Ciné Gael Montréal 2010
1400 de Maisonneuve West,
See schedule below for details.
unless otherwise indicated.
Admission for Non-members:
Film: His & Hers (D: Ken Wardrop, 2009)
"This is the debut feature film from director Ken Wardrop, who in a few short years has established himself as a distinct new voice in Irish filmmaking. His & Hers is a creative documentary, which chronicles a ninety-year-old love story, through the collective voice of seventy ladies. Using his mother’s life as inspiration, the filmmaker has created a film that explores how we share life’s journey with others.
The hallways, living rooms and kitchens of the Irish Midlands become the canvas for the film’s rich tapestry of female characters. The story unfolds sequentially through young to old and the characters are charmingly abashed; while the younger contributors are animated in discussing their relationship with their other halves, the older women discuss their love, and often their bereft love, with grace and candour. His & Hers is an investigation into the ordinary to discover the extraordinary. It finds comedy in the mundane, tragedy in the profound and provides an original insight into life."
Cine Gael audiences who have attended our short film evenings will remember Ken Wardrop's
fascinating short documentaries, such as Undressing my Mother, Useless Dog, and Farewell Packets of Ten.
In his debut feature Wardrop keeps his signature style (and, of course, a cameo from his beloved Mum!)
to great acclaim: this beautiful film earned the Best Irish Film award at the Galway Film Fleadh,
and Cine Gael will be receiving the film hot off the projectors at the Sundance Film Festival.
Film: The Boys of St. Columb's (D: Tom Collins, 2009)
In 1947, a British Act of Parliament granted free secondary education to Northern Irish children for the first time. This film tells the story of eight schoolboys from this first generation who were born into social division and low expectation. This new era of education changed their country forever and led them to become some of the most important figures in Irish culture in recent history. Featuring: Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane, and John Hume.
Film: Shalom Ireland (D: Valerie Lapin Ganley)
"Shalom Ireland is a one hour documentary about Ireland's remarkable, yet little known Jewish community. Shalom Ireland chronicles the history of Irish Jewry while celebrating the unique culture created by blending Irish and Jewish traditions. From gun running for the Irish Republican Army during Ireland's War of Independence to smuggling fellow Jews escaping from the Holocaust into Palestine. Shalom Ireland tells the untold story of how Irish Jews participated in the creation and development of both Ireland and Israel". For more informaiton on the film visit www.shalomireland.com.
Film: The Vines of Inis Meáin (D: Deirdre Ni Chonghaile)
Deirdre Ni Chonghaile retraces the steps of her ancestor James Concannon who immigrated from Inis Meain (in the west of Ireland) to America in the 1860s. Like many an immigrant before him he tried his hand at various trades until he lucked out when he learned how to grow grapes and make wine. His CONCANNON wine is still thriving today. The film is in Irish with English subtitles.
Film: Five Minutes of Heaven (D:Oliver Hirschbiegel)
Starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt: Lurgan Northern Ireland, 1975.
A low level civil war has been underway, with the IRA targeting British loyalists and the loyalist
Ulster Volunteer Force exacting revenge on Catholics they claim are militant republicans.
[from SunDance] The latest film from Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel is a simple, straightforward, and very sincere story that covers some rather fascinating issues: The cyclical nature of violence, the difficulties inherent in forgiveness, and the importance of being able to defeat tragedy and go on to live a happy life. If it sounds like a dark and slightly depressing story to hear, well that's the good news. For all its stark honesty and confrontational emotions, the messages found in Five Minutes of Heaven are refreshingly humane and hopeful.
We open in mid-'70s Belfast, and a very young Alistair Little is about to commit a heinous act. Fueled by streetwise fury and a need to prove himself, Alistair assassinates another young man, leaving his little brother as the horrified witness to the act. Poor Joe Griffen has just began a cycle of tragedy that would defeat most people: Dead brother, accusing mother, heartbroken father ... one act of horrible violence leads to a ripple effect that virtually destroys Joe's life.
So when a TV series tracks him down, more than thirty years later, hoping to put victim and killer in the same room, Joe's first impulse is to grab a giant knife and plan some late-yet-well earned revenge. Alistair, for his part, is justifiably tortured by his memories, and he seems completely intent on helping Joe to heal. Problem is, for all of Alistair's good intentions, the simple fact is that he DID kill Joe's brother, and (in a roundabout way) destroyed Griffen's entire family. So, really, how is Joe supposed to forgive Alistair for his horrible crime? Lord knows I couldn't do it.
Bolstered by a smart, insightful screenplay, directed with low-key style and restraint, and supported by two fantastic performances (Liam Neeson as the killer, James Nesbitt as the survivor), Five Minutes of Heaven shuffles some very difficult themes and emotions -- and it succeeds on sheer force of honesty, intelligence, and wisdom. This is a film that understands why a man would have every right to kill another one ... but it's also a film that wants to focus on what happens to the one who does the killing. Once his "five minutes of heaven" (aka sweet, cold revenge) are up.
Best of all, Five Minutes of Heaven is a movie that trades in harsh, dark material, but it never loses sight of the true nature of humanity. Joe craves retribution, he needs and deserves it ... but that doesn't mean he should get it. It's not a sudden and horrible crime that ruins a life; it's how one actively deals with the aftermath that defines his future.
Friday March 26 &
Weekend Of Short Films
Weekend of Short Films 2010
Film: A Shine of Rainbows (D: Vic Sarin, 2009)
Closing Film & Reception
With Special Guests:
Film: The Trotsky (D: Jacob Tierney, 2009)
"Jacob Tierney's hilarious The Trotsky follows Leon Bronstein (the phenomenal Jay Baruchel, in a star-making performance), a precocious Montreal teen who fervently believes himself to be the reincarnation of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. He's determined to duplicate every aspect of Trotsky's life, including being exiled, at least twice, and ultimately assassinated. His most pressing issues right now, though, are finding his Lenin and an older wife, preferably named Alexandra.
When Leon tries to unionize his father's factory after working there for less than twenty-four hours, he's punished by having funds cut off for the ritzy private school he's been attending. Forced to enrol in a public high school, Leon finds his revolutionary zeal immediately tested when he meets the crusty, dictatorial Principal Berkhoff (Colm Feore) and his henchwoman, Mrs. Davis (Domini Blythe). Do the students he's desperately trying to organize genuinely care about their lot in life? Or, as Berkhoff maintains, are they just apathetic?
Possibly the most intriguing creation in recent English Canadian cinema, Leon is two parts Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything and three parts the dogma-spouting volunteers from Ken Loach's Land and Freedom. Baruchel, whose previous credits include Tropic Thunder and Million Dollar Baby, gives Leon just the right mixture of hysteria and adolescent angst.
Baruchel's comrades-in-arms include Saul Rubinek as Leon's put-upon father; AnneMarie Cadieux as his stepmother; Michael Murphy as aging radical Frank McGovern; the legendary Geneviève Bujold as the head of the school board; and the luminous Emily Hampshire as Leon's intended, Alexandra.
One of the most appealing aspects of the movie is that it is unreservedly Canadian and packed with very specific, slyly funny cultural references, ranging from gags about the French-English divide in Montreal to Ben Mulroney's ancestry." - Steve Gravestock