News, Film Reviews and Festival Updates from the Irish Film Institute (www.ifi.ie). Irish Film Institute is principally funded by the Arts Council.
Please note: as of September 2014 we've moved our blogs and news stories to www.ifi.ie/category/news/
The IFI was delighted to present a special preview of the eagerly-anticipated Catfishlast night. The special preview came in advance of the film being released at the IFI from this Friday. Watch the trailer here.
The film will change the way you view social networking, and is a fascinating examination of the ways in which we choose to communicate in a modern world, and how everything is not always as it may first seem. To say too much about the film would give too much away. It really is one of those films that the less you know, the better, so all we can simply tell you is to go and discover this bizarre world for yourself before you hear too much.
Following the preview, we were delighted to take part in an interactive Q&A. The IFI, along with 16 cinemas in the UK, all participated in a simultaneous Q&A with the audience sending questions via Twitter. All very hi-tech! Nev Shulman, the New York dance photographer who is the central figure in the film, was on hand to answer the various questions. We were proud that the very first question in the interactive Q&A came from an IFI audience member here in Dublin!
We hope to have the Q&A up online soon (but we would strongly advise that you don't watch this until AFTER you have seen the film!)
As winter abruptly tightens its icy grip upon us, it’s perhaps a good time to reflect on IFI Education’s Autumn/Winter programme for schools as it reaches its midpoint.
Launched to teachers on 29th September with a special preview screening of Made in Dagenham, this term our schools programme has hosted some great events and welcomed many full houses already, despite the snow related disruptions. Here are some of the highlights:
His & Hers - Ken Wardrop’s unmissable treatise on Midlands women discussing the men in their lives. Ken kindly attended for a Q&A and his film clearly made an impression on the students as a lively conversation ensued which was hard to stop!
Inception - A full house for Christopher Nolan’s divisive arthouse blockbuster (read Peter Walsh’s previous blog entry). In the post-screening workshop, students examined the various cinematic techniques and tropes used to represent dream worlds and alternative realities. Was it all just a dream?! Unanimous verdict from the students: no.
Nowhere Boy - Despite being set in the '50s, students of today found plenty to relate to as a teenage John Lennon negotiates adolescence and escapes into a world of art and rock n roll.
Lebanon - Samuel Moaz's Golden Lion winner about his unforgettable experiences during the opening salvos of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. This film is highly effective in conveying the horrifying sensory experience of war, and the students concurred; not the action-packed war film they expected, but a powerful and affecting insight into conflict nonetheless.
32A - Marian Quinn’s excellent coming-of-age story set in 1970s Raheny; a new addition for the Leaving Certificate Comparative Study for 2012. Teachers and students were also able to take away copies of a comprehensive studyguide on 32A, a perfect classroom resource for follow-up work. Download it here.
Also showing for Senior English: The Constant Gardener
Persepolis - the sixth year of our French Film Project, Persepolis will tour over twenty venues nationwide. It’s been a hit so far, with many sell out shows in Dublin and beyond to date. A new French language film studyguide accompanies Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s award winning animation – download it here.
John Rabe - Florian Gallenberger’s dramatised biopic of a wealthy German businessman and Nazi party member who saved more than 200,000 Chinese at his factory during the Nanjing massacre in 1937. Despite the tough subject matter, response has been overwhelmingly positive and it has played to big audiences so far this term.
No education programme is complete without the sound of a cinema brimming with excited primary pupils. They came in droves for our free preview of Ramona and Beezus and Miyazaki’s stylistic Ponyo, and our Christmas treat this year is a chance to once again see Woody and the gang in Toy Story 3, with one lucky school winning a free in-school workshop.
The Social Network
IFI Teen Film Club
Finally, our IFI Teen Film Club started up once again this term with a huge turnout for David Fincher’s The Social Network. The club is open to those aged 15 – 18 and each month we select one suitable film from the IFI general programme for members to watch.
And that’s only the half of it – highlights still to come:
Our Spring/Summer Education programme will be available from February so keep an eye out for that. For further details on IFI Education activities, please email schools [at] irishfilm.ie, phone Baz or Dee on 01 679 5744 or check www.ifi.ie/education
We were delighted to have the Gala Opening ofThe Pipeat the IFI on December 2nd. Despite the snow and ice, the audience braved the elements and we had a packed cinema for the special screening.
Risteard O Domhnaill, Director
Director Risteard Ó Domhnaill's documentary about how the local people of Rossport took on the might of Shell, objecting to plans to lay a gas pipeline through their land and fishing areas, has played to critical acclaim on the Festival circuit garnering both awards and positive reviews. Beautifully shot and providing a powerful insight into the local community and their struggles, the response to the film at the Gala Opening was overwhelmingly positive. In attendance were Director Risteard O Domhnaill, Producer Rachel Lysaght, and members of the Rossport Community (who had managed to make the journey from Mayo despite the adverse weather conditions).
H.E. Mr. Øyvind Nordsletten, Ambassador of Norway to Ireland,
Lelia Doolin & Risteard O Domhnaill
Alicia McGivern, Head of Education at the IFI, welcomed the audience to the IFI for the special event, while director Risteard O Domhnaill introduced his film, talking of its success at previous Festival screenings and how the film evolved.
Members of the Rossport community (John Monaghan, Maura Harrington, Pat O'Donnell, Mary & Willie Corduff) along with the filmmakers, Lelia Doolin and Bjørn Asle Teige of Norwegian Oil Workers Union
Following the screening, Lelia Doolan (filmmaker, producer, writer and campaigner) chaired a Q&A which evoked a passionate response from the audience. Participating alongside Lelia, Risteard and Rachel were the 'stars' of the film John Monaghan, Maura Harrington, Pat O Donnell, and Willie and Mary Corduff.
Mary & Willie Corduff
The debate proved to be an interesting precursor to a second panel discussion (held on Saturday December 4th). Chairing the discussion was Lorna Siggins (Irish Times correspondent and author of Once Upon a Time in the West: The Corrib Gas Controversy), Terence Conway (Shell to Sea), John Monaghan (Rossport Community Spokesperson), Fergus Cahill (Irish Offshore Operators Association), Brian O Cathain (Managing Director of Petro Celtic and formerly of Enterprise Energy Ireland), Risteard O Domhnaill and Rachel Lysaght. It was crucial for the IFI to provide a neutral space for this important debate so all sides could air their various issues.
Lelia Doolan, Pat 'The Chief' O'Donnell & a guest at the Gala
The next event in the series is on Saturday December 11th at 13.30 and is entitled The Pipe: Politics and Film and will explore the roles that art and filmmaking can play within a political campaign. Producer Rachel Lysaght will be joined by filmmakers and artists, including Seamus Nolan and Jesse Jones, to explore the complex relationship between art and politics. The event is free but ticketed.
The December programme at the IFI is full of compelling reasons to postpone your Christmas shopping (unless it’s at the IFI Film Shop!) and come to the cinema instead.
December sees the release of some of the big prize winners from the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals – Of Gods and Men, On TourandSomewhere – and the much-anticipated Catfish, a ‘reality thriller’ exposing the darker side of social networking.
Of Gods and Men (Opens Dec 3rd)
In a year that has seen the IFI showing more Irish film than ever before, it is appropriate that we end 2010 with the release of The Pipe, which comes to the IFI in December on the back of critically-acclaimed screenings at Galway, Toronto and London. This compelling and thoughtful film documents the impact of the controversial Corrib Gas Project on the local Rossport community, and the issue itself will no doubt invoke impassioned responses from both sides of the debate. We are delighted that we will be joined by the filmmakers and members of the Rossport Community for a special Gala Screening on December 2nd. Also scheduled is a separate panel discussion on December 4th which will debate the Corrib Gas Project, chaired by Irish Times journalist Lorna Siggins, and will involve contributions from both sides of the issue. One of the themes that The Pipe raises is the role that filmmaking plays in political campaigns and the film’s producer Rachel Lysaght will take part in a discussion on December 11th about the complex relationship between art and politics.
As we come to the end of what has been a bumpy year for Ireland, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for making 2010 a great year for the IFI. We started on a real high with the Open Day in February to launch the refurbished building and new Cinema 3, and continued with a packed programme of great cinema, new and old, including Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, and seasons on Woody Allen, Kenneth Anger, Audiard, Ozu, Hitchcock and new African cinema. Both our audiences and membership have grown significantly during the year, and your loyalty and shared passion for all that cinema has to offer ensures that we continue to be one of Ireland’s busiest and most relevant cultural organisations.
So on behalf of everyone at the IFI: thank you. We look forward to bringing you an exciting programme in 2011 and we wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.