Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sping Season 2017

All films start at 8.30 pm in the Skerries Sailing Club.
Tickets / membership at the door.

Wednesday 18 January – A Date for Mad Mary
Dir: Darren Thornton, 2016, Ireland 82 mins, Cert: 15A 
Starring: Seana Kerslake, Tara Lee, Charleigh Bailey
Language: English

A 'Mad' Mary McArdle returns to Drogheda after a short spell in prison - for something she'd rather forget. Back home, everything and everyone has changed. Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is to be her maid of honour. When Charlene refuses Mary a 'plus one' on the grounds that she probably couldn't find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong. 'A date for Mad Mary' is a tough and tender story about friendship, first love, and letting go of the glory days.

Wednesday 01 February – After Love
L'économie du couple
Dir: Joachim Lafosse, 2016, France/Belgium, 100 mins
Starring: Cast: Bérénice Bejo, Cédric Kahn, Marthe Keller, Jade Soentjens, Margaux Soentgens
Language: French

After 15 years together, Marie (Bérénice Bejo) and Boris (Cédric Kahn) are calling it quits, but until they can resolve the details of their separation agreement — most notably the division of their prize asset, the magazine-photo-worthy apartment they share with their young twin daughters — they're still living together. The latest feature from acclaimed Belgian director Joachim Lafosse (Our Children) is about the ties that bind us after love has gone.

Marie is the breadwinner in the relationship, but it was her family's wealth, not her salary, that allowed the couple to purchase their stylish apartment. This is a fact that Boris, a contractor currently between jobs, never lets her forget, since it was his renovation work that added significant value to the property. As Marie and Boris argue over everything — finances, who's taking the girls to soccer, and even passing the cheese plate at dinner — After Love reveals the complexities of their relationship and the depth of the cracks in it.

Lafosse deftly avoids taking sides in this absorbing family drama, inviting the audience to see that both parties are right, and both are wrong. Relentlessly observant of his characters' daily routines and oscillating emotions, Lafosse uses his trademark confined setting and tightly controlled handheld photography to create a claustrophobic environment, enveloping us in the gathering storm that is this couple's relationship. With outstanding, genuine performances from Bejo and Kahn, the subtle and powerful After Love reminds us that sometimes, no matter how much beauty is to be found in our immediate surroundings, we just need to get out. - Toronto International Film Festival 2016
Wednesday 15 February – Captain Fantastic
Dir: Matt Ross, 2016, USA, 118 mins, Cert: TBC
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton
Language: English

Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, isolated from society, a devoted father dedicates his life to transforming his six young children into extraordinary adults. But when a tragedy strikes the family, they are forced to leave this selfcreated paradise and begin a journey into the outside world that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent and brings into question everything he’s taught them. - Cannes program 2016

Wednesday 01 March – The Unknown Girl
La Fille inconnue
Dir: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 2016, Belgium/France, 113 mins, 15A
Starring: Adèle Haenel, Olivier Bonnaud, Jérémie Renier, Louka Minnella, Christelle Cornil, Nadège Ouedraogo
Language: French

Adele Haenel stars as young doctor Jenny Davin, who refuses to answer the buzzer to her surgery after hours one night.  She is informed the next day that the caller, a young, unidentified woman has been found dead nearby.  Consumed by guilt Jenny commits to finding out the identity of the young girl, so that she can be buried with her name, reclaiming her identity. Driven by an overriding sense of moral responsibility Jenny puts herself in the middle of an investigation that endangers her also.

Another complex look at social compromises, the Dardenne Brothers deliver an engaging and moving work with an intense, internalised performance for Haenel as Jenny, whose single minded pursuit of justice will resonate with audiences.

Wednesday 15 March – Viva
Director: Paddy Breathnach, 2015, Ireland/Cuba, 100 mins, 15A 
Starring: Héctor Medina, Jorge Perugorría, Luis Alberto García
Language: Spanish

Jesus (Héctor Medina) a shy, delicate, struggling hairdresser finds a genuine opportunity to enrich his life when he is given the chance to perform as a Drag Artist. But when Jesus’abusive estranged father returns, he forcefully forbids the young man from performing. Jesus must decide to either fulfil his potential or wilt under the dictate of his father. What unfolds is a bittersweet story of pain, regret, and reconciliation, as the two men learn to know and respect each other for the first time. Featuring boisterous and often heart-breaking drag performance, Paddy Breathnach’s Oscar-shortlisted crowd-pleaser is a tender and compassionate tale of finding one’s true voice.

Best Irish Film, Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2016 

Wednesday 29 March – Up For Love
Un homme à la hauteur
Dir: Laurent Tirard, 2016, France/Belgium, 98 mins, Cert: CLUB
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Virginie Efira, Cédric Kahn, César Domboy, Myriam Tekaïa, Jean-Michel Lahmi
Language: French
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLUh5LeiIn4

Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, as charismatic as ever, returns to SIFF in this new romantic comedy from Laurent Tirard, the director of Molière (SIFF 2007's Closing Night film). Diane (Virginie Efira, SIFF 2014's Turning Tide) is a successful lawyer three years removed from her divorce, and she has been romantically challenged ever since. But her luck changes one afternoon when a stranger calls her flat, having found her cell phone and wanting to return it. Over the phone, Alexandre is both funny and charming, and the pair develop an easy chemistry with each other, leading to a date of sorts to return her lost phone. Eagerly arriving at the appointed time and place, Diane is caught completely off-guard when Alexandre arrives—all 4'6" of him. (He literally has to hop up into his café chair.) At first his stature makes Diane uncomfortable, but she soon discovers that Alexandre is pretty much the complete package—witty, intelligent, handsome—so who cares if she has to bend down to kiss him? However, Alexandre and Diane will have to face many other romantic challenges, including a full-sized rival as well as public gawking and the judgement of society, if they are going to make it to their happily-ever-after in this delightful comedic romp. -Seattle International Film Festival 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Autumn Season 2016

All films start at 8.30 pm in the Skerries Sailing Club.
Tickets / membership at the door.

Wednesday 28 September – Sweet Bean
An
Dir: Naomi Kawase France, Germany, Japan 2015, 113 mins, Cert TBC
Starring: Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, Kyara Uchida
Language: Japanese
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcwKPRfTMa4

A lonely baker has his life (and business) reinvigorated when he hires an elderly woman with an uncanny culinary skill and a mysterious communion with nature, in this graceful, quietly moving drama from Japan’s Naomi Kawase (The Mourning Forest, Still the Water).

Adapted from the novel by Durian Sukegawa, the new film by Naomi Kawase (who last appeared at the Festival in 2014 with Still the Water) is a graceful ode to the invisible essences of existence — to the beauty and joy we can discover once we learn to listen to nature and feel the life that is coursing through and all around us.

"An" is a delicious red bean paste, the sweet heart of the dorayaki pancakes that Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) sells from his little bakery to a small but loyal clientele. Absorbed in sad memories and distant thoughts, Sentaro cooks with skill but without enthusiasm. When seventy-six-year-old Tokue (Kirin Kiki) responds to his ad for an assistant and cheerfully offers to work for a ridiculously low wage, Sentaro is skeptical about the eccentric old lady's ability to endure the long hours. But when she shows up early one morning and reveals to him the secret to the perfect an — listening to the stories of wind, sun and rain that the beans have to tell — Sentaro agrees to take her on, trusting her strange ability to connect with nature. With Tokue's new home-cooked an recipe, Sentaro's business begins to flourish — but along with her smiles and culinary skill, Tokue is afflicted with an illness that, once revealed, drives her into isolation once again.

Using cookery to explore her perennial theme of communion with nature, in Sweet Bean (An) Kawase also poignantly addresses the discrimination that condemns many like Tokue to live their lives segregated from the rest of society. Beautifully shot and quietly moving, Sweet Bean (An) is a humble masterpiece from a singularly accomplished filmmaker. – Giovanna Fulvi, Toronto International Film Festival 2015
Winner Audience Award Cork International Film Festival, 2015
Winner Audience Award São Paulo International Film Festival, 2015

Wednesday 12 October – Louder Than Bombs
Director: Joachim Trier, Norway, France, Denmark, 2015, 109 minutes, Cert: TBC
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg, Devin Druid, Rachel Brosnahan, Ruby Jerins, Megan Ketch, David Strathairn, Amy Ryan
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I1l_J9QuVk

An aging schoolteacher (Gabriel Byrne) grappling with the recent death of his photojournalist wife (Isabelle Huppert) attempts to reconcile with his two very different sons (Jesse Eisenberg and Devin Druid), in the first English-language feature by acclaimed Norwegian director Joachim Trier (Reprise).

With his first English-language feature, Joachim Trier (whose previous films Reprise and Oslo, August 31 both played at the Festival) reconfirms his well-earned reputation as one of the finest young European directors to emerge in the past decade. Working with his co-writer and long-time collaborator Eskil Vogt, in Louder Than Bombs Trier expertly (and sometimes audaciously) shuttles between different timeframes and character perspectives as he investigates the dynamics of a troubled family.

Gene Reed (Gabriel Byrne) is an aging high-school teacher who, while grappling with the sudden death of his photojournalist wife Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert), is also experiencing difficulties connecting with his youngest son Conrad (Devin Druid), a painfully shy loner who finds his only outlet on the internet. When Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg), Gene's wunderkind eldest son — a promising young academic who has become an insufferably moralizing pedant — returns to the family home almost immediately after the birth of his first child, Gene seizes upon the opportunity to try and mend the rifts in the familial fabric. This last-chance bid for reconciliation is made all the more urgent by an upcoming, posthumous exhibition of Isabelle's work, which may lead to a public revelation of some of the Reeds' darker secrets.

Trier displays a truly novelistic sense of character and detail as he probes the fault lines of this singularly unhappy clan, and he also mines sly comedy from the generational gap between Gene and his sons. Powerful, memorable, and psychologically acute, Louder Than Bombs is both a lament for what has been lost and an affirmation of what remains. – Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Film Festival 2015


Wednesday 26 October – Youth
Dir: Paolo Sorrentino, Italy 2015, 118 mins Cert: TBC
Starring: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxwqrRmRbYk

Retired composer and conductor Fred (Michael Caine) is taking treatments at a luxury Swiss spa, watched over by his daughter (Rachel Weisz). He’s there with his old friend Mick, a film director (Harvey Keitel) who, unlike Fred, doesn’t plan on giving up his career just yet. Both while away the time reminiscing about their young days and their past loves and, fully aware of their age, they have no illusions about the future. They observe the lives of dozens of colourful individuals whom they meet or simply glimpse passing by, and who compel them to reflect on youth and beauty.

Here, Paolo Sorrentino once again stages a “choral theatre of life,” where the motley characters surrounding the central figures each have a fundamental role to play – not as part of the almost nonexistent story, but as one of the constituents of the filmmaker’s design. This latter is stunningly rendered via image and music and, instead of a sense of decline and finality, the impression is more one of hope, reinforced by a wonderful and strongly emotive ending.

Sorrentino’s new film was considered one of the best works in this year’s Cannes competition but, like The Great Beauty (2013), it failed to win a prize.
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2015


Wednesday 9 November – My Name is Emily
Dir: Simon Fitzmaurice, Ireland 2015, 100 mins, Cert: TBC
Starring: Evanna Lynch, Michael Smiley, Martin McCann
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeAJpAKoShY

Packed off to a foster home after her father is institutionalized, a rebellious young Irish girl resolves to bust her dad out of the hospital where he's been confined, in this spirited coming-of-age tale from celebrated memoirist and first-time feature director Simon Fitzmaurice.

The debut feature from Irish writer-director Simon Fitzmaurice is a spirited coming-of- age story that traces the journey of a strong-willed young woman as she weathers loss, upheaval, and rebirth.

"If you hide from death, you hide from life." Teenage Emily (Harry Potter's Evanna Lynch) inherits this mantra from her father Robert (Michael Smiley), an author and philosopher of sorts, whose lectures and writings encourage others to live for the moment at the expense of social niceties.

But following the tragic death of Emily's mother, Robert starts to change, and his visionary eccentricities now appear to be symptoms of mental illness. Robert is soon institutionalized, and Emily is sent away to live with foster parents and attend a school where everyone dismisses her as a weirdo — everyone, that is, except Arden (George Webster), an awkward but endearing classmate with family problems of his own.

When Emily suddenly decides to travel north to bust her father out of his psychiatric hospital, the hopelessly smitten Arden joins her on a renegade road trip that will give both youngsters their first taste of what it truly means to be alive.

Brimming with images of freedom, from the wide open road to the vast expanse of the sea, and buoyed by an arrestingly confident performance from Lynch, My Name is Emily will resonate with the young and young-at-heart alike. This is a stylish and assured film about self-discovery as an ongoing adventure. – Michele Maheux, Toronto International Film Festival 2015
Winner - Best Cinematography in an Irish Feature, Galway Film Fleadh 2015

Wednesday 23 November – Mustang
Dir: Deniz Gamze Ergüven France, Germany, Turkey, Qatar 2015, 97 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Günes Sensoy, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu, Elit Iscan, Ilayda Akdogan
Language: Turkish
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5GdLjcK9G0

Five Turkish adolescent sisters have their basic freedoms unjustly stripped from them in director Deniz Gamze Erguven's understated feminist drama.
The word Mustang, which is also the evocative title of Turkish-French filmmaker Deniz Gamze Erguven's stirring first feature, conjures vivid images of bands of wild horses roaming the untamed American West, their manes flying and their defiant spirits resistant to being broken. Those qualities also fit the five young sisters in this intimate drama, whose independence and burgeoning sexuality prompt their alarmed guardians to sequester the girls in a systematic campaign to break their unity and tame them into traditional female roles.

The eloquent story's art house prospects will be helped by its stinging relevance in a world where young women across many backgrounds continue to be culturally repressed.

Unfolding in a remote Black Sea coastal village in northern Turkey, the film opens as the orphaned sisters begin their summer break. The youngest of them, Lale (Gunes Sensoy), shows a particular fondness for her female teacher (Bahar Karimoglu), who is returning to Istanbul. Giddy with the euphoria that accompanies the end of any kid's school term, the girls walk home along the rocky beach, splashing about in innocent horseplay with some male classmates. With their long dark hair and slender bodies, they look like beautiful fairytale nymphs as they clown around, later raiding a farmer's overgrown apple orchard.

But their cheerful energy turns to dismay as their strict grandmother (Nihal Koldas) ushers them into their house on a hill. Informed by a villager who saw them cavorting on the beach, she fears the girls' virtue and their marriage prospects have been tarnished. Her hysteria is fanned by the angry reaction of their Uncle Erol (Ayberk Pekcan), who is not above taking advantage of their supposed disgrace in the case of one of the girls. Despite the sisters' vehement denial of any wrongdoing, which is verified by medical examination, they are locked up behind closed doors. Potentially corrupting influences like phones and computers are removed, and they are outfitted in shapeless dung- colored frump dresses for rare outings in the village.

As Lale describes it in a voiceover, the house becomes a "wife factory." The girls are given instruction by local women in traditional cooking and homemaking as their grandmother sets the wheels in motion to arrange marriages for each of them, starting with the eldest, Sonay (Ilayda Akdogan).

There are mordant echoes here of the five Bennet daughters in Pride and Prejudice, whose mother's anxiousness to get them married off is a matter of financial rather than moral urgency. However, this is no comedy of manners. The more direct comparison is with the Lisbon sisters in The Virgin Suicides, but those doomed sirens become architects of their own isolation, almost as much as their overprotective parents.

Erguven and her co-screenwriter Alice Winocour (whose film Maryland screens in Un Certain Regard) are more interested in the girls' instinct for self-preservation as they strike back against their enforced captivity and the hurried plans being made for them. This binds them even closer together, at first in displays of harmless, often amusing rebellion and outspokenness, but gradually in spiraling desperation as some of them slide into numbed, even tragic acceptance. In an interview, Erguven referenced the multiheaded hydra creature from Greek mythology, and the film shows the steady weakening of the girls' collective force as each "head" is separated and subdued.

Shot in unfettered, naturalistic style in the atmospheric locations, Mustang has something of a frontier feel, an aspect nourished by the melancholy score of Warren Ellis, the Nick Cave collaborator known for his work on such unconventional Westerns as The Proposition and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. But Erguven's film is also a suspenseful if somewhat improbable prison-break movie (albeit one that eschews standard devices of the genre), in which the oppressive wardens believe they are acting in the best interests of their charges.

Only one of the five principals, Elit Iscan, has screen-acting experience, but all of them (the remaining two are Tugba Sunguroglu and Doga Doguslu) register strongly, both as individuals and as part of a tight-knit unit whose bone-deep allegiance no doubt was fortified by the loss of their parents.

What makes the transfixing film so effective is that the director refuses to portray them simplistically, as misunderstood angels, and she has enough trust in her audience to leave the drama's implicit feminism unstated. The story's quiet power comes from its sensitive observation of the characters as normal, emancipated young modern women, with healthy desires and curiosities, whose supposed transgressions are imagined and then magnified in the judgmental minds of others.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
Winner Label Europa Cinema Cannes Film Festival 2015 
Winner LUX Film Prize European Parliament 2015

Wednesday 7 December – The Measure of a Man
La Loi du marché 
Dir: Stéphane Brizé, France 2015,  93 mins Cert: TBC
Starring: Vincent Lindon, Yves Ory, Karine de Mirbeck, Matthieu Schaller
Language: French
International Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53dyUDeEVGw

Sometimes the lightest touch has the greatest impact. That is certainly the case in this deft, clean and very moving drama. The zero-sum game that is the "law of the market" (the French title)—wherein if one wants a job another must be let go—lies at the heart of Stéphane Brizé’s profoundly humanist and exceedingly timely film. Without blame or rancour it makes plain the often humiliating and soul-destroying choices foisted upon ordinary people just trying to make a living in today’s economic climate. Vincent Lindon is superb as Thierry, a mechanic who’s been unemployed for over a year and who has endured dashed hopes and constant rejection in his search for work. When he finally lands a job in security at a big-box supermarket, he is forced into situations where he must make decisions that go against everything he believes in... — Vancouver International Film Festival 2015

"A companion piece to the Dardenne brothers’ recent Two Days, One Night in its strong sense of labor and justice in an often unjust economy, Brizé’s sixth feature film... is [a] low-key but powerfully affecting social drama... [The director] draws a lead performance from frequent collaborator Vincent Lindon that is a veritable master class in understated humanism... Taking a page from the Dardennes, Brizé has also surrounded Lindon with an entire cast of non-professional performers playing lightly dramatized versions of themselves—a strategy that, to its great credit, will go unnoticed by most viewers, the venerable French leading man blending effortlessly into his surroundings..."—Scott Foundas, Variety
Winner – Best Actor, Cannes Film Festival 2015

Monday, January 4, 2016

Spring Season 2016

All films start at 8.30 pm in the Skerries Sailing Club.
Tickets / membership at the door.

Wednesday 27 January – The Second Mother
Que Horas Ela Volta?
Dir: Anna Muylaert, Brazil 2014, 112 mins, Cert: Club
Language: Portuguese
Starring:  Regina Case, Antonio Abujamra, Helena Albergaria
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/120686781

When Val (Regina Casé) left her home to work thousands of miles away as a live-in housekeeper for Fabinho (Michel Joelsas) in Sao Paulo, she carried the guilt of leaving her young daughter Jessica behind with relatives. Now, 13 years later, Jessica (Camila Márdila) shows up in Sao Paulo, and her presence throws into disarray the unspoken class barriers within Fabinho’s home. – Chicago Critics Film Festival 2014

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

Wednesday February 10 – 45 Years
Dir: Andrew Haigh, UK 2014, 93 mins, Cert: TBC
Language: English
Starring:  Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine James, Tom Courtenay
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg5cpiX18TA

Kate is in the middle of preparations for her 45th wedding anniversary when her husband Geoff suddenly receives news which pulls him back into the past. Fifty years ago his then girlfriend had a fatal accident in the Swiss Alps. Now, finally, her body has been found, frozen in ice and time. Kate and Geoff are both shocked but are unable to share their insecurity with each other. He retreats ever more into a distant world of memories whilst Kate endeavours to suppress her burgeoning jealousy and anxiety with pragmatism. She needs to concentrate on selecting the music and menu for the party and taking care of the other arrangements.
Outwardly, everything is business as usual. But the camera cautiously registers how a well-tuned coexistence is going out of kilter. Whether over a shared breakfast or a lonely wander through the town, Kate feels more and more like a stranger in her own life. 45 Years tells the story of two people who, caught up in unexpected emotions, are forced to bolster themselves against unfamiliar feelings and, in doing so, have the rug pulled out from under their feet. After 45 years, which feeling will prevail on the couple's big day? – Berlin Film Festival 2015

Wednesday 24 February – Fidelio, Alice’s Journey
Fidelio, l’odyssee d’Alice
Dir: Lucie Borleteau, France 2014, 94 mins, Cert: CLUB
Language: French
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7UlMYgTbmo


The ‘journeys’ that Alice (a wonderfully free-spirited Ariane Labed) sets off on are physical, sexual and emotional. She has become a sailor – working as a mechanic on freighters – not necessarily to see the world but rather to find herself.

When she boards the rickety Fidelio as a last minute replacement for a crew member killed in an accident, she finds the captain is her former lover Gael (Melville Poupaud).

Labed won the best actress award at the Locarno Film Festival for her performance. – Edinburgh International Film Festival 2015
Best Actress, Locarno Film Festival 2014
Europa Cinemas Label Award, Locarno Film Festival 2014
★★★★ The Irish Times

Wednesday 9 March – Taxi Tehran
Dir: Jafar Panahi, Iran 2015, 81 mins, Cert: CLUB
Language: Farsi
Starring: Jafar Panahi
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSiqbpqMqns

Winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale, Panahi’s latest is perhaps his most playful film yet. Riffing on the narrative structure pioneered in Kiarostami’s 10, it’s mostly set and entirely shot from inside a car: a taxi of sorts, with Panahi playing himself as an affable amateur cabbie. After giving rides around Tehran to a motley array of passengers – from a rabid reactionary and a liberal teacher to a man selling pirate DVDs and women heading to a shrine – he finally collects his niece, a sassy youngster making a little movie herself for school. Cue a discussion of how film should represent reality (or not!): a subject clearly close to Panahi’s heart, given his standing with the Iranian authorities. Despite its concern with ethics, aesthetics and politics, the film oozes disarming charm and mischievous wit, slyly reminding us that cinema, for better or worse, always trades in illusion. - Geoff Andrew, BFI London Film Festival 2015

Wednesday 23 March – In the Courtyard
Dans La Cours
Dir: Pierre Salvadori, France 2013, 97 min, Cert: CLUB
Language: French

Antoine (Gustave Kervern) is a forty-something rock singer with insomnia and stage fright. After deciding that a music career is too stressful, he decides to look for another job. Despite Antoine having no relevant experience, retired resident Serge (Feodor Atkine) is persuaded by his wife Mathilde (Catherine Deneuve) to employ him as the caretaker for their quiet Parisian apartment building.


As Antoine gets to grips with the quirky characters inhabiting the apartments, it quickly becomes obvious that he is unable to handle his new responsibilities. But when Mathilde’s mental state comes into question, she finds a friend and confidante in Antoine.

Salvadori and his actors skillfully use humour here to sensitively explore some serious themes, including mental health and loneliness.

Presented with the support of the French Embassy and the Institut Français.



Wednesday 6 April – The Grump
Mielensäpahoittaja
Dir: Dome Karukoski, Finland/Iceland, 2014, 104 min, Cert: TBC
Language: Finnish

The Grump (Antti Litja) is a stubborn, sour-faced old farmer with a rose-tinted view of the past. After a bad fall, he is forced to move from his family farm to the city home of his career-focussed daughter-in-law. Struggling to exist in this new world, the old man seems to do nothing but clash with everyone around him. But slowly it becomes apparent that the old fellow could still teach the modern world a trick or two!

Based on the popular novel by Finnish author Tuomas Kyrö, The Grump is a charming and comedic culture-clash satire from up-and-coming director Dome Karukoski (Lapland Odyssey).

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Autumn Season 2015

All films start at 8.30 pm in the Skerries Sailing Club.
Tickets / membership at the door.

Wednesday 23 September – Wild Tales
Dir: Damián Szifrón, Argentine 2014, 122 mins, Cert: TBC
Starring: Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Darío Grandinetti, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, Erica Rivas, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Language: Spanish
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUnXv6R2HI8



Wild Tales is a collection of six crazy, absurd and hilarious stories of people who are stressed out or depressed by the drive for success, competition and the inequality of the world we live in. With its underlying theme of violence and vengeance, this Argentinean black comedy-drama boasts an eclectic ensemble cast. Co-produced by Pedro Almodóvar, Wild Tales is Argentina’s submission to the 87th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. - Dubai International Film Festival 2014

Wednesday 7 October – The New Girlfriend 
Une nouvelle amie
Dir: François Ozon, France 2014, 107 mins, Cert:TBC
Starring: Anaïs Demoustier, Romain Duris, Raphaël Personnaz, Isild Le Besco
Trailer: https://youtu.be/1FvrFAOYoII

Claire (Anaïs Demoustier) is grieving the loss of her lifetime best friend, who has left behind a husband, David (Romain Duris), and a newborn baby. On an unannounced visit, a shocked Claire discovers David nuzzling his infant while wearing the clothes of his dead wife. Unfazed, David explains that his former wife had always been aware of this particular idiosyncrasy. In time, Claire begins to overcome her initial reaction, and helps David to create his own female persona to inhabit.

In this, his latest cinematic offering, Ozon has delivered a well-paced psychological drama that investigates grief and identity. The New Girlfriend is also a funny, good-natured poke at the mores and peccadilloes of France’s bourgeoisie in a film that effortlessly fuses the best of Hitchcock and Almodóvar. - Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2014

Wednesday 21 October – The Salt of the Earth
Dir: Juliano Ribeiro, Salgad, Wim Wenders, Italy, Brazil, France 2014, 110mins, Cert: PG
Language: French, Portuguese
Starring: Sebastiao Salgado, Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-aSHz8Ywgs

Oscar nominations for The Buena Vista Social Club and Pina attest to the way that the documentary seems to bring out the best in Wim Wenders. The Salt of the Earth is no exception as it pays tribute to the extraordinary life of photographer and environmentalist Sebastião Salgado.

Working with Salgado’s son Juliano Ribeiro, Wenders has created a film entirely in keeping with the humility of the subject. Hauntingly beautiful images are matched with illuminating testimony to create an utterly absorbing portrait. Salgado is a magnetic personality and he recalls some of the major projects of his career, including Workers and Genesis, an affectionate love letter to the planet.

Salgado recalls lengthy periods of his life when he saw ample evidence of death and destruction. Typically, he found creative ways to transcend that despair and the film ends in hope as we learn of the Salgado family’s success in re-building an entire ecosystem at the Instituto Terra in Brazil. A fitting tribute to an inspirational figure. - Allan Hunter / Screen International



Wednesday 4 November – Gemma Bovery
Dir: Anne Fontaine, 2013 France, 99 mins, Cert: TBC
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Fabrice Luchini, Jason Flemyng, Niels Schneider
Language: French, English
Trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhFhWsL28U0

When an English couple moves into a quaint village in Normandy, their curious neighbor Martin finds himself obsessed with the stunning young wife Gemma. His fascination leads to strange behavior; a harmless but dedicated stalker, he’s relentless in his hope she’ll return his affection. He compares her to Madame Bovary, the adulterous housewife character from Gustave Flaubert’s book of the same name. While his fantasies begin to materialize, it’s not Martin she ends up cheating with. Instead, it’s the dashing but somewhat cocky Niels, a law student who lives nearby. Their affair only fuels Martin’s obsession, who constantly spies on them and eventually hatches a plan to break them up. But Gemma’s infidelity issues go much further than he thought, as she’s tangled in a web that could destroy her. Gemma Bovery isn't just a tale of love and obsession, though. It also balances drama with the comedic antics of Martin, played brilliantly by Fabrice Luchini. It’s a surprisingly fun rom-com both sexes can enjoy. - Cleveland International Film Festival 2014 

Wednesday 18 November – The Forgotten Kingdom
Dir: Andrew Mudge, 2013 Lesotho, 97 mins, Cert: CLUB
Starring: Zenzo Ngqobe, Nozipho Nkelemba, Jerry Mofokeng, Lebohang Ntsane
Language: Sesotho
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/65070432

The mountainous scenery of Lesotho provides the canvas for director Andrew Mudge’s profoundly visual story, which tells the tale of Atang: a young man obliged to make a pilgrimage from the bustle of Johannesburg to his native Lesotho upon learning that his father has passed away.

There, Atang is reunited with childhood friend Dineo, with whom he discovers a romantic spark. But her disapproving father whisks Dineo away and sends Atang back to Jo’burg. Resolving to win her back, Atang enlists the help of a young orphan boy to guide him through the arresting rural terrain.

The first film ever to be produced in Lesotho, The Forgotten Kingdom is a beguiling quest steeped in the history and culture of the Basotho people. - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
Winner – Audience Award, Cambridge Film Festival 2013
Winner – Audience Award, Florida Film Festival 2013

Wednesday 2 December – Force Majeure
Turist
Dir: Ruben Östlund, Sweden 2014, 118 mins, Cert: Club
Starring: Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius
Language: Swedish, English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nTJIc_e6Ns

In director Ruben Östlund’s film a father, Tomas, puts his own safety ahead of his family’s in a perceived disaster. The feared disaster does not actually take place, but in illustrating Tomas’ behavior under duress, the event sends fault-lines through the relationship between his family and himself. This engaging drama follows the aftermath of this uncertain, intense, and undeniable moment. - Calgary Film Festival 2014

Friday, January 9, 2015

Spring Season 2015

All films start at 8.30 pm in the Skerries Sailing Club.
Tickets /
membership at the door.

Wednesday January 28 – Life of Crime
Dir: Daniel Schechter, USA 2013, 94 mins, Cert: Club
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Isla Fisher, Tim Robbins, Will Forte, Jon Hawkes, Mos Def
Language: English
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQvnhJuhM3g&list=PLeACCobo_9B9iFzQAeZq
7lzbXEJ21wSaR

Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins and John Hawkes star in this wildly entertaining caper, adapted from a book by Elmore Leonard, about two ex-cons whose plan to kidnap a real estate developer’s wife doesn’t go quite as smoothly as expected.

Author Elmore Leonard's characters Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara were made famous on the screen by Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Stepping into the skin of Robbie and Gara for a very different adventure set fifteen years prior to the events of Jackie Brown, yasiin bey (perhaps better known to audiences as Mos Def ) and John Hawkes star in Daniel Schechter's new seventies caper comedy, Life of Crime.

Fresh out of prison, where they bonded over their similar convictions for grand theft auto, Ordell and Louis (Hawkes) have already decided to team up when they catch wind of Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins), a Detroit property developer and secret embezzler. Their plan is simple: they'll kidnap Frank's country-club wife, Mickey (Jennifer Aniston), and hold her for ransom. What the duo didn't count on is that Frank's affections have turned to his perky young mistress, Melanie (played by the always charming Isla Fisher), and he may not be in a rush to rescue his spouse. Eliciting Mickey's insider knowledge, the crooks shift gears, frantically devising a new plan.

Also featuring great performances from Will Forte and Seana Kofoed, Life of Crime utilizes its all-star cast and impeccable art direction to build an entertaining and hilarious period piece. Evoking the spirit of some of the greatest film adaptations of Leonard's novels, Get Shorty, Out of Sight and, of course, Jackie Brown, Schechter serves up a twisty comedic gem. - Toronto International Film Festival 2014

Wednesday February 11 – Bright Days Ahead
Les beaux jours
Dir: Marion Vernoux, France 2013, 94 mins, Cert: Club
Starring: Fanny Ardant, Laurent Lafitte, Patrick Chesnais, Jean-Francois Stevenin, Fanny Cottencon, Catherine Lachens
Language: French
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OLL5Ptu6T0

In this sophisticated French drama, a woman in her 60s (film icon Fanny Ardant, 8 Women, Confidentially Yours) falls for a much younger man (Laurent Lafitte, Little White Lies), her computer teacher at the local seniors’ club. As she finds herself courting danger—taking her young lover to places they could easily be discovered by her husband (Patrick Chesnais, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)—she must decide if her retirement will mark the end for her marriage, or a new beginning. Director Marion Vernoux constructs a subtle and sultry vision of a woman struggling to evaluate the role she has played for others versus the life she wants for herself. - Ashley Havey / Tribeca Film Festival 2014

Wednesday February 25 – In Order of Disappearance
Kraftidioten
Dir: Hans Petter Moland, Norway 2013, 116 mins, Cert: Club
Starring: Stellan Skarsgård, Bruno Ganz, Pål Sverre Hagen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gard B. Eidsvold
Language: Norwegian
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cG-exgIwPQ


Norway, winter. Introverted and hard-working Nils drives the powerful snow plough that keeps open the roads and mountain passes of the inhospitable frozen landscape where he lives. He’s just been named citizen of the year for his efforts when he receives news that his son has died of a heroin overdose. Refusing to believe the official version of his son’s death, he begins a covert search for the boy's alleged murderers. A surprising turn of events causes him to become a tough-as-nails and feared underworld hero – one whose identity nobody knows. A gruesome black comedy full of impressive images of an endless wintry-white landscape which Nils knows how to use to his advantage. The film deploys dark comedy to depict Nils’ exploits in the realm of gangsters, which is characterised by a delicately nuanced portrayal of the mentalities of Swedish, Norwegian and Serb mafiosi with Bruno Ganz putting in an appearance as a Serb mafia boss.  - Berlin Film Festival 2014

Wednesday March 11 – Ida
Dir: Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland 2013, 80 minsCert: 15A
Starring: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik
Language: Polish
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWKgYlwKFs4&list=PLb5Gvke6-GlwGH-7fkVWY5TOlhuwXXg05

Anna has spent her whole life in cloistered devotion to God. Before taking her vows, she meets her hard-living aunt and discovers that her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation. This disciple of Christ and cynical, world-weary Communist then set off on a road trip which becomes a voyage of personal discovery and reconciliation.

Ida addresses the national burden of guilt and forgiveness in the aftermath of World War II. Pawel Pawlikowski’s film stimulates metaphysical debate on faith and the nature of events. The director’s painterly, meticulous approach to composition results in a visually-hypnotic piece of grace and serenity. - Mark Ryall / access CINEMA

Winner - Best Film, London Film Festival 2013
Winner – International Critics Prize, Toronto International Film Festival 2013

Wednesday March 25 – The Grand Seduction
Dir: Don McKellar, Canada 2013, 113 minsCert: 12A
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Gordon Pinsent, Liane Balaban, Mark Critch, Mary Walsh
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q17Vgb9HrSY


In order to secure a vital factory contract, the residents of a small Newfoundland fishing village conspire to charm a big-city doctor into becoming the town’s full-time physician in this sparkling comedy from director Don McKellar (Last Night) and screenwriter Michael Dowse (The F Word).

Like many affected by the collapse of the fishing industry, residents of this once-thriving settlement are driven to seek employment in the city, or, worse, queue for government assistance. Their future begins to look brighter when a plastics manufacturer proposes to set up shop – until they learn that the contract calls for a resident doctor. Enter Dr Lewis (Taylor Kitsch), an ethically suspect cosmetic surgeon. In a riotous attempt to charm him, the villagers fall over themselves trying to persuade him that their seemingly sleepy hamlet is secretly a hotbed of cosmopolitan sophistication.

The Grand Seduction’s gentle, whimsical reflections are poignant and uproarious by turns, and brought to life through superb performances from Brendan Gleeson and Canadian icon Gordon Pinsent. Shot on location in Trinity Bay, the film is certain to delight even the saltiest cynic. - Toronto International Film Festival 2013

Wednesday April 15 – The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared 
Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann
Dir: Felix Herngren , Sweden 2013, 114 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Wiklander, Mia Skaringer, David Wiberg, Jens Hulten, Alan Ford
Language: Swedish
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wTWSrxJQ9M

Jonas Jonasson’s witty, feel-good international best-seller gave pleasure to millions and proved that it is never too late to let a little adventure in your life. The eagerly awaited screen version stars Robert Gustafson as the Zelig-like Allan Karlsson who quietly escapes from the celebrations for his one hundredth birthday and takes to the road. Little misunderstandings and unfortunate coincidences soon find him in possession of a suitcase of cash and being hotly pursued by crooks and criminals. It’s hardly going to trouble a man who played a vital role in making the atomic bomb, has known several world leaders and participated in some of the key events of the last century. An outrageous delight. - Glasgow Film Festival 2013

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Autumn Season 2014

All films start at 8.30 pm in the Skerries Sailing Club.
Tickets / membership at the door.

Wednesday September 24 – Ghost Train + Run and Jump

The season starts with a double feature starting with a short from Lee Cronin (Ghost Train) and then followed by the full-length feature Run and Jump. Lee Cronin himself will be attending!

Ghost Train
Written and Directed by Lee Cronin, Ireland 2013, short film
Starring: Owen McDonnell, Steve Wall, Matthew Dillon, Sean Gormley, Matthew Broe
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZM7_wKoEMI

Once a year, estranged brothers Michael and Peter make a reluctant pilgrimage to the old fairground where their friend Sam went missing three decades ago. This time, Michael has a secret to confess...


Run and Jump
Dir: Steph Green, Ireland 2013, 102 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Maxine Peake, Will Forte, Edward MacLiam, Sharon Horgan Language: English

After a stroke leaves her husband mentally disabled and fundamentally changed, spirited Irish housewife Vanetia struggles to keep her family together in the wake of tragedy. A research grant from American doctor Ted Fielding, interested in documenting the family’s recovery process, allows them to get by. Though Vanetia initially resents living under Ted’s microscope, she soon finds comfort in his calming presence, while Ted responds to Vanetia’s dynamic, unpredictable personality. As the two explore their bond within their unique situation, a new family begins to emerge.

Directed by Academy Award-nominee Steph Green and featuring Saturday Night Live star Will Forte in an impressive dramatic debut, this life-affirming film embraces the healing power of love and family in all of its idiosyncratic forms. Run and Jump is an unexpected, unconventional romance, intimate family portrait and emotional journey of recovery that ultimately uplifts through its heartfelt message of human connection and the power of acceptance. - Cara Cusumano / Tribeca Film Festival 2013

Wednesday October 8 – Coda + The Golden Dream
On Wednesday October 8, we'll also be running a short, Coda, followed by the full-feature film: The Golden Dream.

Coda
Dir: Alan Holly, Ireland 2013, 9 mins
Trailer: http://vimeo.com/85697081

Directed by Alan Holly, CODA is the culmination of two years of painstaking work by a small team of animation artists. The film tells the story of a lost soul who stumbles drunkenly through the city. In a park, death finds him and shows him many things.

This nine-minute, hand-drawn animated film is voiced by Brian Gleeson (Standby, The Stag, Love/Hate) and Orla Fitzgerald (The Wind that Shakes the Barley). 

Winner: Best Animated Short Film at the South by SouthWest (SXSW) film festival in Austin, Texas

The Golden Dream
La Jaula de Oro
Dir: Diego Quemada-Diez, Mexico, Spain 2013, 102 mins, Cert: CLUB 
Starring: Brandon Lopez, Rodolfo Dominguez, Karen Martinez, Carlos Chajon
Language: Spanish
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgp9g9NF_x0

In order to escape from the squalid barrio in which they live, young Guatemalan teens Juan, Sara and Samuel make the decision to attempt the 1,200 mile-long arduous border crossing into “The Golden Cage”, i.e. USA, via Mexico in search of a better life. In order to blend in with the group and protect herself from the harm a woman can suffer on the journey, Sara initially disguises herself as a boy named Oswaldo.

Not long after their departure, the group encounter Chauk, an Tzotzil Indian who speaks virtually no Spanish. Despite Juan’s fervent and passionate opposition, Sara insists they allow Chauk to join the gang. A harsh road follows as the four children show inspiring bravery in the face of relentless danger and obstacles, both natural and manmade. All the while, they risk arrest, deportation and death. From the first frame to the last hopeless moment, this is a heart-wrenching story of hope, friendship, survival, love and desperation, and a profound homage to the treacherous journey thousands of immigrants undertake each year. - Spanish Film Festival 2013

Wednesday October 22 – Before the Winter Chill
Avant L’Hiver
Dir: Philippe Claudel, France 2013, 103 mins, Cert: CLUB  
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Leila Bekhti, Richard Berry
Language: French  
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjLwYKyqgYg

Kristin Scott Thomas plays Lucie, the downtrodden wife of terminally grumpy surgeon Paul (played by Daniel Auteuil), who maintains a sleekly modern forest home. Paul seems bored and distracted, but we come to learn that he has been receiving red flowers from a woman who wants to thank him for some surgery he claims not to have performed.

Before the Winter Chill is the second collaboration between director and writer Philippe Claudel and England’s greatest gift to French cinema, Kristin Scott Thomas. Their first film together was I’ve Loved You So Long, which became one of the most talked about film of 2008. This is another sublime, elegant slow-burner, and looks all set to repeat that success. - 20th Bradford International Film Festival 2013

Wednesday November 5 – A Thousand Times Goodnight
Dir: Erik Poppe, Norway/Ireland 2013, 111 mins, Cert: 12A
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lauryn Canny, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Larry Mullen Jr., Mireille Darc, Adrianna Cramer Curtis, Mads Ousdal
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y98z8tkpNe8

Juliette Binoche plays Rebecca, a war photographer who constantly risks harm just to capture the perfect shot. It's a passion that's earned her many awards, but one that also leaves her family in constant fear. During a trip to Afghanistan, Rebecca is injured while accompanying a female suicide bomber to Kabul. When she returns home to Ireland, her husband makes it clear that he's fed up. With regret, Rebecca retires her camera and decides to focus her energy on her family. Her oldest daughter Steph begins to show an interest in humanitarian work after doing a project for school. One of Rebecca's connections offers her an opportunity to take Steph to Kenya to visit a refugee camp. Under the assurance that the trip will be safe, her husband agrees to let them go. When the camp is attacked, Rebecca's priorities will once again be tested. Will her desire to document tragedy come before her safety and her daughter’s? Binoche is absolutely superb as a highly conflicted, work-obsessed photojournalist. - Cleveland Film Festival 2014

Wednesday November 19 – Ilo Ilo
Dir: Anthony Chen, Singapore 2013, 99 mins, Cert: 12A
Starring: Angeli Bayani, Yeo Yann Yann, Chen Tianwen, Koh Jia Ler  
Language: Mandarin      
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkNHIdEou7o

Set in Singapore, ILO ILO chronicles the relationship between a family of three and their newly arrived Filipino maid, Teresa, who has come like many other Filipino women in search of a better life.

Her presence in the family worsens their already strained relationship. Jiale, the young and troublesome son, starts to form a unique bond with Teresa, who soon becomes an unspoken part of the family.

But this is 1997 and the Asian Financial Crisis is starting to be felt in the region… - Cork Film Festival 2013

Wednesday December 3 – Mood Indigo
L'écume des jours
Dir: Michel Gondrey, France 2013, 94 minutes, Cert: 12A
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy, Aïssa Maïga, Charlotte Le Bon
Language: French
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezPQBlaQsvo

Colin lives a truly charmed life. A helpful mouse works around his house and he has invented a Pianocktail, an instrument that makes cocktails based on what you play. However, his friends Chick and Nicolas have found love. This is the one thing that has eluded Colin. One night, at a dog's birthday party, he is introduced to Chloe. They fall in love and are happily married. But Chloe develops strange music in her lung that quickly turns into a water lily. Is their happy life about to shatter? Odd, you say? Nothing is odd in Michel Gondry's wonderful fantasy, where people and rooms change shape to suit their needs and time and space have no rules or boundaries. MOOD INDIGO is a world unto itself, where doorbells are living things and the Church only marries the winners of an insane go-cart race. This exhilarating cinematic toy box crams each frame with visual treats and delightful tricks. Once this film drops you down its romantic rabbit-hole, reality happily vanishes!  - Cleveland International Film Festival 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spring Season 2014

All films start at 8.30 pm in the Skerries Sailing Club.
Tickets / membership at the door

Wednesday January 29 – Renoir
Dir: Gilles Bourdos, France 2012, 111 mins, Cert: CLUB
Starring: Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret, Vincent Rottiers, Thomas Doret, Romane Bohringer
Language: French

The Côte d’Azur. 1915. In his twilight years, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action. But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy. Blazing with life, radiantly beautiful, Andrée will become his last model, and the wellspring of a remarkable rejuvenation.
Back at the family home to convalesce, Jean too falls under the spell of the new, redheaded star in the Renoir firmament. In their Mediterranean Eden - and in the face of his father's fierce opposition - he falls in love with this wild, untameable spirit... and as he does so, within weak-willed, battle-shaken Jean, a filmmaker begins to grow. - Cannes Film Festival 2012


Wednesday February 12 – Shun Li and the Poet
Io sono Li
Dir: Andrea Segre, Italy 2011, 100 mins, Cert: CLUB TBC
Starring: Zhao Tao, Rade Serbedzija, Marco Paolini
Language: Italian

Shun Li works in a textile factory in the outskirts of Rome, in order to get her papers and enable her eight-year-old son to come to Italy. She is suddenly transferred to Chioggia, a small city-island in the Venetian lagoon, to work as a bartender in a pub. Bepi, a Slavic fisherman nicknamed ‘the Poet’ by his friends, has been a regular at that little pub for years.

The friendship between Shun Li and Bepi upsets both the Chinese and native communities, who interfere with this new relationship, which appears to place all concerned in a state of fear. A truly poignant and poetic account of the destructive power of prejudice and friendship in a foreign territory. - Cork Film Festival 2012

Winner – Best First Feature, BFI London Film Festival 2012
Winner – LUX Prize 2012


Wednesday February 26 – The Broken Circle Breakdown
Dir: Felix van Groeningen, Belgium, Netherlands 2012, 100 mins, Cert: CLUB
Starring: Johan Heldenbergh, Veerle Baetens, Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg, Nils De Caster, Robby Cleiren, Bert Huysentruyt, Jan Bijvoet
Language: Flemish, English

Didier and Elise’s relationship is stormy and passionate; it’s love at first sight. Didier plays the banjo in a bluegrass band, lives in a caravan in the Belgian countryside and idolises America as the ‘land of the free’. Elise owns her own tattoo parlour. Her body is plastered with images – little mementos of past lovers whose names have been carefully covered up by new tattoos. Before long their two lives are closely intertwined. Elise sings in Didier’s band and they soon have a daughter together, little Maybelle, with whom they move into a lovingly if unconventionally restored country house. This film accompanies Elise and Didier on their rollercoaster ride through life; through days filled with their love of music and their mutual passion.
Based on the stage play by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels, director Felix van Groeningen portrays various episodes in Elise and Didier’s story. The film’s barn-stomping blue grass concert footage and enthralling love story are delightfully reminiscent of the grand old days of American country music. - Berlin Film Festival 2013


Wednesday March 12 – Wadjda
Dir: Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia 2012, 98 mins, Cert: PG
Starring: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Ahd, Sultan Al Assaf             
Language: Arabic            

In the first full-length feature film shot entirely inside Saudi Arabia, Wadjda tells the story of a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda's mother won't allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue. So Wadjda decides to try to raise the money herself. A cash prize for a Quran recitation competition at her school leads Wadjda to become a model pious girl as she devotes herself to the memorisation of Quranic verses. The Quran competition isn't going to be easy, especially for a troublemaker like Wadjda, but she is determined to fight for her dreams... with or without society's approval. - Human Rights Watch Film Festival London 2013

Wednesday March 26 – Easy Money
Snaba Cash
Dir: Daniel Espinosa, Sweden 2010, 124 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Matias Padin Varela, Dragomir Mrsic, Lisa Henni, Deja Cukic, Annika Whittembury, Lea Stojanov, Fares Fares
Language: Swedish

Safe House director Daniel Espinosa first grabbed attention with this violent, vice-like thriller based on the bestselling novel by criminal defence attorney Jens Lapidus. Praised for its dynamic storytelling and tangy evocation of a multicultural Sweden, it finds its focus in handsome economics student JW, a man who has dipped his toes in the drug trade and discovered that he is now swimming with sharks. Escaped con Jorge is lining up a massive cocaine deal that will smash the Serbian mafia’s control of the local drug trade. Mafia enforcer Mrado is not about to let that happen and somewhere in the middle there is slick, resourceful JW who works for Jorge’s partners in crime. - Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013


Wednesday April 9 – Le Week-end
Dir: Roger Mitchell, UK, France 2013, 92 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum
Language: English

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a middle-aged, middle-class couple who visit Paris for a long weekend in hopes of rekindling their relationship—or, perhaps, to bring it to an end. Diffident, wistful Nick (Broadbent) and demanding, take-charge Meg (Lindsay Duncan) careen from harmony to disharmony to resignation and back again as they take stock and grapple with love, loss, regret and, disappointment, in their own very English way. When they accept a dinner invitation from Nick’s old friend Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), an American academic superstar with a fancy Parisian address, the film strikes one surprising grace note after another, building to a lyrical ending that is, incidentally, one of the loveliest movie homages (in this case, to Godard’s Band of Outsiders) in years. This magically buoyant, bittersweet comedy drama, starring two of Britain’s national treasures, is a new peak in the ongoing collaboration between screenwriter Hanif Kureishi and director Roger Michell. - New York Film Festival 2013