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Director: Joe Wright Starring: Gary Oldman, Kristen Scott Thomas, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn, Stephen Dillane Running Time: 125 minutes


When the Bard gets boring, it’s increasingly appealing to distinguished actors to turn to Winston Churchill for their monologue jollies; “we shall fight them on the beaches” being as suitable for performance as anything Shakespeare ever did. Through various films, such noteworthy performers as Albert Finney, our own Brendan Gleeson, Brian Cox last year and um…Christian Slater, have donned the bowler hat, stuck up a V-sign and gotten down to speechifying, and now Gary Oldman picks up that mantle. Unrecognisable in impressive make up, Oldman’s turn in Darkest Hour is being put forth as a showcase for the veteran, a big Oscar-grabbing performance in a film that looks, as many do, back at Britain’s ‘darkest hour’ also in some ways as its finest. Let’s not forget, there was literally a film about this exact same time-period titled Their Finest released just last year. Rarely, if ever, do films of this type want to engage with Churchill the racist, the Churchill that sent soldiers into Tonypandy or helped starve India, or set up the Black and Tans and Darkest Hour is no exception, an effort to rouse and court applause and though it’s definitely well-made enough to receive that in some quarters, the film and Oldman’s central performance are both at their best when they tone down the bombast and openly admit just how close Britain came to ruin.

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The stunningly beautiful Song of Granite which is Ireland’s submission for the Foreign Language category at next year’s Academy Awards will be released in Irish cinemas on 8th December.  Wildcard Distribution, who are distributing the film, have released the official trailer and an image from the film.  Watch the trailer here:

The biopic from acclaimed filmmaker Pat Collins (Silence) charts the rise of traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney, and how the songs of his west of Ireland childhood helped shape his complex character.  Co-written by Collins, Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde, and Sharon Whooley, the film had its world premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and was awarded the Best Cinematography prize (Richard Kendrick) at the Galway Film Fleadh.

 

Enigmatic and complex, Joe Heaney was one of the greats of traditional Irish singing (sean nós). Shaped by the myths, fables, and songs of his upbringing in the west of Ireland, his emergence as a gifted artist came at a personal cost. Featuring performances from Colm Seoighe, Macdara Ó’Fátharta, Jaren Cerf, Lisa O’Neill, Damien Dempsey, and sean nós singers Micheál O’Confhaola and Pól Ó Ceannabháin, and beautiful black and white cinematography, Song of Granite is a distinctive portrait of Heaney’s life and a marvellous exploration of music and song.

 

The film was produced by Alan Maher and Jessie Fisk of Marcie Films with Martin Paul-Hus of Amerique Film and was supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board, BAI, TG4 and with the financial participation of Société de Développement Des Entreprises Culturelles – Québec, Telefilm Canada.

 

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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Dublin Animation Film Festival is delighted to announce that Academy Award winner Michaël Dudok de Wit will take part in a Q & A at the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin on the 21st October 2017 after the screening of his animated feature The Red Turtle.

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A live-to-film celebration tour of La La Land has been announced, with the not-quite-Best Picture touring at concert halls in the United States, Mexico and Europe. The film will be coming to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre with live musical accompaniment later this year.

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Director: Barry Jenkins Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, Naomie Harris, Mahershali Ali, Janelle Monàe, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome Running Time: 111 minutes

On a beautiful Miami beach, a father figure speaks to the young boy he’s decided to take responsibilty for. It’s a safe, calm place away from the oppressive inner city. In the moonlight, Mahershala Ali’s paternal drug-peddler Juan says to the silent and sad young Little, black boys look blue. Which is to say, how they’re seen changes depending on the world around them, and isn’t necessarily reflective of the truth. These words and the way in which they’re spoken reveal much about Moonlight, a poetic film that explores many issues about identity both racial and sexual, but does so in a deeply intimate and personal way.

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