There was certainly an air of anticipation in Smithfield’s Light House Cinema last night for the launch of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival – or JDIFF as it shall hence forth be known. Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys was on hand to highlight some films of note and showcase the many different genres and stories from all walks of life that will be on show. You can see the full JDIFF 2014 programme here or grab a PDF download from here.
To make life that little bit easier we’ve taken the time to peruse the programme and pick some films that are well worth catching – a dirty dozen if you will (plus one). Act fast as many screenings will no doubt sell out with tickets going on sale from 10am tomorrow morning on jdiff.com. Keep an eye on the site over the next few days and weeks as we bring you more festival updates.
1) Calvary (opening gala)
The world and his mother of Irish acting talent is to be seen in John Michael McDonagh’s newest offering. Brendan Gleeson plays Fr. Lavelle who is informed one day in confession that he is to be murdered. This sets the priest on a moral journey, come murder mystery.
One not to be missed as the film will have the director and some of the actors present on the night.
2) Grand Budapest Hotel
Get to see the latest Wes Anderson film nearly a whole month before it’s official release date in Ireland.
From the trailer alone it looks like the most Wes Anderson film made to date. Ralph Fiennes is taking the lead acting reigns but the film has a whole plethora of cameos. The 15th of February can’t come quickly enough.
3) Stranger by the Lake
The director Alain Guiraudie picked up the best director award at Cannes Film Festival last year. It concerns itself with a group of men both gay and straight who visit the lake known for it’s nudists and men in search of casual sex. With it being noted for it’s similarities in tone and suspense to Rear Window, “L’inconnu du Lac” will be one not to be missed for all Francophiles.
This will be the film for the Polish Gala, showcasing the latest work of Polish-born director Pawel Pawlikowski.
Winning the BFI award for best film at the London Film Festival it revolves around a nun about to take her final vows. She is encouraged to contact her last living relative which unfurls a past she may not have been prepared to deal with.
5) Los Wild Ones
Winner of best documentary at Michigan and Phoenix film festivals and best feature at the Reel Indie Film Fest, Los Wild Ones is a must for music film fans.
Reb Kennedy was a Dublin punk circa 1970 who decided to emigrate to America – specifically California – and in doing so set about cementing a Rockabilly culture.
6) The Last Days on Mars
Liev Schreiber? Check. And with a lot of hype around him since the first season of Ray Donovan finished.
Irish director Ruairí Robinon? Check. The man who was Oscar nominated back in 2002 for his animated short Fifty Percent Grey.
Horror/Sci-Fi mash up? Double check.
See you there.
7) Looking For Light Jane Bown
Another documentary here and this time about photographer Jane Bown. Bown worked for nearly 60 years for The Observer and photographed everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to important people like Samuel Beckett.
It will hopefully aim to be as insightful and engaging as McCullin from last year. It’s directed by Luke Dodd and Michael Whyte who will both be in attendance at the screening.
8) The Reunion
Ever think you got screwed over by your classmates? Well why not get a bunch of actors to play them and confront the actors for the perceived wrongs that were carried out against you. Then go and show it to the real people and see what they have to say. Sounds bonkers, yes? Well this is exactly what Anna Odell a “controversial” Swedish artist did.
Judge the results for yourself in this undoubtedly thought provoking piece.
9) The Zero Theorem
Genius or crazy man, Terry Gilliam brings his third dystopian film (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) to JDIFF and will be attending the screening to chat and accept a Volta award. Starring Tarantino darling Christoph Waltz (pictured and not actually Bruce Willis) this is certain to sell out.
10) Run and Jump
The first feature from Steph Green who was nominated for an Oscar back in 2009 for her short New Boy will be one of the strong contenders for Irish film of the year. Already having won the best Irish feature at the Galway Film Fleadh, it tells the classic tale of family and how it copes when forced to change.
11) Safety Last!
The picture says it all. Harold Lloyd in one of the silent eras greatest thrill comedies. A must for all budding film buffs.
12) The Stag (Closing gala)
What better way to close the festival than with another fantastic ensemble piece of acting from some of Ireland’s finest. Starring Hugh O’Conor, Andrew Scott, Brian Gleeson, Peter Mc Donald and Amy Huberman in this tale of a stag party going wrong in the great outdoors, the film has already gotten great responses from those lucky enough to see it in Korea and Canada.
The majority of the cast will be in attendance on the night of the screening.
13) SECRET FILM
There is always great anticipation for the JDIFF secret film. Normally one of the first screenings to sell out you will need to be on the ball with this one. For what it’s worth my money is on Lenny Abrahamson’s new picture Frank. It would be the perfect end to a programme full of great Irish films.
Once again the box office opens from 10am on Tuesday the 21st and tickets can be purchased from jdiff.com.