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The 80s taught us many valuable things. That knowing is half the battle. That, despite mass emigration and hardship, we were apparently living way beyond our means. And of course, that nobody puts Baby in a corner. Seriously, don’t even try. Patrick Swayze will be furious. And starting off August, you can see that for yourself as Happenings show Dirty Dancing for their latest Open Air Cinema.

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Director: Emer Reynolds ‘Starring’: Voyager 1, Voyager 2 Running Time: 121 minutes


While the primary goal of a documentary is to be informative, the best ones always distinguish themselves by being visually interesting. They are after all, still movies, not lectures and the best cases for filmed documentary are made by taking advantage of the medium and providing images that remain in the mind where facts and figures can find it easier to break free. In Irish director Emer Reynold’s space-faring doc The Farthest, a combination of interviews, well-selected archive footage and photographs and impressive computer-generated imagery come together to tell the story of the NASA’s Voyager mission in a truly beautiful fashion. It’s easy to feel the awe of space exploration when it looks as good as this.

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Dunkirk is one of those films that sets very high stakes for itself before the trailers are even released. Christopher Nolan took a risk tackling a subject that is still holds significance in the collective memory of so many. That said, the technical brilliance of the film is clear from poster to trailer to the film’s opening moments, so it’s to be expected that the Film In Dublin team would all end up watching Dunkirk on the big screen. We found that our opinions varied from Luke’s “all-out immersive assault on the senses” to “spectacle over emotion” and so we decided to collect some of our team’s reactions to one of the summer’s biggest films. Nolan has always been a divisive director and reactions to Dunkirk have been no different, so check out what our writers had to say.

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Director: Michael Showalter Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter, Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant Producer: Judd Apatow Runtime: 124 minutes


The whole ‘Boy meets Girl’ shtick seems to have become a staple of Judd Apatow’s career. Usually concerning themselves with a funny American layabout and his/her sudden brush with romance, these films mix situational comedy with some dramatic elements in order to offer a modern spin on the ‘Rom-Com’ experience. However, while Apatow’s name is attached, this is very much Kumail Nanjiani’s film. As such, The Big Sick doesn’t just follow this formula, it improves on it as it demonstrates a high-standard of comedy mixed with some impressive writing to boot, making this Rom-Com one of the funniest and best films of the year.

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Always a fun occasion, every year the Irish Film Institute’s Family Festival offers films and activities that are perfect to bring the kids along to and get them an early start in the world of film. With fun films from around the world, plenty of shorts and professionals taking charge of a variety of workshops, it’s a great way for the family to close out the summer and this year’s Family Festival, taking place at the end of August, looks as enticing as ever.

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Director: Johannes Roberts Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine Running Time: 85 minutes


People don’t want to think it’s safe to go back in the water. Jaws is a classic for a reason, but even getting away from that, movies like Open Water and last year’s hit The Shallows have made easy money by preying on audiences’ primal fear of the ocean and the black-beasts that lurk within. If you’ll forgive the phrasing, 47 Meters Down attempts to dive deeper into those fears, drawing its scares not just from its sharks but from threats like drowning, the bends, accidentally spear-gunning yourself and other nightmarish scenarios that arise when trapped on the ocean floor. A maniac chasing us through our dreams to kill us with knife-gloves and awful puns is impossible, but being eaten by a shark? Sure it’s a 1 in 264.1 million chance, but there’s still a chance, and it’s that fear that shark movies tap into to great effect. Unfortunately, while your chances of enjoying this film are a bit better than 1 in 264.1 million, it’s still a long way from a sure thing.

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When Once was first released in cinemas ten years ago it was an unlikely contender to be a hit. Filmed on a shoestring budget, with scenes shot on Dublin’s streets without a permit and starring two non-actor in then-teenaged Markéra Irglová and the divisive Frames frontman Glen Hansard, John Carney’s film ended up making millions at the box-office, placing high on many critics’ end-of-year lists for the strong cinematic year of 2007 and winning the Best Original Song Academy Award for Falling Slowly. It’s a film that has been entered into the canon of Irish favourites, and a great choice to watch on a (hopefully) bright summer evening on a nice cosy blanket. So with that in mind, Happenings in association with 7Up have picked out Once to be the next film for their Open Air Cinema.

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Director: Christopher Nolan Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Cillian Murphy, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan Running Time: 107 minutes


There is something perfect about Christopher Nolan directing a war film. Christopher Nolan, often brilliant, sometimes befuddling, always big. The man who turned superhero vs cartoon villains stories into post-9/11 think pieces and insisted that dreams have very strict rules. The man who directed Anne Hathaway monologuing among the stars about the meaning of love with all the tender feeling of an alien looking in at her through the window. Nolan has made his name with meticulous filmmaking and technical prowess rather than emotional depth and his 10th and possibly best film puts him at his greatest distance; he’s a general surveying a map moving tiny pieces across it, planning explosions not speeches. Nolan’s telling of the evacuation of British forces from Northern France after the disastrous battle of Dunkirk certainly has the emotions there if you want them – this actually happened, people actually lived or died as a consequence of what’s depicted here – but only Kenneth Branagh as a Commander overseeing the events, has much time for teary-eyed bluster for the homeland. Everyone else is too busy scrambling for survival.

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