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Ciné Gael Montréal Irish Film Series 1997

As the year started, before our season had properly begun, we were able to bring a substantial portion of our regular audience to a premiere screening of Some Mother's Son starring Helen Mirren and Fionnula Flanagan, with a script by Terry George and Jim Sheridan. click to read more...

January 23 Canadian Premiere Some Mother's Son (1996) dir: Terry George 112 mins Best Film Award 1996 Edinburgh Festival This explosive new hit stars Helen Mirren and Fionnula Flanagan as mothers of two hunger strikers in Belfast. One is staunchly Republican while the other is a politically uninterested teacher until her son gets caught up in the protest. Some Mother's Son is directed by Terry George who co-wrote the script with Jim Sheridan. (George wrote the script for In the Name of the Father that Sheridan directed.) This film was blasted by the English Press (as was Michael Collins) as being an incitement to support the IRA. Ciné Gael 1997 Spring Programme January 30 Spaghetti Slow (1996) dir: Valerio Jalongo, 94 mins (Season Opening) Hilarious tale of a young Italian sent to Ireland to learn English and acquire some sense! In the sprawling suburbs of east Dublin he stays with the Ferguson family, meets the daughter of the house, a death·obsessed Goth with a passion for crucifixes and leather. They embark on a bizarre journey across Ireland, pursued by their respective fathers. Guest: John Griffin, Gazette Film Critic. February 13 Ballroom of Romance (1982) dir: Pat O'Connor 65 mins This film propelled director Pat O Connor (Circle of Friends) into the limelight when it was released in 1982. It was shot over a twenty-day period in County Mayo, using a local ballroom as the set and local people to support the cast. It is a sensitive film that explores relations between the sexes. Bridey (Brenda Fricker) is a spinster who returns to the country ballroom where as a young woman she danced, filled with romantic hope. Addition: Fishing the Sloe-Black River(1995) dir: Brendan Bourke 15min, 35mm Pictures tell the story in Brendan Bourke's elegiac reflection on the effects of emigration on the lives of parents in a rural Irish town, individuals who struggle with a loss of purpose as they go about their days, the women figuratively fishing for their sons in a local stream while the aging men try to hold together the local football team. Guest: Dr. Michael Kenneally, Executive Director, Canadian Irish Studies Foundation. February 27 Poitin (1978) dir: Bob Quinn 60 mins In Gaelic, with English subtitles. This superb Bob Quinn film is set in the rugged Connemara countryside and stars the late Cyril Cusack as the 'moonshiner' at odds, not only with the police but also with his idle agents. His struggle for self- preservation ends with a disturbing act of revenge. A different Ireland from that depicted in 'The Quiet Man'. Thirty Five Aside(1995) dir: Damien O'Donnell, 28min, 16mm Named "Best Irish Short" of 1995 by the Irish Times critic Michael Dwyer, writer-director Damien O'Donnell's quirky and often hilarious film follows the mis-adventures and tribulations of schoolboy Philip Maguire, who is welcomed with less than open arms by the students and staff of his new school. Guest: Dr. Gus O Gormain, Founder! Director of Comhra (Montreal Irish Language Study Circle) March 20 An Evening of Irish Short Films This, our third annual Evening of Award Winning Short Films, is an occasion which has become one of the most popular features of our series. It is a showcase where the best young filmmakers in Ireland present the wit, humour and uniqueness of the Irish. Details will be announced later. Guest: Carol Davison, Lecturer in Victorian and Gothic Literature at Concordia April 10 Puddy Cat (a short) (1995) dir: Brendan Byrne 15 mins Puddy Cat is set in newly vibrant cease-fire Belfast. Three friends don cartoon fancy dress and go collecting for charity. Lurking in the eerie shadows are memories of trauma and hoods who threaten violence. The Kickhams (year) (1993) dir: Brendan Byrne 56 mins Members of the Kickham Gaelic Athletic Football Club, their families and widowed mothers struggle to live happy normal lives in the Ireland of the 'TroubIes' in Belfast, where Loyalist extremists see the Club and its activities as a provocative expression of Irish nationalism. A remarkable story of how ordinary, people continue to live and play in the face of extraordinarily taxing and threatening circumstances. Guest: Brendan J. Byrne, Director of this evening's films. April 24 Nothing Personal (1995) dir: Thaddeus O'Sullivan 87 mins (Season Closing) On the night before a cease-fire by Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries in Belfast in 1975, a bomb destroys a Protestant pub. Street battles erupt on the 'Peace Line' between the communities. In this tense atmosphere, mistaken identity and misunderstood intentions explode into gratuitous violence and death. This is a powerful expression by Director Thaddeus O'Sullivan of the impact at the personal level of escalating, senseless violence.
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