Best of Irish Film 2014

 

2014 was a strong year for Irish films released in the cinemas. Alongside a number of successful mainstream releases were some excellent independent features and documentaries. Our Top 5 of the year looks a little something like this:

 

Frank

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“…sharply-scripted, beautifully-shot…”

Read Ruairí Moore’s review here

 

Out of Here

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“Foreman’s direction is exceptional…”

Read Anthony Assad‘s review here

 

Love Eternal

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“…its ingenuity and freshness is something [to] be applauded…”

Read Stephen Totterdell’s review here

 

Calvary

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“Gleeson’s most compelling performance yet…”

Read Ruairí Moore’s review here

 

Jimmy’s Hall

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“…excellent pacing and rich cinematography…”

Read Stephen Totterdell’s review here

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Competition: Win Tickets to ‘Love Eternal’

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Love Eternal, winner of the Best Irish Feature Award at this year’s JDIFF and the new feature film from Brendan Muldowney, will be released in Irish cinemas on July 4th.  A special preview screening will take place in the IFI on Thursday, July 3rd at 20.30 with a Q&A with Brendan and star of the film Pollyanna McIntosh (Filth, The Woman).

Emmy-nominated Dutch actor, Robert de Hoog (Skin) features alongside McIntosh in the film which is based on the Japanese novel In Love With The Dead, from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper).

Love Eternal is a dark, tender romance that centres on an isolated and death-fixated young man (de Hoog) who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how…by getting closer to death.   Chance encounters however, send him on a different path and he begins to experience the world first through interactions with the dead and later through an uneasy friendship with the alive but anguished Naomi (McIntosh).

Since premiering at the Galway Film Fleadh last year the film has screened at over sixty festivals worldwide, including the prestigious Sitges, Busan and Black Bear Film Festival in Warsaw where it picked up the inaugural Fresh Blood Award.

Thanks to the eternally lovely people at Wildcard Distribution we have a pair of tickets to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question:

What was the title of Brendan Muldowney’s debut feature?

Email your answer to filmireland.net before lunchtime on wEDNESDAY July 2ND when the Film Ireland Hat will select a winner. The winner will be contacted by email.

To book tickets for the preview screening, visit the IFI website

To find out more about the film, see the Love Eternal page on the Wildcard Distribution website

Love Eternal is being released on 4th July

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‘Love Eternal’ Screens at Twisted Celluloid Film Festival

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Love Eternal, which was partially shot in Cobh, County Cork, will have its Cork premiere as opening film of the Twisted Celluloid Film Festival in the Triskel Arts Centre on Thursday 15th May. Actress Emma Eliza Regan will introduce this special screening of Love Eternal.

Love Eternal, directed by Brendan Muldowney (Savage), recently won the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Irish Feature Award at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, and will be released in Irish cinemas by Wildcard Distribution on July 4th.

Featuring the Emmy-nominated Dutch actor, Robert de Hoog, and Scottish actress Pollyanna McIntosh, and based on the Japanese novel In Love With The Dead, from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper), the film centres on an isolated and death-fixated young man who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how…by getting closer to death.

Love Eternal was produced by Conor Barry, Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher at Fastnet Films, with Luxembourg co-producers Red Lion, Dutch co-producers Rinkel Film, TO Entertainment from Japan, with support from the Irish Film Board / Bord Scannán na hÉireann, the Film Fund Luxembourg, the Netherlands Film Fund and Atlantic Screen Music.

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JDIFF Irish Film Review: Love Eternal

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Anthony Assad takes a look at Brendan Muldowney’s second feature, which screened at the 2014 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Ian (Robert de Hoog) is an enigma trapped in a defective human shell. As a child he witnesses his father’s last breath, his bereavement stalls in isolation and he descends into a morbid fascination with his own mortality. Life goes on but death seems to follow him everywhere so that when his mother kills herself he decides it’s about time to end his own life. Just as he has narrowed down the means and the smoke from his car’s exhaust pipe begins to enter his lungs he’s interrupted by a van of individuals that pull over to prep their own suicide. Curiosity leads him towards them and finding the ethereal corpse of a teenage girl sparks a dangerous love affair with the dying and the dead.

If this all sounds a tad grim so far that’s because it is, one would expect no less from an adaptation of Kei Oishi’s necrophilia-laden novel Loving the Dead but the real surprises shine through writer/director Brendan Muldowney’s spirited treatment of the material. A sense of unease pervades through much of these early scenes however and when Ian begins to routinely scope out women on the verge of suicide, so that he can acquire their corpses for company, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s no hope nor humanity to be had.

He props them up around his seaside abode, arranges meals for them, bathes them and even engages in conversation but when they begin to decompose Ian is forced to engage with the real world again to find fresh company. It is in the means to this end, however, that he begins to slowly come out of his self-imposed shell most notably with Tina played tenderly by Amanda Ryan. Her spritely demeanour offsets Ian’s sombre stoicism and their odd couple pairing adds some comedic relief which Muldowney proffers with commendable discretion. They listen to songs on the radio, dine together and drown their sorrows in champagne so that when the time comes, brutal as it is, you get a sense that Tina has imparted some life into Ian and that he has perhaps lost more than he’s gained when only her body remains.

Nature takes its course and Tina is duly discarded when Ian sets his sights on Naomi (Pollyanna McIntosh) who’s struggling to cling to life after her son dies in an accident. Ian is drawn to her energy and her sense of living life on the edge ramps up the size and scope of their scenes adding a welcome change of pace and atmosphere as we wonder to what their pairing will lead.

The fact that Ian pursues women exclusively raises cause for concern initially and the intimate behaviour that follows could easily be construed as sexual objectification.  Thankfully, however, the liberties Muldowney and co. take avoid the pitfalls of the book so that the women in Love Eternal emerge as the real stars and savours of the piece. Their lives and personalities are infinitely more intricate than the patterns of snowflakes or leafs Ian is mystified by and despite their absence they continue to echo through each scene that follows colouring de Hoog’s performance as the narrative unfolds.

With his second feature in the bag, Muldowney continues to breath new life into dark material presenting, from what could easily have become another body horror B movie, a twisted and tender fairy tale about loneliness that is as much concerned with life as it is with death. The whole affair warrants repeat viewings and Tom Comerford’s cinematography and Bart Westerlaken’s elegiac score combine and compliment Ian’s evolution beautifully.

It may upset the squeamish but brave the initial bleakness and you’ll be pleasantly surprised and perhaps even revitalised.

Click here for further coverage from the 12th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Love Eternal screened on Sunday, 23rd February 2014 as part of the 12th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (13 – 23 February 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Love Eternal’ Success at JDIFF and Cinema Release Announced

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Love Eternal, directed by Brendan Muldowney (Savage), has won the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Irish Feature Award at the recent Jameson Dublin International Film, and will be released in Irish cinemas by Wildcard Distribution this summer.

Love Eternal premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in July, and has now screened at over sixty festivals worldwide, including the prestigious Sitges and Busan, and winning the inaugural Fresh Blood Award at the recent Black Bear Film Fest in Warsaw. Upcoming International screenings include festivals in Taiwan, Belgium, Brazil, and Portugal. Love Eternal will also screen at the Dingle Film Festival on the 16th March.

Featuring the Emmy-nominated Dutch actor, Robert de Hoog (Skin), and Scottish actress Pollyanna McIntosh (Filth, The Woman), and based on the Japanese novel In Love With The Dead, from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper), the film centers on an isolated and death-fixated young man who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how…by getting closer to death.

Speaking about the Jameson Dublin Film Festival award and the upcoming release, director Brendan Muldowney said: “I’m honoured and delighted with the recognition this award gives Love Eternal. I would like to thank all involved in the film (as we share collectively in the award) – cast, crew, funders, producers, co-producers, distributors and sales agent, and in particular – Kei Oishi, the writer of the novel, Producer Conor Barry, and Fastnet Films. Thank you – Dublin Film Critics Circle, and also, thank you Grainne Humphreys and JDIFF for screening Love Eternal. We look forward to our cinema release in June with Wildcard Distribution”.

Love Eternal was produced by Conor Barry, Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher at Fastnet Films, with Luxembourg co-producers – Red Lion, Dutch co-producers – Rinkel Film and TO Entertainment from Japan, with support from the Irish Film Board, the Film Fund Luxembourg, the Netherlands Film Fund and Atlantic Screen Music.

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JDIFF 2014: Irish Film Preview – Love Eternal

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Love Eternal

Tue 18th Feb 2014

8:30PM @ Cineworld

Following the success of his debut feature, Savage, director Brendan Muldowney returns to the screen with his new film, Love Eternal, based on the Japanese novel In Love with the Dead, by Kei Oishi. The film focuses on a death-fixated young man trying to make sense of the world.

Conor Barry and the team behind Dublin-based Fastnet Films co-produced the film with Rinkel Films of the Netherlands, Red Lion and T.O. Entertainment. A truly international venture, post-production took place in Luxembourg, making it the first Irish/Luxembourg feature to go into production following the signing of a co-production treaty at the 2011 Galway Film Fleadh.

Brendan Muldowney told Film Ireland that he is “delighted to be part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival this year and excited about  Dublin audiences having a chance to see Love Eternal.”

When Ian Harding’s (Robert de Hoog) mother dies, this isolated man must venture into a world that he no longer understands. Unable to comprehend basic human emotions, he takes the decision to end it all in a snowy forest clearing, but a rare chance encounter will change his life. Love Eternal is a rich cinematic experience, and, in his exploration of notions of life, death and the universe as a whole, Muldowney has created a bold cinematic landscape all his own.

 

Tickets are available to book from Filmbase or online here

 

 

Director: Brendan Muldowney

Cast: Polyanna McIntosh, Amanda Ryan, Robert de Hoog

Duration: 93 minutes

The 12th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival runs 13 – 23 February 2014.

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Brendan Muldowney’s ‘Love Eternal’ Wins in Warsaw

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Brendan Muldowney’s Love Eternal has won the Fresh Blood Award at the inaugural Black Bear Film Fest in Warsaw.

The film stars Emmy-nominated Dutch actor Robert de Hoog (Skin) and Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman), and based on the Japanese novel In Love with the Dead from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper) and centres on an isolated and death-fixated young man who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how . . . by getting closer to death.

Love Eternal is produced by Conor Barry, Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher for Fastnet Films, with Luxembourg co-producers Red Lion, Dutch co-producers Rinkel Film and TO Entertainment from Japan, with support from the Irish Film Board, the Film Fund Luxembourg and the Netherlands Film Fund.

 

 

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