Film Network Irelandare making classes available online for aspiring filmmakers. Their new Screenwriting online class is up and running, the first as they ease back into the new environment, and places are still available.
Director: Claire Oakley Starring: Molly Windsor, Joseph Quinn, Stefanie Martini Running Time: 86 minutes
If one where to have a season of revelations of romance and identity in a tourist spot, they might prefer a glamorously lazy summer by the Italian riviera to say, the gloomy caravan’s of off-peak Cornwall. Yet that is where young Ruth, small and uncertain, finds herself in Make Up, the debut feature of English director Claire Oakley. Expanded from a concept for a looser, more abstract short, this seaside story appears elusive at first, Ruth wandering seemingly aimlessly around a holiday park in the dead of winter, but Make Up snaps into focus the clearer its aims become, and its setting and filming all feed into that feeling. We’re always lost until we know exactly where we are.
Director: Alex Thompson Starring: Kelly O’Sullivan, Ramona Edith Williams, Charin Alvarez, Lily Mojekwu Running Time: 101 minutes
Being “real” is often one of the main aims of the indie dramedy; the gentle, sensibly chuckling low-budget-low-stakes affairs can pride themselves on being more connected to the genuine experiences of everyday life than contrived, overwrought Hollywood productions. Yet this kind of storytelling, chock a block at film festivals the world over, can take on their own stifling conventions and cliches, and the bad cases often present a reality that’s little more than the same platitudes of the big leagues, except mumbled. Saint Frances’ foundation of white slacker ennui doesn’t seem to offer much new on first glance, but through strong stains of period blood, ugly tears of postpartum depression and more, it does explore a number of truths and vulnerabilities with a welcome sense of honesty, the kind that too many films of this type end up glossing over with their Sundance-friendly optimism. Writer and star Kelly O’Sullivan and director Alex Thompson use a standard setup, but are happy to wander from it to more interesting places.
Here in the fair city of film there isn’t a lot of opportunity to see films outside the old humdrum formats of 2D or 3D, not since the 7D cinema on Capel Street closed anwyay (Ds are expensive). Those interested in VR viewing however should check out the Virtual Reality Cinema program that’s part of the Carlow Arts Festival, taking place online throughout August.
Getting to take part in an actual, factual film festival this month in the Galway Film Fleadh was a revitalising tonic in a difficult time. We can’t wait to attend cinemas again in person in the fair city of film and beyond, once it’s safe and secure for all staff and audiences to do so, but it was great to have a festival on demand to take in films from home and abroad and we’ve put together a little round up of some of the films we took in during the Fleadh.
Directors: Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane Running Time: 95 minutes
The Galway Film Fleadh opened last night with the world premiere of Irish documentary The 8th. With subject matter so closely tied to the recent national psyche of the country, going as it does through the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment which constitutionally banned abortion in the Republic, it can be difficult to assess Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane’s documentary on it’s own merits. Functioning similarly Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea’s Marriage Referendum doc The 34th, the film plays out as a matter of historical record, but the filmmakers do allow the heavy emotions of the time their rightful place, elevating The 8th beyond the newsreel footage.
In the latest episode of the Breakout Role Podcast, Luke and Jessica take a different approach, looking at a trio of early films from the early years of Amy Adams’ career. From the dispiriting, reductive and embarrassing Cruel Intentions 2 and the grind of a Hollywood machine that almost led Adams to quit acting altogether, to the freedom of indie drama Junebug, Oscar success but overall underappreciation, to finally launching into the mainstream (and reviving Disney?) in Enchanted, Adams’ strive to breakout is a fascinating journey through the boxes actresses get forced into by Hollywood and the drive it takes to work ones way out of them.