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It can be hard to evaluate the best films of the 2010s, when every damn year of the decade, especially from 2015 onward, have felt like ten years unto themselves. But movies, as ever, offer respite from that chaos. It’s been a decade that has offered impressive new voices in film and given different voices bigger platforms. Names like Jordan Peele, Ava DuVerney, Ryan Coogler and more have opened up important ideas to wider audiences, while also delivering top class entertainment. Long-term talents, from Scorsese and Soderbergh to Bong Joon-ho,  Todd Haynes and Katheryn Bigelow, have changed with the times and done great work, even when it hasn’t been their defining masterpieces, these greats have produced films that audiences have latched onto and continue to engage with in interesting ways, our often noxious online discourse still providing the opportunity to grow cultural conversation. Still, that noxious shite can make even the most ardent film lover never want to talk about cinema again, and the last ten years have seen too many unwinnable bullshit battles waged by people determined to keep their beloved franchises for themselves only, or draft movies, sometimes at random, into the unending culture wars.

Netflix have changed the game completely for film distribution and audience engagement in ways we still haven’t fully processed since 2010, for better and worse, what even counts as a “film” and how we see them have been altered forever. After a relatively wobbly start to the 21st century that now seems impossible, Disney have become a monster in the 2010s, consuming one of the great film studios in the last year in Fox, reshaping history as they see fit, flooding and fixing the market, threatening all the positives in the paragraphs above. 80% of the box office is simply too much for one studio to hold, and cinema as an art form is at risk if the 2020’s continue to allow expression to be supressed in the name of expansion.

You can see some of what’s at stake in some of the great Irish films that have come out this decade, both on screen and off. Wonderful work has been done with local cinema thanks to collaboration with fellow European studios, and great films that in decades past only Irish eyes would have been watching have warmly received worldwide. Check out our Best Irish Films of the Decade list, coming soon, for some of the best of our country’s cinema. More of that in the times ahead of us please, especially for this website’s sake. There are always challenges, but without the vibrant cinema scene that has continued to grow in this country, Film In Dublin would never have started. With that in mind, it’s a good time to delve into some of our writer’s personal favourites of the decade, our Best Movies of the 2010s.

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The arrival of the first trailer for Cats back in July 2019 was one of those landmark occasions in social media history. In a time where quick and constant access to conversation is paired with a media machine designed to pile misery on all sides to leave us more divided than ever, the 2 minute trailer -its first glimpses of the uncanny combination of human faces and cat bodies, its clearly rushed special effects, the enduring brown note that blarps through the voice of James Corden – it all served as a brief and perfect moment of unity. Everyone was confused, everyone was upset. Everyone was transfixed. The sight of “miniature yet huge cats with human celebrity faces and sexy breasts performing a demented dream ballet for kids” was an Event Horizon for the terminally online, something that could only begin to be processed by the immediate and fervent application of memes. Yet the majority of those who had been cursed to watch the trailer were also united in another way: they were absolutely going to watch the film no matter what.

Cats is out in cinemas now, but it appears that the only ones going to see it are those who became unnervingly compelled t0 do so back on that wild summer day. And fans of the Broadway show maybe. Also furries. Still, opening during the busy Christmas period at the same time as a Star Wars (even a terrible one) is turning out to be a bad decision by Universal, with the film flopping at the box office so far. The reviews may be even worse, with critics lining up to skewer the film as if the writer with the most venomous take will be chosen by Old Deuteronomy to die blissfully and be reborn as a person blessed to have never seen Cats. It is “an abomination“. It is “what death feels like“, but also “surprisingly boring“, a film that “will haunt viewers for generations“. And yet, could this terrible nightmare film also serve as a landmark moment in cinematic history? Is Cats in fact a trailblazer in its unifying awfulness, the first Cursed Blockbuster?

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Later this month the experienced writer/producer Stephen Cleary will be in the fair city of film to provide two intriguing workshops on interest to budding storytellers on screen. Running next week with Film Network Ireland, the workshops will provide an opportunity to advance their knowledge of story structure, genre writing and more.

We decided to chat to Stephen on Power & Gender in Storytelling ahead of his upcoming workshop on the 23rd and 24th.

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The short film In Orbit is dedicated to “the daoine who loved and those who couldn’t”. It’s a sci-fi story, or at least, a story rooted in a future looking back, that provides an insightful perspective on recent events in Ireland’s changing society and the impact that has on the people who live in it.In Orbit former optician Maura recounts her life story in an interview with the Head Archivist of the Human Experience Records, going over her memories as she meets Amy, a bright academic with broken glasses. For the first time in forty years, Maura wants to share her life. The only catch is leaving behind the world as she knows it.

Following on from In Orbit winning Best Irish Short at the GAZE LGBT Film Festival for 2019, Film In Dublin spoke to writer and director Katie McNeice about her process in making the film, its focus and more.

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Screenwriter and director Sarah Ingersoll has got a fair bit of miles in while learning her craft. A graduate of The Glasgow School of Art, Sarah’s has a background in visual art and photography which informs her writing and filmmaking. After directing her first student film in 2016 through the Galway Film Centre, Sarah went on to study screenwriting at The New School in New York. In 2017 her feature script The Keeper was selected as a finalist for Best Inception and Best Overall Script at the Oaxaca Film Festival. Sarah’s short screenplay The Bridge was chosen for the 2018 GFC/RTE Short Film Commission and under the direction of Mark Smyth, the short premiered earlier this month at Galway Film Fleadh. The film tells the story of Cormac who after the sudden death of his parents must choose between returning to his home village in the west of Ireland to care for his estranged younger brother, and a bright future in Canada. She is a recipient of the New Writing Development Loan 2018 from Screen Ireland. Also in July, the iffy Short Film Festival screened Somebody, Somewhere, Who Looks After Critters,  Sarah’s debut documentary short which focuses on the life of Alex Scade runs a one man animal sanctuary from his self-built cabin on the edge of the Beara peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. Film In Dublin spoke with Sarah to talk screenwriting, directing and the Jurassic Park vibes of emus. Read more…

Since graduating from the MET Film School in 2015, Megan K. Fox has been a prolific figure on the directing scene in Ireland. She has picked up awards and accolades for her short films Slow Down (2015), GIRL (2016), Calling Home (2017) and The Shift (2018), with another set for release this year in Cailín Álainn, a bilingual coming-of-age film about a transgender teen, which secured the inaugural Kerry Film Bursary and was shot this year 2019. Since being selected for selected for the RTÉ/Screen Skills Ireland’s New Directors Multi-Camera Training programme for continuing drama, Megan has been working with RTÉ, including earning her first TV credit this year for directing on Fair CityThe Shift, a comedy about young Denise (Fiona Bergin) desperate to get the shift at a Gaeltacht disco, has had continued success at festivals in Ireland and abroad since its release, most recently picking up the ‘little iffy’ award for best short at the July edition of the iffy Short Film Festival.  Film In Dublin caught up with Megan to talk about that success, film festivals, and working with other creatives, including the next generation of aspiring Irish directors.

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On Saturday 29th June, pianist Máire Carroll will be bringing her piano along to the Light House Cinema for a one night only musical event, “Reimagining the Movies“. An extensive performer worldwide and a winner of  numerous awards including the 2018 RDS Collins Memorial Prize, 2015 Tilestyle Artist Bursary and the 2012 RDS Music Bursary, Carroll will be performing some of her iconic film scores by some of cinema’s most loved composers alongside a number of guests, along with the premiere of her latest composition specially composed for the evening.

Ahead of her performance on Saturday, Film In Dublin spoke with the musician about the power of music on screen, her work and influences and more.

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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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The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2019 has begun! Already the year’s seminal celebration of cinema in the fair city of film has held numerous exciting events. Just this morning, Irish filmmaker Paddy Breathnach hosted a workshop with Sean Bailey of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, engaging Irish industry professionals with one of the most prominent players. Young minds got a chance to have an early look at The Kid Who Would Be King, Joe Cornish’s exciting family adventure film. There’s a lot to keep track of and the festival hasn’t even had it’s Opening Gala yet, formally launching tonight with the Irish premiere of John Butler’s latest film, Papi Chulo .To help our readers navigate through this fantastic fortnight of film, we’ve picked out a couple of highlights from this year’s programme. You can check out the full schedule here but before then, make sure to give our highlights a look:

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Ahead of the release of Irish horror The Hole in the Ground, Film In Dublin caught up with director Lee Cronin and star Séana Kerslake to chat about filming in the forest, working with young actor James Quinn Markey and more.

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