Paddy Breathnach – Viva (2015)

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Jesus an eighteen year old Cuban is lost and struggling to realize his true identity. Unsure of himself or his future direction, he works at a local Havana drag club where he entertains dreams of becoming a performer whilst earning his money through hustling. At home he finds solace listening to the records his mother and grandmother left him, (all torch songs and romance by the great names of Latin music), or else hanging around watching the boxers train next-door. Into his life, however, comes a force to challenge his direction and freedom, his long lost father, a celebrated boxer, released from a 15 year prison term having killed someone in a street brawl when Jesus was a child.

As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and become a family again. Continue reading

Bob Quinn – Poitín AKA Poteen (1978)

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Poitin is widely regarded as a classic of Irish cinema. It tells the story of a Conamara moonshiner, his daughter and two cheating agents who they outwit and bring to a tragic end. The story has a de Maupassant atmosphere, interspersed with comic moments. This is the digitally remastered version (2007) with new score by Bill Whelan.

Poitin stars Cyril Cusack, Niall Tóibín and Donald McCann, in their only appearance together on film. It is the first feature ever produced in the Irish language (with English subtitles hardcoded). All of the supporting cast are well known Conamara actors, and the film was shot entirely on location. Continue reading

Mark Noonan – You’re Ugly Too (2015)

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After her mother’s death, Stacey (Lauren Kinsella) moves with her uncle Will (Aiden Gillen) to a remote region in the Irish midlands. As the two cautiously get to know each other,they have to deal with the dark shadows of the past. An astute character driven study on the need to regain footing and let go, told with a good dose of Irish humor. Continue reading

John Crowley – Brooklyn (2015) (HD)

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Eilis Lacey followed her sister, Rose’s, plan to leave Ireland and find a better future and job in the US. She departs terribly, enduring seasickness and a terrible relationship with her cabin mates. A kind traveler gives her advice to live in Brooklyn, where many Irish immigrants live. Eilis settles in Brooklyn and becomes close to Father Flood, a Catholic priest. She gets a job in a department store and falls in love with an Italian boy named Tony. News from home sends Eilis back to Ireland, away from Tony. Continue reading

Yorgos Lanthimos – The Lobster (2015) (HD)

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In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the rules of The City, are taken to The Hotel, a restrictive regime where they are obliged to find a matching mate in forty-five days. If an occupant manages to find a partner among others, the new couple is given a month to try to live together in a special section of the facility, after which they are freed; failing results in being killed and reincarnated in an animal of one’s own choice, and sent off into The Woods surrounding the structure. Continue reading

Samuel Beckett – Krapp’s Last Tape & Eh Joe (1972 – 1966)

These two one act plays were shown as part of the “A Wake for Sam” season on the BBC.

Krapp’s Last Tape (UK, BBC, 1972, 35 mins)

Theatre play, written 1957 in English
First published: New York 1958; Paris 1959
First production: Royal Court Theatre, London, 1958, directed by Donald McWhinnie

Directed by Donald McWhinnie
Cast: Patrick Magee Continue reading

Duncan Campbell – It for Others (2013)

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‘It for Others’, 2013, (16mm film transferred to digital video, 54 minutes)

Duncan Campbell produces films that look at representations of the people and events at the heart of very particular histories – figures such as John Delorean and Bernadette Devlin. Combining archive material with his own footage, his work questions the authority, integrity and intentions of the information presented. For Scotland + Venice 2013, Campbell has taken Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ 1953 film ‘Les Statues meurent aussi’ (Statues also Die) as both source and artefact, to pursue a meditation on the life, death and value of objects.  In the exhibition, Campbell presents the older film alongside his new work, a social and historical examination of cultural imperialism and commodity that combines filmed footage, animation and archive footage.  ‘It for others’ includes a performance made in collaboration with Michael Clark Company that seeks to illustrate the basic principle of commodities and their exchange. Continue reading