Talking Movies

January 28, 2016

ADIFF: 2016

The Audi Dublin International Film Festival launched an impressive 14th programme today, featuring over 80 films from 27 countries, which will welcome over 40 guests to the capital over this 11 day celebration of film.

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Bookended by highly anticipated Irish films, the Festival will open on Thursday 18th February with the European premiere of Sing Street, attended by director John Carney and cast members Jack Reynor, Ferdia Walsh Peelo and Lucy Boynton, and closes on Sunday 28th February with director Paddy Breathnach’s stunning Viva. Stars Dublin bound this February for the days in between include Richard Gere, Rebecca Miller, Angela Lansbury, Claudia Cardinale, Neil Jordan, Ben Wheatley, Killian Scott, and  David Hare.

 Speaking at the Programme Launch, Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys said:

“This year’s Festival is a Valentine to Cinema, celebrating world and Irish film, and championing the work of both established and emerging talent. With a guest list that includes Richard Gere, Angela Lansbury, Claudia Cardinale, David Hare, Ben Wheatley, Serge Bromberg, Joachim Trier, Margarethe Von Trotta, Rebecca Miller and many, many more. It’s a programme to savour and I hope that our audiences find much to enjoy and love.”

 

Humanitarian and screen icon Richard Gere will attend the Arnotts Gala screening of Time Out of Mind, joining a host of stellar guests including legendary acting talents Claudia Cardinale, who will attend the Italian Gala with Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and Angela Lansbury, alongside acclaimed directors Rebecca Miller with her comedy Maggie’s Plan, Ben Wheatley with his JG Ballard adaptation High Rise, Joachim Trier with Louder than Bombs, and Neil Jordan for the 20th anniversary celebration of Michael Collins.

The Festival is delighted to announce a brand new Fantastic Flicks season of family films, featuring classics such as Beauty and the Beast, exciting studio animations Kung Fu Panda 3 and Zootropolis, the hilarious live action Antboy films from Denmark, Norwegian drama Brothers, and Simon Fitzmaurice’s life-affirming My Name is Emily.

ADIFF will showcase international award-winning cinema including Golden Globe winner Mustang, Cannes Grand Prix winner Son of Saul, London Film Festival Best Film winner Desierto, Berlin International Film Festival Best Feature winner Nasty Baby, and Miguel Gomes’ multi-award-winning Arabian Nights trilogy. In addition there are Irish premieres of the Coen brothers’ Hail Caesar!, Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa, Toronto International Film Festival opener Demolition, Jaco Van Dormael’s hilarious Brand New Testament, and the soon to be cult crime/horror Green Room.

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The strength of Irish film is evident throughout the programme: Irish premieres of Rebecca Daly’s Mammal, Declan Recks’ The Truth Commissioner, and debut features Staid, and Traders starring Killian Scott. Thought provoking Irish documentaries will investigate people and place – Johnny Gogan’s Hubert Butler: Witness to the Future, Atlantic from the makers of The Pipe, an exploration of Irish poetry Fís na Fuiseoige, the story of Irish missionary ‘deserters’ The Judas Iscariot Lunch, and Reel Art documentaries Further Beyond and We Are Moving – Memories of Miss Moriarty. The Festival continues to champion Irish filmmakers with the Discovery Award, which seeks to encourage new and emerging talent by selecting 15 filmmakers from actors to directors, producers and writers to profile and support.

The marriage of film and music runs throughout the Festival, from Miles Ahead, the documentary celebrating the legendary Miles Davis, to Agnieszka Smoczynska’s genre defying ‘musical horror’ The Lure. There are also a number of special events: Oscar winning composer Jan A. P. Kaczmarek presents a seminar on Composing for Film, while film preservationist Serge Bromberg returns to the Festival with a new live score to accompany a screening of Buster Keaton.

One of the Festival strengths is discovering exciting new films from around the world and bringing the filmmakers to Dublin to discuss their work. This year there are gems from Romania with guests director Tudor Giurgiu in Dublin with his legal thriller Why Me, and Lucile Hadžihalilovic with her beautiful Évolution, Margarethe Von Trotta’s meditation on sisterhood The Misplaced World, and Michal Rogalski to discuss his coming-of-age drama Summer Solstice.

Special events throughout the Festival include industry masterclasses, seminars on wide ranging topics from scriptwriting to adapting texts, capturing history on film to festival programming. The Festival literally goes global this year with an innovative and very special outreach programme, Dublin Here, Dublin There, that will see the Festival short film programme screened in towns and villages in the US that share the name Dublin! Audi Dublin International Film Festival will celebrate Stills photography with a fascinating exhibition by Festival photographer Pat Redmond in the beautiful setting of the Irish Georgian Society.  Pat Redmond, 25 Years is a captivating gallery of the many world-class filmmakers who have attended the Festival. There will also be a #SetLife exhibition in The Light House Cinema, illuminating images of the inner workings and special moments that happen behind the camera.

Richard Molloy, Head of Marketing at Audi Ireland, said:

“It’s fantastic to launch the Audi Dublin International Film Festival programme. The depth, variety and diverse nature of the 2016 programme demonstrate why this festival is one of the most important cultural events in Ireland. The programme encourages visitors to experience the best in film-making. We’re really excited to bring ADIFF, and the Audi brand, to a wider audience and engage with some of the world’s most talented actors and filmmakers. Both Audi and the Dublin International Film Festival share a drive for creativity and innovation, as well as an enduring passion for the art and craft of filmmaking.”

 

Audi Dublin International Film Festival Box Office

DIFF House

13 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1

Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 10am–6pm, Sun (from 18th Feb) 12pm–6pm

There will be pop-up box offices in place at each venue from 30 minutes prior to each screening

Phone: 01 687 7974

Email: info@diff.ie

Website: www.diff.ie

 

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December 13, 2015

Speed-reading towards illiteracy

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller gave an interview recently to BBC Radio 4’s The Film Programme, which poses some intriguing questions about how new cinemagoers experience the medium.

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Miller cited Kevin Brownlow’s The Parade’s Gone By as a seminal text; the entire language of cinema was defined pre-sound. Miller was intrigued by the notion that there was a pure film language not reliant on the spoken word, and he decided to tell stories through that language; going so far as to describe Mad Max: Fury Road as a silent movie with sound – what matters is that one shot leads into the next shot to a purpose. As Miller notes this kind of cine-literacy is an acquired language, and a recent one; but it is one that can be mastered, in all cultures, before we’ve got a handle on actual literacy. But it’s his remark that we’re now all speed-reading stories (backed up by some statistics), that is a lit match tossed into a powder keg… Mad Max 2 had 1,200 shots, Mad Max: Fury Road had 2,900 shots, while Miller was told Jurassic Park had 950 shots, and Jurassic World by his estimation had more than triple that.

If we’re speed-reading stories, are we speed-reading into illiteracy? Back in 1997 Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese bemoaned the cine-illiteracy of young audiences:

ALLEN: I was talking to some college kids the other day, and they were bright kids who were going to a good college, and they had no idea about great directors. These bright college kids have no knowledge whatsoever of Truffaut’s films or Fellini’s films. And yet the universities do encourage them to read Mark Twain and Flaubert and Melville. … So many film students are film illiterate. They’re not unsophisticated. They probably know more about steadicams and special effects than the average audience. The guy who drives your cab will use those terms when talking about a film, but they’re illiterate in terms of —

SCORSESE: The lineage.

ALLEN: They’ve never seen any of these films. I think they have a different attention span. [My italics]

I admit my culpability in having that different attention span Woody Allen fretted over. I saw Scream as a teenager and was blown away by it. When I subsequently saw Hallowe’en I was inevitably bored by its slow pacing compared to its younger rival. I knew that without Hallowe’en there would be no Scream, I understood the lineage, I respected the execution, but I couldn’t stop myself wishing Carpenter would hustle things along a bit. As a result I’ve never re-watched Hallowe’en, while Scream remains one of my favourite and oft re-watched films. In 1997 Scorsese bemoaned his inability to be influenced by younger film-makers: “The young people today are the 21st century. I’m 20th century, I can’t help it. It’s hard to let new stuff in.” And there’s an equal generational problem in film criticism. The New Hollywood has been so valorised by audience that Bret Easton Ellis and Quentin Tarantino bemoan the 1980s to each other as the nadir of American movies. Whereas Back to the Future Day demonstrated the impact that decade’s movies had on their audience.

Miller extols the virtues of Buster Keaton and the montage technique of Sergei Eisenstein’s Strike, but will the youngsters who lapped up Mad Max: Fury Road delve back into cinema history to watch the movies that inspired Miller’s visual storytelling? No. If you are used to 2,900 shots a movie something that’s less than a third of that will bore you senseless. What was already a problem in 1997 is only going to get worse. ‘Jurassic World is a mere inept retread of Jurassic Park’ howl we who saw the original in the cinema. But, like a dead owl, the kids going to Jurassic World don’t give a hoot. They probably haven’t watched Jurassic Park all the way through because they find it unbearably slow-moving. This might explain the Russos’ baffling belief that the execrable Captain America 2 deserved an Oscar for casting Robert Redford and throwing 1970s paranoia shapes.

1970s paranoia was an organic cinematic response to the mood engendered by Watergate and Vietnam, and, like all movements that begin organically, when it became a commercial affectation it died a horrible death. The idea that Captain America 2 in rehashing a trope that was valid and original 40 years ago somehow itself becomes pertinent and (coughs in disbelief) original is as absurd as Gareth Edwards believing that his 2014 Godzilla is a good parallel for the trauma of Fukushima. If Sion Sono’s 2011 Himizu can react almost instantaneously to Fukushima in a valid and original cinematic fashion what makes Edwards think that Hollywood rehashing its interpretation of a 60 year old Japanese response to an entirely different national trauma is anything but a crass attempt to attach spurious relevance (via some extremely patronising cultural voiceover work) to the commercial imperative of rebooting a dormant franchise. But here’s the kicker – it doesn’t matter. None of the fulminations of film-makers or critics or punters of a certain age matter. My complaint that Jurassic World is not as good as Back to the Future doesn’t matter. Logic doesn’t even matter. The 12 year olds who go to Captain America 2 and Godzilla will likely never watch All The President’s Men or The Parallax View or Gojira because they’re too slow-moving and boring. 2045 will see Jurassic World as fondly remembered as Back to the Future is now, and all us haters will be so many Bret Eastons moaning that the 2010s were the nadir of American movies.

Perhaps we’re not speed-reading into illiteracy so much as into an eternal kinetic present. The past is a foreign country, they edit films boringly there.

November 6, 2014

Ignite Mayo: Silent Moves

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Irish visual artist Aideen Barry and Ballina-based disability organisations are working together to produce a stop-motion animated film entitled Silent Moves. Inspired by the silent films of the 1920s Silent Moves will meld mime, music and movement with the latest animation techniques. The project is one of three “Ignite” commissions which represent the largest ever investment in Ireland’s arts and disability sector. Silent Moves will be launched in Ballina Arts Centre, 7pm Friday 28th November.

Work is well underway, with Aideen Barry; known for her performance, film, sculpture, drawing and installation work; working with artists from Western Care Ridgepool Training Centre and members of Scannán Technologies group, along with dancer/choreographer Emma O’Kane. New green screen technologies and advanced animation techniques are being used to create the film, which is inspired by the silent cinema of the 1920s, the celebrated era of Douglas Fairbanks, Clara Bow, Charlie Chaplin, and Buster Keaton.

The art work will be launched in Ballina Arts Centre in the last week of November, and have a longer showing in the gallery space in 2015. The commission will also produce a high-quality accessible publication to accompany the work.

Aideen Barry is a visual artist based in the west of Ireland, known internationally for her practise as a contemporary artist. Her work has won the COE Award, the Project New Work Award (Arts Council of Ireland), the Silent Light Film Award (Cork Film Centre), and Best Experimental Work (2011 San Francisco International Animation Festival). She lectures in GMIT and Limerick School of Art & Design, and in 2010 was shortlisted for the prestigious AIB prize. She is known for her advocacy for visual arts, and her collaborations with artists with intellectual disabilities includes 2012’s Jessica Casey & Other Works printed publication and video project.

Barry says of the project, “Without the use of words or sounds, silent movies make us splutter with laughter, break our hearts, win them over again, and take us through a world of chaos to a moment of pure charm, without once uttering a word. The world is silent for all of us. For we process each of our everyday experiences, our heartbreaks, our joys ultimately on our own, in our own silent world, in our minds. Our silent moving image works take as starting points what it is to be a person, what it feels to be in love, what it feels to be bashful, what it feels to be hurt, and, together, through movement and gesture we have tried to encapsulate our experiences in front of the camera.”

Sean Walsh, Director of the Ballina Arts Centre, says, “For the past six years, Ballina Arts Centre has made a deliberate effort to push the agenda of disability arts. We are delighted to be working with Aideen Barry and Emma O’Kane on, what I feel, is a beautiful idea. Film, as an art form, offers huge potential. We’ve worked with the Ridgepool Training Centre and the Scannán Technologies groups for a good number of years now, and have completed very successful, ambitious projects with them both. This is the culmination of all that work and we’re all really looking forward to seeing the finished artwork.”

“Ignite” is a new platform designed to generate Ireland’s most ambitious showcasing of talent from people with disabilities, led by international and Irish artists and performers with disabilities, with projects taking place in 2014 and 2015 in Galway, Mayo and Cork. These commissions each represent an investment of up to €60,000. The initiative will conclude with a tour of one of the resulting works to all three counties (and beyond) in 2015. Mayo “Ignite” is facilitated by the Ballina Arts Centre, and “Ignite” is managed by a unique partnership involving the Arts Council, Arts & Disability Ireland (ADI), Cork City Council, Galway City and County Councils, and Mayo County Council.

Pádraig Naughton (Executive Director, Arts & Disability Ireland), says, “‘Ignite’ is an opportunity to dream big and make real, new and innovative work by artists with disabilities, on a scale never before seen in Ireland.” Arts Council Director, Orlaith McBride, says, “These collaborations will generate Ireland’s most ambitious and wide-ranging showcasing of talent from people with disabilities.” Silent Moves certainly intrigues as a concept, and, following public affection for The Artist, its similar reimagining of silent cinema, exploiting advances in technology to make possible what would have been impossible shots for Chaplin and Keaton, should guarantee it a wide audience.

For further information see: www.irelandignite.ie

September 18, 2012

Culture Night: Jessica Casey

Arts & Disability Ireland are  presenting two related activities, readings and a film, in  Temple Bar as part  of Dublin’s Culture Night on 21st September.

From  5.30pm there will be readings from ‘Jessica  Casey and Other Works’, a  collection of poetry by Away  with Words, an  innovative arts project in which people with intellectual disabilities explore  creativity through  writing. The  readings will be given by well-known actors in locations across Temple  Bar.These  events will be followed at 7.45pm by a screening in  Meeting House Square of  animated short Jessica  Casey – The Film, which  brings to cinematic life one of the main characters created by the authors of  the book.There is  never a dull moment when Jessica Casey is around – with her long purple nails,  UGG boots, piña coladas, her dog Rosie and her  plans to go to Ibiza, or Australia,  or to invent a new lipstick, or to  become a farmer – or a  nun?

‘Jessica  Casey and Other Works’ is the first formal publication of Away  with Words, which  was conceived by  Claude and  Mary Madec, and established as a collaboration  between local writers and That’s  Life (an  initiative of the Brothers of Charity Services in County Galway to support  people with intellectual  disabilities engaging in the  arts life of their communities.) Mary  Madec says, “In the individual poems… you will get many insights into how these  writers see, feel, taste and hear the world they live in… Poetry also develops  an ability to observe and listen to others as well as to oneself. It  teaches empathy and compassion…” The book features the three  poems that won the First,  Second and Third  places in the  Inclusion Ireland Poetry Awards. The  12-minute animated short Jessica  Casey – The Film was  created thru the  collaboration of members of Away  with Words and  visual artist Aideen Barry, and  was brought  to cinematic life using stop motion animation and the  inspiration of silent film greats Charlie  Chaplin and Buster Keaton.Many of  the writers, artists  and stars of the Away  with Words  collective will be  in attendance for the Culture Night screening and readings.

These  presentations are part of Arts & Disability Ireland’s on-going and  internationally-recognised work creating lasting change in the way people  with disabilities are involved with, and engage in, artistic and cultural life  in Ireland. They champion the creativity of  artists with disabilities, promote  inclusive experiences for audiences with disabilities, and  work to enhance the disability-related  capacity of venues.

For  further information on Arts and Disability Ireland see www.adiarts.ie

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