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Always an exciting part of the calendar in the fair city of film, the Korean Film Festival Ireland will be taking place in early June. Tickets are available now for this celebration of Korean cinema and culture.

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This May, the Cinemagic Film and Television Festival for Young People returns to Dublin from its annual film festival. From May 10th-20th, a bursting schedule featuring 100 events including world cinema screenings, film and television masterclasses, school workshops, Q&As and young critics panels will set out to inspire and motivate young film fans.

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For a number of years, Leitrim-based director Sean Clancy has built up his reputation, working on a number of music videos and short films, including the award-winning Cavalier. His first feature film, Locus of Control, tells the story of a struggling stand-up comedian Andrew Egan who is forced to take a teaching job helping the unemployed re-enter the workforce. As Andrew grows accustomed to the droll institution and its occupants he suspects that one of the students is out to get him and that the previous teacher may not have left of his own accord. His life slowly unravels and both Andrew’s lessons and stand-up gigs fall on deaf ears and he finds himself trapped in a larger cosmic joke. The film was shown last month as one of the Irish features at the Silk Road Film Festival, and this Thursday will be the opening feature of the second Dublin Sci-Fi Film Festival. Ahead of that screening of the film, written, directed and edited by Clancy, Film In Dublin caught up with the up and coming Irish director.

 

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The Japanese Film Festival returns this weekend, bringing top quality Japanese cinema to Irish viewers throughout April. Now in it’s landmark 10th year, the 2018 edition of the festival will feature a diverse and densely packed programme of films, including work from some of the most acclaimed filmmakers from contemporary Japanese cinema. Probably Ireland’s most transnational festival, this year JFF will be hosting screenings at venues in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Tipperary, Sligo, Waterford, Dundalk and of course, Dublin, as part of a concerted effort to spread Japanese cinema and culture to as many Irish eyes as possible. We’ve got the full selection of films showing in the capital this month for you to go through.

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It’s a good month for festivals in the fair city of film. With the East Asia Film Festival opening last night at the IFI and the Japanese Film Festival kicking off throughout the country this weekend, the time is perfect to get out of the April showers and into a cinema. Also this month is the return of the Dublin Sci-Fi Film Festival, and last night the festival held a launch party in the Generator Hostel in Smithfield. With the launch complete and the full schedule of films now announced, the second year of one of Dublin’s top film festivals is ready to get underway at the end of the month.

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Director: Lynne Ramsay Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Judith Roberts Running Time: 90 minutes


He has a unique set of skills, but Joe, the driven murder machine of Lynne Ramsay’s stunning thriller You Were Never Really Here, is far from the typical one-man rampage and the film has much more than cheap kill thrills on its mind. Taking a standard grim and gritty action film plot and considering it with depth, melancholy and  honesty, this a film that prompts the question, once you’ve been ‘Taken’, can you ever really come back? And can the heroes tragic backstory truly push him forward or has it long-since pushed him over the edge, not a source of inspiration but a devastating destruction?

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For the last six years, the Silk Road Film Festival has steadily grown its reputation, showcasing international cinema and identifying diverse emerging talent from a variety of regions. The festival presents an exclusive selection of Asian, Arab, Persian, Middle Eastern, African, Mediterranean and European cinema from along the ‘Silk Road’, and returns this March for its latest edition.

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Director: Andrew Haigh Starring: Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Travis Fimmel, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Zahn Runtime: 121 Minutes

Lean On Pete is one of those rare films that values authenticity over sentimentality. No Hollywood sheen tints the lens. No overstated points on rural America’s current economic climate are made. No faux sense of understanding for the countryside’s cuts and bruises is offered up. Instead, Lean On Pete uses an understated approach, opting for honest storytelling over cheap mawkishness. The characters that occupy this land and the stories they tell are important to the filmmakers, yet nothing is ever overly dramatic or artificial.

It is here that we are introduced to Charley Thompson (Plummer); a young boy who traverses the blistering Oregon deserts to find his last known relative living thousands of miles away. Accompanying Charley on his journey is Lean On Pete, a failing racehorse who Charley forms a great bond with after securing a summer job in a local stables. Although it seems like a simple story on the outside, Lean On Pete is told with wonderful tenderness, compassion and sincerity, making for one of the most devastatingly beautiful movies of 2018.

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Director: David Freyne Starring: Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor Running Time: 96 minutes

The Cured picks up where most zombie movies end. Society has reintroduced some degree of normality. Hordes of ravenous undead have stopped terrorising the streets. People are beginning to feel safe in their own homes again. However, as communities begin rebuilding themselves, once infected citizens, now cured of their insatiable appetites, are re-introduced back onto the streets, much to the outrage and disdain of the masses. It is in this setting – the aftermath of the bloodshed – that The Cured chooses to tell its story, a story less concerned with jumping out from behind corners to scare you than it is with burrowing deep within your conscious and challenging you.

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Director: Lance Daly Starring: Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddy Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, Jim Broadbent Running Time: 96 minutes


For an event that had such a profound impact on the course of Irish history, the great tragedy and injustice from which Ireland’s entire subsequent history as a nation sprang forth from, it’s surprising that the Famine hasn’t found its story told on cinema screens, particularly Irish ones, more often. Director Lance Daly takes that task on in Black 47, last week’s Opening Gala of the 2018 Dublin International Film Festival. His approach is perhaps unexpected considering the subject matter, the film being a roaring rampage of revenge, internalising the anger and injustice of the Famine into one man’s quest for vengeance. Prestigous? No. But undoubtedly compelling.

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