The RCC has just announced its spring season of world and cultural cinema screenings featuring everything from Oscar-nominated Irish language films to epic dramas based on true events.
Our Look! Film Club has been growing in popularity as it continues to screen top class world cinema and the spring season of screenings begins with writer / director Todd Field’s long-awaited follow-up to 2006’s Little Children, Tár, a masterfully-crafted portrait of a (fictional) composer on Thursday 9th March, 7:30pm.
Composer and conductor Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) is a classical music superstar. Her acclaimed run as chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic is about to reach its crescendo with a performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. But Tár also has a history of abusing her power. As investigations into Tár’s past behaviour begin, her professional and personal lives start spiralling out of control.
Cate Blanchett’s awards success is well-earned – she is utterly convincing and beguiling in the title role. Nina Hoss, meanwhile, offers a brilliantly restrained supporting performance as Lydia’s wife Sharon. Tár is simply a triumph.
On Thursday 23rd March, 7:30pm will be screening All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Laura Poitras’ Golden Lion-winning documentary chronicling the life and work of artist Nan Goldin. Since the 1970s, Goldin has been an acclaimed photographer of NYC’s LGBT and new-wave communities.
Following her own battles with addiction, she has devoted recent decades to activism – in particular efforts to address America’s opioid crisis. The film follows her years-long efforts to hold the Sackler family – owners of OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma – to account. Poitras documents how Goldin and her fellow activists took their fight to the prestigious museums & galleries that accepted many millions of dollars in donations from the Sacklers.
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is a vital piece of documentary filmmaking: a portrait of an extraordinary artist and an urgent rallying cry for justice.
Look! Film Club continues on Thursday 6th April at 7:30pm with EO, a Polish drama road movie directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, which follows the life of a donkey born in a Polish circus. During his travels, he encounters an eclectic cast of characters, including a countess, a young Italian priest and a riotous Polish football team.
EO’s journey speaks to the world around us, an equine hero boldly pointing out societal ills, and serving as warning to the dangers of neglect and inaction, all while on a quest for freedom.
Next up, on Thursday 20th April 20, at 7:30pm, is Joyland, a 2022 Urdu and Punjabi-language Pakistani drama film which was selected as Pakistan’s submission to the 2023 Oscars.
Haider, married without children, is the youngest of two sons in a traditional Lahore family, where everyone lives under the same roof, and the main concern is ensuring the birth of a male heir. So, when Haider become a backup dancer to trans artist Biba, he keeps secret the true nature of his work. Soon he becomes attracted to Biba and before long the two are involved in an illicit romance.
The next screening has been in the news a lot lately following a string of high-profile nominations at the BAFTAs and a nominations for Best International Film at the 95th Academy Awards; It’s An Cailín Ciúin on Sunday 30th April at 4:30pm. Tickets for this film screening will go on sale shortly.
Adapted from Foster, a short story by Claire Keegan, it centres on nine-year-old Cáit, a shy and withdrawn child who receives scant attention or affection from a family ruled by an uncaring patriarch.
When she is sent to spend the summer with her aunt Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) and her husband Seán (Andrew Bennett), she comes out of her shell, blossoming in their care, especially when Seán’s initial aloofness fades. At the end of the summer, difficult decisions and realities must be faced.
Holy Spider, showing on Thursday 4th May, 7:30pm, is based on the true story of the ‘Spider Killer’ Saeed Hanaei, who saw himself as on a mission from God as he killed 16 women between 2000 and 2001.
Female journalist Rahimi travels to the Iranian holy city of Mashhad to investigate a serial killer targeting sex workers. As she draws closer to exposing his crimes, the opportunity for justice grows harder to attain when the murderer is embraced by many as a hero.
On Thursday 18th May 18, 7:30pm, Look! Film Club will screen Blue Jean which tells the story of a closeted teacher pushed to the brink when a new student threatens to expose her sexuality.
Jean, recently divorced, is now in a happy relationship with her girlfriend Viv. Jean works as a PE teacher in a secondary school, but there she keeps her sexuality a secret. However, everything changes for her after she’s spotted by a student at a local gay bar.
Georgia Oakley’s award-winning debut feature is a moving coming out story and a reminder of the challenges the gay community faced just a generation ago (and, in many cases, still do today). Rosy McEwen is revelatory as Jean. Her performance is restrained yet expressive, and is further enhanced thanks to excellent support from Kerrie Hayes and newcomer Lucy Halliday.
Look! Film Club is presented by the Regional Cultural Central thanks to access > CINEMA, The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Donegal County Council.
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