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Director: Lorcan Finnegan Starring: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris Running Time: 97 minutes

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Even as news reports were starting to darken and arrive ever closer to our doors, while sitting in the sold out screening for the Opening Gala of VMDIFF 2020 it was difficult to imagine just how real Vivarium would become. Or how quickly the energy of a film premiere, glamorous stars ; a room packed full of people eagerly anticipating the uncertainty and possibilities of the immediate future, would feel like a bittersweet memory of oohhh, a billion years ago.

If Vivarium is a horror, it’s a horror about the domestic drudgery, a blunt jab at how social constructs can be so narrowly confined, widely expected and hellish to navigate that they can feel like a trap from which there is no escape. The fact that we all have to stay indoors right now with unknown and deadly consequences lurking ominously over us all the time has made the film’s blunt, exaggerated parody of suburbia very real in ways that director Lorcan Finnegan and writer Garret Shanley (who paired previously on Without Name) might never have anticipated when putting this story together, and it would be hard to blame the average viewer for running a mile from its ideas at the moment. The black joke has gotten a few shades darker, but the film is so committed to the bit, so giddily weird, it manages to pull off the delivery.

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An Irish made sci-fi film will be in cinemas early next year as Lorcan Finnegan’s sci-fi thriller Vivarium starring The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg, Green Room’s Imogen Poots and written by Garret Shanley will be released in Irish cinemas on 27th March 2020.

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The urge is understandable to avoid a retrospective of the year 2016. Not since Lot’s wife decided to take a cheeky glance back at Sodom has looking back at something been more likely to produce misery and misfortune the way this year has, but that only makes it all the more important to go back over the few bright spots, particularly for movie lovers. 2016 was undoubtedly a great year for Irish cinema, with 9 Oscar nominations and two wins, Irish films showing prominently in festivals around the globe, major stars and filmmakers coming to film on the island and some eye-catching box office success. Of course, 2016 is a year that will always stand out to the writers at Film In Dublin, as this was the year that the site launched and since mid-July we’ve worked hard to show you the positives and the pitfalls of navigating through the fair city of cinema.

With the year almost over, our writers have compiled a list of some of this year’s cinematic highlights. Balloting every member for their own top picks of the year, a consensus was more or less reached on ten outstanding films, cinema that provided a welcome distraction from the horrors of the last twelve months, helped sharpen our focus from the lessons to be learned from the year, or both. We’re sure to have left out some of your favourites; in keeping the list to the very best of the best we’ve had to omit some of our own best loved choices so we’re more than open to suggestions on what else could have been considered. Here though, are Film In Dublin’s picks for the top 10 films of 2016.Read more…