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Clare Dunne’s Herself , the Closing Gala at this year’s Dublin International Film Festival  received rave reviews today at Sundance, a possible sign that we may already have the next great Irish film this decade with it only 25 days old. Further to that, the film’s festival success shows how Ireland’s international reputation is continuing to grow; programmers, distributors and viewers alike from all over the world are looking out for Irish talents more and more. The last ten years have seen our profile expand considerably, Hollywood stars like Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell are more acclaimed than ever, filmmakers are flocking to our island to make use of our beautiful locations and talented crews, it’s not all sweetness and sunshine but it’s been a good decade. It took a bit of mulling over, so strong was the fear of leaving great work out of a list of only ten, but at last here is Film In Dublin’s celebration of some of the best Irish films of the 2010s, classics that we’ll be going back to again and again.

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There was much discussion about the jokes that Ricky Gervais made at the expense of Hollywood superstars at this year’s Golden Globes. However, what stood out for me was what should have won an award for the “golden quote” of the night. It came from the director of the highly anticipated South Korean film Parasite, Bong Joon-ho. He gave the much needed reminder that:

 

“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”.

 

This really spoke to me- and not just in English. If I could add one addendum to this brilliant insight, it would be that viewing international films also exposes you to different cultural fabrics, different challenges and, different experiences. Aside from that, they’re also very entertaining and remain such an underappreciated cinematic art by large chunks of Western audiences. So in order to help you get over the horrific inconvenience of subtitles, and in light of Bong Joon-ho’s golden quote. Here are 20 international films to watch in 2020.

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It can be hard to evaluate the best films of the 2010s, when every damn year of the decade, especially from 2015 onward, have felt like ten years unto themselves. But movies, as ever, offer respite from that chaos. It’s been a decade that has offered impressive new voices in film and given different voices bigger platforms. Names like Jordan Peele, Ava DuVerney, Ryan Coogler and more have opened up important ideas to wider audiences, while also delivering top class entertainment. Long-term talents, from Scorsese and Soderbergh to Bong Joon-ho,  Todd Haynes and Katheryn Bigelow, have changed with the times and done great work, even when it hasn’t been their defining masterpieces, these greats have produced films that audiences have latched onto and continue to engage with in interesting ways, our often noxious online discourse still providing the opportunity to grow cultural conversation. Still, that noxious shite can make even the most ardent film lover never want to talk about cinema again, and the last ten years have seen too many unwinnable bullshit battles waged by people determined to keep their beloved franchises for themselves only, or draft movies, sometimes at random, into the unending culture wars.

Netflix have changed the game completely for film distribution and audience engagement in ways we still haven’t fully processed since 2010, for better and worse, what even counts as a “film” and how we see them have been altered forever. After a relatively wobbly start to the 21st century that now seems impossible, Disney have become a monster in the 2010s, consuming one of the great film studios in the last year in Fox, reshaping history as they see fit, flooding and fixing the market, threatening all the positives in the paragraphs above. 80% of the box office is simply too much for one studio to hold, and cinema as an art form is at risk if the 2020’s continue to allow expression to be supressed in the name of expansion.

You can see some of what’s at stake in some of the great Irish films that have come out this decade, both on screen and off. Wonderful work has been done with local cinema thanks to collaboration with fellow European studios, and great films that in decades past only Irish eyes would have been watching have warmly received worldwide. Check out our Best Irish Films of the Decade list, coming soon, for some of the best of our country’s cinema. More of that in the times ahead of us please, especially for this website’s sake. There are always challenges, but without the vibrant cinema scene that has continued to grow in this country, Film In Dublin would never have started. With that in mind, it’s a good time to delve into some of our writer’s personal favourites of the decade, our Best Movies of the 2010s.

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It has been a year. In 2017 there was a lot for film fans to contemplate, but in what they say on the screen and in the wider film business. Month after month, entertaining, challenging and interesting films found their way onto Irish screens, either from Hollywood or any number of our own talented Irish directors. It was a year where the sickeningly pervasive culture of abuse in cinema was thrust into the headlines by brave survivors no longer willing to suffer in silence. It was also a year in great filmmaking, where talented, diverse directors were given the opportunity to show their talent, several for the first time, where performances transported us just as believably to the far-off future, the underprivileged, overlooked present and even outside the fluid realm of time altogether. This is Film In Dublin’s list of the best films of 2017, the films that moved us, entertained us, opened our eyes and otherwise expressed everything that cinema is meant to be, in a year that showed that cinema doesn’t always achieve those lofty ideals behind the scenes.

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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…