Talking Movies

February 16, 2017

Here Comes ADIFF

Filed under: Talking Movies — Fergal Casey @ 1:24 pm
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The Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2017 (16th-26th Feb) opens tonight with the Gala Irish Premiere of hotly-anticipated Irish-Canadian co-production Maudie, featuring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins, finally making its Irish homecoming after international critical acclaim. Director Aisling Walsh will attend the screening for a Q&A in front of an audience that includes festival-goers, film-makers, and industry professionals.

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Film fans have 11 days of cinema ahead with an array of top talent coming to Dublin to present  films from around the world and some key Irish films from the year ahead.

Highlights of the first weekend include the Gala Screening of Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture with a host of special guests, the World Premiere of Jamie Thraves’ Pickups with actor Aidan Gillen in attendance, Tindersticks front-man Stuart Staples will present his brilliant new project Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F, Percy Smith, and New Zealand actress Kerry Fox will appear at the Irish premiere of The Rehearsal and join us for a look back at her breakthrough role in Jane Campion’s An Angel At My Table. On Monday 20th Feb the festival hosts the Centrepiece Gala screening of new Irish documentary In Loco Parentis, and the Cineworld Gala World Premiere of new Irish horror Nails with Ross Noble, Shauna MacDonald, and Leah McNamara in attendance. On Wednesday 22nd Feb, the festival hosts the Irish premiere of Unless, a new Irish-Canadian film starring Catherine Keener, with director Alan Gilsenan in attendance.

The Audi Gala of Free Fire on Thurs 23rd Feb sees Kill List and High-Rise maestro Ben Wheatley return to the festival, joined by Irish cast members Jack Reynor and Cillian Murphy. Friday 24th Feb sees a special tribute to John Hurt with the first Irish screening of his performance in 2014’s Snowpiercer, which wasn’t released here after much controversy over its re-cutting for American audiences, while Anna Friel appears with director Juanita Wilson at a Special Presentation screening of Tomato Red.

The Festival’s final day sees no let up in activity with a Special Presentation of Indonesian martial arts star Iko Uwais’s new film Headshot, the Special Presentation World Premiere of Emer Reynolds The Farthest with an appearance from Voyager Program project manager John Casani, the much-speculated-about Surprise Film, and the Closing Gala Irish Premiere of John Butler’s Handsome Devil.

January 24, 2017

ADIFF: Oscar movies

The Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2017 offers the first chance for Irish audiences to see five of the films nominated for Academy Awards earlier today.
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Best Animated Feature Film nominees The Red Turtle and My Life as a Courgette will screen as part of the ADIFF Fantastic Flix children’s and young people’s strand, while Best Documentary Feature nominee I Am Not Your Negro and Best Foreign Language nominees Tanna and The Salesman feature as part of the main ADIFF programme. Eagle-eyed viewers will note that I Am Not Your Negro and The Salesman were featured in Talking Movies’ 17 films to watch at ADIFF when the programme was announced last week. Elsewhere Irish actress Ruth Negga was nominated for Loving, ADIFF Volta Award-winning Irish costume designer Consolata Boyle, was given a nod for Best Costume Design for Florence Foster Jenkins; and two films from last year’s ADIFF programme, Zootopia and Land of Mine, were also shortlisted.

The Red Turtle –Fantastic Flix’s Opening Film
A man is shipwrecked on a beautiful island devoid of humans and must make the most of what he has to survive. Watched on by a group of sand crabs, he attempts to escape but is thwarted by the weather and a red turtle with a vendetta. Then an unexpected visitor arrives who will alter the man’s fate for all time.

10th Feb, 6.30pm at Omniplex Rathmines.

My Life as a Courgette
After his mother’s sudden death, Courgette is befriended by a kind police officer Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home filled with other orphans his age. At first, Courgette struggles to find his place in this strange, at times, hostile environment. Yet with Raymond’s help and his newfound friends, he eventually learns to trust, finds true love and at last a new family of his own.
17th Feb 2017 11.50am at Omniplex Rathmines.

I Am Not Your Negro
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, and with unprecedented access to James Baldwin’s original work,  Raoul Peck has completed the cinematic version of the book Baldwin never wrote – a radical narration about race in America that tracks the lives and assassinations of Baldwin’s friends, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers. Whilst partly anchored in the struggle for equality in the ’50s and ’60s, I Am Not Your Negro sees Peck extrapolate from Baldwin’s actual work to make his own statements about what it means to be black in America today.

Tuesday 21st February, 8:45pm at the Light House Cinema

Tanna
Tanna is a captivating romance set amongst the Yakel people of Vanuatu and is the first feature film shot completely on that island. Based on real events, and written in collaboration with the cast (all non-professionals), the film tells the story of Wawa and Dain, a young couple in love who must go on the run to escape Wawa’s arranged marriage to an enemy tribe.

Sunday 26th Feb 2017, 2 pm at the Light House Cinema

The Salesman
After making his previous film (The Past) in France, Asghar Farhadi (A SeparationAbout Elly) returns to his native Tehran for this story about a couple forced out of their apartment due to dangerous works on a neighbour’s building. Emad and Rana move into a new flat in the centre of Tehran, where an incident linked to the previous tenant will dramatically change the young couple’s life. Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman plays an unexpected part in proceedings, as the nature of honour and violence are explored in typically metaphorical Iranian style.
Friday 17th Feb, 6.15pm. Cineworld

Tickets for the 2017 programme are available to buy online at diff.ie, in person at DIFF House & Box Office, 13 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1 or by phoning 01 6877974.

January 21, 2017

Fears: 2017

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God Particle

Cloverfield in Space,

Elizabeth Debicki,

looks at earth aghast.

 

Logan

Jackman retires claws,

Mangold goes for R and yet…

storyline seems silly.

 

Free Fire

Ben Wheatley thriller,

Brie Larsen brings Oscar power,

classy shoot ’em up?

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Alien: Covenant

Waterston: new Ripley,

replacing Rapace’s one,

Fassbender abides.

 

The Mummy

Tom Cruise: action man,

but ghost of Sommers haunts this,

more than the Mummy.

 

Flatliners

Kiefer cameos,

Ellen Page, Nina Dobrev,

needless nostalgia.

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Wonderstruck

Todd Haynes does The Hours,

so to speak, Julianne Moore,

stories in two times.

 

Thor 3

Will this really be

Taika Waititi’s show

or just dull Marvel?

 

Murder on the Orient Express

Ken Branagh Poirot,

Suchet’s legacy looms large,

can Depp save the show?

 

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The Beguiled

Remake of Clint,

Sofia Coppola,

might waste bright young things.

 

Yeh Din Ka Kissa

Stiller and Baumbach,

team up with Hoffman, huzzah!

but Adam Sandler…

 

Last Flag Flying

Richard Linklater’s

spiritual sequel to,

The Last Detail.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Now look here Marvel,

we saw Parker in school thrice,

graduate him now.

 

American Made

Edge of Tomorrow‘s

Liman & Cruise now remake

Air America.

 

The Masterpiece

Franco and Rogen,

make a making of The Room,

but is it funny?

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Justice League

So much potential,

and yet Zach Snyder still there,

to squander it all.

 

Star Wars: Episode VIII

Disney paid too much,

but that is not our problem,

be original…

January 19, 2017

ADIFF 2017: 17 Films

Booking is now open for ADIFF 2017 at diff.ie, and here are 17 films that deserve your attention.free-fire-cillian-murphy-brie-larsen-armie-hammer

Free Fire

Directed by Ben Wheatley (2016, 90 mins)
It’s 1978. Justine (Brie Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley) and a gang led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer) who are selling them a stash of guns. Everything seems to be going smoothly at first, but when shots are fired in the handover all hell breaks loose and a heart stopping game of survival ensues. Moving from tense caper to explosive action, Ben Wheatley marries tight choreography with a witty script (co-written with his wife and regular editor Amy Jump). Inspired by films like Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, and demonstrating Wheatley’s increasing ability to attract indie stars, Free Fire is another stunner from one of today’s most exciting directors.
The Secret Scripture

Directed by Jim Sheridan (2016, 108 mins)

Based on Sebastian Barry’s acclaimed novel, Jim Sheridan’s first film set primarily in Ireland since The Boxer (1997) explores the life and history of Roseanne McNulty (Vanessa Redgrave), a woman confined to the Roscommon Mental Hospital for 50 years. As the institution is about to close, Dr. Grene (Eric Bana) is sent to see whether she’s fit to be released. He’s intrigued by Roseanne’s eccentricities and her fierce attachment to her Bible, in which she’s been keeping a diary since she was first admitted. As he delves into her past, Dr. Grene gets to know the younger Roseanne (played by Rooney Mara) and eventually learns the terrible truth about her confinement. Shot in the west of Ireland, The Secret Scripture mines  a familiar seam in depicting Ireland’s history.

 

The Salesman

Directed by Asghar Farhadi (2016, 125 mins, an Iran-France co-production, in Farsi with English subtitles)

After making his previous film (The Past) in France, Asghar Farhadi (A SeparationAbout Elly) returns to his native Tehran for this story about a couple forced out of their apartment due to dangerous works on a neighbour’s building. Emad and Rana move into a new flat in the centre of Tehran, where an incident linked to the previous tenant will dramatically change the young couple’s life. Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman plays an unexpected part in proceedings, as the nature of honour and violence are explored in typically metaphorical Iranian style.

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I Am Not Your Negro

Directed by Raoul Peck (2016, 95 mins)

Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, and with unprecedented access to James Baldwin’s original work,  Raoul Peck has completed the cinematic version of the book Baldwin never wrote – a radical narration about race in America that tracks the lives and assassinations of Baldwin’s friends, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers. Whilst partly anchored in the struggle for equality in the ’50s and ’60s, I Am Not Your Negro sees Peck extrapolate from Baldwin’s actual work to make his own statements about what it means to be black in America today.

 

Personal Shopper

Directed by Olivier Assayas (2016, 110 mins)

Maureen is the personal shopper for a German model/designer who demands an endless supply of clothes be procured and delivered to her. But Maureen has just suffered a personal trauma: her beloved twin brother, Lewis, to whom she was intensely attached, has just died. She is also a medium, and attempts to communicate with Lewis while wandering around their cavernous childhood home in Paris, where he died. Gradually, mysterious things begin to occur. On paper that may not sound like much, but this is the second pairing of actress Kristen Stewart and writer/director Olivier Assayas after Clouds of Sils Maria.

 

Headshot

Directed by Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto (2016, 117 mins, in Indonesian with English subtitles)

When an unknown Indonesian film called The Raid premiered at JDIFF 2011 the Savoy was thunderous in welcoming the furious flying fists and lightning-fast feet of star Iko Uwais. Uwais is the hero of Headshot. A young man washes ashore, an amnesiac with a serious head injury. After being nursed back to health by a young doctor, violence ensues as Ishmael takes on the henchmen of a vengeful drug lord while piecing together his past as a remorseless killing machine. Directors Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel — a.k.a. The Mo Brothers — keep the action coming as Ishmael kicks, punches, ducks, and flips his way through the Indonesian underworld.

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Seymour: An Introduction

Directed by Ethan Hawke (2014, 81 mins)

“How should we live?” A question long asked by philosophers is one which Seymour Bernstein has been cultivating an answer to over 50 years of playing piano. Bernstein chose to forego a promising career as a concert pianist in order to teach, thus revealing his profound world-view, a breathtakingly clear-headed perspective on art and its essential value. Ethan Hawke, one of his greatest admirers, takes us into Bernstein’s world with this delicately crafted film offering a wise and charismatic reflection on art and life, and even punning on JD Salinger for its title.

 

In the Blood

Directed by Rasmus Heisterberg (2016, 104 mins, in Danish with English subtitles)
Summer in Copenhagen; a time of endless days and carefree nights. Simon goes to medical school with his best friend Knud. They party, drink and chase girls and wake up the next day only to do it all over again. But it is also a time of change amongst their group of friends. Whilst the others gravitate toward the safe haven of adulthood, Simon is not ready to let go of his airy adolescent life.
Alone in Berlin

Directed by Vincent Perez (2016, 103 mins)

Berlin, June 1940. While Nazi propaganda celebrates victory over France, Anna and Otto are grieving their son, who has been killed at the front. They had long believed in the ‘Führer’, but now they realise his promises are nothing but lies. They begin writing anti-Nazi postcards as a form of resistance. Putting their lives at risk, the couple played by Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson distribute these cards all over Berlin. But soon, as with Sophie Scholl, the authorities are onto them.

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The Rehearsal

Directed by Alison Maclean (2016, 102 mins)

Stanley, a naive first year drama student meets Isolde and begins a sweet, first love affair. Goaded by Hannah, Kerry Fox’s charismatic, domineering Head of Acting, Stanley uncovers a talent and ambition he didn’t know he had. When his group hits on a sex scandal that involves Isolde’s tennis prodigy sister as fertile material for their end-of-year show, Stanley finds himself profoundly torn.

 

Mindhorn

Directed by Sean Foley (2016, 89 mins)

When MI5 Special Operative Bruce Mindhorn was captured in the late 1980s, his eye was replaced by a super-advanced optical lie detector, which meant he could literally “see the truth.” He escaped and fled to the Isle of Man, to recuperate in the island’s temperate micro-climate, and today has become the best plain-clothes detective the island has ever seen. This cheeky and hilarious send up of television detective shows stars Julian Barratt of The Mighty Boosh and is directed by theatre wunderkind Sean Foley.

 

A Quiet Passion

Directed by Terence Davies (2016, 125 mins)

A Quiet Passion is Terence Davies’ new biopic of Emily Dickinson; her loves, her struggles, and her magnificent poetry. Shot in Belgium and Massachusetts, A Quiet Passion paints a sympathetic but far from idealistic portrait of one of 19th Century America’s greatest poets. Featuring a finely curated selection of her work read in voice-over by star Jennifer Ehle, this luminous biopic will appeal to existing Dickinson fans and perhaps create new ones at the same time.

Wolf Alice singer, Ellie Rowsell, live on stage at the Junction in Cambridge on 10 April 2015. Last date of the tour.

David Lynch – The Art Life

Directed by Jon Nguyen (2016, 93 mins)

David Lynch was once memorably described by his producer Mel Brooks as Jimmy Stewart fro Mars. Lynch takes us on an intimate journey through his idyllic upbringing in small town America to the dark streets of Philadelphia, to trace the events that shaped the career of one of cinema’s most distinctive directors. This portrait  gives audiences a better understanding of the man and the artist just as he prepares to welcome back the world to his greatest triumph Twin Peaks.

 

On the Road

Directed by Michael Winterbottom (2016, 121 mins)

Don’t worry, it’s not another sally at the unfilmable Kerouac classic. Michael Winterbottom joins London 90s throwback band Wolf Alice on the road, capturing 16 different gigs and daily life backstage. The resulting film documents the tour from the point of view of a new crew member and reveals the relentless, sometimes unglamorous side of playing live, night after night. But it also mesmerises, capturing the nuanced musicality of the full band, and the charisma of frontwoman Ellie Rowsell.

 

Berlin Syndrome

Directed by Cate Shortland (2017, 116 mins)

Holidaying in Berlin, Teresa Palmer’s Australian photojournalist Clare meets the charismatic Andi. There is an instant mutual attraction, and a night of passion ensues. But what initially appears to be the start of a romance suddenly takes an unexpected and sinister turn when Clare wakes the following morning to discover Andi has left for work and locked her in his apartment. An easy mistake to make, of course, except Andi has no intention of letting her go again in the latest German-set effort from Australian director Cate Shortland following Lore.

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Hounds of Love

Directed by Ben Young (2016, 108 mins)

Set in Perth in 1987 and inspired by real crimes, this feature debut from director Ben Young takes place in the aftermath of a murderous couple’s abduction of a teenager on a steamy summer evening. Though she’s a captive, 17 year-old Vicki Maloney isn’t powerless. Suspecting the many problems plaguing her captors, and attuned to marital issues following her own parents’ recent split, Vicki fights for her life by trying to expose the imbalances in their relationship.

 

Neruda

Directed by Pablo Larraín (2016, 108 mins, in in Spanish with English subtitles)

In Neruda Pablo Larraín (Jackie, No) weaves an engrossing meta-fictional fable around the 1948 manhunt for celebrated poet and politician Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco), who goes underground when Chile outlaws communism. He is pursued by an ambitious police inspector (Gael García Bernal), who is hoping to make a name for himself by capturing the famous fugitive. This period saw Neruda produce some of his most memorable work, even while he was constantly on the run.

January 18, 2017

ADIFF 2017

The programme for ADIFF’s 15th celebration of cinema is now available to browse and download at www.diff.ie and tickets go on sale tomorrow Thursday January 19th at 10:00am; available by phone on +353 1 687 7974 or in person at DIFF, 13 Ormond Quay.

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World cinema is coming to the Audi Dublin International Film Festival from 16th-26th February 2017 with Vanessa Redgrave, Nathalie Baye, Kerry Fox, Ross Noble, Ben Wheatley, and Anna Friel joining Irish stars Jack Reynor, Moe Dunford, Cillian Murphy, John Butler, and Aiden Gillen on the red carpet.

Grainne Humphreys, Festival Director, said ‘I’m thrilled with the selection of films that not only showcases some of the biggest names in world cinema but features a selection of first time directors from across the globe who will make a serious impression with our audience in this and in coming years. To be able to include new Irish films from Aisling Walsh, Jim Sheridan, Emer Reynolds, Aiden Gillen, John Butler, Neasa Ní Chianán, Juanita Wilson, and Ken Wardrop is an extraordinary testament to the current strength and depth of the Irish film industry. I hope that as many Dubliners as possible take this chance to explore and celebrate the art of film.’

Richard Molloy, Head of Marketing and Product at Audi Ireland, said, “Following a hugely successful partnership between Audi and the Dublin International Film Festival in 2016 we are proud to continue this into 2017.  Audi’s brand philosophy, ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’, really connects with the festival’s ethos of inspiring progressiveness and creativity. Furthermore, our partnership with the festival allows us to celebrate the art of film-making while recognising new and emerging film talent. This year we are delighted to introduce an Audi Gala screening to the festival programme providing festival fans with the ultimate red carpet film experience.”

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Galas and World Premieres

The Gala Opening Night of ADIFF 2017 will be the Irish Premiere of Maudie, the internationally acclaimed biopic of folk artist Maud Lewis by award-winning Irish director Aisling Walsh (Song for a Raggy Boy) which stars Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture, adapted from the award-winning novel by Sebastian Barry, will receive a Gala Irish Premiere and see ADIFF present a Volta Award to British theatrical royalty Vanessa Redgrave. The Volta Award is the Festival’s most prestigious honour, reserved for those who have made an outstanding contribution to the world of film. Jack Reynor, Cillian Murphy, and Ben Wheatley will attend the Audi Gala screening of Wheatley’s new film Free Fire. ADIFF’s new Centrepiece Gala will be Neasa Ní Chianán and David Rane’s In Loco Parentis documentary study of the Headfort School. World Premieres at ADIFF 17 include Juanita Wilson’s Tomato Red with star Anna Friel in attendance, Dennis Bartok’s terrifying hospital horror Nails, and Aiden Gillen and Jamie Thraves’ Pickups (features Gillen playing a semi-fictionalised version of himself). Ken Wardrop (His & Hers) brings his characteristic warmth and humanity to piano grade exams in The Piano Lesson, while John Murray and Traolach Ó Murchú’s Photo City delves into the celluloid history of Rochester, NY. ADIFF’s prestigious Closing Night Gala is the Irish premiere of Handsome Devil, the new comedy-drama set in an Irish boarding school from John Butler, who directed The Stag.

International Programme

Nathalie Baye, Kerry Fox, and François Cluzet will attend the festival. Baye becomes the target of a dangerous obsession in Moka, Fox is the uncompromising acting teacher in The Rehearsal, and Cluzet stars in stylish paranoia thriller Scribe. ADIFF’s world cinema programme feature films from over 35 countries, from Bhutan to New Zealand, Seoul to Senegal, and Nova Scotia to Manila. There are new films from Festival favourites including Olivier Assayas, Pablo Larraín, Michael Winterbottom, Aki Kaurismäki, Ben Wheatley, Asghar Farhadi, Cristian Mungiu, Lone Scherfig, and Terence Davies. In 2011, Iko Uwais’ flying fists and lightning-fast feet in The Raid brought the house down in the Savoy. Now Uwais returns as the hero of IFI Horrorthon sell-out Headshot, bringing his astounding fighting skills to this tale of amnesia and revenge.

First-time Directors

This year’s programme features a number of new international voices making feature debuts: Juho Kuosmanen’s uplifting Oscar-tipped boxing biopic The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, Ben Young’s Australian kidnap nightmare Hounds of Love, British director William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth, and Daouda Coulibaly’s thrilling West African crime thriller Wùlu. Irish director Lorcan Finnegan’s deeply creepy walk in the woods eco-horror Without Name marks him out as a talent to watch closely in years to comeThe frustration and unease those in the arts have felt at people uninterested in the arts voting for Brexit and Trump is expressed through acerbic and bitter humour – Dash Shaw’s My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea!, Sean Foley’s Mindhorn (with Ross Noble in attendance), Anna Biller’s Love Witch, and Kris Avedisian’s comedy of discomfort Donald Cried.

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Special Events and the Surprise Film

Masterclasses include leading British director Ben Wheatley (High Rise, Free Fire, A Field in England, Kill List), and Oscar-winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (Doctor Strange). Terence Davies, a singular master of film adaptations, will take part in a public interview with Roddy Doyle. Celebrating the current high point in Irish film, an exhibition by Hugh O’Conor features intimate portraits of his colleagues. An annual treat for the brave, the Surprise Film is a tightly guarded secret known only to the Festival Director, and this year the screening is supported by Just Eat, the official food ordering app, who will be offering special discounts and vouchers to the audience.

Fantastic Flix

The Festival’s expanding Fantastic Flix programme brings the world of cinema to the next generation in its packed festival of children’s films from around the globe, workshops, short film selections, the Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury and special events. Highlights include a special selection of films from visiting children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, along with the Golden Globe-nominated animated film My Life as a Courgette, and Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle.

Awards
Alongside the Volta Awards that recognise outstanding achievement, the ADIFF Discovery Award sees the festival reward emerging Irish talent; the Dublin Film Critics Circle Jury selects the best of the festival for their awards ceremony; and film-goers themselves select their favourite with the AUDI-ence award. The AUDI-ence award-winning film-makers
 will be flown to the Berlin International Film Festival in 2018, where they will enjoy a true VIP Audi experience.

January 17, 2017

Hopes: 2017

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John Wick: Chapter 2

Keanu Reeves’s unstoppable assassin returns,

with a new dog in the mix,

and old mentors and enemies.

 

The Fate of the Furious

Don’t the Furious need Walker?

Will Helen Mirren win an Oscar here?

Can the nonsense still prevail?

 

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

Elizabeth Debicki joins the cast,

can James Gunn sprinkle more comedy gold,

to again disguise Marvel formula?

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Wonder Woman

Snyder co-wrote the story but…

Geoff Johns and OC writer wrote script,

can Diana’s solo movie soar?

 

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan shoots on film,

shoots Germans shooting at beached British soldiers ,

can retreat be cinematically heroic?

 

Baby Driver

Edgar Wright makes a film!

But why cast Ansel Elgort as driver?

And why call driver Baby?

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Salt and Fire

Werner Herzog does volcanoes fictionally,

Michael Shannon and Diego Luna butt heads,

but this is not Pompeii.

 

Golden Exits

Alex Ross Perry hits Brooklyn,

reunites with Jason Schwartzman for family dramas,

with a mostly female cast.

 

Death Note

Adam Wingard directs a remake,

but oddly the original sounds like Lullaby,

is Palahniuk big in Japan?

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Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig finally directs again!

Saoirse Ronan’s comedic adventures in Northern California.

Who needs Noah Baumbach anyway?

 

Wind River

Taylor Sheridan writes AND directs!

Sicario man drops deserts for snowy wastes,

teams FBI and Native Americans.

 

Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villeneuve does more sci-fi,

with the blessing of Ford, Scott, Fancher,

Ryan Gosling the new Ford.

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Goldstone

Ivan Sen made Mystery Road,

Measured, beautiful, and suspenseful Aussie crime thriller,

and now here’s his sequel.

 

The Glass Castle

Destin Cretton adapts acclaimed memoir,

starring Brie Larson who commanded Short Term 12,

this should be something icy.

 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Grieving Frances McDormand freaks out,

attacks Woody Harrellson and Sam Rockwell’s cops,

yes, it’s Martin McDonagh’s repertory.

 

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Under the Silver Lake

It Follows meets Raymond Chandler,

Andrew Garfield investigates stranger than usual case,

Riley Keough is the femme fatale.

 

Vox Lux

Brady Corbet shoots on 65mm,

Rooney Mara’s pop star scored by Sia,

his first feature was… imposing.

January 14, 2017

Top 10 Films of 2016

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(10) Arrival

Time is not linear,

how we speak is how we think,

says hard sci-fi.

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(9) Maggie’s Plan

A Miller screwball comedy,

Gerwig plays all,

save Slavoj Zizek.

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(8) The Daughter

Ibsen but not Ibsen,

secrets and lies in Oz,

sins of the past bite.

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(7) Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Majestical Taika Waititi,

makes smart sight gags,

and smarter lines.

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(6) Look Who’s Back

Borat with Hitler,

painting in Bayreuth,

and a bit with a dog too.

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(5) The Neon Demon

Refn the garish provocateur,

subverts Keanu,

bloodies glitter.

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(4) Queen of Earth

Two women by the lake,

one loses her mind,

the other doesn’t mind.

Deadpool International Quad

(3) Deadpool

Take usual plot,

discuss usual plot in the plot,

a dead shot.

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(2) The Nice Guys

Laurel and Hardy fight crime,

Laurel’s daughter the brains,

but not Waltons.

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(1) High-Rise

Tower block descends into anarchy,

the residents…

kind of like it.

December 6, 2016

Volunteer for ADIFF now!

Filed under: Talking Movies — Fergal Casey @ 7:35 pm

Santa couldn’t function without his helpers, and ADIFF couldn’t run without its volunteers.

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The Audi Dublin International Film Festival is bringing the world’s best films to Dublin between 16th-26th February 2017, and to make sure its programme of over 130 films, special events and guest appearances runs picture perfect, the Festival needs a team of smart, enthusiastic volunteers who are ready to pull together and make the Festival a success.

Help will be needed in areas such as venues, hospitality, office administration, production, ticketing, promotions, marketing and communications so whether you are welcoming festival-goers to a venue and making sure that they’re getting the most out of the festival or helping behind the scenes at ADIFF HQ it’s a great way to get first-hand insight into the inner workings of an international entertainment event.

The festival takes its volunteers seriously and is proud of the diverse and committed group of people from Dublin and much further afield who generously give their time and who often return year after year. It’s also a chance for volunteers to build up experience, explore the city in a new way and to make new connections – both whilst on the job and of course relaxing after a film at the Festival Club.

Depending on individual availability, volunteers can either apply to be full-time (a minimum of one shift per day during the Festival) or part-time. Each volunteer needs to be able to commit to a minimum of 5 volunteering shifts.

Volunteer applications are now open! Go to the ADIFF website for more information and to download an application and make sure to apply before 5pmon January 13th, 2017. You must be over 18 to apply. Questions, comments or queries can be sent to John McHale, Volunteers Coordinator volunteers@diff.ie.

Founded in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and International film. Offering unique access to a plethora of film-making talent, the festival transforms Dublin into a hub of glamour, creativity and film appreciation. Over the past 14 years, the festival has hosted over 550 major guests, including winners of the festival’s prestigious Volta Award such as Al Pacino, Julie Andrews, Danny DeVito, Daniel Day-Lewis, Joss Whedon Brendan Gleeson Angela Lansbury, Stanley Tucci, Stellan Skarsgård, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ennio Morricone. The festival has screened world cinema from 52 different countries, a total of almost 1,500 films, of which 300 were Irish features including Irish premieres of Sing Street, Once, Ondine, In Bruges, Calvary, The Stag and The Secret of Kells. The festival’s young people’s programme Fantastic Flix is expanding each year, engaging schools and families and building a new generation of film fans.

December 2, 2016

Hail the 1930s Generation!

Filed under: Talking Movies — Fergal Casey @ 5:56 pm

Leonard Cohen’s morbid remarks about waiting for death some weeks before his death had made me think about the 1930s generation who were actively working and not thinking about death. So the day that Clint Eastwood (86) releases his latest film Sully into Irish cinemas, and a day after Woody Allen turned 81 having recently made his first TV show, I thought I’d round up some people born in the 1930s who are still very much alive and well and working as hard as ever.

Clint Eastwood

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Woody Allen

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Donald Sutherland

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Glenda Jackson

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Michael Caine

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James Earl Jones

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Vanessa Redgrave

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Martin Sheen

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Dustin Hoffman

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Anthony Hopkins

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Maggie Smith

Downton Abbey Season 2 on MASTERPIECE Classic, Part 4 - Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 9pm ET on PBS; Shown: Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham; (C) Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for MASTERPIECE This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

Ian McKellen

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Quincy Jones

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Harvey Keitel

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Bob Dylan

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Morgan Freeman

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William Shatner

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Robert Redford

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Ridley Scott

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John Williams

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Judi Dench

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Judd Hirsch

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November 22, 2016

Re-Routh Superman!

The guest appearance of Superman on Supergirl for 2 episodes; which displayed more wit, swagger, and simple sure grasp of the character than Zack Snyder’s 2 movies; led me back to thinking about a couple of unrelated moments this summer.

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I was watching Legends of Tomorrow, the audacious episode where three of our heroes are left behind in 1950s America, and someone walked past, stopped, and asked “Is that Superman?” And yes, it kind of was. Brandon Routh, bespectacled, waistcoated, and jacketed, was lecturing excitedly on physics and slightly bumbling in keeping the space-time continuum free of catastrophic paradoxes. I have always considered that Routh in Superman Returns was a fine Superman, but I was less sold on his Clark Kent. His sensational cameo in Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, effectively playing Bizarro for extra meta-laughs, served notice that the still young Routh was developing his comedy chops apace. But with Legends of Tomorrow there is no doubt that the secret identities Ray Palmer and Clark Kent are starting to become interchangeable on occasion, and if Routh is secretly auditioning to get his cape back (Hell, Routh’s superhero guise still involves wearing a suit largely composed of red and blue), he’s certainly won me over regarding his ability to play Clark. So, with Snyder now having failed miserably, twice, to show that he understands in the slightest the character of Superman, has any coherent vision of how to direct Super-action, or has any sense of humour, might it not be time to simply pretend the whole thing was a fever dream and make a semi-sequel to Superman Returns, bringing back Routh to the role he only got one shot at?

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Left Behind" -- Image LGN109A_0220b.jpg -- Pictured: Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2016 The CW

And the second unrelated moment… Watching Olivia Munn in X-Men: Apocalypse after watching her in season 3 of The Newsroom I was once again disappointed at how an actress who dominates a television screen ended up standing around like a mislaid prop on the big screen. If there was only some role in a superhero movie that would be as juicy for Munn as Sorkin’s creation Sloan Sabbith was… If only she could again play a journalist, someone with an overpowering hunger for nailing a scoop. Someone like… Lois Lane. In 2010 I wrote on this blog that Lois “lives for breaking news and will do anything to get it first – she’s not a particularly nice person but she’s charismatic, tough as nails and you’d always want her on your team rather than playing against you. Writing Lois as nastier than recent anodyne versions of her also helps solve the ‘problem’ of Superman’s uncomplicated morality about which essays of unsympathetic comparisons to Batman and Wolverine have been written. The meaner you make Lois, the harder it becomes for Superman to melt her cynicism, and the better the film will be as a result in selling audiences on his Boy Scout ethics.” Take a look at Munn in action as Sloan in the clip below, and imagine a Lois whose breath-taking abrasiveness in the service of the Daily Planet becomes perversely loveable.

The Snyderverse demonstrably is not working, and the Berlantiverse demonstrably is; surely it’s time for DC to acknowledge reality, reverse the reboot, and give Brandon Routh back his cape and give Olivia Munn another charismatic vinegary role.

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