OPENING NIGHT & RECEPTION
KISSES (D: Lance Daly, 2008). Two kids, Dylan and Kylie, run away from home at Christmas and spend a night of
magic and terror on the streets of inner-city Dublin.
"Writer/director Lance Daly described his film Kisses as a story about “how to escape if you can’t escape”. More specifically, it’s about two kids who run away from home and spend a “night of magic and terror on the streets of inner-city .” Sprinkled with realistic improvisational moments, Kisses is Lost in Translation but with two irish 10-year-olds.
Daly cleverly uses the saturation and desaturation of color from the frame to visually convey the children’s emotions. A woman on the gondola ride home, also aptly compared the use of the technique with the Wizard of Oz. And I think many comparisons could be made between both of these stories.
Kelly O’Neill, who plays Kylie in the film, is incredibly natural and has the charisma of a young Drew Barrymore. If it weren’t for her accent, I would predict a huge career for her in American film. Kisses is a sweet and wonderful indie. The film earns your admiration even though it can be unbelievable (the boat sequence) and self indulgent at moments (one too many minute long close-ups of the young leads homeless on the streets of Dublin). And at only 72-minutes in length, it leaves you wanting more." (www.slashfilm.com)
This Other Eden (Muriel Box, 1959)
Ardmore Studios is Ireland's oldest and most prolific film studio, with over 100 titles shot at their facilities since the doors opened in 1958. In honour of their 50th anniversary, we are pleased to offer a special screening of one of Ardmore's earliest films, newly released from the archives and digitally re-mastered from materials preserved at the British Film Institute.
"This Other Eden" is the first Irish feature to be directed by a woman. A caustic comedy set in a small town, the film explores the traumatic legacy of the Civil War, and in particular the impact of the death of Michael Collins on successive generations. Given that the producer Emmet Dalton was with Collins the day he was shot, some critics have speculated that this film was an attempt to redress, even rewrite the history of that time. However, with a fine supporting cast of Abbey players and star turns from Milo O'Shea and Hilton Edwards, "This Other Eden" is not just a critique of the past but a witty and complex comment on an emergent modern Ireland.
Professor Jason King, Concordia
University, Centre for Canadian
An Evening of Irish Short Films
A favourite Cinegael tradition, our programme includes recent award-winning Irish shorts across various genres: fiction, documentary, animation, and Irish language.
AUDIENCE VOTING RESULTS:
Audience favourite - Granny O'Grimm's
Runner-up - Rolla Saor
Second runner up - God and Napoleon
To view the FULL PROGRAMME OF SHORTS click here.
Professor King's talk will focus on the
Academy Award nominated short film
NEW BOY by Steph Green
adapted from a
Roddy Doyle story.
Padhraig Mac Lochlainn
Fifty Dead Men Walking (D: Kari Skogland, 2008)
"Jim Sturgess (dynamic in last year's Across the Universe) turns in a star-making performance opposite Ben Kingsley in Fifty Dead Men Walking, a sweeping political thriller that gives a face to what Northern Ireland wryly calls “the Troubles.” Directed by Kari Skogland with grit, precision and a focus on the human drama, this widescreen story highlights the personal toll wrought by the larger civil conflict. Martin (Sturgess) is a small-time Belfast hustler working in the late eighties. Part of a tight group of mates, he's more concerned with regular pub attendance and easing his way through British military checkpoints than with the reasons the checkpoints stand there in the first place.
As such, he makes a prime target for British intelligence. Recruited by a complex, wily agent (Kingsley), Martin starts feeding information about Irish Republican Army activities to the British. With every success, he intensifies the danger posed to himself and his family. The IRA is shown to be ruthless in its retribution; once an infiltrator has been found out, he becomes a “dead man walking.”
Inspired by Martin McGartland and Nicholas Davies's book, Skogland captures the character of Northern Ireland in the eighties with great sensitivity, reflecting both the despair of the situation and the resolve produced. This is a thriller, and she keeps the momentum racing. But at the heart of this film stand interconnecting relationships. To watch Martin battle over life-and-death matters with his handler is to understand, on a profound level, how this was the most personal of wars. The real Martin McGartland claims that the information he passed to the British saved at least fifty lives. He is still in hiding." (www.tiff08.ca)
We are thrilled to have Ulster man Padhraig Mac Lochlainn introduce our film 50 Dead Men Walking. Padhraig, who hails from the City of Derry (Northern Ireland), has fond childhood memories of living in Buncrana, County Donegal (Irish Republic) where his family moved to to avoid the conflict during the early days of the Second World War. In his delightful piece Mo Sceal (My Story) featured in the book of essays Reflections Padhraig tells us of the segregated Northern Irish society in which he grew up. Mr Mac Lochlainn, a citizen of the world, is a singer of Irish song, is fluent in English, Irish, and French; has travelled more widely than most people and has worked in the most interesting of jobs imaginable as a Christian Brother in Africa and as a counselor and teacher in Canada. He keeps close contact with the old sod. Just this last year he was back home to attend a family gathering in Derry to celebrate his sister’s (a Sister in the Order of St Vincent de Paul) Golden Jubilee. We are fortunate to have Padhraig provide background to 50 Dead Men Walking and help us better understand his beautiful and troubled homeland .
CLOSING FILM & RECEPTION
Kevin Tierney, Producer
Love and Savagery (D: John N. Smith, 2009)
Set In 1968, Love & Savagery is a lyrical story of an impossible love. Geologist and poet Michael McCarthy travels from his native Newfoundland to the west coast of Ireland to study the intricate and stunning landscape of The Burren. But the most beautiful thing Michael encounters is Kathleen O’Connell. Although she is about to dedicate her life to the Church, Kathleen is inescapably drawn to Michael. In a community torn between its traditional roots and its aspirations for the future, the growing affection between the stranger and Kathleen is deeply unsettling.
Shot on location in County Clare, Ireland, and St. John’s Newfoundland, the film stars Newfoundland native Allan Hawco and young Irish actress Sarah Greene as the lovers and features Martha Burns, Sean Panting, Macdara O’Fatharta and Nicholas Campbell. A co-production between Newfoundland and Quebec, Love & Savagery was written by Des Walsh and directed by multiple Gemini-Award-winner John N. Smith.