“Dublin has a remarkable per capita cinema attendance, among the highest in Europe, certainly the highest in the EU,” Michael Dwyer, chief film correspondent for The Irish Times, told Variety in 2003. absurd that the city did not organize an international film festival.
Dwyer, who founded the first Dublin Film Festival in the 1980s, came to the rescue when that festival ended around the turn of the millennium. Twenty years ago, the Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) was back in force and a constellation of stars, including Javier Bardem, Claire Denis and Rebecca Miller.
On the occasion of its 20th edition, the current program of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival will therefore pay tribute to some of the greatest successes of the festival. A series of outdoor screenings at Meeting House Square include historic audience favorites Broken Song, The Raid, Anvil and Waveriders. Actor Andrew Scott, meanwhile, will sit down with festival programmer Gráinne Humphreys, to reminisce about such memorable DIFF premieres as Handsome Devil and The Stag.
Over the past two decades, the festival’s mandate has expanded to make room for entertainment such as live stunts and special effects, a touring schedule, and a family component. This year’s special events include a conversation with Lenny Abrahamson about his upcoming adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, a masterclass with Danish director Susanne Bier and a gala where composer Neil Brand will present an evening musical accompaniment to the works of comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.
“Elements of Industry”
“Right from the start, I was interested in certain aspects of the program and tried to draw on certain elements of the industry,” says Humphreys, who became director of the festival in 2008. “I was also interested by the way the festival fits into the city. Since my first year, I have sought to create things like engagement through libraries and to bring a kind of non-cinematic aspect to the festival. I think that we have developed a very good network of international friends which is an international industry base to draw on. It has also been interesting to see the changes in Irish cinema. The way we have built our short program and discovery program is a direct response to changes in the local industry.This booming local industry will be represented by Kate Dolan’s chilling Changeling horror You Are Not My Mother, which arrives with awards from the Fe Gérardmer’s French Fantasy Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Much further down the genre spectrum is Let the Wrong One In, a vampire comedy from Stitches director Conor McMahon. That Newspaper’s Donald Clarke makes his big-screen debut in Donal Foreman’s experimental feature The Cry of Granuaile. Filmmakers Anna Rodgers and Shaun Dunne explore HIV disclosure in How to Tell a Secret. Irish documentaries featured include Luke McManus’ North Circular, Dónal Ó Céilleachair’s chronicle of musical fusion, Continuing Traditions, Sasha King’s portrayal of Vicky Phelan, Seamus Murphy’s The Peculiar Sensation of Being Pat Ingoldsby and Myles O’ Reilly on balladeer Liam Weldon. , Dark Horse on the wind.
The festival opens with An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl). Writer-director Colm Bairéad’s adaptation of Claire Keegan’s short story, Foster, will premiere in Dublin following its global run in Berlin. Customers who enjoyed DIFF from their own armchair last year will be delighted to experience this year’s hybrid tier. This year’s online store features Olga, a drama about a young Ukrainian gymnast who hopes to earn a spot on the Swiss national team; Bipolar, a Tibetan reworking of Orpheus; Evolution, a sequel to Pieces of a Woman by Hungarian filmmakers Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber; Swan Song, starring Udo Kier as a retired hairdresser on a quest to style a dead woman’s hair; Happening, Audrey Diwan’s award-winning Venice drama; the Cannes winner produced by Martin Scorsese Murina; The Feast, Lee Haven Jones’ much-admired Welsh horror; and Cannes-acclaimed bully drama Playground.
Our favorite online pick is True Things, from the most impressive Only You writer-director Harry Wootliff. This edgy, dark and romantic drama stars Ruth Wilson and the remarkable Tom Burke; the latter puts on a performance that makes his devious romantic interest in The Souvenir look like a real take.
There are new films from Justin Kurzel, Claire Denis, François Ozon, Mia Hansen-Love, Terence Davies, Zhang Yimou, Neasa Ní Chianáin, Alan Gilsenan and Stephen Fingleton.
There are new films from Singapore, Russia, Korea, Denmark, France, Qatar, Belgium, Iceland, Mexico, South Africa and Albania.
1980s nostalgia looms in a new feature-length A-ha documentary, and in Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest, a Danish gentleman tries to be the first person in the world to play an early 1900s arcade machine. 1980s for 100 consecutive hours.
Anca Damian continues Marona’s Fantastic Tale with a wild new Robinson Crusoe-inspired animation titled The Island. Nathalie Biancheri continues Nocturnal with Irish concept creature feature Wolf, starring George MacKay and Lily-Rose Depp. Passing through Cannes, there’s the Casablanca Beats hip-hop crowd, Benedetta, Paul Verhoeven’s insanely loud historic convent corset ripper, Gaspar Noé’s sensational Vortex, Sean Baker’s hilarious and inappropriate Red Rocket and The Worst Person in the Oscar by Joachim Trier. World.
Arriving via Venice, there’s Il Buco, a remarkable recreation of the 1961 discovery of the 700-meter-deep Bifurto sinkhole in Italy.
Fresh off Sundance, Alan Cumming lip-syncs the testimony of “Brandon Lee”, a supposed Scottish teenage prodigy who made his way to a Glasgow academy as part of the My Old School festival.
And straight from Gotham City, there’s a special screening of The Batman on Monday, February 28, starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne and Colin Farrell as the Penguin.
The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival runs from February 23 to March 6