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The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2020 is in full swing and tomorrow one of the biggest parts of the festival every year will take place: the screening of the surprise film. A closely guarded secret by festival organisers, not even the projectionist knows what the film is going to be until the lights go down and the film begins. Some have been excellent, some have been awful, but the anticipation is always killer.

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Making Film Dublin is a special event for anyone seriously interested in filmmaking, including current film students, and independent filmmakers. During the course of the afternoon attendees will hear from a panel of experts about their own filmmaking journey and to learn from them. Taking place at the Generator Hostel Dublin this Sunday March 1st,
a substantial line up of expert filmmakers have been assembled, all of whom are vital and active members of the fair city of film. Two of the first guests confirmed for this event are:

Liam McGrath, Scratch Films:
Liam McGrath is a director and producer, known for Southpaw: The Francis Barrett Story (1999), Blood of the Travellers (2011) and Dolores Keane: A Storm in the Heart (2014).

Robert Fitzhugh, Dublin Smartphone Film Festival :-
Director of the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival, founder of Filmsmart productions. Videographer, director, and speaker.

Making Films Dublin has been organised by final year film students at Ballyfermot College of Further Education. The proceeds from ticket sales will be used to fund their Final Year film which is called Ballcourt (Dir. Heidi Kivikallio) which will be shot on 9th – 13th March and screened in the IFI in May 2020.

The workshop will be divided into talks, practical tips, Q&A and networking to close, providing aspiring creatives with an opportunity to take valuable first steps in filmmaking in Dublin. Find out more here.

Tickets for this event are €10 and are available now from Eventbrite.

Collectors of cult film curios Cabaret Noise are sounding off again, set to return to Stoneybatter in the spring with a new batch of the strange, underseen and interesting. From March through to May they’ll be hosting a trio of their well-curated and thought provoking presentations, deep from the deeper cuts of film.

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Founded in 2009 by Hannah Neurotica, Women In Horror Month is an international grassroots initiative that assists female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through various events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. The vision is a world wherein all individuals are equally given the opportunity to create, share, and exploit their concept of life, pain, and freedom of expression. Every February, WiHM supporters host events (blood drives, film screenings, art shows), write blogs and articles, conduct interviews, and create videos and podcasts for mass consumption, and over the last number of years has been a regular part of the calendar here in the fair city of film. Womxn in Horror Month Ireland are hosting a number of events this month.

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Director: Bong Joon-ho Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Chang Hyae-jin Running Time: 132 minutes

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The long anticipated Parasite from acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho has arrived on Irish big screens right at the end of what has turned out to be an incredible run of Oscar contenders. While in many ways the Academy Awards could well be regarded as an over inflated industry award, it is difficult not to get caught up in all of the fuss surrounding what is unquestionably the most notable event of the year in film. Similarly, while it might make more sense to maintain objectivity when reviewing films, it’s often challenging to suspend your own excitement for films that you’ve been personally routing for. On it’s own merit, I had been eagerly anticipating the release of Parasite for months. As someone who was first introduced to the now well-established perceptive craft of Bong Joon-ho since The Host in 2006, I was even more delighted that his latest work seemed to be getting the level of international traction that many South Korean films in the last year have undeservedly lacked. Casting memory back through the last couple of years, there seems to have been at least one highly impressive hit coming out of the country every year. In 2016 there was Train to Busan, a frantic and kinetic zombie movie tracking the desperation of a father and daughter to escape a lethal viral outbreak. In 2017 there was Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, a stylish period thriller that picked up the BAFTA for Best Film Not In The English Language. Then there was Lee Chang-dong’s Burning in 2018, a slow burning psychological mystery. All of these features could more than match the weight of any Oscar winning Hollywood films in recent years, but many were regrettably limited to selected art house screenings.

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The 92nd edition of the Academy Awards took place last night, and amid much speculation and fanfare, ̶S̶i̶n̶n̶ ̶F̶é̶i̶n̶ ̶w̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶i̶g̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶n̶e̶r̶s̶   Parasite was the big winner on the night, adding a surprise Best Picture win to victories in the categories of Best International Feature, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for Bong Joon-ho. On a night where Ireland’s own Eímear Noone conducted the ceremony, there was the usual mix of overdue wins, rambling speeches and head-scratching choices, but the successes for Parasite will ensure that cranks like Film In Dublin’s head writer still talk about the Oscars while insisting they’re not important.

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Directors: Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence Running Time: 124 minutes

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It isn’t much of an exaggeration to call the Bad Boys series to date some of the most hateful films ever to make it to the multiplex. Bad Boys II was particularly repugnant; a cruel, homophobic, racist, cynical indulgence in all of the worst excesses of director Michael Bay, mindless and reactionary even by 2003 standards. That’s on top of incoherent action and grimly repeated buddy cop tropes, just about jolted into life by the chemistry of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Action movies have moved on, and most big budget blockbusters at least try to hide it when they have fascistic overtones or adolescent sensibilities. So seventeen years later and with its stars both in very different places in their careers, was there any good reason to resurrect these crass cops, besides their sworn oath to be bad boys til’ they die? Improbably, yes. This is very much the post Hot Fuzz vision of Bad Boys, its ludicrous macho bullshit has been exposed so thoroughly but so lovingly since by films like Edgar Wright’s that the only real way to move forward is to acknowledge and embrace the OTT tropes. Like a lot of aging franchises, For Life asks the question if it’s old gunslingers still have any gas left in the tank. Then, to raucous effect, it blows up that tank, doubling down on every excess and wallowing in something wonderfully wild.

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