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JDIFF 2013 – A dozen quick picks…

JDIFF Logo 2013

We’re going to be talking a whole lot about the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in the coming weeks. The 11th incarnation of the capital’s reborn festival takes place between February 14th and 23rd and the program went online this evening, with tickets available from the wacky time of 11.59pm.

At first glance it looks like a pretty solid mix of films. While some will be getting pumped about Danny DeVito’s lifetime achievement award or Joss Whedon’s appearance to promote his lo-fi adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, we don’t get too excited about the celeb presence and instead focus on what’s on screen. What purists we are.

There’s a number of films that have done the rounds for a while now, these include Richard Gere’s Golden Globe-nominated turn in Arbitrage (it’s superb but it did debut at Sundance a year ago), while Jack Black and Richard Linklater’s team-up in Bernie debuted in mid-2011 and was one of the best films I saw last year with a lovely ★★★★ review from us way back in May.

While some may not seem all that “fresh”, you are dealing with a festival that comes at a challenging time of the cinematic year, with people getting excited about brand-new unproven (and unsold) pictures playing at Sundance but also still labouring over 2012’s end of year lists as the year’s awards contenders all start to show up screen. It means that a film festival looking to program brand new, worthwhile films in February is really up against it. Whether you take that into account or not, the JDIFF gang do a really fantastic job at finding decent films from the last 18 months that are still to show up on Irish films. Pepper that list with a few brand new, unproven pictures (The Look of Love and Stoker just debuted at Sundance) and you’ve got yourself a film festival!

So to start’s JDIFF 2013 coverage, we’ve picked out a few films that stand out from the crowd. We’ll follow up with what we each actually went and got tickets for too, but in the meantime, here’s some food for thought. Enjoy, and let us know if anything caught your eye from the schedule and don’t forget to keep up to date with all of our JDIFF 2013 coverage here.

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The Gatekeepers (Shomerei ha’saf)

Director: Dror Moreh  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: Israel/France/Germany/Belgium  //  Duration: 95 minutes

Why? Israel! Spies! Documentary! Oscar-nominated!

When? 17 Feb 2013, 6:10pm at Light House Cinema

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The Place Beyond the Pines

Director: Derek Cianfrance  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: US  //  Duration: 140 minutes

Why? Cianfrance and Ryan Gosling’s follow-up to Blue Valentine, one of Spooool’s favourite films of 2010/11. It divided critics when it played at TIFF and the London Film Festival  and Focus Features’ decision to delay its general release until later this spring suggests it was just too challenging to be an awards contender. But no matter as we cannot wait!

When? 17 Feb 2013, 10:30am at Savoy

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Side Effects

Director: Steven Soderbergh  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: US  //  Duration: 106 minutes


When? 17 Feb 2013, 1:15pm at Cineworld

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The Look of Love

Director: Michael Winterbottom  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: UK  //  Duration: 105 minutes

Why? Winterbottom never stays on the one track for too long, so for his follow-up to the just-released Everyday (our review), he re-teams with Steve Coogan for a biopic of a porn and property tycoon.

When? 21 Feb 2012, 6.15pm at Cineworld

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Something in the Air (Après Mai)

Director: Olivier Assayas  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: France  //  Duration: 122 minutes

Why? Assayas wowwed us all with the epic made-for-TV-but-its-in-cinemas-yay Carlos and while his follow-up seems like a much more subtle and nuanced affair, his ability to capture a time and a place suggests his story of the French 1970s counter-culture will be worth your while.

When? 19 Feb 2013, 6:10pm at Light House Cinema

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Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God

Director: Alex Gibney  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: US

Why? One of the world’s best documentary makers tackling one of the most documentary-worthy institutions and their never-ending cover-ups? Yes please.

When? 15 Feb 2013, 6pm at Light House Cinema

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After Lucia

Director: Michel Franco  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: Mexico  //  Duration: 102 minutes

Why? One of the most interesting films to come out of last year’s Cannes Film Festival finally arrives on screens. The performances of Hernán Mendoza and Tessa Ia seem particularly noteworthy.

When? 20 Feb 2013, 4pm & 23 Feb 2013, 4:20pm

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Easy Money 1 & 2 (Snabba Cash 1&2)

Director: Babak Najafi  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: Sweden  //  Duration: 97 minutes

Why? I saw Easy Money 1 last summer but couldn’t not recommend it or its follow-up, simply because they feature a potential “before he was famous” performance from Joel Kinnaman, the man who is soon to be known the world over as “the new Robocop”.

When? 24 Feb 2013, 11am at Savoy & 24 Feb 2013, 3:20pm at Cineworld &

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Motorway (Che sau)

Director: Soi Cheang  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: Hong Kong  //  Duration: 90 minutes

Why? A Hong Kong film with cars and guns and violence and good guys and bad guys.

When? 16 Feb 2013, 4pm at Cineworld

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A Hijacking (Kapringen)

Director: Tobias Lindholm  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: Denmark  //  Duration: 99 minutes

Why? From the writer of The Hunt. Also in case you haven’t been reading your weekend papers, Danish drama is now very cool.

When? 20 Feb 2013, 8:35pm at Cineworld

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The Body (El Cuerpo)

Director: Oriol Paulo  //  Year: 2012  //  Country of Origin: Spain  //  Duration: 107 minutes

Why? Spanish thriller/horror!

When? 16 Feb 2013, 8:45pm at Cineworld

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Cloud Atlas

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski  //  Year: 2011  //  Country of Origin: Germany  //  Duration: 163 minutes

Why? I would say “why not”. One of 2012’s most-talked about films, that ended up on as many “best of” lists as it did “worst of”, the Wachowski siblings have clearly made an epic movie that demands to be seen on the big screen.

When? 16 Feb 2013, 7:30pm at Savoy

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