|New Irish Cinema
Presented in association with Bord Scannán na hÉireann - The Irish Film
Board and the Irish Screen Los Angeles.
Ireland has been seen through many filmmakers eyes over the
years, from John Fords THE QUIET MAN to David Leans RYANS DAUGHTER.
Recently, a new generation of Irish filmmakers, inspired by the success of homegrown
directors such as Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan, have begun telling their own stories of
Ireland, ancient and modern, urban as well as rural, gay as well as straight, peaceful as
well as bloody.
To coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the Irish Film
Board, this years series features some of the most exciting new voices from Ireland.
The festival leads off with director Aisling Walshs searing portrait of life in an
Irish reformatory school, SONG FOR A RAGGY BOY, starring Aidan Quinn, followed by
the exquisite drama THE MAPMAKER from director Johnny Gogan, and the romantic
comedy GOLDFISH MEMORY from Liz Gill, about the perils of dating, both straight and
gay, in modern Dublin. The series also includes two superb documentaries: Alan
Gilsenans THE GHOST OF ROGER CASEMENT, examining the infamous case of a
knighted Irishman who was executed by the British in 1916 on charges of treason; and Kim
Bartley and Donnacha OBriains THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED, a
gripping, insiders portrait of the recent attempted coup against Venezuelan
president Hugo Chavez. Other highlights include a special Shorts Program, and a closing
night St. Patrick's Day Party with the boisterious comedy MYSTICS from director
David Blair - !
Friday, March 14 7:00 PM
SONG FOR A RAGGY BOY, 2003,
93 min. From director Aisling Walsh, SONG FOR A RAGGY BOY is a searing, highly
personal drama of a group of young boys trapped inside a hellish Irish reformatory school
in the late 1930s, and the dedicated teacher (Aidan Quinn) who tries to help
them. Iain Glen (MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON) gives an unforgettably chilling performance
as the school prefect, Brother John, who wages an all-out war against the boys in his
charge, including newcomers John Travers and Chris Newman. A selection of the 2003
Sundance Film Festival.
Friday, March 14 9:30 PM
THE MAPMAKER, 2002, 100 min. Dir.
Johnny Gogan. Bryan F. O'Byrne is Richie Markey, a computer-savvy mapmaker hired to use
his 3-D imaging system to make a map of the area surrounding Roseveigh, his grandfather's
hometown on the North/South Irish border. He doesn't realize that he's about to both
figuratively and literally unearth skeletons from still percolating local hostilities,
leading to a violent string of paybacks. Susan Lynch is magnificent as Jane Bates, a
married schoolteacher Richie falls in love with, who has lost a loved one to the violence.
A surprisingly complex, compassionate and even-handed thriller with gorgeous locations and
a hope for a brighter future. With Brendan Coyle, Ian McElhinney. Discussion following with director Johnny Gogan.
Saturday, March 15 5:00 PM
THE GHOST OF ROGER CASEMENT,
2002, 90 min. Dir. Alan Gilsenan. "It brings together two ingredients that
usually produce fireworks: Sex and Politics," observes a historian about the infamous
trial and execution of Roger Casement, a case that has inflamed Irish sentiments since his
death in 1916. Casement was an unlikely rebel hero: an Irishman who served in the British
Foreign Office, was knighted for uncovering colonial abuses in the Congo, and later
negotiated with the German government during World War I in an attempt to overthrow
British rule in Ireland. Following his arrest on charges of treason, the British
government produced the notorious (and possibly forged) "Black Diaries,"
detailing Casements homosexual love affairs.
Saturday, March 15 7:15 PM
GOLDFISH MEMORY, 2002, 85 min.
From director/writer Liz Gill, GOLDFISH MEMORY is a breezy, sexy look at the perils
of dating, straight and gay, in modern Dublin. Clara is a 22-year old college student with
bee-stung lips, who finds her lothario professor boyfriend smooching with another
undergrad so Clara hops into bed with a lonely female television reporter.
Meanwhile, bike messenger Red has the hots for bartender David, who cant decide
whether hes straight or gay. The perfect date night movie, Irish style. Starring
Sean Campion, Flora Montgomery, Keith McErlean, Stuart Graham, Fiona OShaughnessy
and Fiona Glascott. Discussion following with director Liz Gill.
Sunday, March 16 4:00 PM
Irish Shorts Program:
Glenn Marshalls "Mannequin" (3 min.) Life,
from a mannequins point of view. Conor Horgans "The Last Time"
(13 min) Desperate after a medical diagnosis, a middle-aged woman begins to look for love
in all the wrong places. Andrew Kavanaghs "When Bridie Called Gerry"
(3 min.) An elderly lady calls a radio show to retell her unusual honeymoon. Andrew
Bairds "Up The Country" (13 min.) A romantic comedy with the
unlikely elements of stolen signs, the supernatural and pastries. David Glessons
"Hunted" (3 min.) A man comes to a horrifying realization. Tom
Cosgroves "All Gods Children" (11 min.) Beautifully shot
period piece set in 1857 on the barren moors. A man accused of murder turns the tables on
his captors. Eamon Littles "Nobody Home" (3 min.) A dramatic day in
the life of an average answering machine. Colm McCarthys "The Making of a
Prodigy" (12 min.) Eerie, powerful short about the delicacy of genius. Tom
Collins "The Phantom Cnut" (3 min.) Funny look at the trauma of
Catholic school. Anthony Byrnes "Meeting Che Guevara and the Man From
Maybury Hill (16 min.) Surreal, beautiful meditation on revolution, imagination and
hero worship. Features John Hurt.
Sunday, March 16 6:30 PM
THE REVOLUTION WILL
NOT BE TELEVISED, 2002, 72 min. Dirs. Kim Bartley and Donnacha OBriain.
While shooting a documentary on Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, an Irish film crew found
themselves caught in the middle of an attempted coup by opposition leaders and members of
the military (who claimed they were staging a "peaceful, democratic takeover").
While the new, pro-Bush leaders quickly whisked Chavez away to an undisclosed location,
hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans poured into the streets, demanding his return
leading to one of the most gripping and suspenseful reversals of fortune ever captured on
film. Discussion following with
co-director Kim Bartley.
Monday, March 17 7:15 PM
St. Patrick's Day Party at the Knitting Factory
MYSTICS, 2003, 90 min. Dir. David Blair.
Dave and Locky are two old-timers who once earned their living as part of a theatrical
company. Nowadays, by holding "seances" at their self-styled Temple of Truth (a
room above a Dublin pub), they earn money by pretending to communicate with the dead.
Its a harmless scam, but one that gets increasingly complicated when a local
gangster dies and his family attempts to communicate with him. For "increasingly
complicated" read "downright dangerous" when the dead gangster actually
makes contact. Starring Milo OShea, David Kelly, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Liam
Cunningham. St. Patrick's Day Party at the Knitting Factory for all
ticket buyers following the screening. Sponsored by Guinness.