Is­rael goes green for Ir­ish Film Week

The Jerusalem Post - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - • By HAN­NAH BROWN

For years, Ire­land’s most tal­ented di­rec­tors and ac­tors had to head to Bri­tain or the US if they wanted to make a liv­ing. But Ir­ish cinema has been grow­ing steadily stronger in re­cent years, and you can see the best of re­cent re­leases from the Emer­ald Isle at the Ir­ish Film Week.

This year’s Ir­ish Film Week starts on Novem­ber 11 at the Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem Cine­math­e­ques.

Ir­ish film has a rich his­tory. Most movie­go­ers first be­came aware of Ire­land on screen with the 1934 doc­u­men­tary, Man of Aran,

di­rected by Robert Fla­herty, about daily life on Ire­land’s Aran Is­lands. Be­cause of its spec­tac­u­lar scenery, Ire­land has been the set­ting of many Hol­ly­wood movies, but the cast and di­rec­tors were rarely na­tive to Ire­land.

Two of the big­gest-name Ir­ish di­rec­tors, Neil Jor­dan and Jim Sheri­dan, made movies at home be­fore mov­ing on to ca­reers abroad, and some of their most en­joy­able films were set in their home coun­try. Sheri­dan’s 1989 film, My Left Foot, won a Best Ac­tor Os­car for Daniel Day-Lewis who por­trayed Christy Brown, a young Ir­ish­man with cere­bral palsy who be­came a pain­ter and writer.

In 1992, Sheri­dan col­lab­o­rated with Day-Lewis again on In the Name of the Fa­ther, in which the ac­tor played an Ir­ish­man in Lon­don who was wrongly con­victed of be­ing an IRA ter­ror­ist. Neil Jor­dan fo­cused on Ir­ish his­tory in the 1996 biopic Michael Collins

star­ring Liam Nee­son and Ai­dan Quinn, and his break­out movie,

The Cry­ing Game, was about IRA ter­ror­ists who kid­nap a Bri­tish sol­dier. All of th­ese films are well worth stream­ing or rent­ing.

The films at the Ir­ish Film Week re­flect many facets of Ire­land. While at one time, most of Ir­ish cinema was cen­tered on Dublin, th­ese films are set all over the coun­try, in sev­eral coun­ties in­clud­ing Cork, Gal­way and Louth, as well as the cap­i­tal.

There are come­dies and dra­mas, and sev­eral of the films deal with peo­ple who have been marginal­ized, in­clud­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

In Nick Kelly’s The Drum­mer and the Keeper, an un­likely friend­ship de­vel­ops be­tween Gabriel, a bipo­lar drum­mer, and Christo­pher, an in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized goalie with Asperger’s. Gabriel is played by Der­mot Mur­phy, who can be seen in the Fred­die Mer­cury biopic

Bo­hemian Rhap­sody, play­ing Bob Gel­dorf who or­ga­nized the Live Aid Fes­ti­val.

Len Collin’s Sanc­tu­ary looks at Larry and So­phie, a cou­ple in love. But since they both have in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties, they’re break­ing the law in Ire­land by hav­ing an in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship. The movie, which has been shown all over the world, is sim­i­lar in tone to the Amer­i­can film Keep the Change, and raises ques­tions about so­ci­ety’s per­spec­tive on the dis­abled and ro­mance be­tween peo­ple who so­ci­ety thinks don’t know what is good for them.

Aoife McAr­dle’s Kiss­ing Candice is about a 17-year-old girl who longs to es­cape her sea­side home­town and takes refuge in fan­tasies. When she be­comes ob­sessed with a trou­bled stranger, she gets dan­ger­ously en­tan­gled with a no­to­ri­ous gang.

Peo­ple get­ting in over their heads in the crim­i­nal world is also the fo­cus of The Young Of­fend­ers by Peter Foott. It’s a comic road-trip movie that was in­spired by Ire­land’s largest drug bust. Two teens cy­cle hun­dreds of kilo­me­ters on stolen bikes pur­sued by po­lice to find a miss­ing stash of co­caine worth over seven mil­lion eu­ros.

Re­becca Daly’s Good Favour is a mys­ti­cal para­ble about a de­voted Catholic com­mu­nity in a small Euro­pean vil­lage that wel­comes a mys­te­ri­ous, wounded young man who slowly be­comes part of their lives. Their cu­rios­ity about his back­ground in­ten­si­fies when it around him when it turns out he has mag­i­cal pow­ers.

To get in­for­ma­tion on sched­ules and to or­der tick­ets, go to the web­sites of the in­di­vid­ual cine­math­e­ques.


A SCENE from ‘The Drum­mer and the Keeper.’

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