Posts Tagged ‘IFI’

Something for the Halloween weekend

29 October 2010

By Lisa Marie Griffith

Film fans based in Dublin should check out the IFI Horrorthon taking place this weekend. The horrorthon is showing a host of new realises like Paranormal Activity 2 but is also screening a long list of classic films that would turn the head of anyone interested in the history of film. They include the controversial I spit on Your Grave (originally released in 1978 this is the 2010 updated version), Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space, Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter, Carrie and Gremlin’s 2: the new batch. Who can resist the opportunity to see a classic film they love on the big screen? This is worth a look!

If you haven’t spotted it already, the IFI are now running a blog with lots of updates about their archive, film courses, talks and screenings. You can find it here. If you are outside of Dublin and would like to recommend something please leave us a comment and tell us what you are doing.

Review: Release of full length Metropolis at the IFI

14 September 2010

By Lisa Marie Griffith

On Saturday I went to the IFI to see the full length version of Metropolis. This is a film that I have had on the ‘to do’ list for a very long time. Metropolis is one of those landmarks in the history of film- you may never see the film but you can not avoid it. The art work, sets and costumes from the film have permeated modern culture and our consciences. While the artwork is undoubedtly striking, the greatest impact which the film has had is on the world of science fiction and film itself. There are a whole host of films that are indebted to Metropolis, both visually and ideologically.  To highlight the impact which the film and film-maker Fritz Lang, had on cinema the IFI are running two seasons this month- a ‘Fritz Lang’ season which runs 4th-19th of September and are showing a series of films which owes a debt to Fritz’s masterpiece under the title ‘After Meropolis’ which includes Things to come, Alphaville, Dr. Strangelove, Dark City,The Matrix and Brazil. After viewing the film you begin to understand how far-reaching the film has been, however, Blade-Runner, Star Wars and The Terminator are just some films which owe a very obvious debt, both in plot and artistically, to the film.

The history of the film’s re-release is quite remarkable in itself. Read more

Pue’s Recommendations for August

2 August 2010

Juliana Adelman The IFI are showing a bunch of old Jack Nicholson films this month, including two of my absolute favourites: Chinatown and Five Easy Pieces.  We tend to think of Nicholson as playing variations on eccentric old man, he is neither in these films.  And I think he actually plays the piano that well in real life.  I am currently engrossed in Being Human by Roger Smith, which is essentially an argument for the importance of historical understandings (as opposed to biological) of what a human is.  I think it’s a must read for all historians.  Sticking to humans, the current exhibition in the Science Gallery has nothing to do with history, but is really worth a visit.  BIORHYTHM explores the relationship between music and the body.  Finally, I am enjoying BBC 2’s Victorian Pharmacy on Thursday nights from 9 to 10.  Yes, as the review in the Guardian complained, it’s not very realistic since they can’t give people opium or poison them, but still pretty interesting.

Lisa Marie Griffith I had my niece in Dublin for the day recently (honestly that’s my excuse) and took her on the Viking Splash Tour. If you have been to Dublin you will have seen the yellow DUKWs (Amphibious World War II Vehicles) filled with kids and adults a like driving around the city shouting (a Viking roar) at unsuspecting Celts, ie anyone unlucky enough to be holding a map or a cup of coffee.  The DUKW enters the Grand Canal basin and the guide gave a wonderful tour of the area, the old canal and the background to the DUKWs. The IFI is showing ‘Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky’ from 6 August, an adaptation of a novel which deals with Chanel’s affair with the Russian composer. While not based completely on factual events it promises beautiful clothes from the early twentieth century which is enough to make me happy! If like me you have a weakness for beautiful clothes, particularly vintage pieces, then check out the Sartorialist for the month of May. The fashion blogger invited his readers to send in old fashion pics of families and friends and while procrastinating and catching up on my blogs I spotted them today. They are well worth a look and particularly strong with some beautiful pictures from the 40s and 50s, he also has some gorgeous shop fronts.

Tina Morin This August is a time of family gatherings, weddings, and much-anticipated visits from friends, two of whom arrive this week in advance of a wedding we’re all attending at the weekend. My husband and I plan to take these friends, one of whom is from the US, on a whirlwind tour of Belfast and the north coast, with necessary call-ins at Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, in addition to the near-obligatory murals tour in Belfast. If we have time, it’d be great to head south and bring our visitors to The Abbey Theatre’s current production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, which runs until 25 September. As we do all this sightseeing, I’m going to be sure to drop in copious literary tidbits whenever and however I can, on the back of the dismaying article in last weekend’s Irish Times: ‘If ever you go to Dublin town’. In it, writer Rosita Boland reveals the shocking ignorance about Irish literature and writing displayed by visitors, heritage-seekers, and residents alike. For a literary critic and a personal fan of Irish literature in all of its guises, the article is a heartrending read and, (to be a tad melodramatic about it), a real call to arms.

Kevin O’Sullivan You have to love Ireland, don’t you? On holidays in the midst of a dour World Cup, we caught the last two minutes of Holland v Brazil on a tiny, snowy screen in the ‘airport’ on Inis Mór, right before the attendant, with the words ‘watch this video’, switched over to the safety instructions and headed out to the runway to prepare our eight-seater (including the captain) plane for take-off. This month Aer Arann celebrates forty years of ‘seat of the pants flying’ to the islands from Indreabhán. If you get the chance, and can stomach the ten-minute trip, it’s well worth heading out to see Dún Aonghasa, Dún Eochla, and some beautiful beaches. Beats taking the boat any day. And while you’re on the west coast, keep an eye out for a couple of other ‘new’ attractions that we came across in July: Bonane Heritage Park near Kenmare, which opened in 2005; and Doolin Cave, home of a 7.3m stalactite, whose new visitor centre opened last month. The cave is a little pricey, but the experience will make it all the easier to head back into your local autumn-darkened library. Finally, if heading back to the library needs any selling, have a look at this great video that I came across last month (via Notes from the Field).

Life before Fascism: Mussolini in wartime Milan

21 May 2010

Contributed by Niamh Cullen

Currently showing in the IFI and Lighthouse cinemas in Dublin, Vincere (meaning ‘win’), seems like a fitting title for a film about Mussolini’s younger days and his rise to power. Told from the perspective of his then mistress and fellow revolutionary Ida Dalser, the film follows his early career as editor of the socialist newspaper Avanti! in the heady atmosphere of turn of the century Milan. A leading member of the young, revolutionary contingent of the socialist party, the young Benito broke with the party’s pacifist stance in 1914 and rushed to support the war. In his eyes, war was the perfect opportunity for Italy; a chance to bring about excitement, revolution and national glory. According to the film, it was the ever admiring Ida who sold her draper’s shop to give Mussolini the capital to start his own newspaper, Il Popolo d’Italia. It was through this new daily that he began to build up the mass following that, with the help of his Blackshirt militia, would propel him to power in 1922. Soon afterwards, Ida and Benito’s paths separated. After the war, having abandoned his revolutionary lifestyle for the respectable image necessary for his political career, Mussolini returned to his wife Donna Rachele. Left alone with their child, and convinced she was actually his rightful wife, Ida was unable to forget Mussolini as easily as he had cast her aside. The film follows their troubled lives against the background of the continued rise of fascism. Mussolini and fascism are only present in distant glimpses from then on – in statues, newspapers and newsreel footage – but even as the figure she sees from afar develops into the remote, imperious and even faintly ridiculous character of the dictator familiar to us from history, his presence continues to haunt Ida.

Stylishly edited, with original newsreel footage from the archive of the fascist film board – the Istituto Luce – interspersed throughout the film, Vincere offers a fascinating portrait of life in wartime and fascist Italy. Read more

Pue’s Recommendations for April

5 April 2010

Juliana Adelman I first encountered Hitchcock when I started babysitting: I watched Dial M for Murder in terror on the couch after the children went to sleep.  During April, the IFI are showing a selection of Hitchcock’s best including Psycho, North by Northwest and Notorious.  RTE recently aired the first of a new series of documentaries called Arts Lives.  Their first subject was the crime writer, John Connolly.  If this is anything to go by, the series will be better than any similar style programme I have ever seen on RTE.  You can still watch the first episode on the RTE Player until April 13th.

Lisa-Marie Griffith The most important event for the history community, and one which will determine research for future generations of historians, takes places this month and requires the attendance of as many people as possible. The Archives in Crisis: a symposium to Debate the Future of Archives in Irish Society will take place Saturday 10 April in Trinity College Dublin’s Robert Emmett Theatre between 3 and 5. In an effort to draw attention to the plans to merge the National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland, this is the community’s attempt to debate the effect this will have on history writing and humanities in Ireland. Speakers include Fintan O’Toole, Catriona Crowe and Eunan O’Halpin and will be followed by an open forum moderated by Professor Diarmaid Ferriter. Those who can’t attend the event or who would like to show their support for the symposium can join the Facebook group ‘Action on archives’. On a totally different note, I have been reading a little about world mythology so I really enjoyed visiting ‘Telling Images of China, Narrative and Figure Paintings, 15th-20th Century, from the Shanghai Museum’ the exhibition currently running at the Chester Beatty Library and which features images from Chinese folklore, religion, history and culture. This exhibition runs until 2 May 2010.

Christina Morin Easter is upon us, and with it, some much needed time off, which, for me, often means reading some of the many books on my ever-growing list of must-reads. Quite a few of these are actually relevant to my research but manage to get shelved for months, even years, at a time, while I concentrate on other things. This constant deferral of reading is a frustrating experience, especially when it involves novels I know I’m going to love but which I just don’t have time to read. That’s why I’m so excited about reading two new editions of all too frequently overlooked Irish fiction: Vertue Rewarded ; or, the Irish Princess (anon.; 1693) and Sarah Butler’s, Irish Tales (1716). Not only have they just been published (Four Courts Press), but the attractive new volumes offer a perfect excuse to drop everything and read fiction that I’ve been meaning to read or re-read for ages right away! They’re part of the Early Irish Fiction project directed by Ian Campbell Ross, Aileen Douglas, and Moyra Haslett, and should be one of the more erudite endeavours of my Easter week (the other main one being to eat my body weight in Mini Eggs). As soon as I’ve read the editions, I’ll be sure to review them here at Pue’s! To recover from my chocolate overload, I might hop on my bike for a cycle along the Lagan Towpath and on down to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter to take in the Titanic: Made in Belfast Festival running from April 3rd to 11th. And then, perhaps, I’ll head over to the Queen’s Film Theatre for one of the films in the 10th Annual Belfast Film Festival, which runs from 15th-30th April and has a great programme of films, workshops, and events planned. Roll on, Easter!

Kevin O’Sullivan At a party in a friend’s house a few years ago, I overheard a group of three well-travelled twenty-something Dubliners in conversation about Paris’s Musée d’Orsay and its collection of the great impressionist works. (I know – what a party). ‘They’re like art’s greatest hits’, said one. ‘Even if people know nothing about painting, they all come out to see.’ The words returned to me while browsing the National Gallery’s new exhibition in Dublin a few weeks ago. If Monet, Manet, Degas et al are Abba, do we have a U2, a Thin Lizzy or even a Joe Dolan? The best of the gallery’s acquisitions of the last ten years, there’s some great art and great history here – see, from just one era, O’Kelly’s Dublin, Osborne’s Brittany, Lavery’s wherever, and Orpen’s portrait of McCormack. Free and well worth a look if you’re at a loose end in the big smoke before 25 July. Oh, and in case anyone’s wondering, I am still listening to San Patricio, the new Ry Cooder record with the Chieftains and it’s still as interesting as it was when I gushed about it here a few weeks ago; Irish history by mariachi, with added uileann pipes.