Liam Cunningham @ IFI

 

The Irish Film Institute welcome actor Liam Cunningham for a special preview screening of his latest film The Childhood of a Leader followed by a Q&A on Thursday, August 18th at 8 p.m.

Liam Cunningham is an Irish actor best known as Davos Seaworth in HBO’s smash hit series Game of Thrones, a role that gained him international recognition. He has worked on leading TV series, including Outcasts, Camelot, Dr. Who and Merlin. Liam’s debut film role was as a police officer in, Into the West and alongside his expansive television career he has appeared in many award-winning films, including War HorseThe Guard, Hunger, Safehouse, and the box office hit Clash of the Titans. 

An extreme case of nature versus nurture is unfolded in this debut from actor-turned-director Brady Corbet. An adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s story, The Childhood of a Leader is a bold statement of intent which announces Corbet as a filmmaker of vision and ambition. The year is 1918; seven-year-old Prescott is in France with his American diplomat father (Cunningham), a significant player in the war-ending Paris peace negotiations, and his German mother (Bernice Bejo). Increasingly rebellious, the young boy responds to his distracted parent’s emotional neglect in increasingly alarming fashion.

Tickets for the screening and Q&A are available now at www.ifi.ie or by calling the IFI Box Office on 01 – 6793477.

The Childhood of a Leader will open at the IFI on Friday, August 19th with tickets going on sale Monday, August 15th.

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Review: Let Us Prey

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DIR: Brian O’Malley • WRI: David Cairns, Fiona Watson • PRO: Eddie Dick, Brendan McCarthy, John McDonnell • DOP: Piers McGrail • ED: Tony Kearns • DES: James Lapsley • MUS: Steve Lynch • DES: Scott Kuzio • CAST: Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Bryan Larkin

 

Brian O’Malley’s Let Us Prey arrived at JDIFF earlier this year, mooted against its will as part of an Irish horror trilogy that would screen at the festival. Irish genre films are a rare beast, the Irish film itself often emerging as a genre unto itself with most films produced domestically inspired by Irish culture and guided to Irish audiences. The universal appeal of the horror genre is a mine consistently ripe for tapping and, as such, contains far more misfires than hits, regardless of where they were produced. Judging this film on that criteria alone (as opposed to the inevitable mirth it will be greeted with for daring to not be about Catholic guilt), Let Us Prey escapes dissection relatively unscathed, and almost triumphantly when one considers it is a directorial debut.

The film opens with well-shot waves crashing against a Scottish shore, from which Liam Cunningham emerges creepily. He commences to potter about a small coastal village until he is noticed by rookie police officer Rachel and locked up with all the other local sinners, a number which swells from one to four during the course of the film. What follows, as the group of miscreants and police-officers clamber in for the night, is a kind-of demonic Assault on Precinct 13, with more bloodshed than the average audience is accustomed to. Be warned; for the faint-hearted this is not; this is the most grisly sequence of events I’ve seen transpire onscreen since Kill List.

And thankfully it all looks great – shot well, edited sublimely, lit grimly and paced steadily. The acting is of a standard, with Cunningham’s charisma doing everyone a favour, and he doesn’t even seem to be making an effort. In truth, he’s fast becoming one of those actors it’s simply a good idea to have in your film and here it’s difficult to see anyone else working in the role, but it’s the less famous faces one should be paying attention to, in particular Douglas Russell as the deranged Sgt. McReady, whom I apparently saw in Valhalla Rising but was certainly not a fraction as memorable then. He gets the films finest beat and owns it thrillingly, in blood-soaked, belly-laughing fashion. Watch his space.

The minor muddle meandering through this at-times delightful cocktail of horrors is where it’s coming from. There is something amiable in an innate desire to sew together horror elements with a thin tangle of plot (see 2009’s Orphan), but Let Us Prey deftly hints. until its final act, that it is a hymn to a higher purpose  – yet fails to deliver a plot pay-off in that regard, though Stephen Lynch’s twisted synth-music is the only definite hint one needs to know that this is genre-fare with ambition of the highest order. That and of course … McReady.

Let Us Prey is a great day in the cinema for horror-fans and should probably be avoided by flirters with the genre, though I’ll steer no one clear from this if I can help it. Brian O’Malley has delivered on that universal appeal I referred to earlier, and then some.

Donnchadh Tiernan

92 minutes

18 (See IFCO for details)

Let Us Prey is released 5th June 2015

Let Us Prey – Official Website

 

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

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On The Reel At The IFTAs

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Lynn Larkin (second left) closes in on Fassbender’s IFTA

On the Reel’s Lynn Larkin, in association with Film Ireland, hits the red carpet in her blue guna and and gets in among the celebs at the Irish Film and Television Awards ceremony, which took place at the DoubleTree by Hilton venue in Dublin 4 on Saturday, 5th April 2014.

Check out the video below and get the low-down on the night from Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell, Liam Cunningham, Will Forte, Mary Murray, Amy Huberman,  Andrew Scott, Fionnula Flanagan, Antonia Campbell-Hughes

 

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'The Guard’ Sundance World Premiere

The Guard, received much acclaim at its world premiere in Park City, Utah as part of the prestigious Sundance film festival.  The Guard was selected as the opening film of the World Dramatic Competition at the 2011 festival.

The Los Angeles Times reported that film buyers flocked to the sold out screening ‘..like moths to a flame, making it a fitting festival launch’. According to Variety ‘… it’s Gleeson who rightly owns the screen as a beer-swilling, crotch-grabbing, Derringer-firing crusader with one hell of a filthy mouth to go along with his heart of gold.’ and the director John Michael McDonagh’s ‘filmmaking crackles with energy’.

Directed by John Michael McDonagh, The Guard’s cast, includes Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges, Harry Potter, The General) Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2, Crash, Hotel Rwanda) Fionnuala Flanagan (Lost, Transamerica) Liam Cunningham (Hunger, The Wind that Shakes the Barley) and Mark Strong (KickAss, Sherlock Holmes).

The Guard is a thriller-comedy set on the west coast of Ireland where Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Gleeson)  is a small-town cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humour, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle)to his door.

The Guard is an Irish/UK co-production, backed by the Irish Film Board and Section 481 as well as International Financiers. It’s produced by Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo for Reprisal Films and Ed Guiney (Garage) and Andrew Lowe (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) for Element Pictures.

Irish audiences will get an opportunity to see The Guard in cinemas when it goes on theatrical release this summer through Element Pictures Distribution.

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Jameson Dublin International Film Festival Launched

Acclaimed Hunger actor Liam Cunningham and Oscar®-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan unveiled the impressive programme of events at the 7th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival launch. The launch took place in The Odeon, Harcourt Street at 6.30 pm Monday 26th January.

Taking place from the 12–22 February, the festival features a stellar lineup of guests including Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Clive Owen, James Nesbitt, Neil Gaiman, Frederic Raphael, John Crowley, Armando Iannucci, Michel Houellebecq and Artistic Director of Cannes Film Festival Thierry Fremaux.

Presenting over 130 features from 28 countries, the festival is due to attract audiences of over 40,000 with archive and premiere screenings, special guests, discussions and unique events.

For booking and full programme information please click here www.jdiff.com, or contact the Box Office in Film Base, Temple Bar.

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