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Director: Thomas Vinterberg Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang Running Time: 115 minutes


Thomas Vinterberg has a curious habit of going to the very darkest corners of humanity and somehow using these dark corners to showcase the most enduring aspects of humanity. A decade ago, Submarino explored the lives of drug addicted and prison bound brothers at the bottom of the Danish socio-economic ladder. More recently, The Hunt took a look at how horrifying but false allegations could implode the lives of even the most innocent of protagonists. What these two films in particular had in common is the desire of the human spirit to survive in the direst of circumstances. Arguably, it could be said that Vinterberg’s films are as much about the power of lasting human connection as the drudgery of human suffering. With Another Round, he again focuses on problematic and dark aspects of Danish society, while injecting a refreshing sense of humor that gives an otherwise gut wrenching story a surprisingly positive hoppy lift.

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Director: Francis Lee Starring: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan Runtime: 120 mins
Francis Lee has a deep understanding of how to use harsh landscapes and natural sound in a beautiful way. Fans of Lee’s debut God’s Own Country will recognise his interest and talent in portraying working class queer stories in this new film. With Ammonite, Lee has created a relationship between palaeontologist Mary Anning (played by Kate Winslet) and Charlotte (played by Saoirse Ronan), a young woman whose husband has asked Mary to look after while he is travelling as they recently lost a baby and she is struggling. 

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A film exploring the unsung heroines of electronic music will receive a spotlight this International Women’s Day, thanks to the Irish Film Institute, AEMI and the folks at the Dublin Feminist Film Festival. Writer-director Lisa Rovner’s film Sisters with Transistors combines archive footage, interviews with experts and the stories of women creating in the world of electronic music themselves to reexamine the underplayed innovations by women in electronica.

 

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Gazing up at the stars, a man shares his expertise in finding constellations with his partner, one of a lifetime of small moments as bright and dazzling as anything in the night sky. Unfortunately, he for all his intelligence, he cannot recall the word ‘triangle’, and as time goes on, his memory of more and more things, big and small, fades into the void. Supernova is a story built around early onset dementia, but more than a shallow wallow in the sad nature of the disease, Harry Macqueen’s sensitive and measured approach uses the condition to explore the difficulty in saying goodbye, both to those you love and to yourself.

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Last February, the Circular Bar & Grill on the South Circular Road launched the Rialto Cinema Club. These nights aimed to bring cult cinema, homegrown movies and more to Dublin 8, fitting a few screenings in before lockdown descended upon us all. This Saturday, 27th February, the cinema club returns with a selection of short films.

 

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A hard-hitting short film recently released offers a sobering response to the 2018 Papal visit to Ireland. God Given Opportunity is a short film by Anne Marie Kelly, made in response to the Papel visit to Ireland in 2018 and Kelly’s experience at the Stand 4 Truth demonstration which coincided with Pope Francis’ mass in the Phoenix Park.

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A dynamic programme of contemporary Irish hip hop and R&B musicals is set to be one of the more enticing elements of this year’s Dublin International Film Festival. Playback x DIFF is a collabaration between musical and film talent, as some of Ireland’s biggest names in the music scene engage creatively with rising and risen directing talent, producing that mutual staple of behind the camera skill and alternative expression in rap and R&B: the music video.

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Director: Shaka King Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Dominique Fishback, Jesse Plemons Running Time: 126 minutes


One of many things that the last year has highlighted is that stories of authorities’ violent treatment of marginalised races are as relevant now as they have ever been.  Productions like Mangrove of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series, popular television series like Watchmen and Lovecraft County and now Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah, were all in production long before the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery in the US further revealed the dangers of state sponsored brutality and injustice. Each production resonates louder in the midst of these stories, but the creators behind them are motivated by something that has spread longer and deeper than our current moment. King looks back to the 60s, and the FBI’s campaign against Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, to communicate ideas that have been current, vibrant and essential for decades. If the system endures, so too must the revolution, and King aims to inspire and enrage in his depiction of the fate of this revolutionary.

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Announcements are still coming in for this year’s Dublin International Film Festival. New films, events and interviews are all on the way for the biggest festival in the fair city of film (and beyond for this year’s all-online edition), with one of Ireland’s biggest stars set to speak. The festival have announced that Colin Farrell, Amma Asante and Francis Lee will be among the guests at the 2021 festival this March.

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When every waking day is scary, the Horrorthon ain’t just for Halloween folks. The Irish Film Institute’s curation of the creepy and crawly, the Horrorthon will be offering a special selection of scares this Valentine’s Day to get your heart pumping and your pulse racing, all available to stream on IFI@Home.

 

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