobe, even when broke and unemployed!

 

There are elements of ‘Celtic mysticism’ and Ireland’s fairy lore contained within the film, which may come across as twee to Irish audiences, but would likely go down well internationally.

Dare to be Wild is a visual feast, but perhaps a bit too epic for this viewer.

 

Dare to be Wild screened on Thursday, 26th March 2015 at the Light House Cinema as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Share

Talking to My Father – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

2367-ColumbaScienceBlock____John_Donat_large

 

Grace Corry takes a look at Sé Merry Doyle‘s Talking to My Father, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

On a blue racer, Simon Walker cycles into the opening scene of this latest release from Loopline Productions, Talking to my Father. Propping his bike up against a high stone wall, he climbs its frame and a faint, nostalgic laughter sweeps the audience as he peers over to examine the hidden house that he grew up in. As he looks, photographs from the ’60s of a walled futuristic haven in the heart of Dublin city appear on screen – narrated by Simon, we take a pictorial tour of his early youth.

Sé Merry Doyle’s documentary follows Simon on his journey back through his own life and relationship with his father, Robin Walker. Robin was a remarkably talented and prolific figure in the reformation of Ireland’s architecture in what was an emerging, modern nation. Simon, also an architect, traces his memory with his father’s architecture as his guide, travelling Ireland from building to building, conversing with each across what Robin Walker understood to be a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, recognised in his work.

The documentary is in large part about that – the relationship we have with our environment and how architecture, particularly that of Robin Walker, contributes to that relationship.

Speaking to Sé Merry Doyle, he said he wanted to make a documentary about the human story within this, about the bond between father and son and the passion they shared for their art, juxtaposed by society’s transgression of it, highlighting the omnipresent role architecture plays in our lives and how little we value its history. There are certain elements of loss – Simon at times throughout seems unfulfilled by his relationship with his father, but where the humanistic aspects of the film appear wanting, the conversation through architecture deepens and it is these moments that reveal the tenderness felt, reinforced by the past and by his father’s absence.

The scenery is spectacular. We traverse Kenmare and Kinsale to Howth, with cinematographer Patrick Jordan providing long, worshipful shots that pan in time with the imagination thus creating an ease of understanding, lured by Simon’s narration which is in turn punctuated by Patrick Bergin reading Robin’s musings and philosophies that have been lovingly curated by his son. In this rhythm, we understand the importance of the telling of this story between father and son – not just its importance in capturing a story of love, but a story that teaches us that the most powerful and perhaps permanent thing in life is our memory.

 

 

 

 

Share

My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

My-Life-Directed3

Richard Drumm checks out Liv Corfixen’s revealing documentary My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

Part making-of, part portrait-of-the-man; My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn is Liv Corfixen’s directorial debut as she documents her husband during the production of Only God Forgives. Light on talking-heads-style interviews but heavy on fly-on-the-wall vignettes from various stages of production, the film gives an insight into the shooting of the film, its premiere in Cannes and beyond. While mainly focusing on Refn, some of his more famous friends naturally make appearances, mainly Ryan Gosling and (more bizarrely) Alejandro Jodorowsky who opens the film with a tarot card reading. Because of course he does.

An issue with these kinds of films is that they always run the risk of feeling like behind-the-scenes documentaries that should just be included on the “main” film’s DVD/BluRay rather than getting a full cinematic release themselves. While Corfixen definitely sets her sights high and tries as hard as possible to make her husband (rather than his film) the subject, the documentary never quite manages to achieve an identity of its own apart from Only God Forgives. That’s not to say it’s a bad little film, it just never quite achieves what Corfiexen was aiming for. The main problem is that the whole endeavour comes across slightly empty and more than a little pretentious. It’s by no means uninteresting but it never manages to elevate beyond that into anything particularly meaningful.

Refn remains an interesting figure in modern cinema however. Given the sense of confidence you get from watching his films, seeing how melancholic and almost crippled with self-doubt he is during the shoot, is quite shocking. (Though it’s reassuring to see that even he isn’t fully sure what Only God Forgives is supposed to be about.) You get brief glimpses into the toll the production is taking on his family and how frustrated his single-mindedness with his career is affecting her but sadly Corfixen never seems to want to push further into these topics. That is of course entirely her prerogative, it is her personal life after all, but perhaps having a truly outside source document their lives would have been more successful in fulfilling what she was attempting.

There’s still some undeniable fun to be had watching the film. Gosling is a perpetually likeable and amusing presence. Seeing himself and Refn dealing with their budgetary shortcomings by planning and executing an appearance at a local festival as if it’s a heist is just hugely enjoyable to see play out. Then of course there’s Jodorowsky who is a fascinatingly weird (if disappointingly infrequent) presence and apparently fond of giving marriage advice via the medium of tarot card readings.

Honestly though, if you’re enough of a cinephile that any of the above names mean anything to you, then this is probably worth a look just for Jodorowsky or the scenes of Refn and Gosling bro-ing out. Much like the film which this is documenting the making of though, it’s ultimately only going to appeal to a niche audience and even then won’t be for everyone. Corfixen definitely seems like someone with something to say about the power-balance in relationships and while this might not have been the best showcase of her skills, she will hopefully, eventually emerge as a filmmaker to watch in her own right.

Share

‘Ten Years in the Sun’

ten-years-in-the-sun_image-1

Dublin-based experimental filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi is one of the most radical and independent talents in contemporary underground cinema. Here Rouzbeh tells Film Ireland about his latest film, Ten Years in the Sun, which screens at this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Plus filmmaker and critic Maximilian Le Cain gives his reflections on the film.

My new experimental feature Ten Years in the Sun will receive its premiere at this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. It was one year in production and throughout the course of shooting and editing it drastically mutated and deviated in various ways from its initial idea. In this film, I have taken elements from such genres as science fiction, horror and erotic drama and given them a radically minimalist treatment. My aim was to attain what could be described as a ‘ground zero of drama’ through the systematic removal and breaking down of any narrative structures.

On this project I have intentionally worked with a wide range of collaborators and actors, and without their tremendous support this film would have been impossible to make. One of them was filmmaker and critic Maximilian Le Cain. These highlights from his personal reflections on the film might offer some insight into it:

“It has been building up through a number of his recent films – Terrors Of The Mind, Forbidden Symmetries, Investigating The Murder Case Of Ms. XY – and now it has erupted with full force: a sense of vast cosmic chaos, randomness and terror. The result is a sensory onslaught that destroys any sense of narrative development, that allows for a dizzyingly reckless catalogue of dead ends and invasions by footage and techniques that can seem utterly alien to one another… And yet a very human sense of wistfulness also emerges that prevents this experience from becoming cold or detached…

“A two-and-a-half hour running time, spectacle galore, numerous sinister characters and plots portentously introduced but left unresolved… …the incoherence and oddness of this sense of non-completion is not plastered over but cranked up to the highest degree of fragmentation…

“The crust of an external objective reality is no more. There is only tormented interiority and distant annihilating vastness. And the carriers of these symptoms are precisely presented modes of (mainly moving) imagery and its attendant technology. A very 21st century hell…”

 

Ten Years in the Sun screens at the Light House Cinema on Friday, 27th March 2015 at 8PM as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Book tickets here

 

119235226

Share

Interview with Sé Merry Doyle

Talking-to-my-Father-9-300x238

Modern architecture in Ireland reached a high point in the early ’60s and one of its most celebrated and influential figures was Robin Walker. Robin studied under Le Corbusier in Paris and later worked alongside Mies van der Rohe in Chicago. His return to Ireland in 1958 coincided with the emergence of an aspiring modern nation. Robin Walker became a key agent in this nation-building process.

A quarter of a century after his death, his son Simon Walker explores the legacy of his father’s life’s work in Talking to My Father. Director, Sé Merry Doyle’s allows Walker’s buildings to speak for themselves, taking us with Simon in his search for Robin’s architecture of place.

Grace Corry sat down with Sé Merry Doyle to discuss his documentary, which screens at this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

Referring to Robin and Simon’s relationship and how you wanted to represent that in the film, you said that you wanted to capture them as father and son and as architects – was it difficult deciding which relationship to focus on more, or which relationship was more relevant to the film?

Well to me the big thing was that Simon wanted to pay homage to his father, both as a son and as an architect, both being from different eras – Robin’s era was kind of the golden age of modernism in Ireland, Simon is living in a country that’s just coming out of bankruptcy and such. Really, I wanted more of the human story as a film, I didn’t want it to be solely based on architecture in that I was more interested in trying to discover Robin through Simon. So it was kind of a gentle narrative and we worked a lot on that; it was probably the biggest thing we did. It started with me trying to encourage Simon to tackle the boxes and boxes he had of Robin’s writings, and in the end suggested to him to write a letter to his father, and that letter in a way became the application to the Arts Council or at least the central part of it. So that dialogue was always a central part.

 

Your own interests seem to have been with documenting historically and culturally defining moments in Ireland. Were you aware of how prolific an architect Robin Walker was or how instrumental he was in modernising Ireland?

No, I wasn’t. It was funny that, because I had done a film for instance about James Gannon and Georgian Dublin and made Sculptor of the Empire on John Henry Foley who did the Daniel O’Connell monument in Dublin and the Prince Albert monument in London, so funnily enough this was an area I wanted to dig in to. Simon shares an office with me and I knew how highly regarded his father was but I didn’t know that he had been with Mies van der Rohe (Paris) or Corbusier (Chicago). He studied and worked with both of them and I knew then that he was an individual whose story was worthwhile.

 

Did you approach this documentary – such an intimate situation and a sensitive subject – differently to how you made Alive Alive O – A Requiem For Dublin where you’re representing several voices or a community voice, as opposed to capturing this quite private discussion between father and son?

I wanted it to be something for all of us, I didn’t want it to be the same as the film I made on Patrick Scott [Golden Boy] – in that case I wanted the individual but this one I was kind of playing with what has happened to Dublin and who looks after it. One of Robin’s great buildings was UCD, which was originally an open plan for the students and now it’s been kind of turned into a supermarket. All the space has been taken away. The new Ireland that was coming after World War II and stagnation and economic failure had new buildings going up all over the place willy-nilly, but again after the oil crash of ’74 that all went away. The film is about whether we are invited into the conversation with those buildings that remain from that time. Do we like them? Do they mean anything to us now? The film is saying no in most cases.

 

I suppose working so closely with Simon on such a personal project about Robin’s work requires a particular approach to achieve the right balance.

Yeah, well that was delicate, you know, I’m not a Sunday World type of film journalist and I wanted Simon to have a certain amount of control. Once Simon knew that I was making a creative documentary and that there would be no interviews or appraisal type stuff and that it was really just going to be his own journey, that relaxed him. He’s a great writer and we spent hours and hours talking and looking back through his father’s papers and some of that went right into his heart. It was a complicated narrative but a great journey from reading old notes to going and seeing these buildings which made for some great moments in the film, a lot of which surprised me. I invited Simon to go as far as he wanted to go and he did.

 

So, what’s next for Talking to My Father?

At the moment I’m developing a film called John Huston – The Great White Whale, which is about Moby Dick and Herman Melville and a notion that Moby Dick is God and whoever kills him is akin to the apocalypse. We’re in development with the IFB and we’re very excited.

 

 

Talking to My Father screens at the IFI on Tuesday, 24th March @ 6pm as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Book tickets here

 

 

Share

From the Dark – Review of Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015

2381-FTD_still_large

Richard Drumm entered the dark to check out new Irish horror film From the Dark, which screened at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

Horror, more than almost any other genre, can be the most infuriating one to be a fan of. Disappointment is constant, frustration is frequent and on those rare occasions when something does emerge that feels fresh and genre-altering, it will so quickly be imitated to death as to render its initial achievement more curse than blessing (a fate, I fear, that will befall The Babadook before long). From the Dark then, probably falls somewhere into the ‘frustrating’ category. That said, a frustrating horror is still infinitely better than a boring one.

Sarah (Niamh Algar) and Mark (Stephen Cromwell) are driving through rural Ireland en route to a country getaway. In the long-established traditions of the genre; at least one of them isn’t from the country and engages in some small transgression against the locals, their map/iPhone will eventually fail them and they’ll get lost, there will be bickering and in case you’re wondering, there is of course some almost laughable Chekhov’s Gun-ing involving the subject of engagement. Unknown to them, a local farmer has just unwittingly released a long-buried creature from a nearby bog. As night descends and their car gets stuck, the couple make their way towards an (altogether now) isolated, ramshackle farmhouse to seek help only to realise they’ve become the prey to some unknown, very literal hunter of the night.

The setup being as by-the-numbers as it is, isn’t necessarily an issue. In fact, one of the great strengths of the script is how genre-aware it is but more importantly how genre-aware it knows its audience is. At no point do either of the leads have a conversation about vampires. Nor at any point do we need some shoe-horned-in dialogue to explain that Sarah has had survival training in order to know how to tie a bandage or light a torch, etc. These are all just refreshingly taken as given. On top of this, the central gimmick of the two leads trying to cobble together any viable light source they can in order to keep Nos-faux-ratu at bay is both fun to watch and consistently inventive. And there is a genuine attempt to shake up the visuals a bit by occasionally showing events from the creature’s Buffalo-Bill-o-vision. Ultimately though, the greatest threat in the film is its running time.

After seeing this film, I couldn’t help shaking the feeling that there’s an extremely solid, tight, forty-five minute shorter film in here somewhere. And while that might sound a little harsh, there’s no denying that the film could definitely stand to lose about twenty minutes. The problem is that once Sarah has fulfilled her genre-destined fate and become the Final Girl, the momentum of the story should push things into a final battle and resolution. Unfortunately, events continue on past the point of being tense to where you just want it to end and don’t really care who wins. There’s really only so many times you can pull the trick of the heroine realising how to beat the creature, trying it, it failing and then another breathless chase scene starting up. This is to say nothing of the fun but practically farcical series of events in the house itself.

This running time issue might not have been so apparent if the film hadn’t chosen to go in a rather bold direction in its second half. You see, given that there are only four characters in the movie, from a certain point onwards we’re essentially watching Sarah on her own, which means there’s practically no dialogue past the midpoint. Now, while this doesn’t entirely work it is a very interesting gambit to pull and pays dividends in certain sequences, most notably in the payoff to the previously mentioned engagement set-up. This could have been reduced to trite, uninspired dialogue but instead plays out wordlessly through silhouettes (and in a further, more overtly symbolic scene involving a chisel), which is without doubt the strongest scene in the movie and one of those moments of pure cinema that are all too rare these days.

Additional praise has to go to Michael Lavelle’s cinematography which succeeds in finding the right balance between having dark be dark enough to remain threatening while being light enough that you can still see what’s going on. And it would be quite difficult to discuss this film without heaping praise on Niamh Algar’s central performance as Sarah. Entirely believable from start to finish, she manages to imbue Sarah with a real credibility and humanity without lapsing into over-dramatics (or turning her into some kind of stock, post-Buffy, impossible-badass cliché). A feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that she achieves most of this without dialogue. It’s an admirably judged and impressively under-stated performance which largely carries the film.

It’s not fair to claim that the film fails to reinvent the horror wheel because it’s not trying to. From the Dark is a perfectly solid little horror movie that will likely enjoy a decent life on the VOD circuit and, with any luck, a run at the Irish box-office. This is the exact kind of movie this country needs more of; well-crafted, simple, low-budget genre pieces that actually have a chance of making some money at the box-office. It might not carry too many surprises for anyone well-versed in the genre but the clear enthusiasm everyone involved had for the project is up there onscreen plus there are some fun ideas and scenes sprinkled throughout. And that’s definitely preferable to yet another sequel, prequel or reboot to a known horror brand.

Share

Interview: Jan Harlan, Producer for Stanley Kubrick

2471-index_large

Producer Jan Harlan’s 30-year collaboration with legendary director Stanley Kubrick includes Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. Harlan has also co-edited the book Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made and made the 2001 documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures.

Shane Hennessy spoke to Harlan, who is in Dublin for the Jameson Dublin Film Festival to present a Masterclass in Producing and will attend a special screening of Barry Lyndon to mark its 40th anniversary.

 

Welcome to Ireland Mr. Harlan. Having Barry Lyndon screened at the Jameson Dublin Film Festival is bound to bring a unique energy to it having been so heavily shot in Ireland. Are you looking forward to it?

Yes, it’s nice to be here. I have seen Barry Lyndon a couple of times since but it’s very nice to return to the locations where we shot again. I’m very much looking forward to the screening.

 

You worked as Kubrick’s researcher on the never completed Napoleon film, which as a concept sounds incredible. You also wrote a book about it, do you think that completing a film on such monumental material would have had a significant effect on his legacy?

Well, he was ready to make Napoleon right after he finished 2001. Stanley was fascinated by Napoleon, the enigma surrounding his character, what drove him to be the historical figure that he now is. Stanley wanted to make a film to show how emotions, not politics, are the sole driving force behind any war. When Napoleon went to Waterloo it was his pride more-so than anything else which drove him forward rather than a love for his country. This is the story Stanley wanted to tell, because it’s such a timeless lesson that can be applied to so many different aspects of life, not just war. We are driven by our emotions, regardless of what other reasons we like to cover our actions up with. I suppose in many ways these were the same reasons that the film was never completed!

 

Kubrick is widely considered to be very provocative filmmaker, was there an element of mischief on his part surrounding the controversy of A Clockwork Orange, and it being banned from the UK upon release?

Well the controversy surrounding Clockwork Orange was only in England, it was made into this massive story but it was simply Stanley just interpreting what was some very strong and controversial source material in the best manner that he could. I suppose it didn’t help that he rarely, if ever talked to the press at this time. Stanley didn’t like being interviewed because he said they may misquote him or, even worse, quote him exactly! He found this incredibly frustrating so declined to speak to the press at all. I think this was a mistake on his part and I think that even he realized that later on. Perhaps, if he was more open with journalists, Clockwork Orange wouldn’t have generated the controversy which it did.

 

In today’s age with the likes of Twitter and social media taking over, do you think he would be just as successful today with that outlook?

Stanley was a very adaptable person so I imagine so. Although I would love to hear his thoughts about Twitter!

 

Kubrick was known to be incredibly meticulous with his sets. Did he always keep you in the loop as to what exactly he was setting out to do? For instance, there are some conspiracy theories that Kubrick left certain hints in The Shining that he actually produced the U.S moon landing…

Well the theories about moon landing are absolute nonsense, obviously. The timeline doesn’t even add up! (Laughs) A man of Stanley’s intelligence would never be so silly as to give clues in his films about that. It was always difficult to know exactly what he was thinking, but generally when we went about designing each set he would make it very clear exactly where he wanted each item and for what purpose. Occasionally he would walk around to amend certain things here and there for whatever reason, but he always placed tremendous trust in the team he assembled to carry out his instructions.

 

Full Metal Jacket is often considered to be his most commercially-friendly piece of work. Was there a feeling when making it that it was going to appeal more to the mainstream than the likes of Barry Lyndon?

Well we knew that war was such a pervasive topic that it was going to appeal to more people than his other films. It was obviously set in the backdrop to the Vietnam war but really it could have been about any war, like Napoleon. The abuse and death of young men in the name of their country is tragic and I think that is what Kubrick wanted to show. The complete pointlessness of war and its total lack of resolution. So in a sense yes, it was a slight shift for Stanley but it was the sort of film that I feel he always wanted to make.

 

When Joker kills the Vietnamese girl to put her out of her misery at the end of Full Metal Jacket, the recoil of the gunshot causes the peace symbol on his jacket to be covered over for that split second. Can you tell me whether this was intentional by Kubrick?

Well that peace sign is certainly a motif throughout the film. The girl is begging to be shot. ‘Kill me, kill me’. So Joker obliges. But this is an act of mercy in a film told entirely about the horrible and ruthless nature of war. This was Stanley’s main aim when he set out to make a war movie, to show the utter futility of war, its profound contradictions. Earlier in the film, Joker is asked what the peace symbol represents, he says it represents the duality of men. What does he say when he’s asked what side he’s on?

 

‘Our side’

Precisely, he is a man conflicted. He isn’t sure that what he is doing is serving any purpose. So to answer your question, I don’t know whether the peace symbol disappearing was intentional, although Stanley did place a great deal of emphasis on Joker’s peace symbol in production, so I would not be surprised.

 

When A.I. was in production and Kubrick so sadly passed away, were you worried about how the film would turn out with Spielberg directing it?

No, not at all. Spielberg was the only director whom Stanley trusted to make A.I. and to do it in the way that Kubrick envisioned. I sat with him through all the meetings where we saw this stunning art-work as the film was taking shape. It was going to be an immense piece of work, but as Kubrick had to prioritize things he realised that he would be unable to make the film. It is a testament to Spielberg as a director that Kubrick gave him his blessing to complete it, but he would never have done so if he felt that Spielberg wouldn’t be able to do it justice. I personally think A.I. is wonderful piece of work. A masterpiece.

 

You made Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures. Despite your close relationship with him throughout the years, did the making of that documentary give you another insight into his work and character?

That’s a good question. Well I had the pleasure of speaking to the likes of Jack Nicholson and Woody Allen who had such love and respect for what Kubrick and what he had done in his career. So in that sense it did give me another perspective to our relationship as I got to see first hand how Stanley’s work had influenced such huge figures in the industry. However, one regret from the making of that film was that we never managed to speak to Ingmar Bergman, as Stanley was such a massive fan of his and it would have been amazing to get an idea as to what Bergman thought of his work. But to answer your question; upon completing the documentary, and giving myself the opportunity to look at Stanley’s immense body of work and how it affected such influential people, I was even more honored to have worked so closely with him than before.

 

Book tickets:

Barry LyndonSaturday, 21st March 2015 @ 1:30pm in the Savoy

 

Producing With Jan Harlan –  Sunday, 22nd March 2015 @ 11:00AM in the  Light House Cinema

 

Share

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival Announces Final Guest

Laurent Cantet 

 

The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival has announced two additions to this year’s programme. French Auteur Laurent Cantet will attend the Festival for his new film Return to Ithaca and will also be the recipient of this year’s third Volta award. Alongside this news the Festival will present Iris, one of the last films from renowned documentary filmmaker, Albert Maysles.

 

Laurent Cantet is one of French cinema’s refined filmmakers, a standard bearer for the national cinematic gene with his Palme d’Or winning and Academy Award nominated The Class and César awards for Ressources humaines, 7 Days in Havana and Foxfire. The Festival will screen Return to Ithaca on Friday the 27th of March at the Screen Cinema.

 

The Festival is privileged to screen Albert Maysles’ final film Iris which follows the 93-year-old Iris Apfel, a staple of the New York fashion scene famous for her quick wit and flamboyant style. The screening will take place on Monday 23rd at 8.30pm.

 

Maysles sadly passed away on 5th March this year. Along with his brother David, he was a pioneer of Direct cinema and together they paved the way for “fly on the wall” documentary filmmaking, allowing the story to unfold naturally, without interview, narration or script. Maysles created some of the most groundbreaking documentaries including Salesman, the Beatles film, What’s Happening, the infamous Rolling Stones film Gimme Shelter, Meet Marlon Brando, When We Were Kings and Grey Gardens.

 

 Grainne Humphreys, Festival Director, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival says:

“’It is representative of the spectrum of world cinema celebrated at the 2015 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival that we can announce the dazzling, diverse recipients of our Volta Festival Tribute Awards. This year – we will recognise the contribution made by director and actor Kenneth Branagh, director Laurent Cantet and Hollywood icon Julie Andrews. Three very different artists whose work is linked by passion and curiosity, whose ambition has created an indelible impression on world cinema.

 

The Festival will also pay tribute to the late documentary legend Albert Maysles with a very special screening of his last film Iris. This wonderful film pairs legendary 87-year-old documentarian Albert Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades.”

 

Another highlight this week at the Festival is Kenneth Branagh’s magical fairytale adaptation Cinderella which will screen this Saturday at the Savoy cinema at 6.30pm, Branagh will be in attendance for the screening for a special Q&A afterwards. Also on this Saturday at 1.30pm in the Savoy is Stanley Kubrick’s epic film Barry Lyndon with star Ryan O’Neal and producer Jan Harlan in attendance. Tickets are still available for these films at www.jdiff.com or through the box office on 13 Lower Ormond Quay. Limited tickets are available for Julie Andrews Public Interview in the Bord Gáis Theatre for the closing Sunday.

 

Plenty of other screenings and exciting events are taking places in the next few days. Fidelio, Alice’s Journey also screens on Monday 23rd March with director Lucie Borleteau in attendance. This French film focuses on a sexually confident young engineer who discovers the captain of the container ship she is working on is her jilted ex-boyfriend and is on in Screen 2. Eden a beautiful French film of a struggling garage DJ as he navigates two decades in the French club scene, the film will be showing on Thursday March 26th in Cineworld.

 

The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival will take place from the 19th – 29th

March 2015. The full programme is now available to view from the festival website jdiff.com. Tickets can be booked in person at the Festival Box Office on 13 Lower Ormond Quay from 26th February, or at

Ticket Offices in Cineworld or the Light House from 14th March.

Share

‘The Great Wall’ Premieres at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

GW-SE-fin-01

The Great Wall, a new documentary by Tadhg O’Sullivan, is set to have its world premiere at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (19 – 29 March 2015) on 23rd March at 6pm at the IFI.

Funded by the Arts Council under the Reel Art scheme for creative documentary, the film is an adaptation of a short story by Franz Kafka and looks at the enclosure and protection of Europe by a complex and growing system of walls, fences and systems of exclusion

The film journeys across a myriad of modern landscapes across Europe, pausing to spend time with those whose lives are defined by these walls – detainees within European migrant camps.

Shot in eleven countries over a year, the film takes the viewer on a  journey beginning at Europe’s militarised edge – Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa where Euope’s only land border with Africa is marked by a three metre, triple layer barbed fence – to the City of London and Brussels,  seats of financial and political power and exclusion – and an array of locations in between.

The Great Wall is Tadhg O’Sullivan’s second feature documentary – his debut (co-directed with Feargal Ward) – Yximalloo also screens at the festival on March 28th.

Book tickets for The Great Wall here

 

Click here for a preview of all the Irish Films screening at this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

Share

Jameson Cult Film Club presents ‘ Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’

photo-3719

The interactive Jameson Cult Film Club screening during the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival is widely regarded as one of the most hotly anticipated events in the programme, and this year is no different. Jameson are kicking off the 2015 series of Jameson Cult Film Club’s with Guy Richie’s iconic crime comedy, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on Monday 23rd March.

 

Following on from previous successful screenings such as Fight Club, Snatch, Predator and JAWS, organisers will be challenged with transporting the audience right into the heart of London’s gritty East End as the complex plot unravels. One of the film’s well-crafted title characters, streetwise charmer ‘Eddy’, actor Nick Moran will be present for a Q&A with the audience before the movie hosted by Dave Fanning.

 

The venue, which is only revealed to ticket holders, will be completely transformed into a series of sets from the movie, while live theatre and special effects timed perfectly with on-screen action will help to create an electric atmosphere throughout the screening.

 

“We are delighted to be hosting the Jameson Cult Film Club screening of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”, commented Anna Malmhake, CEO and Chairman of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, ‘The intention of the Jameson Cult Film Club is to deliver an unforgettable screening experience for all those who attend. Now in its 5th year, the event promises to deliver an unforgettable screening experience for all those who attend.’

 

Following the screening, the party will continue in true Jameson style with DJ Aidan Kelly spinning sounds from the multi award winning soundtrack, while guests enjoy a Jameson, Ginger and Lime.

 

Tickets to this exclusive screening are free, register now for your chance to win on www.jamesoncultfilmclub.ie

 

photo-3718

 

The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival will take place from the 19th29th March 2015. The full programme is available to view on www.jdiff.com

Share

Interview: Liam Ryan, Shorts Programmer @ Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

2015 Short Film Oscar Winner, The Phone Call

 

This year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival features three outstanding programmes of Irish and International short films. Selected from around 200 submissions these programmes offer a broad range of genres and narratives. Short films from Mexico, United Kingdom, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, and the United States will screen alongside the cream of Irish live action and animation in a programme that includes both Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning short films. Ian Maleney spoke to Shorts Programmer Liam Ryan about putting together this year’s programmes.

 

You’ve changed the structure of the short film programmes this year.

Well, in previous years, shorts were a smaller section in the festival and was more built through invitation We expanded on that last year and invited submissions, which we’ve done again this year, opening submissions over a longer period to cast a wider net. We got in close to 200 films over and from the end of November – I started making my way through the all the submissions and shortlisted them from there. We’ve ended up with three really strong programmes spread over the festival – opening week, midweek and closing weekend.

 

What’s going through your mind when you put the schedule together?

First and foremost I’m thinking of what the audience is for short films. Very often it’s the cast and crew and their aunties and uncles. I wanted to try and draw in a non-industry crowd so that anyone with an interest in film could come along and enjoy them. I didn’t want to make the programmes too long, so they’re all in and around 80 minutes, which I think is a nice length. And spreading them over the festival means that people don’t have to watch them over three days back to back. So hopefully that’s more inviting to a broader audience.

 

Any particular themes running through the programmes?

The programmes are individually themed, broadly, but there’s a good mix in there. In the past, we did an Irish shorts programme and a separate international programme. I wanted to mix the Irish stuff in with what I had coming in internationally – as a short filmmaker myself at festivals abroad, it’s always great to see your short alongside shorts from all over the world. I gave each programme a broad strokes theme, but it’s still quite varied. I think it’s nice when you don’t know what’s coming next and I kind of wanted to keep an audience guessing and have a good mix of films. But in the end for me – it’s all about characters and stories

The quality of the films this year is really good. One of the shorts we’re showing, The Phone Call, won the Oscar this year for Best Short Film; we also have the Irish film Boogaloo and Graham, which was on the Oscar nominee list. Both films are fantastic.

I think there’s a really good range of different genres this year – different stories – it’s great the imagination that goes into these stories. I certainly found myself leaning towards strong stories and strong characters when I was programming. Also, going back to what I was saying earlier about thinking about the audience – one of the great things about the festival is not only the opportunity to watch these films that you maybe wouldn’t normally get a chance to see but also to meet and put questions to the filmmakers, many of whom will be at the festival. I’m really looking forward to it this year.

 

 

International Shorts 1

Venue: Light House Cinema

Sat 21st Mar 2015

2:00PM

LA MINERDirector: Thomas Wood

Running Time: 24:26

The story of a redneck savant and natural storyteller who started mining for gold on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

 

AN ODE TO LOVE

Writer-director: Matthew Darragh

Running Time: 07:00

A lonely man on a desert island explores the highs and lows of romantic love when a mysterious companion is washed ashore.

 

THE PHONE CALL

Director: Mat Kirkby

Writers: Mat Kirkby, James Lucas

Running Time: 20:55

A shy helpline worker, receives a call from a mystery man.

 

PIMEÄLLÄ POLULLA

Writer-director: Paul Helin

Running Time: 19:30

Sometimes the only way to safety lies on dark paths…

 

CÉAD GHRÁ

Director: Brian Deane

Writer: Matthew Roche

Running Time: 11:41

A nostalgic coming-of-age story about two friends that set out in pursuit of their first crush.

 

International Shorts 2

Venue: Light House Cinema

Tue 24th Mar 2015

6:00PM

Opportunities in Disguise

This year’s shorts programme is our most ambitious yet: a three-course feast showcasing up-and-coming filmmaking talent from all over the world, programmed by Liam Ryan.

 

BIG BIRD

Director: Jan Boon

Writer: Derek O’Connor

Running Time: 09:58

An Irishman in Belgium has an internet date to remember, in a rom-com that isn’t afraid to put the boot in.

 

DAY ONE

Director: Henry Hughes

Writers: Dawn DeVoe, Henry Hughes

Running Time: 24:55

In Afghanistan, an interpreter for the US Army is forced to deliver the child of an enemy bomb-maker.

 

JORDANNE

Writer-director: Zak Razvi

Running Time: 05:04

Jordanne follows Jordanne Whiley, a 22-year-old tennis player born with brittle bone disease, in the lead-up to the US Open.

 

CONTRAPELO

Director: Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer

Writers: Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer,

Liska Ostojic

Running Time: 19:58

A Mexican barber is forced to shave the leader of a drug cartel.

 

HANGAR B

Director: Thomas Beug

Running Time: 06:40

Two octogenarians muse on life and death as they restore old aircraft in a forgotten hangar.

 

ROCKMOUNT

Writer-director:

Dave Tynan

Running Time: 13:20

A diminutive eleven-year-old called Roy tries to make it onto the starting eleven of his football team.

 

 

International Shorts 3

Venue: Light House Cinema

Sun 29th Mar 2015

2:00PM

 Exit, Pursued By a Bear

This year’s shorts programme is our most ambitious yet: a three-course feast showcasing up-and-coming filmmaking talent from all over the world, programmed by Liam Ryan.

 

CATCHING FIREFLIES

Writer-director: Lee Whittaker

Running Time: 19:58

A little Latina girl attempts to escape the rigours and misfortunes of living on skid row, Los Angeles, through the power of her imagination.

 

SCRABBLE

Writer-director: Cristian Sulser

Running Time: 11:25

Scrabble addresses the secret desire to break out of the routine of a loveless relationship.

 

HOW I DIDN’T BECOME A PIANO PLAYER

Writer-director: Tommaso Pitta

Running Time: 17:40

Ted cannot find anything he is good at. Then his father comes home with an old piano and Ted has a revelation…

 

I AM HERE

Director: David Holmes

Writer: Lisa Barros D’Sa

Running Time: 16:20

Michael wakes to find himself stranded in a strange new world.

 

BOOGALOO & GRAHAM

Director: Michael Lennox

Writers: Ronan Blaney

Running Time: 14:00

Two brotheres are over the moon when their dad presents them with baby chicks to care for.

 

 

 

Share

InConversation with Grainne Humphries

jdiff_3_0691

 

This episode of InConversation features Grainne Humphries, Festival Director of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival since 2007.

 

The 2015 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival takes place 19 – 29 March.

 

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Soundcloud

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe to the Film Ireland RSS feed

 

 

 

You can check out our preview of the Irish films screening at this year’s festival here

Share

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival presents Picture House 2015

Brenda Pic

 

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival have announced that this year’s Picture House will host a selection of Irish and International shorts as part of the 2015 event.

 

The programme has been running for four years and Academy-Award winner Brenda Fricker has been patron since its second year. Picture House has been an integral part of the festival, bringing the magic of cinema to people who would otherwise be unable to take part. Over the years teh festival have organised screenings in an array of venues from ranging from hospitals to prisons. In 2012 they brought the initiative to 10 care centre’s throughout Dublin.

 

Brenda Fricker, says. “Picture House is… hands down… one of the brightest things about this festival. I’ve seen it make the people we bring it to laugh, cry and remember. It engages them in a get together otherwise beyond their reach. I am complimented to be a close part of something that is so vital to a marginalised segment of our society”

 

This year’s Picture House selection of international and Irish shorts includes Chéad Ghrá, Jordanne, An Ode to Love, Big Bird, Rockmount, How I Didn’t Become a Piano Teacher and this year’s Oscar nominated short Boogaloo & Graham.

 

Venues  and dates this year are:

 

Monday 9th March

Cairdeas Day Care Centre

 

Tuesday 10th March

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services

 

Tuesday 10th March

St Luke’s Hospital

 

Wednesday 11th March

St Mary’s, Phoenix Park

 

Wednesday 11th March

Mater Private Hospital

 

Thursday 12th March

Post Acute Care Services, Mater Misericordiae

University Hospital, located in Fairview

Community Unit

 

Friday 13th March

Raheny Community Nursing Unit,

under the management of Beaumont Hospital

 

Alongside this latest news the Festival have announced that additional tickets for the Julie Andrews event in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre have been released on sale.

 

The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival will take place from the 19th – 29th March 2015. The full programme is now available to view from at www. jdiff.com. Tickets can be booked in person at the Festival Box Ofiice on 13 Lower Ormond Quay or at Ticket Offices in Cineworld or the Light House from 14th March.

 

 

Share

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival Mash-up Trailer

jdiff-logo-2015-2

 

The programme for the 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival was officially launched this week with Jack Reynor and Gerard Barrett in attendance.

 

Take a look at the exclusive mash-up trailer that highlights the films that are showing as part of the festival.

 

 

The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival will take place from the 19th – 29th March 2015. The full programme is now available to view from the festival website jdiff.com

 

Share

Irish Film at Jameson Dublin International Film 2015

One of our favourite times of the year is upon us once more with the return of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Running from 19 – 29 March 2015, the 13th edition of the festival delivers another diverse and exciting programme of films from across the world. And, as always, amongst this year’s programme is a fantastic line-up of Irish films, which we’ve gathered below for your convenience, beginning with the festival’s opening film The Price Of Desire, Mary McGuckian’s beautiful depiction of Irish designer Eileen Gray.

Get booking and get watching.

 

 

1185625_Price-Of-Desire.png

The Price Of Desire (Mary McGuckian)

Thursday, 19th March 2015

8:15PM

Savoy

Mary McGuckian’s The Price Of Desire,  about Irish designer and architecture pioneer Eileen Gray, opens this year’s festival. Starring Orla Brady, Vincent Perez and Francesco Scianna, the Irish-Belgian co-production is the controversial story of how Eileen Gray’s contribution to 20th century architecture was almost entirely effaced from history.

Mary McGuckian, Orla Brady, and Vincent Perez will attend the screening.

 

 

 

2374-Coming_Home_-_Still_1_large

Coming Home (Viko Nikci)

Saturday, 21st March 2015

4:00PM

Light House Cinema

Angel Cordero was charged with attempted murder following a stabbing in The Bronx . Despite the evidence, Angel was convicted and served thirteen years in prison. Seven years later, Dario Rodriguez confessed to the crime. We follow Angel as he is released into a new age of social communication and eventually confronts the man who took away his freedom. But he soon realizes that facing Dario is not his greatest challenge. Angel discovers that the most important thing taken away from him was the relationship with his daughter. At its heart, this is a story about a father’s journey to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

 

FFFromtheDark

From the Dark (Conor McMahon)

Light House Cinema

Saturday, 21st March 2015

8:30PM

From the Dark centres on a young couple on a road trip through the Irish countryside who encounter an ancient force of evil.

Filmmakers will attend the screening.

Book tickets here

 

Reviewed here

 

 

10689990_433978950088967_2061130925555037473_n

Eat Your Children (Treasa O’Brien, Mary Jane O’Leary)

Sunday, 22nd March 2015

2:00PM

Screen Cinema

Eat Your Children is a road-trip quest by two friends who emigrated from Ireland during the financial crash of 2008 and who have now returned to probe Ireland’s so-called acceptance of debt and austerity.

The film uses formal observational footage, voxpop, archive material and a visual-essay style to create a rich and accessible tapestry of audiovisual material. It immerses the viewer into world of the protagonist-film-makers – two Irish women living and working in London and Barcelona who return home to find themselves uncovering the modern incarnations of Irish identity, post-colonialism, nationalism, globalization and resistance.

Treasa O’Brien and Mary Jane O’Leary will attend the screening.

Book tickets here

 

 

 24

The Great Wall (Tadhg O’Sullivan )

Monday, 23rd March 2015

6:00PM

IFI

Filmmaker’s statement: ‘The Great Wall has been completed at its most southerly point.’ So begins Kafka’s short story ‘At the Building of the Great Wall of China’, and so, at Europe’s heavily militarised south-eastern frontier, begins this film.

In the shadow of its own narratives of freedom, Europe has been quietly building its own great wall. Like its famous Chinese precursor, this wall has been piecemeal in construction, diverse in form and dubious in utility. Gradually cohering across the continent, this system of enclosure and exclusion is urged upon a populace seemingly willing to accept its necessity and to contribute to its building.

From Europe’s edges, The Great Wall moves across various unidentified fortified landscapes, pausing with those whose lives are framed by borders and walls. Moving inward toward the seat of power, the film holds the European project up to a dazzling cinematic light, refracted through Kafka’s mysterious text, ultimately questioning the nature of power within Europe and beyond.

The filmmakers will attend the screening.

Book tickets here

 

Talking-to-My-Father-title-page-Black 

Talking to My Father (Sé Merry Doyle)

Tuesday, 24th March 2015

6:00PM

IFI

Talking to my Father features two voices from two eras each concerned with how we as a nation understand the architecture that surrounds our lives. Modern architecture in Ireland reached a high point in the early sixties and one of its most celebrated and influential figures was Robin Walker. Robin studied under le Corbusier in Paris as a young graduate and later worked alongside Mies van der Rohe in Chicago. His return to Ireland in 1958 coincided with the emergence of an aspiring modern nation recovering from years of stagnation and emigration. Robin Walker became a key agent in this nation-building process.

A quarter of a century after his premature death, Simon addresses his father again and explores the legacy of his life’s work.

Book tickets here

Reviewed here

 

 

miss_julie

Miss Julie (Liv Ullmann)

Tuesday, 24th March 2015

6:15PM

Cineworld

Over the course of a midsummer night in Fermanagh in 1890, an unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy encourages her father’s valet to seduce her. A co-production from Norway/UK/Ireland/France, Miss Julie stars Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell.

Book tickets here

 

 

 

 

AllAboutEva2-1038x576

All About Eva (Ferdia Mac Anna)

Wednesday, 25th March 2015

6:00PM

Light House Cinema

All About Eva is an old-school thriller about a young woman seeking revenge upon a wealthy racing magnate whom she blames for destroying her family.

The filmmakers will attend the screening.

Book tickets here

 

ad_(640x427) 

After the Dance (Daisy Asquith)

Thursday, 26th March 2015

8:00PM

Light House Cinema

Filmmaker Daisy Asquith tells the very personal story of her mother’s conception after a dance in the 1940s on the remote west coast of Ireland. Her grandmother, compelled to run away to have her baby in secret, handed the child over to ‘the nuns’. Daisy’s mum was eventually adopted by English Catholics from Stoke on Trent. Her grandmother returned to Ireland and told no-one. The father remained a mystery for another 60 years. Until Daisy and her mum decided it was time to find out who he was. Their desperate need to know takes them on a fascinating and moving adventure in social and sexual morality and the fear and shame that Catholicism has wrought on the Irish psyche for centuries, and connecting them with a brand new family living an extraordinarily different life.

Daisy Asquith will attend the screening.

Book tickets here

 

 

JJNg5W0WA59Vk9Ny5nJeODtvS4c

Dare to be Wild (Vivienne De Courcy)

Thursday, 26th March 2015

8:30PM

Light House Cinema

Dare to be Wild is the story of one woman who sowed the seed of change… It tells the extraordinary and inspiriting true story of Irishwoman Mary Reynold’s journey from rank outsider to winner of a Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. Mary grew up with a strong affinity to the environment and a belief that somehow it was her destiny to use her talent as a designer to put environmental issues centre stage. Wild follows her journey from naive and impressionable ingenue to a impassioned and pioneering designer.

The filmmakers will attend the screening.

 

image

Glassland (Gerard Barrett)

Friday,  27th March 2015

6:30PM

Light House Cinema

In in a desperate bid to save his mother (Toni Colette) from addiction and unite his broken family, a young taxi driver (Jack Reynor) on the fringes of the criminal underworld is forced to take a job which will see him pushed further into its underbelly. But will John be prepared to act when the time comes knowing that whatever he decides to do, his and his family’s lives will be changed forever.

Gerard Barrett and Jack Reynor will attend the screening.

tumblr_static_5kx19hgbeds808ws0880wswcg

Ten Years In The Sun (Rouzbeh Rashidi)

Friday, 27th March 2015

8:00PM

Light House Cinema

An assortment of obscure private obsessions, conspiracies and perversions flicker on the verge of inoherence against the context of vast cosmic disaster in Rouzbeh Rashidi’s boldest film to date. This sensory onslaught combines a homage to the subversive humour of Luis Buñuel and Joao Cesar Monteiro with the visionary scope of a demented science fiction epic.

Book tickets here

 

 

 

9871c7003ac2001f6c506d8ebd6aa64be573f02b

Tana Bana (Pat Murphy)

Friday, 27th March 2015

8:40PM

Light House Cinema

Varanasi is the ancient city on the Ganges where Hindu pilgrims come to bathe at dawn and where cremation fires burn along the sacred river long after night has fallen. The city is also famous for the Moslem silk weavers whose ancestors traveled along the Silk Road and whose history is interwoven with that of their Hindu neighbours.

Loosely structured as a day in the life of Varanasi, this unique, intimate documentary explores how the Moslem community of weavers respond to huge economic shifts in their lives and shows the difficulties they face in passing on traditional weaving skills to their children. The film also gives voice to the changing roles of women within this enclosed world.

Pat Murphy will attend the screening.

Book tickets here

 

 

10959410_793181697403753_1233991335018548863_n

Let Us Prey (Brian O’Malley)

Friday, 27th March 2015

10:40PM

Light House Cinema

Rachel, a rookie cop, is about to begin her first nightshift in a neglected police station in a Scottish, backwater town. The kind of place where the tide has gone out and stranded a motley bunch of the aimless, the forgotten, the bitter-and-twisted who all think that, really, they deserve to be somewhere else. They all think they’re there by accident and that, with a little luck, life is going to get better. Wrong, on both counts. Six is about to arrive – and All Hell Will Break Loose!

Book tickets here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2fnLntATUo

 

 

YXIMALLOO-film-still-1-650x290

Yximalloo (Tadhg O’Sullivan, Feargal Ward)

Saturday, 28th March 2015

2:00PM

Light House Cinema

Naofumi ‘Yximalloo’ Ishimaru is an obscure cult musician, living and working on the fringes of music and society for all of his storied life. A self-taught, self-styled pioneer with a vast back-catalogue, Naofumi currently lives with his disabled civil partner in an anonymous, unfriendly cul-de-sac in a Dublin suburb. Torn between his loyalties to Gerry, his yearning for Japanese society and the dream of making his international music career pay, Naofumi endures a difficult year. Moving between Dublin and Tokyo, this touching portrait opens up the world of a deeply individual character to explore universal ideas of life, love and loneliness.

 

2418-Bill___May_Stephens_with_lion_cub_and_alsation_dog_large

Wheel Of Fortune: The Story And Legacy Of The Fairview Lion Tamer (Joe Lee)

Saturday, 28th March 2015

3:30PM

Light House Cinema

 

Filmmaker’s statement: Wheel of Fortune is a documentary feature film about Bill Stephens, an ordinary young man in 1950s Ireland with an extraordinary ambition: to become an international circus star. It is also a love story about Bill and his young and beautiful wife May, from East Wall. Their double act, Jungle Capers, Bill Stephens and Lovely Partner, was a series of death-defying feats with a troupe of lions and dogs designed to thrill audiences in the  circus tent and on the stage. With this act they hoped to break free from the suffocating reality of Irish life, but things went terribly wrong when, in November 1951, one of their animals escaped. The story gained national and international attention at the time, but it is only now – after 60 years of silence – that two families and a community have come together to tell the story in full.

The filmmakers will attend the screening.

Book tickets here

 

 

images

The Canal (Ivan Kavanagh)

Saturday, 28th March 2015

8:30PM

Light House Cinema

Set in rural Ireland, The Canal stars Rupert Evans as David, a film archivist with a morbid fascination for old films in which the subjects have since died. Right after learning that his wife may be cheating on him, she mysteriously disappears at the same time that his assistant Claire finds an old reel of film that points to a murder that took place in his house a hundred years ago. David starts to suspect her disappearance may involve some form of the supernatural but he also quickly becomes the prime suspect.

Rupert Evans will attend the screening.

Book tickets here

 

 

You can check the full programme here

Share

Russell Crowe to Attend Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

20101214-russell-crowe-640x360

The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival have announced that Russell Crowe’s directorial debut The Water Diviner will screen on Friday, 20th March

 

Academy award winning actor Russell Crowe will attend the festival next month to introduce his new film The Water Diviner and participate in a post-screening Q&A at the Savoy Cinema.

 

Entertainment One’s forthcoming release, The Water Diviner, is a tale of love, faith and heroism. Four years after the devastating battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I, Australian farmer and water diviner Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his three sons who enlisted to fight amongst their allies but have been reported as missing in action.

 

When his questions are blocked by military bureaucracy, he’s aided by a beautiful hotel owner (Olga Kurylenko) and then by Major Hassan, a Turkish war hero (Yilmaz Erdogan) who becomes an unlikely ally. As Joshua heads across the tragic, war-torn landscape searching for answers, he struggles to find his own peace but desperately holds onto hope.

 

The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival takes place from 19th – 29th March 2015. The full lineup for the Festival programme will be announced on Wednesday February 25th www.jdiff.com. The Water Diviner will be released in cinemas by Entertainment One on 3rd April 2015.

 

The Water Diviner: The Savoy Cinema | Friday 20 March. Tickets will be officially on sale for this event as of today and can be purchased online http://bit.ly/1McTsGv or www.jdiff.com or at their Box Office which is now open Monday to Friday 11am – 5pm on 13 Lower Ormond Quay. The JDIFF 2015 Season Ticket is currently available to purchase at €245 along limited edition merchandise. Also new this year is the Bring A Friend Season Pass, two season tickets for €425.

 

Share

Kim Cattrall to Attend Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

r-KIM-CATTRALL-large570

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival has announced that award winning actress Kim Cattrall will be attending the Festival to screen exclusively to Irish audiences episodes of her new Sky Arts TV series Sensitive Skin and will participate in an elite master class at The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art.

The Festival will screen episodes of Sensitive Skin in Movies@Dundrum, with Kim Cattrall in attendance. This Canadian black comedy, based on the critically acclaimed 2005 British series of the same name starring Joanna Lumley, stars Kim Cattrall as Davina, a former model and actress in the midst of a middle age crisis. Feeling as though she is losing her zest for life, she struggles with sexual temptation and professional jealousy, while trying to cope with her fear of the future alongside her husband, Alan (Don McKellar – Scott Pligrim, Slings and Arrows).

As part of her visit to the Festival, Kim Cattrall will be the focus of a master class hosted by The Lir Academy for their students. Following the success of Stanley Tucci’s Q&A to the students last year this will be the second year that The Lir will host these master classes.

Alongside this latest news the Festival has announced that the 2015 JDIFF programme launch will be Wednesday 25th February. The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival takes place from 19th – 29th March 2015.

 

The JDIFF 2015 Season Ticket is currently available to purchase at €245 along limited edition merchandise. Also new this year is the Bring A Friend Season Pass, two season tickets for €425. You can purchase these online www.jdiff.com or at their Box Office which is now open Monday to Friday 11am – 5pm on 13 Lower Ormond Quay.

Share

Three Films Announced for JDIFF 2015

David Hare copyright Daniel Farhi 2010

The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival reveals a preview of next year’s programme with three special announcements:

  • The Irish premiere of Mary McGuckian’s Eileen Gray biopic The Price of Desire
  • The attendance of Oscar nominated screenwriter and playwright Sir David Hare
  • Award–winning actor-director Alan Rickman’s period drama A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet

Hailing from Northern Ireland, the award winning writer and director Mary McGuckian, (Man on the Train, Inconceivable and Best) will premiere her latest film The Price of Desire at the Festival featuring a stellar cast including Alanis Morissette, Vincent Perez with Irish actress Orla Brady as iconic designer Eileen Gray.

Mary McGuckian, writer and director of The Price of Desire says: “It’s an absolute honour that JDIFF has chosen to programme The Price of Desire at the Festival. Orla Brady who plays Eileen Gray along with Vincent Perez who plays Le Corbusier share my delight at the news. We all agree that it is entirely fitting for Eileen Gray’s film to premiere in Ireland.”

Over the years JDIFF has played host to an array of cinematic and literary legends including Robert Towne, Kenneth Lonergan, Peter Morgan, Jean-Claude Carriere, Fredric Raphael and 2015 will be no exception. This year the Festival is proud to welcome the Oscar nominated Sir David Hare, one of Britain’s most distinguished contemporary screenwriters and playwrights, as part of their Screenwriting Focus strand. Among his film work he is most notable for The Reader and The Hours. When the British National Theatre published its poll of the 100 best plays of the 20th century, five, including Plenty and Skylight, were by Hare.

It’s been seventeen years since Alan Rickman was behind the camera as director and now the award–winning actor is back with his period drama A Little Chaos. This film reunites him with his Sense and Sensibility co-star, Academy Award winner, Kate Winslet. A Little Chaos, which also stars Stanley Tucci, alongside Rickman himself, will have its Irish premiere at the Festival.

The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival takes place from 19th – 29th March 2015. www.jdiff.com

The JDIFF 2015 Season Ticket is currently available to purchase at an early bird price of €200 (normally €245) until  5 January 2015. JDIFF are introducing a special Gala pass along with limited edition merchandise, pefect for the film fan for Christmas. You can purchase these online www.jdiff.com or at their Box Office which is now open Monday to Friday 11am – 5pm on 13 Lower Ormond Quay.

 

 

Share

On the Reel at Jameson Cult Film Club screening of ‘Jaws’

photo

 

Check out the latest video from On the Reel in association with Film Ireland. Lynn Larkin hooks up with Hollywood legend Richard Dreyfuss and finally gets to confront him face to face about his responsibility for her fear of swimming in the ocean.

Lynn then finds herself trapped in a cage not knowing what beast will attack. Will she survive this underwater nightmare? Is this Lynn’s last ever On the Reel? Will Gemma be left minus a partner and be forced to do the next red carpet…?

Find out:

On the Reel

 

Share