Three months, ten films, and a world of cinema

FILM STARS Marion Cotillard and Gael Garcia Bernal; leading directors like Nadine Labaki and Jacques Audiard; settings ranging from French vineyards to Lebanese villages; and genres as diverse as thrillers and romances - all make up the new Galway Film Society season.

The Galway Film Society’s winter/spring 2013 season returns from January 20 to March 24 with 10 films to be screened in the Town Hall Theatre.

The opening film on January 20 is The Snows of Kilimanjaro (France, 2011 ). Following his retirement, Michel’s family get him a present of a holiday to Kenya, but thieves ransack their house just as they are about to set off. Suspecting one of the assailants might have been a former co-worker, Michel reflects on his own past as a trade union rep - the compromises and back-room bargaining, the loss of ideals, and the failure of his generation to provide a future for young workers.

Elena (Russia, 2011 ) is a bitterly comic story about moral and spiritual corruption in Russia. Former nurse Elena is married to a wealthy retired businessman Vladimir, who, following a heart attack, decides to make a will leaving everything to his idle, estranged, daughter from his previous marriage. Elena, however, has other ideas. See what happens on January 27. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Rust and Bone (France, 2012 ), a box office sensation in France and a hit at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, will be shown on February 3.

Directed by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet ) and starring Marion Cotillard (Inception, Midnight In Paris, The Dark Knight Rises, La Vie en Rose ), it tells the story of broke boxer Ali who dreams of making it big in the martial arts while scrambling to make a living for himself and his young son. Taking work as a nightclub bouncer, he meets Stéphanie, who works as a killer-whale trainer at an amusement park, and a relationship begins.

Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, Amour (France/Germany/Austria, 2012 ), is about happily married octogenarians Georges and Anne. Then Anne has a mild stroke and Georges insists on looking after her but when a second one strikes, life as they knew it is over. Amour, which explores the power of love, can be seen on February 17.

In You Will Be My Son (Franc, 2010 ), Paul de Marseul is the owner of a prestigious chateau and winery in Saint-Émilion. He is dismayed at the prospect of his bookish son Martin taking on the family vineyard, but discovers a suitable successor in Philippe. However in showing Philippe the ropes, Paul neglects his own son who craves consideration and love from his father. Then an unexpected tragedy occurs to upset all the plans and dynamics of the family. See it on February 24.

The Hunt (Denmark, 2012 ) centres around Lucas (played by Mads Mikkelsen ), who appears to have a good life - he has a job, good friends, and is a popular member of the local hunt, but things take a turn for the worse when a child makes accusations against him, adn everything spins out of control. See this tense drama-thriller on March 3. Mikkelsen won the award for best actor at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

It is appropriate that for St Patrick’s Day, an Irish film be shown. Dreamtime, Revisited (2011 ) is inspired by the works of writer, poet, and philosopher, John Moriarty. The film weaves together contemporary and archive material, with excerpts from some of Moriarty’s key talks, in an invocation of his “dream-vision” of Ireland.

No (Chile, 2012 ), is centred on the 1988 plebiscite which led to Chile’s first democratically elected government in 17 years. René, (Gael Garcia Bernal ) a successful advertising executive, is approached to work on the No campaign but is initially ambivalent. However driven by the legacy of his political-dissident father, René eventually gets on board, coming up with a campaign using the same strategies he used to sell sodas and microwaves. The film, which won the CICAE Award at last year’s Cannes, can be seen on March 24.

Special screenings

Galwegians will be among the very first to see the multi-award winning Belgian/French film Our Children (2012 ), which it receives a special preview screening on March 10.

Inspired by a true story, Our Children is a claustrophobic psychological drama in which family closeness is pushed to the extremes. Murielle (Emilie Dequenne ) and Mounir decide to move in together with Mounir’s surrogate father, Pignet. However an air of menace begins to suffocate the couple as Pignet controls the household like a puppeteer and the tension only escalates as the doctor becomes more domineering.

The film won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival; the Best Narrative Feature award at the Tribeca Film Festival; and the award for best actress to Emilie Dequenne, at last year’s Cannes.

To mark International Women’s Day Film, the Lebanese/Egyptian film, Where Do We Go Now (2011 ), directed by Nadine Labaki’s (Caramel ), will be shown in the McMunn Theatre, main concourse, NUI Galway, on Thursday March 7 at 8pm.

The film centres on Lebanese village matriarchs who must stop the men from killing one another, in the process tackling the realities in a conflict-ridden region. The film won the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2011 Oslo Films From The South Festival.

All films will be shown on Sundays at 8.15pm (expect where stated ). Membership/season ticket are €45/42 while tickets to single films are €8.50/6.50 from the Town Hall Theatre (091 - 569777, www.tht.ie )

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