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From ‘what is Rosebud?’ to ‘what is the Matrix?’, film has a long tradition of using compelling questions to hook in audiences. An air of fascination and mystery, well harnessed, can be as strong a pull into theatre seats as any dazzling movie star or cutting-edge technology. But in our modern world, where more jaded viewers can have most of their questions answered at the press of a button – correctly or otherwise – and where the sheer saturation of information at all times means we are up to speed with all major media whether we ever intend to watch it or not, a new question is increasingly successful at hooking in potential movie viewers:

 

“What the fuck was that?”

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The Halloween season is usually a time we’re glued to the big screen here in the fair city of film. Unfortunately the current status of Covid-19 here in Ireland means that all cinemas are shut for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show some of our favourite cinemas some support. At the IFI, the online IFI@Home player is going strong, with the IFI Horrorthon currently in full swing on the online platform.

Meanwhile, Element Pictures have launched a new online shop, so that the adoring patrons of the Light House Cinema and the Pálás can acess some great new gifts and give the venues some much needed revenue. You can now buy Gift Vouchers for the cinemas, exclusive locally designed prints and greeting cards and more on the new Light House Shop.

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Last night the 2020 edition of the Irish Film and Television Awards took place. Some of the best Irish films in recent years and a number of exciting talents making waves at home and abroad were celebrated on an online evening affirming Ireland’s prominent place in the international film industry.

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Indie filmmaking can present so many challenges – in funding, in finishing, in finding its audience – that it is always important to highlight and celebrate success stories when they emerge. The New Music is a prominent Irish example, a film and crew that have worked through the process of independent film over several years, and through innovative approaches and, as should be at the core of all filmmaking, vibrant ideas and messages at its heart. It has been through a crowdfunding journey, been celebrated on the festival circuit at home and abroad and staged a successful screening at the Irish Film Institute. Now the film has secured distribution in Ireland and the UK, and we are looking forward to hearing more about when this story of punk, Parkinson’s and friendship will be available widely to watch.

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The latest exceptionally animated feature film from the folks at Cartoon Saloon is set to get an Irish cinema release ahead of it debuting on Apple’s streaming platform Apple TV+. Coming this October, Wolfwalkers looks set to delight viewers of all ages on the big screen in Ireland and the UK.

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Following widespread confusion at the latest Covid-19 restrictions in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of the Taoiseach have stated as of this morning that “theatres (including cinemas)” are permitted to operate with 50 people without needing Govt approval. Clear as mud? With cinemas still operating, a campaign has launched in Ireland called #Lovecinema, a reminder to audiences of the wonder that film on the big screen has to offer.

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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.

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