Set in 18th century Paraguay, Zama is a dissatisfied magistrate assigned to a remote colony. This stunning and bold piece of filmmaking, full of wit and striking visuals, casts a powerful spell.
Don Diego de Zama is a magistrate in a remote Spanish colony in South America. He dutifully does his job, hoping to persuade his superiors to approve a transfer to Buenos Aires. As the months pass, and he grows increasingly desperate, the unhinged Zama hopes that a dangerous mission to capture a notorious outlaw will finally guarantee his long-awaited relocation.
The first film in almost a decade from Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman) is very much worth the wait: This is a stunning, strange and bold piece of filmmaking,
Desire and despair at the end of the world. In Lucrecia Martel’s magnificent drama, a Spanish officer stuck at a remote South American outpost numbs his burgeoning panic with erotic reveries. – The Guardian★★★★★
This surreal period piece is 2018’s best film so far. Lucrecia Martel’s Paraguay-set drama finds pathos and grim humor in colonial South America. – Vanity Fair Magazine
Lucrecia Martel, one of the greatest directors in the world right now, gets a well earned retrospective at Lincoln Center in New York City. – Vogue Magazine
Brady, a South Dakota rodeo cowboy, suffers a near-fatal accident that halts his career and forces him to re-evaluate his future. A beautifully crafted and absorbing glimpse of ‘real-life’ America.
Winner Art Cinema Award at Cannes 2017.
Brady is a talented South Dakota bronco rider and horse trainer – cowboys and rodeos are the centre of his world. So when he suffers a near-fatal accident that halts his career, Brady struggles to recover from a serious head-injury that forces him to reevaluate his future.
Chinese-born director Chloé Zhao proves that her acclaimed debut feature Songs My Brothers Taught Me was no flash-in-the-pan, as she returns with another beautifully crafted and absorbing glimpse of ‘real-life’ America in this second feature. Casting non-professional actors as versions of themselves allows her to bring a unique authenticity and intimacy to the story – the result is a powerfully emotional and touching exploration of humanity.
The best American movie this critic has seen in the past year…The commanding abilities Chloé Zhao shows in “The Rider” easily mark her as one of the world’s most important young directors. – rogerebert.com ★★★★
Study of a damaged rodeo rider is a hugely impressive slice of prairie naturalism. – The Irish Times★★★★★
Impressive, stylish bronco rider drama bucks the trend. Chloé Zhao’s distinctive new feature shows life among South Dakota’s star bronco riders, who play themselves in a kind of heightened documentary. – The Guardian★★★★
This heart-stopping, award-sweeping debut feature charts a family’s struggles with the fallout of divorce.
After a bitter divorce, Miriam and Antoine battle for sole custody of their son, Julien. Miriam claims the father is violent but lacks proof. Antoine accuses her of manipulating their son for her own ends. Both sides seem to be hiding something – the truth is buried in deceit and jealousy. Julien becomes a pawn in a tense conflict that brings the family’s fraught past to light.
Winner of prestigious awards at the 2017 Venice Film Festival, including the Silver Lion for best director, Custody is a gripping, tension-filled drama that heralds a stunning new cinematic voice in Xavier Legrand. His mastery of building suspense, supported by exceptional performances, makes this one of the must-see films of 2018.
A time-bomb of a film that crackles with intense emotional involvement. – LA Times
Hurtling drama of a horrific boyhood…Xavier Legrand’s portayal of domestic violence is a singular debut. – The Irish Times★★★★★
Terror tactics and fury blaze in an electric debut. – The Telegraph★★★★★
THIS FILM IS SHOWN IN THE GATE CINEMA ON NORTH MAIN STREET. START TIME IS 8:30PM.
A highlight of Season 19 is Cork Cine Club’s partnership with Cork Film Festival to present Crystal Swan in the Gate Cinema on North Main Street.
This energetic debut from Belarusian director Darya Zhuk is about young Veyla living in post-Soviet 1997 Minsk. She dreams of moving to America to become a DJ, but her wanderlust is derailed by a typo in a forged U.S. visa application, forcing her to a backwater village where she is determined to fake her way to the American dream.
The debut feature of Belarusian director Darya Zhuk, is the sort of blazing triumph that would hold even the sleepiest film festival-goer in rapt attention. – RogerEbert.com
The kooky scenario at the heart of vibrant this comedy could be lifted from a Seinfeld episode…sweet and salty with a screwball zip. – The Skinny
Impressively assured for a first feature, Crystal Swan boasts a luminous lead performance from rising Russian screen queen Alina Nasibullina, and a sparky, sardonic script. – Hollywood Reporter
A gripping drama about an Iraq veteran father and his daughter who take refuge from society deep in an Oregon forest. A war movie made without a shot fired in anger by the director of multi-award-winning Winter’s Bone.
Will, a war veteran suffering from PTSD and his teenage daughter, Tom, have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland. Intense and touching performances from Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie [Tom] and Ben Foster [Will].
Directed by Debra Granik, and adapted from the 2009 novel, My Abandonment, by Peter Rock.
In 1971 Switzerland where women were still denied the right to vote, a housewife finds herself leading her remote village’s suffragette movement. A feel-good film about political awakening. Winner of Audience Award, Tribeca Film Festival.
When dutiful wife and mother Nora is forbidden by her husband to take a part-time job, her frustration leads to her becoming the poster child of her village’s suffragette movement. Nora’s newfound celebrity brings humiliation, threats, and the potential end to her marriage. Refusing to back down, she convinces the women in her village to go on strike and makes some startling discoveries about her own liberation. An uplifting and captivating time-capsule.
There is something moving, and timely too, in the story of an inspirational wave of feminists threatening the status quo, fearlessly braving ridicule, mockery and the backlash against them. – The Guardian★★★
Harry Dean Stanton shines in his final role as Lucky, a cantankerous, desert-dwelling, chain-smoking 90-year-old atheist. A heartening meditation on mortality, human connectedness and enlightenment.
Having out lived and out smoked his contemporaries, this fiercely independent atheist’s life has revolved around a daily routine of yoga, crossword puzzles, TV game shows, and cigarettes. But as he contemplates the end of life, Lucky finds himself on a late journey of self-exploration.
Harry Dean Stanton’s final on-screen performance is funny, touching and beguiling, and particularly poignant in the knowledge that he passed away just days before the film’s US cinema release. It’s an award-winning first feature from actor-turned-director John Carroll Lynch (Fargo, Zodiac).
No one who cares about movies and those rare actors who can elevate them into something unforgettable would dream of missing this scrappy, loving tribute to a virtuoso. – Rolling Stone
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
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
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