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Last summer, Happenings celebrated the sunshine-however much of it there was-with a series of open-air screenings of crowd-pleasing films around Dublin. From The Princess Bride to the new Irish favourite Sing Street, film fans enjoyed popular movies in the great outdoors. Now with the sun just about peaking its head out for five minutes at a time behind the wind and the clouds, Happenings are coaxing out the springtime, staging their first open-air films of 2017 in March with the St. Patrick’s Festival Ireland.

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Action cinema received a much needed shot in the arm in 2011 with the release of Gareth Evans’s The Raid. The film, a taut Indonesian martial arts masterpiece set in one location was quickly compared to Die Hard. That film gave audiences crisp, clear and expertly crafted fight scenes in a tense and claustrophobic setting. These long unbroken sequences were a breath of fresh air in comparison to the stilted, slow, overly edited fight scenes from modern Hollywood action fare. It would be easy to compare Headshot, the latest film from Indonesian pair Kimo Stamboel & Timo Tjahjanto to The Raid. You can see the elevator pitch,  ‘It’s The Bourne Identity meets The Raid‘ and while it is indebted to both of those films Headshot is very much its own animal. It doesn’t dwell on the amnesia storyline like the former and lacks the big budget Hollywood sheen of the latter. What Headshot delivers is a beautiful, brutal, bloody, bullet riddled action ballet.

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The Rehearsal follows an exclusive, kind of pretentious, acting school for young adults in New Zealand. This runs parallel to the story of a teenage tennis star who sleeps with her Coach, causing a scandal that ripples through the local community. I Blodet (In the Blood) follows a group of four Danish students, trying to navigate through adult life. Both of these films slot into Male Melodrama, and in both the main protagonists start off as Toxic Men. Do they manage to redeem themselves?

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Director: Alan Gilsenan Starring: Catherine Keener, Hannah Gross Running Time: 90 minutes


Adapting the Canadian Author Carol Shields final novel Unless for the big screen was certainly going to be a challenge. The novel, the last book written by the author before her passing from breast cancer, was a sprawling story with many layers of philosophical meditation. The novel tackles gender inequality and the realistic possibilities for women, the nature of happiness as well as identification of people’s place and purpose in time. Writer/director Alan Gilsenan does a noble job of condensing these themes into a digestible cinematic format and with Catherine Keeners raw, realistic central performance Unless feels like a film with a lot on its mind. The resulting film however is never as nuanced and profound as it thinks it is, keeping the audience at an emotional distance when it should be letting them in.

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Director: Raoul Peck Narrated By: Samuel L. Jackson Running Time: 95 minutes


“The story of the negro in America is the story of America” is the central message of I Am Not Your Negro, the kind of message white people in the United States have always been determined to ignore. As directed by the activist Raoul Peck, the words of the writer and social critic James Baldwin are as difficult to ignore as possible, simply but firmly putting the black people of the United States in the forefront of the nation’s history where they belong.

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Last year saw the 26th of April marked as the official ‘Alien’ Day, the celebration of the popular sci-fi films after Aliens celebrated its 30th anniversary. Star Wars has May the 4th, Back to the Future got its own day once October 21st 2015 came along and 20th Century Fox designated 4/26 for a celebration of the xenomorphs, in honour of LV-426, the moon where the Nostromo and its crew first encounter the unsettling extra-terrestrials in Alien. To mark this year’s Alien Day, the first and best two films in the series are going to have their director’s cuts screened in the Light House Cinema.

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Director: Olivier Assayas Starring: Kristen Stewart Running Time: 110 minutes

Hearing the title Personal Shopper, it’s reasonable to be surprised to learn that Olivier Assayas’ latest film is about a woman who appears to be able to communicate with the dead. A true millenial, working as a personal shopper for a celebrity is just Kristen Stewart’s character’s day job, it’s not what she like, does, you know? She’s more into being a medium right now. It’s an unconventional concept for a ghost story and while director Olivier Assayas (who worked with Stewart previously in the acclaimed Clouds of Sils Maria) gains points for the unconventional, it must be said that Personal Shopper is an inscrutable, often frustrating look at things that may or may not bump in the night.

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  • February 23, 2017

Director: Elisabeth Subrin Starring: Maggie Siff, Cara Seymour, John Ortiz Running time: 97 minutes

A Woman, A Part is visual nourishment. The performances are understated, the set and camera work graceful. The film is an intimate exploration of Anna, played by Maggie Siff who is best known for her roles in Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy respectively, as she struggles to decide whether she is giving too much of herself to her acting or is simply paying her dues. Anna returns to New York for “a real break, not a work break, not a charity drive, not a cleanse” on the advice of her concerned agent. While there, she has to face former acting partners and friends Kate and Isaac, who are still raw from her abandoning them in the middle of a show way back when.

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Like us, you may have become addicted to Mad Max: Fury Road, the visually stunning, brilliantly chaotic action movie that stands as the best of its genre this decade. Perhaps it took hold of you and you resent its absence. Well resent no more, as Fury Road will return to the big screen at the end of April at the Light House Cinema, shiny and chrome. And black.

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Women in Horror Month is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre. Now in its 8th year, Women in Horror Month provides representation to those women, actively promoting do-it-yourself annual film screenings, blogs/articles, podcasts, and other forms of creative media with the goal of helping works by and featuring women reach a wider audience worldwide. Last year saw the first WiHM event to be held in Dublin and this Sunday, the Liquor Rooms on Wellington Quay will host the event for the first time.

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