Friday, January 30, 2009

Personal choices for the 2009 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

I'd started this post differently but have edited to keep it a tad shorter. I'll move the other waffle to a new post, so now let's talk about the films in the festival with particular reference to the ones I'm going to see.

It's the seventh year of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. It's on from Thursday February 12 to Sunday February 22. It features a staggering - by my count - 121 films - or 132 events according to the website - some new, some old and all worth a look. Now, I have no intention of seeing all of them, but there are some that just beg to be seen.

Image shows still shot from film Doubt

The opening gala - Doubt - is now sold out but would be my top choice for the entire festival. Featuring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, the film has been winning awards left, right and centre. It's on Thursday 12 February in Savoy 1 at 8:30pm, tickets are €18.


Friday 13 sees Three Colours: Blue (link) return to the big screen, again in Savoy 1 at 2pm. This 1993 film starring Juliet Binoche is a choice of broadcaster Zbyszek Zalinski who will participate in a short Q&A after the screening.

At 6pm in Cineworld we have Armando Ianucci's In the Loop (link), a comedic farce starring James Gandolfini. The director is to attend the screening.


Valentine's Day has Revolution (link) starring Al Pacino, Donald Sutherland and Natassja Kinski. The 1985 film is about the American War of Independence and director Hugh Hudson is participating in a Q&A afterwards.

image shows shot featuring Viggo Mortensen and Jodie Whittaker from film Good

Good (link), in Screen 1 at 4:30 pm stars Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs and Jodie Whittaker in a film with a simple question ' What turned normal "good" Germans into people capable of sending millions to the gas chambers during the Second World War'.

Image shows two men and a white seal pup

At the same time in Cineworld screen 9 there's an interesting documentary about Paul Watson, the so-called 'Pirate for the Sea' who "takes the law into his own hands on the open seas, confronting, by any means necessary, the hunters who indiscriminately slaughter whales, seals and sharks".

Bronson (link), in Screen 1 at 6:30pm looks promising, giving a biopic of notorious criminal Charles Bronson who has spent 28 of his 34 years in prison in solitary confinement.

image shows scene from Confesstions of a Shopaholic starring Isla Fisher

I can imagine though that Confessions of a Shopaholic (link) in Movies@Dundrum at 8pm, starring Isla Fisher, John Cusack and John Goodman will be a sell-out. It's the one where Fisher stars as Rebecca Bloomwood, a New York city girl addicted to shopping and drowning in a sea of debt.

The French Gala screening of The Class (Entre les Murs) on the same evening is also sold out.


Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino

Sunday morning will see me in Savoy 1 at 11am for Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino (link). I saw the trailer last weekend - it looks brilliant, much better than Mystic River or Million Dollar Baby.

"At 78, perhaps the only actor in the history of American cinema to convincingly kick the butt of a guy 60 years his junior, the hard-headed, snarly mouthed Clint Eastwood of the 1970s comes growling back to life in Gran Torino."
Also that night is Coraline 3D in Movies@Dundrum at 8pm. Based on the Neil Gaiman book, I'd say it's the one that David Maybury and Debs, who'll be sharing their popcorn with us are most looking forward to.

The world premiere of Margaret Corkery's Eamon is also on that evening in Screen 9 of Cineworld at 8.30pm.


Monday sees the start of 'Irish Blog Week before the Blog Awards so I'm a bit limited in my choices here. But Franklyn (link), in Cineworld at 6pm has been getting great reviews in the UK. Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (link) has Chris O'Dowd in a sci-fi comedy with the basic premise "Three men walk into a bar; two geeks and a cynic."

Scene from Synecdoche, New York

Charlie Kaufman follows up Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Adaptation and the superlative Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind with Synecdoche, New York (link) starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. That's at 8.30 pm in Cineworld 17.


On Tuesday 17 I'll be attending Were The World Mine (link) in Cineworld 9 at 6pm. A fun, dazzling and amusing musical-of-errors; a magical modern interpretation of Shakespeare. The directors Tom Gustafson and Cory James Krueckenberg are in attendance at the screening.


Image shows scene from Religilous featuring Bill Maher standing beside a man dressed like Jesus

Whitnail and I is on Wednesday 18 February in Savoy Screen 1 at 2pm. Religulous (link), the documentary following comedian Bill Maher around the globe interviewing people about God and religion is on in Cineworld 17 at 6pm.


Rupert Grint, Robbie Sheehan and James Nesbitt will be in Cineworld on Friday 20 February for the screening of Cherrybomb, a fast-paced Belfast based drama centering on two teenage friends whose furious rivalry for a gorgeous yet cunning girl has shocking consequences.

Still from Genova showing Colin Firth

Colin Firth is also in Dublin for the screening of Genova, Michael Winterbottom's film in Cineworld 17 at 8pm.


Liam Neeson joins James Nesbitt for the special screening of Five Minutes Of Heaven (link) on Saturday February 21 at 6.15 in Savoy 1. The next day sees Marley and Me in the same screen at 11am.


Still from The Secret of Kells showing a young girl's eyes peering out through green leaves

The closing film is The Secret of Kells (link) featuring the voice talents of Brendan Gleeson, Mick Lally, Evan McGuire and Christen Mooney. Set in the 9th century Kells Abbey where they're illuminating the Book of Kells, this animated film is apparently breathtaking, according to Gráinne Humphreys, the Festival Director.

Other events during the festival include Hospital Screenings, an over 55's Film Quiz, and panel discussions including Creative Cinema on February 18 at 4pm:
“Film is a battleground. Love, hate, violence, action, death... in a word, emotion.”

So veteran director Samuel Fuller defined Cinema in Jean Luc Godard’s classic Pierrot le Fou. But how true are those words when you are making your feature film debut, working with small budgets and tough shooting schedules.

How can you create and maintain the energy and momentum to stay true to your story and characters? Three emerging filmmakers who have impressed many with their debut features will discuss the emotions of filmmaking and other stories in a panel discussion about staying true to your creative voice.
and Star Rating on February 20 at 6pm in the IFI:
"Established three years ago, The Dublin Film Critics Circle offers the city’s professional movie reviewers an opportunity to pool opinions on recent releases, consider movie heritage and whinge about each other’s shortcomings.

This year, the Festival has invited a panel from the DFCC to chew over their favourite films screening at the event. Five DFCC members will be joined by a distinguished foreign critic and, following debate, will announce their awards for best film, best performances and best Irish films at JDIFF 2009.
The discussion, which will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio, is to be hosted by veteran broadcaster Dave Fanning. Expected a blend of high-falutin’ cinema-speak and old fashioned bickering.
The film event though I'm most looking forward to is on February 19 in the IFI at 18:30. The Irish Film Board Shorts features nine short films (for €10) including Nicky Phelan's Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty:
Granny O’Grimm, a seemingly sweet old lady, loses the plot as she tells her version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ to her terrified granddaughter.
and the delightfully named Hoor from John Kennedy:
Hoor tells the short story of three young lads paying a visit to the local prostitute in order to lose their virginity. Only with the last boy, Ciaran, clearly the youngest and most nervous of the boys do we see what Desire is really up to.
So there you have it. There's LOADS more on, much more than I could fit in a single post (though I'd give it a go) but you'll find the complete list of films here and you can book your tickets and more on the website, Also worth keeping an eye on will be the Festival blog - a task I don't envy that blogger at all!


  1. Thanks for contacting us Darragh! Some of us are definitely coming to Dublin to see Cherrybomb (me included!) so we'll keep in touch! Also, we're working on getting a confirmation from Rupert's agent about his attendance.
    As you may have noticed, everybody @ our website is obsessed with Cherrybomb lol!
    You may contact us here at anytime:
    All best, Ivana

  2. Must get tickets and accommodation for In The Loop!

    Love Iannucci, love The Thick of It more than Yes Minister and been following it like a crazy person from before it was even officially announced.

    Thanks for letting me know man