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Season 14 Films

MY MOTHER [MIA MADRE, Italy] – Thursday 21 January, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

Acclaimed Italian auteur Nanni Moretti returns to brilliant form with his semi-autobiographical and award-winning new film, MIA MADRE, with Margherita Buy starring as a director struggling to balance life and art.

Margherita (Buy) is directing a new social drama, set against the backdrop of an industrial dispute. Try as she may to remain professional, the emotional turmoil of her private life is taking a toll: an affair with one of her actors has come to an end, her adolescent daughter is failing Latin, but most troubling is the recent hospitalization of her formidable, beloved mother. Whilst her brother Giovanni gradually allows himself to be engulfed by his mother’s last days, taking extended leave to prolong his bedside vigil, Margherita’s tough schedule makes more than a daily visit tricky.

Meanwhile, the famous American actor Barry Huggins (the fabulous John Turturro) has arrived, a needy and capricious personality whose brash presence on set sees things go from bad to worse, and whose general ineptitude might finally push Margherita over the edge.

With characteristic openness to life’s big questions, Moretti’s mature and hugely entertaining film skillfully manoeuvres between pathos and comedy as it considers the uneasy relationship between artistic ambition and everyday life, the real and the imagined. Widely acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival as Moretti’s best film since the Palme d’Or winning, The Son’s Room, and named best film of the year by the influential Cahiers du Cinema, MIA MADRE is another rich and affectingly humanist work from one of world cinema’s true masters.

“Warm, witty and seductive – tremendously smart and enjoyable. Moretti’s best film in years, Mia Madreis about the paramount importance of enjoying life and cultivating love; cinema and socially engaged art are valuable insofar as they promote these imperatives. There is a bit of Fellini’s  and Truffaut’s Day For Night here, but it’s unmistakably a Moretti picture: sad, funny and very satisfying.” – The Guardian  ★★★★

“Inspired. A triumph of tonal complexity. Whenever it gets close to the serious, it gets funny. Even funny, it never quite relinquishes the poignant.” – The Financial Times  ★★★★★

 

Italy, 2015 | Language: Italian | 105 minutes | Cert: TBC
Director: Nanni Moretti
Starring: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarni

THE SECOND MOTHER [QUE HORAS ELA VOLTA?, Brazil] – Thursday 28 January, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

The delicate relationship between employer and servant is skilfully subverted and scrutinised in a funny, serious study of class in modern day Brazil.

“The perennially fascinating and tactless subject of 21st-century servitude is the theme of this well acted and absorbing film – to be compared with Sebastián Silva’s 2009 gem The Maid, and, from much further back, Joseph Losey’s 1960 classic The Servant.

What happens when the live-in help get above themselves? And how does the supposedly liberal and relaxed employer class find a way of expressing its fastidious distaste and unease? It is the story of a rich Brazilian family in São Paulo and their housekeeper Val, wonderfully played by Regina Casé. She has been a nanny to the son of the house, as well as all her other duties, earning enough to send money home to pay for the care of her own daughter Jéssica, whom she has not seen for 10 years.

Everyone knows their place and everyone is happy. Now Jéssica shows up: a smart, confident 19-year-old (played by Camila Márdila) hoping to apply for a university place in the city, and Val asks if she can stay with her in her little room while she looks for a place. Soon Jéssica makes herself at home all over the house in all sorts of subtly inappropriate ways, addressing her mother’s employers in a subtly insolent manner – and it is clear that the master of the house and the son find her attractive. The unspoken, unspeakable agony of class and caste is cleverly rendered in this funny, serious movie.”The Guardian  ★★★★

“This is the sort of savvy, socially conscious crowdpleaser that occupies a rare middle ground between genteel and intellectual world cinema.” – Variety

Brazil, 2014 | Language: Portuguese | 112 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Anna Muylaert

Starring:  Regina Case, Antonio Abujamra, Helena Albergaria

A GIRL AT MY DOOR [DOHEE-YA, Korea] – Thursday 4 February, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

Mesmerizing performances fuel this wrenching drama about a troubled policewoman’s attempt to protect a teenage girl from domestic abuse in provincial Korea.

“Bae Doona plays Young-nam, a cop who is transferred from the police academy in Seoul to take change of a police sub-station in a small coastal village. We soon realise that this demotion has come about due to her sexual orientation; homophobia, alas, isn’t the only prejudice she faces. Not long after her arrival, Young-nam encounters Sun Do-hee, a 14-year-old who is violently bullied by both classmates and family. Unhappily, the locals are not prepared to take on the girl’s drunken abusive father, as the local economy is entirely dependent upon his oyster farm.

Young-nam is not prepared to stand idly by, but her relationship with the troubled titular teen soon becomes increasingly, well, stalker-ish. In recent years, Bae Doona has played Grace Kelly to the Wachowski’s Hitchcock. But while the film-making siblings’ repeated casting of the artist in Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending, and the TV seriesSense8, may have attracted global attention, she has not yet been given an Anglophone role to properly knock your socks off.

Happily, The Girl at My Door gives the divine Ms Bae an opportunity to flex all of her acting muscles, albeit with small, delicate motions. Marvel at the way she slumps over the soju she decants into water bottles. Gaze at her not-entirely convincing deportment as she rocks up to her office.  Her accomplished turn is matched by July Jung’s clever nuanced drama, which shares DNA with Boon Joon-Ho’s police procedural, Memories of Murder. Here, however, the secrets and lies are doubly complicated by a tangle of gender politics.

Kim Hyun-seok’s deceptively sunny cinematography adds to the notion that nothing is quite as it seems but that still won’t prepare you for the denouement.”The Irish Times  ★★★★

South Korea, 2014 | Language: Korean | 119 minutes | Cert: Club

Dir: July Jung

Starring: Kim Saeron, Bae Doona, Song Saebyuk

13 MINUTES [ELSER, Germany] – Thursday 11 February, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

A tense and captivating film based on the little-known true story of a courageous German who almost succeeded in assassinating Hitler with a home-made bomb.

“The rousing new film from Oliver Hirschbiegel, the director of Downfall, tells the story of one of recent German history’s almost forgotten figures. Georg Elser (Christian Friedel) was a carpenter who, in 1939, came within minutes of killing Adolf Hitler with a home-made bomb. The bomb went off after Hitler left a hall, killing several bystanders.

Hirschbiegel and his screenwriters have come up with an ingenious narrative structure. The bomb blast comes at the beginning of the film; then, Elser is interrogated and tortured, and we are whisked back to when and why he built his bomb as he recounts the tale under extreme duress.

The film plays like a rustic folk tale. Elser is portrayed by Friedel as a strong-willed, good-natured country carpenter, appalled by the Nazi intimidation that reaches into his corner of Swabian Germany. He is having an affair with a married woman (Katharina Schüttler), whose boorish husband’s behaviour encapsulates the vindictiveness of the National Socialists. Some of the torture scenes are very uncomfortable to watch, but Elser remains defiant in the face of extreme suffering.

Despite the cleverness of its plotting, this is an old-fashioned movie which has the feel of a Heimat-like mini-series. Elser’s story isn’t especially well known outside Germany but many set-pieces – the bombing, the village feasts, the grim sequences of Nazis humiliating townsfolk – seem familiar from newsreels and war movies. The film boasts handsome production values and is as intricately put together as the device Elser so painstakingly assembles.”The Independent UK

Germany, 2015 | Language: German | 114 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

Starring: Christian Friedel, Katharina Schüttler

THEEB [Quatar, Jordan] – Thursday 25 February, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

THEEB marks the feature debut of Oxford-born, Jordanian-bred director Naji Abu Nowar, who has crafted a nuanced look at the collision of East and West that occurred on the Arabian Peninsula during World War I, the outcome of which would ultimately bring the triumphs and trauma of modernity to the Arab world.

The film opens with a vivid portrait of Bedouin society, particularly the rituals of praise and hospitality that mark the arrival of guests into their midst. The film’s eponymous hero is a young Bedouin boy who is prematurely burdened with the responsibilities of manhood by the war when his tribe is unwittingly pulled into the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire by an Englishman (Jack Fox) passing through their camp with his Arab agent.

“Set in the same time and place as Lawrence of Arabia, it’s something of an antithesis to David Lean’s celebrated epic.” – Slant Magazine

“An engaging and beautifully shot coming-of-age tale set against an environment so harsh and acrid that merely viewing it will have you reaching for sunscreen.”The Irish Times

“packs a powerful punch”The Guardian

Click here for website.

Quatar, Jordan, 2014 | Language: Arabic | 100 minutes | Cert: TBC

Director:  Naji Abu Nowar

Starring: Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat, Hussein Salameh Al-Sweilhiyeen

TAXI TEHRAN [Iran] – Thursday 3 March, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

The director, Jafar Panahi, plays himself as an affable amateur cabbie in Tehran. Funny, defiant, with a quiet but profound political outrage.  His push against Iranian censorship has received rave reviews across the globe, and won the 2015 Golden Bear Award.

★★★★★ “Panahi’s joy ride….Again thumbing his nose at the regime that has banned him, the courageous Iranian director makes his latest film in a taxi rigged with three hidden cameras.” – The Guardian

★★★★★ “A brilliantly humane testament to the fact that, in the twenty-first century, cinema is truly everywhere, and Jafar Panahi is still in the driver’s seat.”TimeOut London

“It’s reflective and revealing, intimate and wide-ranging, compact and moving.”New York Times Critic Pick

★★★★★  96% rating, Rotten Tomatoes

Click here to read New York Times article about Taxi Tehran.

Iran, 2015 | Language: Farsi | 81 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Directed by and Starring:  Jafar Panahi

 

KING KONG – SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING – Thursday 10 March, 7:00pm

By | Season 14 Films

Heads will spin for our hair-raising, high-rise screening of KING KONG  [USA, 2015] in the Vertigo Room atop Cork County Hall.  Take the lift to the 17th floor at 7pm to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine, panoramic night time views of Cork City, and  very surprising live music!  At 7:30pm you’ll be handed a goody bag full of gorgeous gorilla-themed treats as you settle in your seat to watch the spectacular 2005 remake by director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings).

Tickets are €15/€10 (concession) and include the reception and goody bag. The Vertigo Room holds only 100 film fans, and is already almost sold out. Tickets will be sold in advance at all Cork Cine Club screenings on Thursday nights in St. John’s College.  Please note: Cash sales only.

The film is3 hours and 18 minutes.  There will be an an interval.

“King Kong is a magnificent entertainment. It is like the flowering of all the possibilities in 3 the original classic film. Computers are used not merely to create special effects, but also to create style and beauty, to find a look for the film that fits its story. And the characters are not cardboard heroes or villains seen in stark outline, but quirky individuals with personalities.”www.RogerEbert.com

“mad and magnificent brilliance…thrillingly revived in passionate remake of 1933 classic” – The Guardian

USA, 2005 | 191 minutes | Cert 15A

Director:  Peter Jackson

Starring:  Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrian Brody

 

TANGERINES [MANDARIINID, Estonia, Georgia] – Thursday 7 April, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee about Georgian farmers caught up in a bloody civil war is touching, moving and suspenseful.

Set during the brutal 1992 Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, Zaza Urushadze’s anti-war story roots itself in the neutral viewpoint of elderly an Estonian farmer, Ivo.

After a shootout between Georgian soldiers and Checen mercenaries near the local tangerine orchard, Ivo finds himself nursing two wounded men from opposite sides in his small house. As both men get better and Ivo remains stoically neutral, refusing to allow bloodshed under his own roof, the stage is set for a brilliant examination of conflict and humanity.

Strong performances and an atmospheric soundtrack add to this simple yet tense and emotionally-powerful piece.

Estonia, Georgia, 2013 | Language: Estonian| 89 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Zaza Urushadze

Starring:  Lembit Ulfsak, Elmo Nüganen, Giorgi Nakashidze

 

 

 

 

THE WONDERS [LE MERAVIGLIE, Italy] – Thursday 14 April, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

Cannes Grand Jury Prize Winner 2014. The entry into womanhood of a farming family’s eldest daughter is at the heart of this excellently-performed feature set in beautiful rural Tuscany.

Deftly balancing vérité-style social realism with fairy tale elements, THE WONDERS tells the story of one adolescent summer in the life of Gelsomina, a 12-year-old with three younger sisters, whose family have escaped urban life to attempt to live self sufficiently in the Italian country.  She helps her demanding father in minding bee hives and draining off honey, but soon the whole family is distracted by a TV competition awarding big prizes for country produce, or ‘Village Wonders’, which is presented by an enigmatic host.

★★★★★  “as powerful as it is enchanting”The Telegraph

Italy, 2014 | Language: Italian | 110 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director:  Alice Rohrwacher

Starring:  Maria Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck, Alba Rohrwacher, Sabine Timoteo, Monica Belluci

UZAMASA LIMELIGHT [Japan] – Thursday 21 April, 8pm

By | archive, Season 14 Films

Season 14 concludes with this multiple award-winning story about an aging and unsung hero of Japanese samurai films who never gets the limelight – until now.

Uzumasa (Kyoto) is considered the Hollywood of Japan.  It has produced many “jidaigeki” films (period dramas with sword fighting) that are loved by many Japanese, and are highly praised all over the world. These films wouldn’t be what they were if it weren’t for the “kirareyaku” (actors whose main job is to be killed by the lead star). Men who are killed, without ever being lit by the limelight.

This story is about those men, the unsung heroes of classic jidaigeki films. They loved and respected the art, even when the production of classic jidaigeki films began to dwindle. Using Charlie Chaplin’s film “Limelight” as an underlying theme, the admirable story of these men dealing with a new generation and fading craftsmanship is told with melancholy and soul.

“movie magic”The Los Angeles Times

“Being killed on screen isn’t as easy as it looks, as actors who make their living by dying will attest…Owner of one of the great faces of Japanese cinema, Mr. Fukumoto, warm-eyed and hollow-cheeked, was made to be looked at. Dying with panache might be a near-obsolete talent, but holding an audience’s attention will never go out of style.”The New York Times

Click here for official website.

Japan, 2014 | Language: Japanese | 103 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Ken Ochiai

Starring:  Seizo Fukumoto, Chihiro Yamamoto, Masashi Goda