To the Light House in Smith­field

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS/CHARTS - Michael Dwyer

DUBLIN will get a new fourscreen art­house cin­ema late next year with the open­ing of Light House at Smith­field. The 600-seat, cus­tom-built venue is pro­ceed­ing with in­vest­ment from de­vel­op­ers Fu­sano Prop­er­ties Ltd and grants from the De­part­ment of Arts, Sport and Tourism and the Cul­tural Cin­ema Con­sor­tium, a joint ini­tia­tive of the Arts Coun­cil and the Ir­ish Film Board.

The com­plex will be op­er­ated by Neil Con­nolly and Maretta Dil­lon, who ran the two-screen Light House Cin­ema on Mid­dle Abbey Street un­til it closed in 1996.

“Light House at Smith­field will act as the cul­tural hub for the re­ju­ve­nated Smith­field area, pre­sent­ing a richly di­verse and in­di­vid­ual pro­gramme of the best Ir­ish, in­de­pen­dent, for­eign-lan­guage, art house and clas­sic cin­ema,” Con­nolly told Reel News. “Build­ing on the tra­di­tion of the old Light House Cin­ema, we’ll of­fer an ex­pe­ri­ence that is that bit dif­fer­ent, that bit spe­cial.”

Sus­pect is spir­ited away

Di­rec­tor Gavin Hood fol­lows his Os­car-win­ning South African drama Tsotsi with a top­i­cal po­lit­i­cal thriller. Ren­di­tion, now in pro­duc­tion, stars Meryl Streep as US gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial who ap­proves the so-called ren­di­tion of the sus­pect in a sui­cide bomb­ing. Jake Gyl­len­haal plays a Mid­dle East-based CIA oper­a­tive who ques­tions his as­sign­ment af­ter ob­serv­ing the sus­pect’s in­ter­ro­ga­tion. The prin­ci­pal cast also in­cludes Reese Wither­spoon, Peter Sars­gaard and Alan Arkin.

Film Flanns

Flann O’Brien’s lit­er­ary out­put con­tin­ues to at­tract the in­ter­est of film and TV pro­duc­ers. A cru- cial ref­er­ence to The Third Po­lice­man in the se­ries Lost trig­gered a surge in sales for the book, and Bren­dan Glee­son plans to adapt and di­rect At Swim-Two-Birds as a fea­ture film. And next Wed­nes­day di­rec­tor Rory Bres­ni­han and pro­ducer An­neMarie Naughton be­gin pro­duc­tion on the short film, The Mar­tyr’s Crown, based on O’Brien’s short story. They have lined up an im­pres­sive cast led by David Kelly, Eva Birthis­tle, Alan Devlin, Michael McElhatton and Mark Do­herty.

Demme on Carter’s trail

One of the long­est run­ning movies at Ir­ish cine­mas this year, An In­con­ve­nient Truth, fea­tur­ing for­mer US vice-pres­i­dent Al Gore, closed at the Screen in Dublin last night af­ter 12 weeks on re­lease. Now for­mer US pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter is to be the sub­ject of a doc­u­men­tary from di­rec­tor Jonathan Demme. He Comes in Peace fol­lows Carter on the pro­mo­tional tour for his new book, Pales­tine: Peace Not Apartheid.

“The pres­i­dent’s book tour oc­curs at a cross­roads where the world of re­li­gion in­ter­sects with global pol­i­tics,” com­ments Demme, who says his film will adopt an ex­per­i­men­tal approach to en­sure it isn’t dom­i­nated by talk­ing heads. Demme’s doc­u­men­taries have in­cluded the Talk­ing Heads con­cert film, Stop Mak­ing Sense, and the re­cent Neil Young: Heart of Gold.

UIP goes MIA

Reg­u­lar cin­ema­go­ers will be familiar with the logo for United Pic­tures In­ter­na­tional (UIP), which has pre­ceded hun­dreds of movies down the years but will dis­ap­pear from our screens in 2007. UIP has been a joint ven­ture for in­ter­na­tional dis­tri­bu­tion be­tween two of Hol­ly­wood’s most pro­lific ma­jor stu­dios, Uni­ver­sal and Paramount, which are go­ing their sep­a­rate ways. To­day’s re­lease of The Hol­i­day (see re­view, page 12) will be the last Uni­ver­sal pro­duc­tion to open here un­der the UIP ban­ner.

Paddy Kelly, the Ir­ish man­ager of UIP, will take care of Paramount pic­tures, start­ing with the re­lease of Ale­jan­dro Gonzáles Iñár­ritu’s Ba­bel on Jan­uary 19th, while Dave Burke, for­merly of Eclipse Pic­tures, is the man­ager of Uni­ver­sal’s new Ir­ish of­fice, kick­ing off with ac­tion movie Smokin’ Aces, star­ring Ben Af­fleck, on Jan­uary 12th.

Don’t for­get your shovel

Glanc­ing through the list of movies se­lected for next month’s Sun­dance fes­ti­val, it was a sur­prise to see Christy Moore along­side Molly Shan­non, Laura Dern and Peter Sars­gaard in the cast of Mike White’s Year of the Dog. How­ever, the pop­u­lar Ir­ish singer-song­writer is not go­ing all Hol­ly­wood – the Christy in White’s movie is a young ac­tress who made her film de­but five years ago in King Pa­thetic Creep.

md­wyer@ir­ish-times.ie

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