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Last November saw the first edition of the iffy Short Film Festival, a bite-sized selection of shorts for Liffey-side lovers of film. The festival will be making its return early next month, with another batch of movie bouches. A festival that embraces and celebrates the potential and power of the short film on its own merits, iffy will be returning for its 3rd edition in the coming weeks, with 9 films to be shown in total.

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It’s easy to be cynical when it comes to movies for kids, especially during the summer. A succession of safe, loud, obnoxious films are nearly always lined up for the school break months, lingering at the box office until well into September. Even the quality ones with craft and ambition put into them can feel like IP-introductory exercises, maintaining brand awareness in the first two quadrants into infinity and beyond. But be cynical no more! (Maybe get a bit of lunch in and lighten up…)

The IFI Family Film Festival, the Irish Film Institute’s annual event of cinema catered to young viewers, returns in July with a programme of international treats to entertain film fans of all ages, whatever the weather.

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The recently-opened Jam Park in Swords describes itself as “an adults playground”, a multi-experience venue for food, drink, gaming, dancing and more. So long as no one turns into donkeys after an extended stay at this Business Park Pleasure Island, it should open up a fun new range of possibilities for entertainment seekers looking something different, and with their upcoming Rooftop Cinema screenings, film fans are sure to find something that takes their fancy.

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The China Ireland International Film Festival aims to introduce the best Chinese filmmakers and film works to Ireland, brings Chinese films to the Irish film audience, allowing a more direct experience of Chinese art. In the same vein, a number of Irish films will be screened during the festival, the better to share some of the best of Irish filmmaking in the 21st century.

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The Irish Film Institute have today launched a major and vital fundraising initiative ahead of a wide-ranging refurbishment project set to begin in August 2019. As one of Ireland’s essential and most prominent venues to exhibit, preserve and educate via film, their call for support is one all fans in the fair city of film ought to be listening to very carefully.

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You may not have heard, but long-running television epic Game of Thrones finished up its final season recently. Something so popular is always going to be divisive, and indeed this season and its final episode have been fairly divisive, some declaring it a fitting finale, while others petitioning that the final season receive a do-over with a whole new writing team. Such is the hyperbolic nature of the Internet. And in that hyperbolic spirit, one GoT fan got a little caught up in their enthusiasm this week, over-praising one of those “one perfect shots” from the final episode and sparking off a glut of memes.

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Director: Rob Letterman Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe Running Time: 104 minutes


It’s 2000 and you’re nine and you’re waiting in line at the cinema for Pokémon: The First Movie. You’re loaded up on sugar and Burger King and immeasurable excitement. Pokémon is a global phenomenon in spite of how it baffles anyone who’s five years older than you or more, you’ve been freebasing a cocktail of video games, toys and cartoons for the last year or so and you think it’s the most amazing thing imaginable. As far as your nine year old understanding of art and culture goes, “: The Movie” of The Thing is the ultimate elevation, the crowning glory of entertainment and so you’re pretty sure this is going to be the biggest and best movie of all time. And imagine. It’s only the first one. You look at the poster and it has, like, every Pokémon on it. Incredible. Mewtwo and Mew square off in the centre and you can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when they finally fight. Your brother looks like you must look, like he’s about to explode from the excitement of it all. Your mother looks like she’d rather be anywhere else. Philistine. And then the screen opens up. And you go in.

And it’s…fine.

It was fine?

…was it even fine?

You’re only nine and you are so ready and willing to love this movie and there were certainly fun bits, certainly moments where it seemed to be giving you exactly what you wanted, but now its over and all that anticipation and excitement has left you and there hasn’t really been anything left in its place. You don’t feel disappointed, exactly, but there is something nagging at you. Surely life isn’t so cynical that it would lure you into a cinema screen, distract you by having your favourite characters bounce around for two hours doing nothing of much importance, stick in a dumb, even contradictory moral at the end and shoo you out until they’re ready to show you The Next Movie? You may not have felt exactly like this in 2000. Or when you were nine. You may have felt like this at some stage though. Maybe even recently. We all get sold on the biggest and the best and the phenomenon and we all end up in that moment when the anticipation has departed. If you take these things too seriously you feel like you have to explain, in so many words, why something nagged at you or not, or your delight when the excitement pays off, or your sense of betrayal when it doesn’t. Before you know it you go into school one day and no one thinks Pokémon is cool anymore. Nobody gave you the heads up about this.

It’s 2019 and you spend your own money on movies that are only fine now so at least your mother is less disappointed. It turns out that life actually is so cynical, sometimes, but mostly you’re still pretty ready and willing to love movies. You’re the one who gets baffled by the weird things they try to sell kids these days, and then you see them announce a pretty baffling thing: a movie where Pikachu is a detective. And he talks. There’s a part of you, somewhere in the place where that anticipation and excitement used to be, that knows that it’s just a regular Pikachu with a stupid, cheap hat. He still embodies all the awful commercialism he did before.

But he’s got a new hat!

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Every year the Irish Film Institute explores a diverse range of science fiction in its Dark Skies programme. In June 2019, Dark Skies returns to the IFI, and this year the festival will explore how the sci-fi genre has responded to our world’s ambiguous relationship to the machines we have created with the theme “Man Vs Machine”.

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