Dublin International Film Festival – Preview

Dublin International Film Festival – Preview
by Frank L.

Dublin International Film Festival – 23rd February to 4th March 2023

If you have not laid your hands on the hard copy brochure all relevant information about the festival can be found at WWW.DIFF.IE. The Programme can be found here.

Spring has to be in the air as the Dublin International Film Festival has just launched its programme for this year’s festival. The opening night gala performance on 23rd February is “God’s Creatures” directed by Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer and the cast includes Emily Watson and Paul Mescal- the man of the moment. So that certainly is an eye-catching start.

There is a vast choice in the festival, with a strong showing of films with an indigenous connection. In this category, there is a documentary by Peter Sheridan entitled “Peter O’Toole: Along the Sky road to Aqaba”. Peter Sheridan’s film “features vast archive footage and interviews with those who knew [O’Toole] best.”

Within the same category is “Ann” (Zara Devlin) which is based on the true story of Ann Lovett in 1984 who is fifteen years old, pregnant and frightened. Ciaran Creagh’s film “shines a light on the tragedy of a young woman whose story invoked impassioned calls for change.”

Irish documentary filmmaker Mark Cousins has a film entitled “The March on Rome” which looks at the rise of fascism in Italy a century ago and examines Benito Mussolini’s march on Rome. In contrast, the acclaimed Finnish director Klaus Haro creates a drama in and around Achill with a story around a returned sea captain, his daughter, their difficult family dynamic and his unexpected departure on a new romance.

Escaping entirely from Ireland there is “Cairo Conspiracy” where Swedish Tarek Saleh returns to his Egyptian roots. In Cannes, it was in competition for the Palme d’Or and won best screenplay. His previous film “The Nile Hilton Incident” was banned in Egypt for its presentation of the country’s police. The role of banning of films was part of cinematic life in Ireland for many a year in the 20th century so in that regard Saleh has a connection with Ireland.

“The Girl from Tomorrow” was written and directed by Marta Savina and tells a true story of a young woman Lia in 1960’s Sicily who tries to end a romantic relationship with Lorenzo for a variety of reasons but there are shocking consequences. It is based on a true story.

There are feature films from South Korea, Canada, Japan, Chile and America so there is no shortage of genre. And there are fascinating curiosities “Desperate Souls. Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy” where documentarian Nancy Buirski examines the shift Midnight Cowboy heralded in male friendship, examines the transition and what allowed it to happen and why it has had such a lasting impact.

Another blast from the sixties is a showing of “Cool Hand Luke” 1967 directed by Stuart Rosenberg with Paul Newman which Lenny Abrahamson has chosen who “cannot wait to see it in all its restored big screen glory” and he will be in attendance to discuss the film with the audience… a lovely treat.

This preview gives merely a flavour of what is on offer. Get the brochure or go to the website in order to savour the diversity of the complete menu.

Categories: Header, Movie Review, Movies

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