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Jamie

THE FLORIDA PROJECT [USA], THU 25 JANUARY, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

A child’s sense of wonder is at the heart of Sean Baker’s joyful story of people living on the impoverished fringes of Florida’s tourist traps. ★★★★

“The Florida Project is a song of innocence and of experience: mainly the former.  It is a glorious film in which warmth and compassion win out over miserabilism or irony, painted in bright blocks of sunlit colour like a child’s storybook and often happening in those electrically charged magic-hour urban sunsets that the director Sean Baker also gave us in his zero-budget breakthrough Tangerine.

This also has the best child acting I have seen for years in its humour and its unforced and almost miraculous naturalism.  These kids don’t look cute or over-rehearsed or rehearsed at all; they look as if everything they do and every word that comes out of their mouths is unscripted and real. Yet what they do also has the intelligence and artistry of acting. In his own grownup role, Willem Dafoe gives a performance of quiet excellence and integrity.

The drama is set in a budget motel in Florida in the shadow of Walt Disney World: one of many long-stay welfare places for transients and mortgage defaulters. But, for the little kids who live there, this rundown place does look weirdly like paradise, a place where one summer they enjoy pure, magical freedom, running around its walkways and stairwells and far afield into Florida’s unofficial countryside. These kids do something that is a distant memory for most of us: they roam (a word I hadn’t even thought of for years before seeing this film) just the way children were supposed to in some former age. They wander from dawn to dusk and have fun.

Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) is a fearless six-year-old girl whose mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) has failed to get work waitressing or lapdancing. Soon Halley may have to resort to a more obviously lucrative evening business from her motel room. As for Moonee, she can just hang out endlessly with loads of other kids like her friend Scooty (Christopher Rivera), whose own mom lets them have leftover food from the diner where she works.

Dafoe plays Bobby, the hotel manager, who is perennially irritated with late-paying, trash-talking Halley but looks out for her and is a veritable catcher in the rye for Moonee and all the other little kids.

There is an adult narrative thread running through The Florida Project, a narrative of disillusion and suppressed fear; but it comes encased in the children’s heedless, directionless world of fun.

Sean Baker creates a story that is utterly absorbing and moves with its own easy, ambient swing.  He has the gift of seeing things from a child’s view. There is a kind of genius in that.” ★★★★★ – Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian

A vibrant, bold and bright portrayal of American childhood which just has to be seen…among the best films ever made about childhood. ★★★★★ The Irish Times

Another ★★★★ review in The Guardian, this one by Mark Kermode.

An Outrageously Cute Interview with Brooklynn Prince, 7-Year-Old Star of Sean Baker’s The Florida Project (and Possibly the Youngest Oscar Nominee Ever).

95% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Bria Vinaite: from Instagram entrepreneur to starring opposite Willem Dafoe.

USA, 2017 |Language: English | 115 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director, Writer, Editor:   Sean Baker

Cast:  Willem Dafoe, Brooklyn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto

FÉLICITÉ [FRANCE, BELGIUM, SENEGAL], THU 1 FEBRUARY, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

A heroic central performance from the Congolese actress Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu is reason alone to see this gripping drama.

Franco-Senegalese film-maker Alain Gomis has created a film portrait in an ambient social-realist style, showing us a woman called Félicité: a bar singer in the tough streets of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gomis leaves it up to us to determine the precise level of irony in her name.

Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu is a formidable presence as Félicité, a single mum of a tearaway teen boy Samo (Gaetan Claudia), for whom she must stay strong. She is scratching a living with her music, evidently bruised and humbled by the reverses of her life, drifting into a relationship with Tabu (Papi Mpaka), the boozy, unreliable guy who once came to repair her fridge.

Then her son has a motorbike accident and the hospital needs a million Congolese francs (about £500) before surgery can be carried out. Félicité must now go around to the people in her life asking variously for loans, or the money that she is owed – a process that exposes the fault lines in her own life. This is interspersed with scenes of her singing with her band and also, mysteriously but arrestingly, the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra playing pieces by Arvo Pärt.

Cinematographer Céline Bozon contrives tremendous streetscape scenes around Kinshasa itself. It’s a film with seriousness and compassion, though a little lengthy and diffuse. Dramatic storm clouds gather and pass overhead without ever quite bursting into rain. – Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian

Click here to read the New York Times Critic’s Pick review.

96% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Click here for official website.

France, Belgium, Senegal, Germany, Lebanon, 2017 |Language: Lingala, French | 123 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director:  Alain Gomis 

Cast:  Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu, Gaetan Claudia, Papi Mpaka

 

GOLDSTONE [AUSTRALIA], THU 8 FEBRUARY, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

A masterpiece of outback noir that packs a political punch.

Rugged, Indigenous Australian detective Jay Swan is arrested for drunk-driving by rookie local policeman Josh on the desolate road into the mining town of Goldstone. Jay is investigating the disappearance of a Chinese migrant worker, and while Josh is initially reluctant to help on the case, when it becomes apparent that something more sinister is happening in the area, the two men must overcome their differences and work together.

Australian director Ivan Sen’s follow-up to 2013’s Mystery Road is a complex, stylish and tense western that explores Australia’s history, whilst dealing with key contemporary issues. Like its predecessor, Goldstone is intelligent and thought-provoking cinema.

Writer/director Ivan Sen has combined two genres uncommon to Australia, to deliver one classic film no Australian should miss. ★★★★★ – The Guardian

Sen’s unique accomplishment, unequalled in contemporary Aussie cinema, is his daringly idealistic intention and crystal clear success at balancing the demands of contemporary genre filmmaking with, in this case, the ongoing hot-button issues of Aboriginal relations (Sen is himself of mixed Indigenous/European heritage), human trafficking, the human greed behind corporate corruption and cultural destruction. – read the complete Variety review

Click here to read The Australian review.

Australia, 2016 |Language: English | 110 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Ivan Sen

Cast: Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Pei Pei Cheng, David Gulpilil, David Wenham, Jacki Weaver

Please note there is no film on 15 February.

ROSALIE BLUM [FRANCE], THU 22 FEBRUARY, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

A sweet but never saccharine French comedy about three misfits who bring out the best in each other.

Julien Rappeneau’s enchanting directorial debut is a warm, witty and impeccably performed comedy about a random encounter that has unexpected and far-reaching consequences. Thirty-something Vincent Machot is a hairdresser whose life rotates around work, his overbearing mother and a womanising cousin constantly trying to set him up. But one morning Vincent experiences a powerful déjà-vu when he meets the gaze of a grocery store clerk, Rosalie Blum.

And so begins a search to uncover the truth behind their connection. With its themes of altruism, forgiveness and the value of compassion, Rosalie Blum is a timely reminder of the best that French cinema has to offer.

Based on the graphic-novel trilogy by French artist Camille Jourdy.

Presented with the support of the French Embassy and the Institut Français. 
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A joy! Fresh and engaging.  A feel-good film which combines humour and eccentric touches with surges of genuine emotion. Light and life-affirming.Hollywood Reporter

Click here for official website.

France, 2016 | Language: French | 95 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director:  Julien Rappeneau

Cast:  Noémie Lvovsky, Kyan Khojandi, Alice Isaaz, Sara Giraudeau

A short Irish film, Nice Night For It, will be shown before the feature.

MIMOSAS [MOROCCO], THU 1 MARCH, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

***CANCELLED***  ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE IS CLOSED ON THU 1 MARCH DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS. THIS SCREENING IS CANCELLED.

Winner of the Critics Week Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Oliver Laxe’s stunning new filmis a breathtakingly-shot Western that follows a mysterious caravan as it escorts an elderly and dying Sheikh trough the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. His last wish is to be buried with his loved ones. But death does not wait.

Without their leader, the company grows fearful. And at the foot of a mountain pass, they refuse to continue, entrusting the body to two men who agree to carry on and bring it to its final destination. But who are these men? And do they really know the way?

In another world, a mysterious young man is chosen to find the caravan.

Click here to watch interview with director Oliver Laxe.

Click here for The Guardian review.

Click here for Little White Lies review.

Click here for official website.

Spain, Morocco, France, Qatar, 2016 | Language:  Arabic, Galician | 96 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director/Writer:  Oliver Laxe

Cast:  Ahmed Hammoud,  Shakib Ben Omar,  Said Aagli

A short Irish film, The Tatoo [15 minutes], will be shown before the feature.

LOVELESS [RUSSIA], THU 8 MARCH, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev has produced another masterpiece in this apocalyptic study of a failed marriage and the subsequent disappearance of a child.  ★★★★★ The Guardian

The latest from the director of Leviathan profiles a family torn apart by a vicious divorce, in which the parents are more interested in starting their lives over with new partners than tending to their 12-year-old son.

Among the snowy high-rises of modern Moscow lives stocky salesman Boris and Zhenya, a youthful salon owner. Having migrated to shiny new partners, the couple’s relationship is coming to a bitter end and the fate of their 12-year-old son Alyosha is the last thing on their minds. When Alyosha goes missing without a trace, his parents can barely grieve in unison.

This pristine and merciless new film begins out in the cold, and its temperature just keeps dropping from there. ★★★★★ – The Telegraph

Living in Russia is like being in a minefield. – Read The Guardian interview with the director

LOVELESS – Nelyubov

Russia, 2018 | Language: Russian | 127 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director:  Andrey Zvyagintsev

Cast:  Maryaha Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Varvara Shmykova

 

I AM NOT A WITCH [ZAMBIA], THU 15 MARCH, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

A knockout and captivatingly beautiful debut film.

Zambian-born, Welsh-reared director Rungano Nyoni is set to make her mark on British cinema with her ground-breaking first feature. Sharply satirical and boldly provocative, the film garnered incredible praise from audiences and critics alike at the Cannes 2017 Directors’ Fortnight.

When eight-year-old Shula turns up alone and unannounced in a rural Zambian village, the locals are suspicious. A minor incident escalates to a full-blown witch trial, where she is found guilty and sentenced to life on a state-run witch camp. There, she is tethered to a long white ribbon and told that if she ever tries to run away, she will be transformed into a goat. As the days pass, Shula begins to settle into her new community, but a threat looms on the horizon. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision – whether to resign herself to life on the camp, or take a risk for freedom. At times moving, often funny and occasionally surreal, I Am Not a Witch offers spellbinding storytelling with flashes of anarchic humour. Audacious and unforgettable, it showcases Rungano Nyoni as a fresh and fearless new voice in British film.

Watch Mark Kermode’s video review.

Click here for official website.

a knockout debut ★★★★ The Irish Times

UK, France, Zambia, 2017 | Language: French, English, Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga | 93 minutes |Cert: 12A

Director:  Rungano Nyoni

Cast:  Margaret Mulubwa, Henry Phiri, Nancy Mulilo, John Tembo

A short animated Irish film, Deposits, will be shown before the feature.

 

DARK RIVER [UK], THU 22 MARCH, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

Ruth Wilson stars in British filmmaker Clio Barnard’s atmospheric and layered drama about the old wounds and bitter new grievances that come to light when a woman returns home to settle the tenancy of her family’s Yorkshire farm.

Five years after her provocative breakthrough, The Selfish Giant, director Clio Barnard returns with a highly atmospheric and emotionally charged drama that proves she is one of England’s most distinctive new voices. With Dark River, Barnard uses the Yorkshire countryside as a beautiful silent witness to the troubling tale of a family that, though previously ripped apart, is now trying to reconcile.

After a 15-year absence, Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns to the family farm following the death of her father. She finds the place in complete disrepair. Her deeply troubled brother, Joe (Mark Stanley), is ostensibly in charge, but appears to be in no state to make smart decisions. The two siblings have become like strangers to each other. Alice, bold and decisive, bolts into Joe’s life, determined to impose order and give the farm a future. Joe bristles at her every move, and sparks fly as years of resentments resurface. Slowly, layers of their past are stripped away to expose a dark secret between them. But life goes on. Landlords come knocking.

Barnard is both an energetic and a reflective filmmaker — deeply poetic, but with a realist’s eye. Here she has carefully brought to life the story of damaged people trying to cope with the past while reassembling their lives. – Toronto International Film Festival

Click here for The Guardian review.

UK, 2017 | Language: English | 89 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director:  Clio Barnard

Cast:  Ruth Wilson, Mark Stanley, Sean Bean

A short Irish film, Take Me Swimming, will be shown before the feature.

Please note there is no film on 29 March or 5 April.

 

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME [ITALY, USA, FRANCE], THU 12 APRIL, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

Voted 2017 film of the year by The Guardian’s critics.  

It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy. Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) is a precocious 17-year-old American who spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa lazily transcribing music and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel).  Oliver (Armie Hammer), a handsome graduate student working on his doctorate arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture.

Elio and Oliver discover a summer that will alter their lives forever.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, written by James Ivory, and based on the novel by André Aciman.

Luca Guadagnino’s tale of budding gay romance in 1980s Italy is one of the most mesmerizing films of the year.The Atlantic

This gorgeous gay love story seduces and overwhelms.  ★★★★The Guardian

Elle Decor Magazine feature on the Italian villa in the film.

looking like the film of 2017RTE

ravishing film-making and piercing wisdom  – Los Angeles Times

some of the richest chemistry I’ve ever witnessed in a movie…sublime – Huffington Post

a knockout! casts a beautifully erotic, sensual spell – Entertainment Weekly

Read a New York Times article about Crema, Italy where the film was made.

Click here for official website.

Italy, USA, Brazil, France, 2018 | Languages English, Italian, French | 130 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director:  Luca Guadagnino

Cast:  Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois

IN BETWEEN [ISRAEL, FRANCE], THU 26 APRIL, 8PM

By | archive, Season 18 films

THIS FILM HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO THURSDAY 26 APRIL.  THE ORIGINAL SCREENING DATE WAS 19 APRIL.

Three female flatmates in Tel Aviv fight the constraints of their Muslim faith and families in an inspiring directorial debut.

While films and TV series about the trials and tribulations of female friends living, loving, and working in a big city may be fairly common (‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Girls,’ to name two), Arab-Israeli writer-director Maysaloun Hamoud refreshes the genre’s tropes with her energetic feature.

Layla, Salma, and Nour – three Palestinian women with Israeli citizenship – share an apartment in the vibrant center of Tel Aviv. Despite being ‘independent’, each of them struggles with the restrictions imposed on their lives by a blinkered society

What makes this spiky dram/comedy so compelling are the Palestinian-Israeli protagonists, whose split lives have rarely been depicted on screen. These strong, modern, sexually active women, living away from their families and the weight of tradition, struggle to be true to themselves when confronting the expectations of others.

Director Maysaloun Hamoud on why her Palestinian film ‘In Between’ is universal.

A brave film befitting its brave depiction of women. ★★★★ The Irish Times

It’s great fun, with a powerful sense of narrative.  ★★★★ – The Times

Israel, France, 2016 | Language: Hebrew, Arabic | 103 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director:  Maysaloun Hamoud

Cast:  Mouna Hawa, Shaden Kanboura, Sana Jammalie