Monday, September 16, 2019

Autumn Season 2019

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

Wednesday 25 September – Arctic
Dir: Joe Penna, 2018, Iceland, 98 mins Cert: CLUB
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smáradóttir
Language: English
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5aD9ppoQIo

It doesn’t take long for Joe Penna’s Arctic to establish itself as one of the best movies ever made about a man stranded in the wilderness. In fact, there’s a small but crystalline moment in the first act (some 15 or 20 minutes in, maybe) when this hellishly cold portrait of human endurance claws ahead of the pack and never looks back.

The context is easy to describe — the conflict frozen across Mads Mikkelsen’s face is not. The Danish star, throwing himself into an Iceland shoot that could probably make for a compelling survival story unto itself, plays a downed pilot named Overgård. The nearly wordless film starts at some point after his plane has crashed into a deep white valley in the middle of nowhere. It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly the accident took place, but it’s obvious that our hero has been out there for longer than most of us could ever hope to last.

From the very first scene, the busted fuselage has already been converted into a homey little shelter that could pass for a decent one-bedroom in Brooklyn. Overgård has had time to dig out a massive S.O.S. in the snow, and to fill a freezer with the bony fish he’s snagged from beneath the ice. He’s had time to stack a pile of ugly black stones into a small grave for someone whose identity we never learn — likely a co-pilot, but we’re left to assume. There’s no way of knowing if Overgård was clean- shaven before the crash, but he wears his beard well (the elegant slope of Mikkelsen’s face makes the icicles look like jewelry).

And then — as Overgård is trying to stab a trout in a snowstorm — he spots a rescue helicopter cutting its way towards him. It promptly crashes, the winds driving the chopper headfirst into the ground. Maybe there are some places where people just shouldn’t fly.

This is when Arctic starts to thaw into something unexpectedly rich and humane; one perfect reaction shot is all it takes for Penna’s debut feature to prove itself more lucid 127 Hours and more dynamic than All Is Lost (admittedly a low bar to clear). You expect Overgård to sprint over the nearest ridge so he can get a clear view of the wreckage, but... he doesn’t. On the contrary, he just stands in place, as though his feet were stuck to the snow.

Cinematographer Tómas Örn Tómasson, always opting for a steadiness that belies the chaos of Overgård’s situation, trains his camera on Mikkelsen’s static face. It’s like he’s short-circuiting for a second. The disappointment in his eyes is obvious, but we also note the lack of disbelief — how surprising can a disaster really be after so many days spent waiting for death? Plus, Overgård is totally wiped out. Even a rugged and resourceful MacGyver type like him might not have the strength to save anyone. Besides, that was supposed to be their job!

Of course he eventually does the right thing, but that fleeting hesitation is enough to sell us on Overgård’s fragility. Penna’s script, co-written with Ryan Morrison, doesn’t need a flimsy backstory to explain why this guy wants to live, or what it might take to rekindle his fading hopes. Penna recognizes that certain scenarios are so complete that any kind of additional motivation tends to smell bad.

One of the two helicopter pilots is still alive (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir), if only just. She’s got an infected wound on her abdomen, but she also has a lighter and some noodles. That’s a great recipe for a hot meal. Suddenly, those mountains in the distance start too look a little closer. And so they set off to a distant point on the map, Overgård tobogganing his silent new friend across the Arctic like some kind of frozen Fitzcarraldo. They exit the crash site, pursued by a polar bear.

Initially written as a sci-fi adventure set on Mars (before everyone involved came to their senses), Arctic works because it’s so believable. The movie never cheats or takes shortcuts — in fact, Overgård and his living cargo are forced to take the long way round. Penna has packed the film with incident and excitement, even making room for a bear attack sequence that puts The Revenant to shame, but even the most Hollywood moments obey a certain logic.

More than that, Penna finds ways to infuse real drama into potentially mundane details. We always know where the characters are and what’s at stake with each step, so that watching Mikkelsen turn a sled into a makeshift shelter achieves the excitement of a major setpiece. The photo Overgård finds of the pilot with her husband and baby — at first a maudlin touch — comes to assume a genuine emotional heft. Some credit for that belongs to Joseph Trapanese’s low and stirring score, but the brunt of its power exists between Mikkelsen and the man he’s playing. Overgård needs someone to live for, even if he’s not the person who ultimately needs to live for them.

It’s broad stuff, and well-trod terrain for a movie that takes place in uncharted territory, but it cuts straight to the difference between endurance and survival. Movies like this are typically only exciting because the hero might die. Arctic is so compelling because Overgård might not.
- David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Wednesday 9 October – Float Like a Butterfly
Dir: Carmel Winters, 2018, Ireland, 101 min, Cert: 15A
Starring: Hazel Doupe, Dara Devaney, Johnny Collins, Hilda Fay, Lalor Roddy
Language: English

We have the opportunity to screen 'Float Like a Butterfly' starring Hazel Doupe from Skerries and a past pupil of Skerries Community College!

Winner of the Audience Award at the Cork Film Festival November 2018.

15-year-old Frances lost her mother in a fight. The same fight which led to her father being locked up in jail for the last ten years. Frances has never forgiven the police sergeant who she feels is responsible for this. She’s got fighting in her blood, just like her idol Muhammad Ali. And like Ali, she wants to be the Greatest too.  

When her father gets out of jail, Frances is starry-eyed. Together they can take on the world. But her father doesn't turn out to be the hero she remembers. Required to keep the peace due to the conditions of his parole, he's forced to endure humiliation from the police sergeant, much to Frances' dismay. And to make up for lost time, he is determined to make a man of his son and an obedient wife of his daughter.  

Frances never wanted to clash with her beloved father, but when he gives her boxing gloves to a prospective husband to “keep her in line” she has to make a stand. Cast out by the world and her family alike, Frances must fight even for the right to fight. Some people say it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. But for Frances losing is not an option. This is a fight she has been training for all her life. At stake is her own freedom, her mother's honour and her father's faith. She knows the only way she can end this war is to win it.
Screen Ireland

Wednesday 23 October – Sink or Swim
Le Grand Bain
Dir: Gilles Lellouche, 2018, France, 122 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Guillaume Canet, Benoît Poelvoorde,Jean-Hugues Anglade, Virginie Efira
Language: French
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t24K8KFiv7k

You wait ages for an all-male synchronised swimming comedy and then two come along at once. Gilles Lellouche dives in first with Sink Or Swim (Le Grand Bain), a surefooted crowdpleaser with enough warmth and the committed talents of a stellar ensemble cast to fend off any sense of predictability. It should make commercial waves on its domestic release later this year and travel well.

The Full Monty appears to have been the inspiration for both Lellouche and the forthcoming British effort Swimming With Men. There is a similar sense of emasculated, middle-aged men tackling their demons by committing to the most unlikely of public acts. Sink Or Swim doesn’t cut quite so deeply but has a likeable charm and sneaks up on the viewer in its more reflective, emotional moments.

Mathieu Amalric’s Betrand is unemployed, depressed and sending his days playing Candy Crush when he spots a sign seeking new members for an all-male team of synchronised swimmers. Amateurs are welcome, which is just as well given that the rum bunch of current members are neither very synchronised nor especially professional.

Under the indulgent tutelage of coach Delphine (Virginie Efira), the team starts to train regularly and the sessions in the pool prove as valuable as the time spent bonding over drinks in the pub or relaxing in the sauna. Every one of them has a problem of some kind from businessman Marcus (Benoit Poelvoorde) teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, to glowering uptight Laurent (Guillaume Canet) and an aging rocker (Jean-Hugues Anglade) who still nurtures dreams of stardom after 17 albums and no hit records.

There is nothing too surprising about how Sink Or Swim unfolds as the men bicker, develop a sense of solidarity and regain self-respect from their involvement in the group and a reckless decision to compete in the World Championships. There are training montages, fights, foolishness and sentimental life lessons along the way.

Sink Or Swim works because of a screenplay with some genuinely funny moments and a jaunty, confident approach from Lellouche that displays his sure comic timing and faith in the performers. Jean-Hughes Anglade is rather touching as a gentle man still hoping to impress his daughter, Jonathan Zaccaï is a hoot as the slow-witted but endlessly kind-hearted Thibault and it is a delight to see Mathieu Amalric’s Bertrand slowly coming back to life and seizing his moment.

The music choices, including Olivia Newton-John’s Let’s Get Physical and the Vangelis Chariots of Fire theme, are all a little on the nose and the film feels overlong as it nudges the two hour mark. There are reservations, but this is still a well-made, feel good entertainment that will win the audience over long before the big finale in Norway.
- Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

Wednesday 6 November – The Favourite
Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018, Ireland, UK, USA, 119 mins Cert:15A
Starring: Olivia Coleman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYb-wkehT1g

Just when we thought Olivia Colman couldn’t get any better, she steps up to movie- star lead status with an uproarious performance as Britain’s needy and emotionally wounded Queen Anne in this bizarre black comedy of the 18th-century court, a souped up and sweary quasi-Restoration romp full of intrigue and plotting – with wigs, clavichords and long corridors to storm down. The drama is loosely based on the true story of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, competing with her cousin Abigail, Baroness Masham, for the monarch’s favours, and creating a horribly dysfunctional politico-sexual love triangle with mother issues. The two emotional duelists are played here by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, the latter with a very good Brit accent.

There is a cheerfully obscene original script from Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, directed by the Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos, who brings to it the absurdism he’s already known for, along with something even more jagged and uninhibited. In fact, The Favourite may have corrected Lanthimos’s tendency towards arthouse torpor. It is a scabrous and often hilarious film, made loopier by the nightmarish visions and wide-angle distortions contrived by the cinematographer Robbie Ryan.

At first – I admit it – I thought these stylisations were going to be insufferable, and even had the unworthy thought that this script might work quite as well with a trad director, in a trad style. But no. Acclimatisation to the visual and verbal rhetoric doesn’t take long and the point is that Lanthimos’s provocations pump and energise the screenplay, which with a conventional director might have just reverted to simpering bonnets-and-ruffles period drama, for all the raucous language.

Olivia Colman’s queen is a really funny creation – perhaps funnier and more sympathetic than her Queen Elizabeth II is going to be for Netflix, but who knows how she will reinvent that role? Her Anne is like something between the QEI that Quentin Crisp created in Sally Potter’s Orlando and a weird blend of Nursey and QEI in Blackadder. But that doesn’t do justice to the sadness of her Queen Anne: someone who has been infantilised by a lifetime of emotional manipulation. She is transported everywhere by wheelchair or sedan chair but can walk just as well. She sometimes flies into something between an anxiety attack and a rage at music or the spectacle of people enjoying themselves because of a self-hating inability to participate in pleasure. There is a private tragedy in her life which means that her emotional energies have been displaced into her large menagerie of house rabbits and she shows a keen interest in racing ducks and lobsters. Again: in the hands of an actor who wasn’t funny this could have been awful, but Colman sells all of it.

Weisz plays her court favourite and intimate Lady Sarah, who deploys every sly sexual and emotional trick to keep the monarch co-dependent and keen on the raising of taxes for an ongoing French war that will glorify Lady Sarah’s warrior husband Marlborough (Mark Gatiss). This is to the horror of minister, Robert Harley (Nicholas Hoult). Then a gentlewoman and cousin of Sarah’s, fallen on hard times, arrives at the court as a servant: this is Abigail (Stone), whose knowledge of medicinal herbs helps the queen’s gout. Her majesty takes a shine to the pretty little thing. So does the predatory nobleman Lord Masham (Joe Alwyn). The contest between Abigail and Sarah is on like the 18th-century equivalent of Donkey Kong.

If there is a flaw in the film, it is probably that Colman will inevitably upstage Stone and Weisz, and put their very important face-off in the shade. That is a minor consideration. The Favourite is full of freaky zingers and deeply strange laugh-lines: I loved the idea of someone sleeping like a “shot badger”. (There’s quite a lot about badgers.) And The Favourite is a reminder that the idea of royalty as polite and picturesquely sentimental is something that came in with Queen Victoria: The Favourite is more punk than that. It’s a rousingly nasty, bleary, hungover punchup.
- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Wednesday 20 November – Foxtrot
Dir: Samuel Maoz, 2017, Germany, France, Israel, Switzerland, 113 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonatan Shiray, Karin Ugowski
Language: Hebrew

This emotional knockout from Israel isn’t nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film at the 2018 Oscars – another strike to add to the tally of Academy cock-ups. From first shot to last, Foxtrot takes a piece out of you. Director Samuel Maoz (Lebanon) begins with a devastating moment of grief: Soldiers arrive at the home of a middle- aged couple to tell Dafna (Sarah Adler) and Michael Feldman (Lior Ashkenazi) that their son has been killed in the line of duty. As his mother is tranquilized, his father is told about funeral arrangements. The military ritual is tragically commonplace. But for Michael, the sudden desolation is impossible to process. After calling his Auschwitz- survivor mother (Karin Ugowski), he locks himself in the bathroom, his face ravaged with anguish, pouring scalding water on his hands. Ashkenzai, a superb actor, reaches a new career peak. You will be shaken.

In the film’s second section – there are three – Maoz switches focus to four Israeli soldiers on border patrol in the desert. Jonathan (Yonatan Shiray), the Feldmans’ son, is one of a group manning a security checkpoint. We watch the young soldiers sleep in a large shipping container and fight off boredom with talk, video games, even a little soft-shoe. Maoz and the gifted cinematographer Giora Bejach turn the desert into a dream-like landscape where a camel can walk through a security gate and Jonathan can grab a rifle and use it as a dance partner. The mood is broken when Palestinians attempt to cross and suffer humiliating interrogations. It does not end well.

In the final third, we’re back in the Feldman apartment, where a personal war is raging between Michael and Dafna. Moaz builds his film out of puzzle pieces that don’t easily fit together. But there’s no mistaking the writer-director’s anger at his country for sending soldiers to die for questionable politics. That anger has brought accusations against the movie’s supposed “anti-Israel narrative.” Is it that or more likely a humanist plea for change directed at any country that extends war and ignores its futility? You be the judge. Foxtrot makes demands on audiences and then richly rewards them. It’s a riveting, deeply resonant achievement.
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone


Wednesday 4 December – Wild Rose
Dir: Tom Harper, 2018, UK, 101 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo
Language: English
Trailer: https://youtu.be/GlLq00lYiQ8

Great country songs are often made from the most basic musical elements — a few chords, a hummable melody and chorus, maybe a key change — but somehow those humble components can be worked into something transcendent with the alchemical addition of skillful playing, energetic showmanship, ace songwriting and sincerity.

Fittingly, the British comedy-drama Wild Rose pulls off the same kind of trick as a movie. It posits a classic setup — a young rebel (in this case a young Glaswegian woman fresh out of prison, played by the incandescent Jessie Buckley) with a raw streak of talent (singing country music) and then tests how badly she wants to succeed (will she leave her young children for a chance to go to Nashville?). Out of these familiar, predictable elements director Tom Harper and screenwriter Nicole Taylor have fashioned something entirely delightful, fresh as a Scottish summer evening. The film stays in "key," to extend the musical metaphor, with a narrational circle of fifths that creates certain emotional lows and highs and hits them accordingly, but even that mild predictability makes it more lovable, and catchy as a burr on a long-haired dog. Certain to win hearts in its home market and acquired by Neon at Toronto, this could represent a breakout, toe-tapping hit.

Sent to the big house for a year for throwing a bag of heroin over a fence at another prison, 23-year-old Rose-Lynn Harlan (Buckley) is reissued with her fringed white leather jacket and matching cowboy boots, and freed on parole, albeit with an anklet that enforces curfew every night. After a quick stop en route for some al fresco sex with her beau Elliot (James Harkness), Rose-Lynn arrives at her mother's house in Priesthill, a working-class area on Glasgow's south side that's certainly seldom used as film location.

Her mother Marion (Julie Walters, allowed a rare chance to show off her strong and considerable dramatic range), a bakery employee, has been looking after Rose- Lynn's two under-10 kids while she's been away. The children are suspicious and shy of the prodigal mother, who doesn't seem to know quite how to connect with them. In any case, Rose-Lynn is more worked up about getting back her old gig singing with a band at a local country music club, but with her abrasive interpersonal skills, the court-ordered ankle bracelet and her tendency to throw right hooks, nix that.

Marion suggests Lynn-Anne take over an arthritis-ridden friend's job as a daily housekeeper for Susannah (Sophie Okonedo), a cheery, bohemian English transplant who's married to a self-made Scotsman (Jamie Sives), has two sweet young children of her own, a house big enough that a housekeeper is required and plenty of time on her hands. After hearing Rose-Lynn singing while working (a charming dreamlike sequence where the backing band are stationed around the mansion's rooms while Rose-Lynn cleans), the children and Susannah become her newest, most passionate fans.

Putting a smart twist on what viewers, especially British ones, might expect when it comes to cross-class relations, Rose-Lynn and Susannah become genuine friends. Susannah has edges and a mild case of self-absorption, but she's a very rare example of a middle-class character in a British film dominated by working-class people who is not a villain, a snob or a stereotyped twit. Certainly, the fact that she's played by Okonedo enhances her likability, and the actor's mixed race (never remarked on once by the other characters) perhaps changes the complex algebra of class at play here. But as the film goes on, it becomes clear that it's about, among other things, non-sexual relationships between women. Rose-Lynn's occasional trysts with Elliot seem to mean almost nothing to her. It's her friendship with Susannah and tempestuous relationship with her mother that drive the plot forward.If you apply the Bechdel test, this is a film that passes with flying colors.

Nevertheless, above all else, thematically the story is about good old-fashioned self- discovery, a lost lamb finding herself, but once again the journey doesn't zig and zag exactly how you'd expect. She must find herself morally but also musically, and the two objectives are almost the same thing. While imbued with deep respect for country music and its history (the soundtrack, curated by composer-supervisor Jack Arnold, is a cracker), Wild Rose is tuned into the contradictions of a Glaswegian wanting to break into country, a music that's very much about place and cultural identity.

Thoughtful as these extra dimensions are, and enhancements to what is a refreshingly subtle work, most people won't absorb them consciously because they'll be too dazzled by Buckley making a blazing bid for big-time fame. She had already caught some attention with her mesmeric, nuanced performances in Beast last year, and on the recent BBC adaptation of War and Peace that Harper directed. Irish viewers will remember her as a girl from Kerry who came second in a TV singing contest. As a musician, she's terrific, but as an actress she's even better, with ceaselessly mobile features like a changeable Northern sky.
- Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Spring Season 2019

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

Wednesday 9 January – The Bookshop
Dir: Isabel Coixet, 2017, UK, 113 mins, Cert: PG
Starring: Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Hunter Tremayne
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8-4E4XJyKg

Florence Green, a free-spirited widow, puts grief behind her and risks everything to open up a bookshop -- the first such shop in the sleepy seaside town of Hardborough, England. But this mini social revolution soon brings her fierce enemies: she invites the hostility of the town's less prosperous shopkeepers and also crosses Mrs. Gamart, Harborough's vengeful, embittered alpha female who is a wannabe doyenne of the local arts scene.


Wednesday 23 January – The Guilty
Den skyldige

Dir: Gustav Möller, 2018, Denmark, 85 mins, Cert: Club
Starring: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen
Language: Danish
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abaoKA6rn5k

Demoted to deskwork and awaiting a disciplinary hearing, Agent Asger is working the night shift in an emergency call room. When he receives a call from a woman who has been abducted his resolve and arrogance are tested as it becomes a race against time to locate her.  Taking place in real time and in a single location nothing is quite as it seems in this claustrophobic thriller.  Using sound as the primary storytelling tool and with a powerful central performance from Jakob Cedergren, The Guilty is a visceral viewing experience.

Awards:
Winner - World Cinema Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival 2018
Winner – Audience Award, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018
Winner – Youth Jury Award, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018

Wednesday 6 February – 1945
Dir: Ferenc Török, 2017, Hungary, 91 mins, Cert: Club
Starring: Péter Rudolf, Bence Tasnádi, Tamás Szabó Kimmel, Dóra Sztarenki
Language: Hungarian
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZbhnWBZWy0


When two black clad men arrive at a country railway station, a classic western set up appears to be unfolding. But it’s 1945 in Soviet-occupied Hungary in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and by their appearance the men are Orthodox Jews. As the two men make their way to town and word of their arrival spreads, there’s a growing panic amongst some of the more prominent townsfolk - especially town clerk, István, whose son’s wedding is later that day…

This difficult, transitional time in Hungary is a period rarely dealt with in cinema, and certainly not with as much clarity, economy and nuance as Ferenc Török displays here. A rare subject too, the grave and sobering issue of how the Gentile population of Nazi-occupied countries behaved towards Jewish neighbours, and how they have, or haven’t, variously, come to terms with a life based on guilt and betrayal. With its monochrome splendour and striking soundtrack, morally compromised townspeople and its tick-tock narrative towards an unknown conclusion, we’re reminded of Fred Zinnemann’s taut and masterful High Noon.

“A fresh, intelligent cinematic approach to a difficult topic that takes on a transitional time in Hungarian history with subtlety and nuance.” – Alissa Simon, Variety


Wednesday 20 February – The Children Act
Dir: Richard Eyre, 2017, UK/USA, 105 mins, Cert: 12a
Starring: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Fionn Whitehead
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKQkUcJioxU


"When a court determines any question with respect to the upbringing of a child, the child's welfare shall be the court's paramount consideration.” The Children Act, 1989

Based on the much-loved novel by Ian McEwan (Atonement) and brought to the big screen by director Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris), THE CHILDREN ACT is a compelling and powerful drama telling the story of Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson), an eminent high court judge presiding over ethically complex cases. As the demands of her job cause her marriage to Jack (Stanley Tucci) to reach tipping point, Fiona is asked to rule on the case of Adam (Fionn Whitehead), a brilliant young boy who is refusing a life-saving blood transfusion on religious grounds. With her private life in turmoil, Fiona finds herself drawn into the case, taking the unorthodox step of halting proceedings in order to visit Adam in hospital. As the two form a profound connection and powerful emotions come to light, Fiona’s judgement is put to the test with momentous consequences as she must ultimately decide whether Adam lives or dies.

Wednesday 6 March – C'est La Vie!
Le Sens de la fête

Dir: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano, 2017, France, 117 mins, Cert: Club
Starring: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Gilles Lellouche, Jean-Paul Rouve, Eye Haidara
Language: French
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjV8m84FcOs


Max is a veteran wedding planner who is thinking about selling on his business. For now, however, there’s something more pressing to worry about: organising a lavish wedding in a 17th century chateau. It’s no small task: there’s dozens of people to manage, unreliable electricity, a last-minute musician change, and an increasingly demanding groom. Soon, things start going very wrong indeed. Can Max and his team sort everything out without the guests noticing?

The latest film from Untouchable directors Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano is a gloriously manic French comedy. It hits the ground running and barely takes a breath as wedding disaster after disaster unfolds. With larger-than-life characters and laugh-out-loud set pieces, C’est La Vie! is a delight.


Wednesday 20 March – The Wife
Dir: Björn Runge, 2017, UK, Sweden, 100 mins, Cert: 15a
Starring: Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Max Irons, Harry Lloyd
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d81IM0loH7o

There’s nothing more dangerous than a writer whose feelings have been hurt.” The speaker is Joan Castleman, the charming, enigmatically discreet and supportive wife of world-famous author and New York literary lion Joe Castleman. It is a fascinating and bravura performance from Glenn Close, in this hugely enjoyable dark comedy from director Björn Runge, adapted by Jane Anderson from the novel by Meg Wolitzer. Perhaps it’s Close’s career-best – unnervingly subtle, unreadably calm, simmering with self-control. Her Joan is a study in marital pain, deceit and the sexual politics of prestige. It’s a portrayal to put alongside Close’s appearances in Dangerous Liaisons and Fatal Attraction.

The Castlemans are on the plane to Sweden, ready for Joe to get the Nobel prize. Yet they are being pestered on the flight by a certain Nathaniel Bone, part stalker-fan, part parasitic hack who wants Joe to cooperate with a warts-and-all biography he is planning to write. Joe gives him the contemptuous brush-off but Joan cautiously advises a more diplomatic treatment. It is a key moment in this hugely enjoyable drama when things begin to fall apart.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Autumn Season 2018

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

Wednesday 26 September – Under the Tree
Dir: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, 2017, France/Iceland, 89 mins, Cert: Club
Starring: Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJghTR5y9U0


The shade from a front-yard tree brings the already simmering tensions between two families in an Icelandic suburb to boiling point. Pitch black in its humour, Under the Tree is a dark and wry drama.

Grieving Inga and put-upon husband Baldvin are the proud owners of the area's only tree. Next door, amateur marksman Konrad lives with his new, much younger wife, the athletic Eybjorg — whose mere appearance incites torrents of expletives from Inga. Eybjorg is infuriated by the way the overhanging branches of Inga's beloved tree block the sunshine.  Absurdly hilarious and psychologically astute, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, expertly draws out the repressed anger and grief of his characters. An excellent cast perfectly tread the line between comedy and drama.

Awards/Nomination:

Winner - Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards 2018 – Winner DFCC Best Cinematography Monika Lenczewska (director of photography)
Nominated - Venice Film Festival 2017 - Venice Horizons Award - Best Film - Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson

Press:
Good fences make very bad neighbors in Icelandic writer-director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson's black-frost comedy of suburban mores. – Guy Lodge, Variety

Everyday black humor seesaws with drama - Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter



Wednesday 10 October – Let the Sunshine In
Un Beau Soleil Intérieur

Dir: Claire Denis, 2017, France, 94 minutes, Cert: Club
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Philippe Katerine, Josiane Balasko, Sandrine Dumas, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Gérard Depardieu
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps_Sau7xqQY


Isabelle (Juliette Binoche) is a divorced artist living in Paris. She has several potential lovers and suitors who compete for her attention, or in some cases display complete indifference despite Isabelle’s own obvious interest…

Director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, White Material) is best known for her often dark and challenging dramas - so it may come as a surprise to see her tackling what is, in essence, a romantic comedy. What won’t come as a surprise, however, is that she has crafted an accomplished, artful and thoughtful twist on that much-maligned genre.

Inspired by Roland Barthes's 1977 text A Lover's Discourse, Let The Sunshine In also boasts one of Juliette Binoche’s most captivating performances of recent years.

Winner - SACD Award, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival 2017

Press:
★★★★ “... a sophisticated delight.” – The Guardian, Cannes Film Festival 2017

“… an exquisite romantic comedy whose laughs are sad and whose sadness is funny.” – Slant Magazine, Cannes Film Festival 2017

“…an acutely intelligent, finely acted and – despite its cerebral edge - emotionally rich piece.” – Screen International


Wednesday 24 October – The Divine Order
Die Göttliche Ordnung

Dir: Petra Volpe, 2017, Switzerland, 96 minutes, Cert: Club
Starring: Marie Leuenberger, Max Simonischeck, Marta Zoffoli, Nicholas Ofczarek, Sofia Helin
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMArK-cowTs

1971: Nora is a young housewife and mother, living in a quaint little village in Switzerland with her husband and their two sons. The rural area is untouched by the major social upheavals the revolutionary movement of 1968 has brought about elsewhere. Nora’s life is not affected either; she is a quiet person who is liked by everybody – until she starts to publicly fight for women’s suffrage, which the men are due to vote on in a ballot. Despite obstacles and backlash Nora becomes a hero as she overthrows the status quo.

Switzerland was one of the last countries in the world to introduce female suffrage. And it is only since 1971 that women have had the right to vote.

Winner - Audience Award, Tribeca Film Festival 2017

Press:

“… a heartfelt and captivating film about regular people demanding their right to an equal voice.” – Grainne Humphreys, Festival Director, Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2018

“… a mainstream crowd-pleaser adept at inspiring and amusing in equal measure.” – Variety, Tribeca Film Festival 2017


Wednesday 7 November – The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society
Director: Mike Newell, 2018, UK/USA, 124 minutes, 12A
Starring: Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Penelope Wilton
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTDNGv61-Dk

London, 1946. Free-spirited author Juliet Ashton is invited to travel to the Channel Island of Guernsey to carry out research for a new book. Whilst there she meets the delightfully eccentric members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a mysterious literary group formed during the Nazi occupation.

Based on the beloved historical novel of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, directed by Mike Newell (Into the West, Four Weddings and a Funeral) and featuring a charming ensemble cast, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society weaves a romantic story of love, courage and loyalty where the power of books can bring people together and provide refuge in their darkest times.

Press:
★★★★ ”… every location in this irresistible romantic mystery is like a little mini-break for the soul, every costume and piece of set-dressing nibble-ably gorgeous, and every character a pleasure to keep company with…” – The Telegraph

"Winningly warm and smiley …” – Shadows on the Wall



Wednesday 21 November – The Happy Prince
Dir: Rupert Everett, 2018, Germany/Belgium/Italy, 105 minutes, 15A
Starring: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Emily Watson, Edwin Thomas
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HmN9r1Fcr8

Free from prison after two years of hard labour in Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett) is forced to live in exile in Europe. He yearns to reunite with his children, but ill-health and a misguided reconciliation with his beloved Bosie propel him towards a disasterous and ultimately fatal existence.

Supported by loyal friends Reggie Turner (Colin Firth) and Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas), who try to protect him from his own excesses, Wilde courageously lives out his last years by falling back on the creativity, charm and brilliant wit that defined him.

Actor Everett writes, directs and stars in the untold story of Wilde’s tragic last days. The Happy Prince is a poignant, dignified and personal tribute to his hero.

Press:
★★★★★ “... a fearless, committed, and award-worthy turn, and emblematic of a first-time film-maker at his most expressive and most affecting..” – The Times


★★★★ "... a deeply felt, tremendously acted tribute to courage.” – The Guardian


Wednesday 5 December – Leave no Trace
Dir:  Debra Granik, 2018, USA, 109 mins, PG
Cast:   Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster, Jeffery Rifflard
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_07ktacEGo8


A self-contained father and daughter, live happily on the fringes of society.
Will, a war veteran, suffering from PTSD, and his teenage daughter Tom, live in a vast urban park in Portland. Will is vigilant about their camp, their rations and the regular drills they have to remain undercover. Only leaving the park to collect certain supplies, their bond is apparent and unyielding.  Until the authorities discover them and social services intervene.  Offering help, imposing compliance and conformity, they are given a new home, and a job and school are arranged. Will quietly prepares for them to disappear again but Tom is beginning to enjoy this world….
Sensitive and enthralling with intense and touching performances from McKenzie and Foster.

Press:
‘Debra Granik’s follow-up to Winter’s Bone is delicate family drama at heart’ -Tara Brady, The Irish Times

‘a film that never overwhelms but it lingers, leaving its mark on the viewer.’ -Tim Grierson, ScreenDaily

‘A father and his 13 year-old daughter are living in a paradisiacal existence in a vast urban park in Portland Oregon when a small mistake derails their lives forever ... Captivating’ -David Edelstein, Vulture

Monday, January 8, 2018

Spring Season 2018

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

Wednesday 10 January – Lost in Paris
Paris pieds nus
Dir: Fiona Gordon / Dominique Abel, 2016, French/English, 83mins, Cert: CLUB 
Starring: Fiona Gordon, Dominque Abel, Emmanuelle Riva, Pierre Richard, Fred Meert
Language: French / English

Prepare to accompany one kooky Canadian as she embarks on a whimsical trip through France’s great city in this charming and entirely unique comedy which stars the two long-time Brussels-based theatre actor-directors (and real life couple) Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel.

Fiona’s (Gordon) orderly and precise life in Canada is thrown into chaos when she receives a letter of distress from her 93-year-old Aunt Martha (Academy Award-nominee Emmanuelle Riva, Amour, 2012) who is living in Paris. Immediately jumping to action, Fiona arrives in the city of lights only to discover that Martha has disappeared. So begins a hysterical search crammed with one spectacular disaster after another as Fiona desperately scours the city with her oversized red backpack, all the while tailed by an infatuated Dom (Abel), an affable, but annoying tramp who won’t leave her alone.

Brimming with brilliantly timed pranks, amazing tricks and intricately choreographed slapstick in the vein of Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati, Lost in Paris will have you leaving the cinema with a gleeful skip in your step and a renewed zest for life

Wednesday 24 January – 
The Florida Project
Dir: Sean Baker, 2017, USA, 115 mins, Cert: 15A, English 
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Brooklyn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto 

Six-year-old Moonie (Brooklynn Prince) lives with her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) in a Florida motel. Along with her friends, Moonie spends the summer exploring the urban wilderness and getting into every sort of mischief. Halley, meanwhile, desperately tries to make ends meet. Kind but stern manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe) tries to keep his patience as rent goes unpaid and the hyperactive kids run wild.

In his follow-up to the acclaimed Tangerine, director Sean Baker cements his reputation as one of the great chroniclers of forgotten America. The Florida Project is a deeply sympathetic portrait of one small, neglected community. It’s the wildly energetic kids who really allow this remarkable film to soar, however - few films about childhood have ever felt this authentic.

Wednesday 7 February – 
Goldstone
Director: Ivan Sen, 2016, Australia, 110 minutes, Australia, Cert: CLUB
Starring: Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Pei Pei Cheng, David Gulpilil, David Wenham, Jacki Weaver

Rugged, Indigenous Australian detective Jay Swan is arrested for drunk-driving by rookie local policeman Josh on the desolate road into the mining town of Goldstone. Jay is investigating the disappearance of a Chinese migrant worker, and while Josh is initially reluctant to help on the case, when it becomes apparent that something more sinister is happening in the area, the two men must overcome their differences and work together. 

Australian director Ivan Sen’s follow-up to 2013’s Mystery Road is a complex, stylish and tense western that explores Australia’s history, whilst dealing with key contemporary issues. Like its predecessor, Goldstone is intelligent and thought-provoking cinema.

Winner - Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography,Australian Film Critics Awards 2017

Wednesday 21 February – 
The Party
Dir: Sally Potter, 2017, UK, 71mins, Cert: CLUB
Starring: Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer. Cillian Murphy, Kirsten Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall 
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-FuSuWienM

Janet has just been appointed minister in the shadow cabinet – the crowning achievement of her political career. She and her husband Bill plan to celebrate this with a few close friends. The guests arrive at their home in London but the party takes an unexpected turn for the worse when Bill suddenly makes two explosive revelations that shock Janet and everyone present to the core. Love, friendships, political convictions and a whole way of life are now called into question. Underneath their cultivated liberal left-wing surface people are seething. Their dispute leads to the big guns being brought out – even in a literal sense.

For her eighth theatrical feature British director and screenwriter Sally Potter, who last took part in the Berlinale Competition with Rage in 2009, has invited a stellar cast to join her party. Beginning as a subtly witty comedy replete with sharp-tongued dialogue, the film later veers off into tragedy. When life can no longer be controlled by reason, people will fight tooth and nail to protect their seemingly stable existence. 

Wednesday 7 March – 
The Death of Stalin
Dir:Armando Iannucci, 2018, France/UK, 106 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Jason Isaacs, Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko, Paddy Considine, Michael Palin
Language: English 

It’s 1953, and Joseph Stalin rules over the Soviet Union with an iron fist...until one morning he’s discovered unconscious. With the dictator at death’s door, his deputies including Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi), Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale) and Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor) beginjostling for power. Meanwhile, they find themselves dealing with Stalin’s demanding son & daughter, planning a grand funeral, and keeping the country in order...

In his return to the big screen, Armando Iannucci - creator of Veepand The Thick of It - brilliantly blends farce and drama in this hilarious yet probing historical satire. Loaded with inspired comic moments and thrilling political chaos, The Death of Stalin also proves a provocative portrait of a society under a cruel regime.

Wednesday 21 March – 
Back to Burgundy
Ce qui nous lie
Dir: Cedric Klapisch, 2017, France, 113 mins, Cert: Club
Language: French
Starring: Pio Marmaï, Ana Girardot, François Civil

Jean left his family and his native Burgandy ten years ago to tour the world. When learning of his father's imminent death, he returns to his childhood home. There he reconnects with his sister Juliette and his brother Jérémie. Their father dies just before the beginning of grape picking time. Over the period of a year, according to the rhythm of the seasons that follow one after the other, these three young adults will rediscover or reinvent their fraternal relationship, blossoming and maturing at the same time as the wine they make.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Autumn Season 2017

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

Wednesday 27 September – A Man Called Ove
En man som heter Ove
Dir: Hannes Holm, 2016, Sweden/Norway 116 mins, Cert: 15A
Starring: Rolf Lassgård, Bahar Pars, Filip Berg, Ida Engvoll
Language: Swedish
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mls2rlu1w_g

Ove (Rolf Lassgård) is a retiree struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife - a struggle that he angrily takes out on his neighbours by strictly enforcing the estate rules. Ove’s world is unexpectedly turned upside down when a young family move in next door. Despite his initial resistance, Ove slowly forms a bond with his new neighbours and discovers a whole new side of life...

Based on a novel and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Oscars, this Swedish hit is a bittersweet but charming tale of one man rediscovering himself after a devastating tragedy. Darkly comic but sensitively told, this is a true crowd-pleaser held together by a remarkable lead performance.

Quotes:
A strong contender for feel-good film of the year” - David Hughes, Empire Magazine
A touching comic crowd-pleaser that may call for a tissue or two by the end” - Alissa Simon, Variety

Awards / Nominations:
Best Actor, Audience Award - Guldbagge Awards (annual Swedish film industry awards)
Audience Award - Cabourg Film Festival
Nominated - 2017 Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film


Wednesday 11 October – Heal the Living
Dir: Katell Quillévéré, 2016, France, Belgium, 103 mins, Cert: CLUB
Language: French
Starring: Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval, Bouli Lanners
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A2DNDsq1AQ

It all starts at daybreak with three young surfers on the raging seas. A few hours later, on the way home, an accident occurs. Now entirely hooked up to life-support in a hospital in Le Havre, Simon’s existence is little more than an illusion. Meanwhile, in Paris, a woman awaits the organ transplant that will give her a new lease on life.
Katell Quillévéré's remarkable ensemble drama is adapted from an acclaimed novel by Maylis de Kerangal.


Wednesday 25 October – Tanna
Dir: Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, 2015, Australia, Vanuatu, 104 mins, Cert: CLUB
Starring: Mungau Dain, Marie Wawa, Marceline Rofit, Chief Charlie Kahla, Albi Nangia, Lingai Kowia
Language: Nauvhal
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnR8pUoPJZU

Tomboy Selin lives in Yakel, a village on the volcanic island of Tanna in the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu. Selin’s older sister Wawa has fallen in love with the village chief’s grandson, Dain, but when hostilities break out with a neighbouring rival tribe, Wawa’s hand in marriage is offered as part of the peace negotiations. Faced with separation the lovers flee the village….

Based on true events that took place in 1987, and featuring an impressive cast of non-professionals drawn from the communities whose history is being represented on screen, Tanna is a visually stunning and captivating tale of forbidden love set amongst the Yakel people, and the first feature film shot completely on Vanuatu.

Quotes:
With its magnetic cast and Venice award-winning cinematography, this film treads the familiar theme of star-crossed lovers with shimmering vitality.” – The Guardian

…a stirring tribute to the power of love…” - Variety

Awards/Nominations:
Best Cinematography, International Critics Week, Venice Film Festival 2015
Audience Award, International Critics Week, Venice Film Festival 2015
Australia’s official entry for the 2017 Oscars


Wednesday 8 November – Nocturnal Animals
Dir:  Tom Ford, 2016, USA, 116 mins, Cert: 16
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n750DzGzG0

From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Susan Morrow, a Los Angeles art dealer, lives a privileged yet unfulfilled life with her husband Hutton Morrow. One weekend, as Hutton departs on a business trip, Susan receives an unsolicited package left for her in her mailbox. It is a novel, Nocturnal Animals, written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield, with whom she has had no contact for years. Edward’s note accompanying the manuscript encourages Susan to read the work and then to contact him during his visit to the city. Alone at night, in bed, Susan begins reading. The novel is dedicated to her...
...but its content is violent and devastating. While Susan reads, she is deeply moved by Edward’s writing and cannot help but reminisce over the most private moments from her own love story with the author. Trying to look within herself and beyond the glossy surface of her life, Susan increasingly interprets the book as a tale of revenge, a tale that forces her to re-evaluate the choices that she has made, and re- awakens a love that she feared was lost—as the story builds to a reckoning that will define both the novel’s hero and her own.
-Venice Film Festival 2017


Wednesday 22 November – Lion 
Director: Garth Davis, 2016, Australia, India 2016, 120 mins, PG
Cast: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Nicole Kidman, Sunny Pawar
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziOLGzKq6oo

Based on the true story of 5-year-old Saroo Brierley who becoming separated from his older brother one night, is carried 1600km from his home on a decommissioned train. Unable to speak the regional language, he is forced to become one of the cities many street children but is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. 25 years later his memory is triggered and he finds himself wrestling with the need to seek out his original family. Conflicted by the enormity of this and fearing what he may find if anything, the film offers raw, excellent performances from Pathel and Kidman but it is Sunny Pawar, whose remarkable and wrenching portrayal of 5 year old Saroo who steals the show.

Quotes:
“As enthralling as it is emotional’’ – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“The true story of a foundling Indian boy who locates his mother years later via Google Maps is given the treatment it deserves in this intelligent, heartfelt film.’’ – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Awards:
BAFTA Awards 2017 Won Best Supporting Actor Dev Patel
BAFTA Awards 2017 Won Best Adapted Screenplay Luke Davies


Wednesday 6 December – Lady MacBeth
Dir: William Oldroyd, 2016, UK, 89 mins, Cert: 16
Starring: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank
Language: English
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDhZI4WiQ78

Debut director William Oldroyd and writer Alice Birch move from theatre to film with an ingeniously realised adaptation of an 1865 Russian novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. Katherine (Florence Pugh) is a young bride, unhappily married to the nasty son of a wealthy mine owner. Unable to consummate his marriage, the husband is sadistic, refusing to even allow his young wife out of the house. Left alone when her husband is called away on business, Katherine starts to explore the grounds and initiates a passionate affair with earthy, ill-mannered stable-hand Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis), while her increasingly concerned maid (rising star Naomi Ackie) watches on. Lady Macbeth has grand ambitions, and exudes a rare vision and talent. Proving her knockout turn in The Falling was no fluke, Pugh amazes as a heroine whose behaviour shifts from steely proud to wild-eyed and deranged.

Tricia Tuttle, London International Film Festival 2016


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