Another fine bouquet from Marti
Fresh from his belated triumph at this year’s Oscars, it transpires that Martin Scorsese has been engaged in “a secret experiment in film-making” – a nine-minute movie called The Key to Reserva/ La Clava Reserva. It’s artfully formed as an entertaining mockdocumentary in which a deadpan Scorsese playfully sends up his image as film buff and historian, while explaining how he shot a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Simon Baker plays the hero of the film-within-the film, which is set at a concert hall and features Kelli O’Hara as a femme fatale modelled on Hitchcock’s blonde heroines. It opens on a pastiche of the stylish credit sequences designed by Saul Bass and is accompanied by Bernard Herrmann’s sublime score for Hitchcock’s North By Northwest. And it ends on another obvious but amusing Hitchcock reference.
This resonant and witty film, which also features Scorsese’s regular editor Thelma Schoonmaker (who edited it, brilliantly as ever), is now available to view free of charge online – because, in fact, it’s a commercial for Freixenet’s brand of Carta Nevada Reserva cava (the Spanish sparkling wine). Check it out at www. scorsesefilmfreixenet.com
Garage, Once rake in the awards
Lenny Abrahamson’s Garage continues to collect awards on the international festival circuit. A week after Pat Shortt was voted best actor at the Monte Carlo festival, Garage has taken the prize for best film at the Turin festival, where Palme d’Or-winning Italian film-maker Nanni Moretti is the new artistic director. The award comes with a cash prize of ¤25,000. The audience award at Turin went to Australian director Craig Gillespie for his delightful US comedy, Lars and the Real Girl, which stars Ryan Gosling.
Meanwhile, John Carney’s Once has received yet another awards nomination, this time as best foreign film at the annual Independent Spirit awards in the US. The other nominees are Persepolis, The Band’s Visit, Lady Chatterley and 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days.
Four films received four nominations each: Juno, The Savages and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, all of which will be released here in early spring, and Todd Haynes’s Bob Dylan movie, I’m Not There, which opens here exclusively at the Irish Film Institute on December 21st.
U2 in 3D
Shown incomplete as a work in progress in Cannes this year, Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington’s concert film U2 3D will be screened in full at next month’s Sundance festival in the US. Rupert Wyatt’s prison break movie, The Escapist, which stars Joseph Fiennes, Brian Cox and Damian Lewis, and was shot in Ireland earlier this year, will have its world premiere at Sundance.
The festival will close with CSNY Déjà Vu, which follows Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on their Freedom of Speech tour to explore their political and musical connections with audiences, and to compare the Vietnam era, when the band started out, to the present political environment during the Iraq war. Neil Young directed the documentary under his pseudonym, Bernard Shakey.
As already announced, the opening film at Sundance will be Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, starring Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes.
De Dubliners on fillum
Brendan Gleeson takes on the role of interviewer at the Irish Film Institute, Dublin, next Tuesday at 7pm, when he will engage Ronnie Drew, Barney McKenna and John Sheehan, all original members of the Dubliners, in conversation after a screening of O’Donoghue’s Opera.
Made in 1965, this mock opera ran into financial difficulties and remained unfinished until filmmaker Tom Hayes acquired the outtakes and Se Merry Doyle oversaw its painstaking restoration in 1998. The event is an Irish Film Archive presentation.
The Dubliners were among the first Irish acts to appear on Top of the Pops, when they made the UK top 10 in 1967 with their humorously raunchy single, Seven Drunken Nights. www.irishfilm.ie
We’re off to hear the Wizard
Here’s a seasonal event not to be missed. The Wizard of Oz will have five special screenings at the Helix in Dublin from December 19th to 22nd, when the original score will be performed live by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra under the baton of conductor John Wilson. www.thehelix.ie