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Jamie

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CERTAIN WOMEN [USA], THU 21 SEPTEMBER, 8PM

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The lives of three women intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing a trail.

Adapting three short stories by Montana writer Maile Meloy, Kelly Reichardts’ quietly resonate film, explores the interconnected lives of four disparate Montana women. Expertly and delicately plotted, Certain Woman captures subtly transformative periods in each of their lives.

Plotted across three vignettes – a lawyer (Laura Dern) is badgered by an obstinate client (Jared Harris), a mother (Michelle Williams) acquires a pile of sandstone bricks from an elderly family friend and Jamie (Lily Gladstone) a ranch hand who becomes besotted with Beth (Kristen Stewart), a young lawyer who is teaching a night class.

Framed amidst the beautiful Montana landscape, the film chronicles their frustration, success and desires. Certain Women is a quiet, understated film which belies a unique emotional depth.

Kelly Reichardt’s wonderful triptych of female character studies confirms her status as the quietest of great American filmmakers.’Variety

‘The film never deigns to announce itself as momentous or important, but rather wraps you up in the fabric of everyday life and leaves you there to marvel at the wonder each of these women create.’ – Film Comment

‘A sorrowful tour de force…Montana has seldom looked more ghostly and sparse than it does in [this] wintry tableaux…a very fine picture, indeed.’ –  ★★★★  The Irish Times

USA, 2016 |Language: English | 107 minutes | Cert: 12A

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Cast: Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Lily Gladstone, Jared Harris

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THE MIDWIFE [FRANCE], THU 28 SEPTEMBER, 8PM

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A tale of two Catherines.

Director Martin Provost (Violette, Seraphine) unites two of France’s favourite actors in his tender comedy drama about female friendship and rediscovery.  Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot play very different women whose shaky reconnection after a number of decades allows them to learn valuable life lessons from one another. Claire (Frot) is the conscientious Midwife of the title, a single mother whose reservations and self-restraint have left her living an isolated life.   Until the day her deceased father’s ex-girlfriend makes contact.  Beatrice (Deneuve) is a free-spirited, professional gambler who wishes to reconnect with Claire’s father.  Shocked at the news that he has passed away, she implants herself into Claire’s life instead, bringing chaos, joy and memories of happier times.

‘A bittersweet delight…rich, thoughtful, frequently funny.’ – Screen International

‘Offering plum roles to Catherine Frot and Catherine Deneuve…a crowd-pleaser about friendship, forgiveness and rolling with the punches.’ – Indie Wire

‘Provost has once again proven to be a sensitive and sure-handed director of what used to be called “women’s films,” with this one somewhat of a cross between Douglas Sirk and the Dardennes.’ – The Hollywood Reporter

‘Deneuve and Frot excel as contrasting women with an account to settle in a tale that combines realism and melodrama.’ – ★★★★ The Guardian

SAGE FEMME | France, 2017 | Language: French | 117 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director: Martin Provost

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet

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LAND OF MINE [DENMARK, GERMANY], THU 5 OCTOBER, 8PM

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Academy Award nominee, Best Foreign Language Film 

Few films detail the immediate aftermath of conflict and occupation from World War II. Danish director-writer Martin Zandvliet’s Land of Mine exposes the untold story of Denmark’s darkest hour.

Click here for official website.

This year’s entry from Denmark in the foreign-film Oscar race, is a harrowing, intelligent, compelling and intensely suspenseful investigation of a little-known footnote to world history. – ★★★★  The Observer

The ethical tension between justice and vengeance is the subject of Martin Zandvliet’s Land of Mine, a tight and suspenseful film. –  The New York Times

UNDER SANDET | Denmark, Germany 2015 | Language: Danish, German | 100 minutes | Cert: Club

Director: Martin Zandvliet

Cast: Roland Møller, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman

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SCRIBE [BELGIUM, FRANCE], THU 12 OCTOBER, 8PM

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Some things cannot be unheard.

Duval (François Cluzet – The Intouchables, Little White Lies) is a recovering alcoholic struggling to find a job. One day, the mysterious Clement (Denis Podalydès) offers him a high-paying job transcribing tape recordings. After taking up the unusual offer, Duval quickly finds himself in morally and legally dubious territory. He reluctantly becomes embroiled in a shadowy world of paranoia, political scandal, and ultimately violence.

Embracing the spirit of 1970s conspiracy thrillers like The Conversation, Scribe is a taut, moody thriller that feels endearingly old school. From the mysterious setup to the life-or-death climax, this is an affectionate homage that also updates the classics to reflect the seedy underbelly of modern politics.

LA MÉCANIQUE DE L’OMBRE | France, 2016 | Language: French | 88 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Thomas Kruithof

Cast: François Cluzet, Denis Podalydès, Sami Bouajila

A short Irish film, January Hymn [12 minutes], will be shown before the feature. A reflection on the intangible experience of grief, January Hymn sees Clara return home for the first anniversary of her father’s death.  Director: Katherine Canty

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THE SALESMAN [IRAN], THU 19 OCTOBER, 8PM

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Academy Award Winner, Best Foreign Language Film, 2017.

Award-winning director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) returns with the 2017 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner The Salesman, a characteristically taut drama exploring how unexpected cracks can form in the foundations of a seemingly happy marriage.

Set in modern-day Tehran, the future looks promising for amateur actors Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) as they prepare for opening night on their production of Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’. However, when dangerous work on a neighbouring building forces the couple to leave their home and move into a new apartment, a case of mistaken identity sees a shocking and violent incident throw their lives into turmoil.

What follows is a series of wrong turns that threaten to destroy their relationship irreparably.

Winner of the Best Screenplay and Best Actor awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Farhadi’s study on the potent power of pride, guilt and shame treads the line between arresting drama and revenge thriller with masterful ease.

Flawlessly acted…Farhadi trades in the poetry of the unsaid. – ★★★★ The Irish Times

Farhadi remains a master of pace and tension, slowly upping the stakes in an unsettling narrative fuelled by a lingering sense of powerlessness, paranoia and the possibility that you never entirely know the person you love. – Screen International

Mr. Farhadi’s control is astonishing, as is the discipline of the actors. – The New York Times

Read here about Mr. Farhadi’s decision to boycott the Academy Awards as a protest against Trump’s travel ban.
Click here for official website.

Iran, France |Language: Persian | 125 minutes | Cert: 12A

Director: Asghar Farhadi

Cast: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi

 

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MY LIFE AS A COURGETTE [FRANCE], THU 26 OCTOBER, 8PM

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The first-ever animated (stop motion) film shown by Cork Cine Club!  Academy Award nominee, Best Animated Feature 2017.

“Here is a little miracle of gentleness, tenderness and intense, traditional Frenchness. It was an Oscar nominee for best animated feature earlier this year, losing out, probably unjustly, to Zootopia. The screenwriter Céline Sciamma [Girlhood] has adapted the 2002 novel Autobiography of a Courgette by Gilles Paris for this beguiling stop-motion animation.  Director Claude Barras makes his feature debut.

The characters’ faces are big, almost like Charles Schulz’ Peanuts figures, and very expressive and subtle. It is the story of a little boy fond of kites who is interestingly named Icare but goes by his nickname: Courgette. A terrible accident means he is taken to a home in the country for orphaned kids, where everyone has a grim, secret story and the children’s growing awareness that no one really wants them manifests itself in all sorts of tough behaviour.

But after a rough start, Courgette makes friends with Simon and forms a tendresse for Camille. Meanwhile, the lonely, unhappy cop who dealt with Courgette’s case, Raymond, has taken a kindly interest in his continued welfare.

It is a lovely little film, coming in at a novella-size 66 minutes. I loved the home’s emotional wallchart, the Météo des Enfants, showing their mood swings from sunny to cloudy.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

‘A beautifully balanced visual marvel…full of decency and kindness’. – ★★★★★ The Irish Times

‘A frank and affecting animation about abused youngsters finding strength through solidarity… this beautifully tender and empathetic film addresses kids and adults alike in clear and compassionate tones that span – and perhaps heal – generations…only the most hard-hearted viewer could fail to love these youngsters’. – ★★★★★ The Telegraph

MA VIE DE COURGETTE |Switzerland, France, 2017 | Language: French | 70 minutes | Cert: 12A

Director: Claude Barras

Cast:  Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccourd

A short Irish film, Breathe, [14 minutes] will be shown before the feature.  A macho Traveller [John Connors] becomes increasingly concerned that his young son is soft.  Director: James Doherty

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AFTER THE STORM [JAPAN], THU 9 NOVEMBER, 8PM

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A hard-boiled family drama with a soft heart.

Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother and beautiful ex-wife seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son – until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.

Dr. Till Weingärtner, Lecturer in Contemporary East Asian Studies (Japan) at University College Cork, will introduce the film.

There is such intelligence and delicacy in Koreeda’s film-making, such wit and understated humanity. – ★★★★ The Guardian

One of our best filmmaker’s best films. –  ★★★★ Roger Ebert.com

An achingly beautiful ode to the quiet complexities of family life. – ★★★★ The Telegraph

Slow-paced, sad, rueful and sometimes warmly funny, After the Storm is one of the director Hirokazu Koreeda’s sturdiest, and most sensitive, constructions. – New York Times Critic’s Pick

96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

UMI YORI MO MADA FUKAKU |Japan, 2017 | Language: Japanese | 117 minutes | Cert: Club

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Cast: Abe Hiroshi, Maki Yoko, Yoshizawa Taiyo, Kiki Kilin, Lily Franky, Hashizume Isao

 

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THE INNOCENTS [FRANCE, POLAND], THURSDAY 26 JANUARY, 8PM

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In 1945 Poland a French Red Cross doctor comes to the aid of a group of Polish nuns, many of whom are pregnant after their vows were violated by Russian soldiers.  

This sensitive and emotionally resonant drama centres on Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor, who comes to the aid of a group of nuns, many of whom have been impregnated by rampaging Soviet soldiers.

Based on real events, Fontaine explores this fraught situation with great humanity and sensitivity. Mathilde protects the nuns not only from further attacks but also from the convents hierarchy who wish to conceal the scandal at all costs.

The Innocents is an emotionally layered, tender and insightful drama. The complexities of trauma and shame are deftly and sensitively handled through the prism of faith, humanism, compassion and acceptance.

“A potent glimpse of female suffering in the aftermath of war.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

“Not even nuns are spared war horror.”New York Times Critics’ Pick

France, Poland 2016 | Language: French, Polish | 115 minutes | Cert: Club

Director: Anne Fontaine

Cast: Lou de Laâge, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza

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CLASH [EGYPT], THU 16 NOVEMBER, 8PM

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Mohamed Diab brings claustrophobic intimacy to a historic moment in this stunning thriller, set inside a police vehicle during Egypt’s 2013 street protests.

“The Egyptian revolution that dislodged Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and its chaotic aftermath continues to give us some fascinating films. Here is the latest, a rather amazing New Wave-style drama that combines claustrophobic intimacy with some logistically epic scene-setting.

The year is 2013, the army has just unseated Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, and pro-army and pro-MB factions clash on the streets. A reporter and photographer are arrested and thrown into the back of a police van, which is the sole camera setting; soon, other demonstrators from both sides are chucked in – along with, in one particularly chaotic scene, a lenient cop. They are crowded in there for hours in the boiling heat with no water and a plastic bottle to pee in. Through the grille-meshed window they get glimpses of the turmoil on the city streets.

At first, it looks like a no-budget movie with about a dozen people shot in a single location, but the director, Mohamed Diab, stages some spectacular riot scenes outside, which are all the more staggering for intruding on this enclosed space so unexpectedly.

The movie stunningly replicates that sense of inside and outside that must be felt by witnesses to any historic moment: the private debate, the enclosed conflict, and the theatre of confrontation unfolding beyond. What a dynamic piece of cinema.” – Peter Bradshaw The Guardian

‘Bravura film-making with a kick-in-the-gut message about chaos and cruelty.’Variety

‘Director Mohamed Diab won’t let us pick sides in this prize-winning drama which is thick with tension.’ – ★★★★ The Evening Standard

Click here to read an interview with the director.

ESHTEBAK | Egypt, 2017 | Language: Arabic | 97 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director:   Mohamed Diab

Cast: Nelly Karim, Hani Adel, El Sebaii Mohamed

Director Gavin FitzGerald will attend on the night, and introduce his short Irish documentary, The Truth About Irish Hip Hop, about the rise of hip hop in Ireland and the changing attitudes towards the once foreign art form.  His 19 minute short film will be shown before the feature.

photo by Agatha A. Nitecka please always credit the photographer

THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER [UK, FRANCE], THURSDAY 2 FEBRUARY, 8PM

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Witness the birth of a terrifying ego.  Set in post-World War One France, this sinister and utterly gripping story of a privileged, petulant 10-year-old fated to become a fascist dictator exerts a lethal grip.  

France, 1918. A U.S. diplomat (played by Irish actor Liam Cunningham, well known for his role in Game of Thrones) is involved in the drawing up of the Treaty of Versailles while his wife (Bérénice Bejo), repressed and unhappy, is alarmed by their son’s increasingly destructive behaviour.  Divided into three chapters, each dealing with the continuing aggressive and manipulative tantrums of the boy, it is an observation of the creation of tyranny. We know from the outset that something is very, very wrong.

Brady Corbet’s directorial debut feature is a huge, meaty, European drama, a case study in domestic and political crises, in the hypocrisy and cruelty of adults.  Tom Sweets performance as the young aggressor is chilling, menacing and brilliant.

“A riveting, heart-clutching moral ghost-train ride for right now.” ★★★★★ – The Telegraph

“A stunning high-art debut.  Brady Corbet’s ambitious directorial debut features great performances, arresting visuals and a fantastic score by Scott Walker.”  ★★★★ – Irish Times

 

UK, France 2015 | Language: English | 115 minutes | Cert: Club

Director: Brady Corbet    

Cast: Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Robert Pattinson, Stacy Martin, Tom Sweet