One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – 45th Anniversary Screening @ First Fortnite

This year is the 45th anniversary of the release of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  Writer and broadcaster Ann Marie Hourihan tells us why the film is still relevant today.  The film screens in Donegal, Leitrim and Kildare as part of First Fortnight Festival, which makes the beginning of each year synonymous with mental health awareness, challenging prejudice and ending stigma.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest still feels fresh.  The film was released in 1975, it  was based on the novel written by Ken Kesey, published in 1962. But  its theme is eternal. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest is about control, that is social control. And it is also about the insanity of sanity.

When it first appeared the book – which also became a successful Broadway play-  was recognised  as a portrait of the individual against the system, of the fight between the old culture of conformity against the new alternative counter culture of which Ken Kesey was a enthusiastic member. He had also worked nights at the Palo Alto Veterans’ Hospital.

The film  is about mental illness as a form of protest against the madness of the world, and as a shelter from the world, and also as a punishment meted out by the world.   One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is set in  a mental hospital that functions because both sides – the staff and the patients – agree on this view and conform to it: “Medication time!”

Into this calm and desolate system comes R.P McMurphy who wants  to be incarcerated in a mental hospital rather than face time in jail. He has been convicted of statutory rape for having sex with a fifteen year old girl. McMurphy is unrepentant : “She was fifteen going on thirty five and she was very willing… no man could resist that.”

In fact throughout the film sex  (for men) is regarded as the cure for most things. Several of the patients have been  incarcerated precisely because the outside world does not allow them to have sex. Both Billy’s mother and Mr Hardy’s wife have forbidden their men sex and therefore, by implication, consigned them to the madhouse . On their hospital ward  they are dominated and patronised by Nurse Ratched, whom McMurphy quickly identifies as the enemy.

There are no female patients in this  hospital and there is only one non-white male on McMurphy’s ward : Chief, a Native American, played by Will Sampson. The male orderlies are all African-Americans. So  McMurphy has a group of white men to play with, and to bring pleasure to.  He cleans up at their card games, takes them fishing, tries to sharpen up their basket ball, and petitions for them to watch the World Series: “Come on, be good Americans”.

One of the greatest scenes in the film is when, although Nurse Ratched has forbidden patients to watch the World Series, R.P. McMurphy sits them down in front of a blank television screen and has them cheering at an imaginary baseball game whilst he provides a running commentary.

Most of the time though his fellow inmates are shy, obedient and terribly afraid. They don’t want any trouble and, as McMurphy discovers to his horror, the majority of them are voluntary inmates, free to leave whenever they want but reluctant to even try for liberty.

The film is brought to greatness by the actors portraying these patients. The stuttering Billy ( Brad Dourif), Danny DeVito as Martini, who eats the Monopoly pieces, and Cheswick, played by Sydney Lassick. Cheswick is full of despair as he protests at Nurse Ratched’s withholding of his cigarettes by sobbing “ I ain’t no little kid.”

The punishment for Cheswick’s outburst is swift and terrible, and we see clearly what McMurphy is only beginning to understand: that the relative calm of Nurse Ratched’s ward is based on a ruthless penal system just as bad as any prison’s.

In the book the story of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is narrated by the Chief – its title comes from a nursery rhyme from his childhood. At the end of the film McMurphy’s anarchy gives the Chief courage to start living again, although the system at the hospital remains  unchanged.

The director of  the film, Milos Foreman, had escaped to America from the Soviet totalitarianism in his native Czechoslavakia. He was determined that the film, before anything else, had to feel real. He and many of the film’s actors stayed at the Oregon State Mental Hospital where it was filmed. In fact Dr Spivey, who interviews McMurphy on his arrival, was played by Dr Dean Brooks, who was the director of the hospital. Other parts in the film were taken by real patients and staff. Even at the time of filming the mental health system’s attitude to incarceration was changing:   the population of Oregon State Mental Hospital had been fallen to just 600 patients. Some of the  film’s attitudes would not be tolerated now. But some things do not change and anyone with experience of the modern mental health system will identify with it. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest still feels all too real.

 

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest screens

04 January @ 20:00 Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair, Donegal
14 January @ 20:00 The Dock, Leitrim
16 January @ 20:00 The Riverbank , Kildare

 

First Fortnight utilises arts and culture to challenge mental health stigma while supporting some of Ireland’s most vulnerable people through creative therapies. 

In Ireland, one in four people are predicted to struggle with their mental health at some point in their lives.

 

www.firstfortnight.ie/

Share

‘Women’s Voices, Women’s Stories’ Documentary Panel

 

WIFT Ireland present Women’s Voices, Women’s Stories’: an all-female panel of documentary makers discuss the future for women documentary authors and women’s stories.

Saturday, 30th November  2019

14:00 – 18:00

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin, 8 Golden Ln, D08 VRR7 Dublin 8

This panel discussion event will gather together women documentarians to discuss pertinent and urgent issues relating to women in documentary film. To ask if there is still inequality in the role of director / author, and if so, why is this still the case in 2019?

Guests will include award-winning documentary directors Kim Bartley: The Revolution will not be Televised / I am Traveller, Margo Harkin – Bloody Sunday: A Derry Diary / The Far Side of Revenge, Lelia Doolan – Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey / Former Chair of IFB / Founder Galway Film Fleadh and special guest from the USA Amy Adrion and a screening of her multi-award-winning film Half the Picture. Watch the trailer here:

HALF THE PICTURE Trailer from amy adrion on Vimeo.

“HALF THE PICTURE plays like a cocktail party where everyone’s had a glass of wine and is ready to get real!” – The Guardian

Can’t make the event? Members, please swing by to say hello and join us for drinks and nibbles at 6.00pm

Entry is free to all up-to-date WFT members / €10 non-members (we just ask that you bring cash on the day)

Tickets

Share

Trailer: ‘The Last Right’ in Cinemas 6th December

Starring Michiel Huisman, Niamh Algar, Samuel Bottomley, Eleanor O’Brien, Colm Meaney, Brian Cox

 Directed by Aoife Crehan

New York-based DANIEL MURPHY wakes on a flight home to Ireland for his Mum’s funeral to find elderly passenger PADRAIG MURPHY has died in the next seat. To his surprise the lonely Padraig had just listed him as his next of kin.

In a bid to persuade his autistic brother LOUIS to return to New York with him, Daniel agrees to drive Padraig’s remains across the length of Ireland, from Cork to Rathlin Island, to be buried with his brother. Hitching a ride in the passenger seat is the funeral home temp MARY, who is on a mission to correct a drunken mistake. Meanwhile, the police realise Daniel has no business driving off with Padraig’s body, and Daniel, Mary and Louis find themselves the focus of a nationwide manhunt.

As they cross the country and the border, sparks ignite between Mary and Daniel. But when a long-buried family secret endangers the fragile truce between the brothers, Mary finds herself caught in the crossfire.

With its uniquely Irish sense of humour, this is a heart-warming and bittersweet comedy drama about family and finding home.

Opens in Irish cinemas December 6th, cert: 15a.

Share

‘The Man Who Wanted To Fly’ Festival Screening & Nomination

After a fantastic opening weekend at the Irish box-office with further expansion this week, The Man Who Wanted To Fly has been officially selected for Newport Beach Film Festival and also nominated in the Single Documentary category of the Celtic Media Festival.

The largest international cinema event in South California, the 20th Newport Beach Film Festival will take place from April 25th to May 2nd. The Celtic Media Festival, which is held in a different Celtic heartland each year, will be situated in Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands this time round, and will run from June 4th to 6th.


“The reactions we’re getting from audiences are astounding,” said Trisha Canning, producer of The Man Who Wanted To Fly.

“What’s been really pleasing for us is the large cross section of audience with which the film is striking a chord. People of all ages seem to be really enjoying it, with one of the film’s core themes of never giving up on a dream, particularly resonating.”

Share

Registration Open for the Irish Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival 2019

Screen Ireland has announced that registration for the Irish Pavilion at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival is now open.

The Irish Pavilion is located at No. 131, in the International Village.


Register online here.

Online registration will close on Thursday 18 April 2019 at 5 pm.


Screening or Selling at Cannes?
If you have a Screen Ireland-supported film or co-production screening or selling in the market, please let the Screen Ireland know so that they can list the details in their marketing materials. You can inform us of films screening and/or selling by filling out the online form.

Share

Moe Dunford to receive Breakthrough Artist Award at Newport Beach Film Festival

The 20th annual Newport Beach Film Festival will present the largest celebration of Irish Cinema in North America during its eight-day run (April 25 – May 2, 2019) in Southern California. Highlights include an Irish Showcase event, red carpet premieres, Breakthrough Artist Award presentation to Moe Dunford, eleven Irish feature length films, twenty Irish short films, the participation of Irish filmmakers and talent.

On Saturday, April 27th, the Festival will honour Irish Actor Moe Dunford with the Breakthrough Artist Award at the 2019 Festival Honors reception co-hosted by Variety Magazine at the Balboa Bay Resort. Dunford, who stars in three of the Festival’s Irish films (Metal Heart, Rosie, The Dig) and is best known for Vikings, Patrick’s Day and Michael Inside (a 2018 NBFF official selection), has emerged as one of Ireland’s most talented and versatile actors with a robust slate of films in the works, on the festival circuit and in theatrical release. On Sunday, April 28th, 2019, the Festival will present its Irish Showcase, an evening celebration of Celtic cinema and culture. The event will feature the premiere of the three highly anticipated Irish films, Metal Heart, The Belly of the Whale and Rosie followed by a festive post-screening reception. 

Other Irish feature length narrative films screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival include the international premiere of acclaimed Irish director Alexandra McGuinness’ film, She’s Missingas well as John Butler’s, Papi Chulo and Carmel Winters’ Float Like A Butterfly (US Premiere). The Irish animated feature Captain Morten and the Spider Queen (US Premiere) will screen in the Festival’s Family Film Series. The Irish short film Breastfriends will screen as part of the Festival’s Growing Up Shortly program. Irish feature length documentary films in the line-up include Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk and The Man Who Wanted to Fly (US Premiere). Two Irish feature length documentaries An Engineer Imagines (US Premiere), Citizen Lane (US Premiere) and the short Irish documentary Bordalo II: A Life of Waste will screen as part of the Festival’s Art, Architecture + Design Film Series. 

For further information see: www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com

Share

‘Taking Stock’ Screens at Newport Beach Festival


WAward winning film Taking Stock, will have its US premiere at the prestige’s Newport Beach Festival . This Irish drama short film was written and directed by Siobhán McMahon and produced by Galway native Emma Owen from Galway based production company Babyjane Productions. 

This ambitious project was funded by Kildare Short Grass Films; an initiative of Kildare County Councilheaded by Lucina Russell Arts Officer. Lucina brings together both professional and aspiring film makers in Kildare to create a film cultural legacy that will hopefully continue for many years to come.

Starring Kelly Gough, Michael O’Kelly and Rachel Lynch, the film tells the story of a farmer who battles through the aftermath of a cattle raid. It explores the affect this has on him and his family and how one copes in tough circumstances.

This story is not unique to Ireland. It happens all around the world. Thieves never think of the consequences their actions have on the farmer and their families. 

The project has been challenging and an absolute pleasure collaborating with all the cast and crew involved. There has been huge enthusiasm from all, which shows the necessity for schemes like Short Grass Films to continue.

‘We couldn’t have done it without the support of all the cast, crew and the locals – they are the ones who deserve all the credit’ says Emma Owen from Babyjane Productions. ‘The significant grant-aid awarded from Kildare County Council was further enhanced by sponsorship fromCreans Restaurant Killculllen, Ashover Lodge Killcullen, Cine Electric Ardmore Studios and Element Post Production. We owe them our sincerest gratitude’. 

‘We also want to thank our relentless crew who worked tirelessly throughout the project. We were extremely lucky to have IFTA winning Burschi Wojnar, award winning sound designer Paul Rowland and two-time Emmy nominated composer Joseph Conlan on our team’. 

We are excited to see how the film performs on the festival circuit both nationally and internationally. It’s a story that will resonate with all audiences throughout the world as it’s a real human story. 

Siobhán McMahon, director & writer, commented that ‘It was a privilege to work with such an amazing cast and crew on Taking Stock and I am thrilled to be launching the film onto the festival circuit’.

Producer Emma Owen commented ‘We are excited to take the next step with Taking Stock. Siobhan’s stunning directorial is a beautiful, poignant and a searingly honest portrayal of marriage and human emotions in a difficult time. ‘

Share

Foyle Film Festival’s Light In Motion Competition Open for Entries

Northern Ireland’s only Oscar® affiliated film festival has launched its 2019 Light In Motion (LIM) competition, open to filmmakers and animators across the world. Based in Derry~Londonderry, the Foyle Film Festival competition will remain open for entries until September 23, 2019.

The three competition categories under Light In Motion 2019 are:

·       Best Irish Short

·       Best International Short

·       Best Animation

The category winners will be announced at the closing evening Light in Motion Awards Ceremony, sponsored by City of Derry Crystal, on Sunday 24 November 2019.

Recipients of the LIM Awards qualify for consideration in the Short Film category of the Academy Awards® without needing the standard theatrical run. Foyle Film Festival is also an IMDb Qualifying Festival, granting all eligible film submissions a fast-tracked title page on IMDb.com.

Previous festival winners and competitors who have proceeded to win the Oscar® include: Terry George for The Shore (2012), Martin McDonagh for Six Shooter (2006), Andrea Arnold for Wasp (2004), Adam Elliot for Harvie Krumpet (2003), and Eric Armstrong for Chubbchubbs (2002).

The success continues with 2018 Oscar® nominations for LIM Award finalist The Silent Child directed by Chris Overton and 2018 BAFTA award in Short Animation for LIM Award finalist Poles Apart directed by Paloma Baeza and Ser En Low.

Funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Tourism NI, Foyle Film Festival delivers a comprehensive programme of documentaries, short films and feature films from all over the world.

Now in its 32nd year, it continues to be a platform for filmmakers, animators and artists to screen their films, network with industry professionals and gain access to the international market.

For more information on how to enter visit www.foylefilmfestival.org.

Share