WITH THE New Year upon us it is time for Galway film buffs and those looking for movies with a difference to consider what the Galway Film Society has on offer in its winter and spring schedule of screenings.
The new GFS programme runs from January 19 to March 23 and will bring together a promising selection of the finest recent releases in world cinema, with films that are sure to challenge and inspire audiences, as well as providing an alternative evening out as the weekend draws to a close.
This year the GFS has put together an eclectic line-up of films from Ireland, France, Mexico, Japan, Belgium, Chile, Germany, and Romania, a wonderful cross section of some of the most exciting film industries in the world, showcasing award-winning features which would otherwise escape under the radar.
Beginning on January 19, the GFS introduces Le Week-End, a British drama film directed by Roger Mitchell starring Academy award winner Jim Broadbent, Olivier Award winner Lindsay Duncan, and the familiar face of Jeff Goldblum.
Broadbent and Duncan play middle-aged, middle-class, couple Nick and Meg, who visit Paris for a long weekend in hopes of rekindling their relationship, or perhaps simply ending it. Expect plenty of clever dialogue and memorable scenes interspersed with funny moments throughout.
On January 26, Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria is a tragicomedy set against the backdrop of Chile’s current political developments. It follows a 58-year-old divorcée who is determined to find love and intimacy. Gloria frequents singles’ parties on the hunt for instant gratification where she meets the older Rodolfo, an ex-naval officer with whom she feels romantically inclined.
In Hannah Arendt on February 2, director Margarethe Von Trotta shines a light on the life of the influential German Jewish philosopher and political theorist, her response to the trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann when she was commissioned by The New Yorker, and her acknowledgement of the man as being a pathetic pen pusher rather than an evil monster. The film blends low key drama with footage of Eichmann’s cross examination, as Von Trotta raises questions about complicity and guilt.
February 9 sees the screening of Blue Is The Warmest Colour, the latest offering from Abdellatif Kechiche which won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The film spans several years in the life of Adele, immersing the viewer in the nuances of her fascination and eventual romantic relationship with the blue-haired Emma.
The Broken Circle Breakdown on February 16 is a Belgian drama film following the pitfalls of the relationship between tattoo artist Elise and bluegrass banjo player Didier as they fight for their love and home against an unforeseen crisis.
Romanian film Child’s Pose, on February 23, is a sardonic tale about a wealthy, ageing, Bucharest matriarch who greases more palms than she can shake as she tries to buy her son’s way out of a hit and run conviction and the manslaughter of a 14-year-old boy.
Like Father Like Son, on March 2, follows the story of two couples who, when their children are starting elementary school, discover they were switched shortly after their birth, throwing up an impossible moral quandary for two couples from very different backgrounds.
On March 9, After Lucia follows Roberto and his daughter Alejandra as they move to Mexico City to start a new life after the death of their wife and mother. When a drunken sexual experience gets recorded and circulated, Alejandra becomes the object of vicious bullying, keeping it all a secret from her father and threatening their attempt at a fresh start.
On March 16, the Town Hall will feature a fine example of recent Irish cinema with Aisling Gheal from director Dónal Ó’Céilleachair. Sean nós is considered to be the holy grail of Irish traditional music and this documentary film looks into the work of ‘Aisling Gheal’; a team of women passionately keeping sean nós alive and attracting young protégés all the time, yielding insights into this part of our culture and challenging some of our key contemporary notions of Irishness in the process.
Finally on March 23, French director Jérôme Bonnell’s Just A Sigh introduces Emmanuelle Devos’ Alix and the ever reliable Gabriel Byrne’s Doug, who after a chance encounter on a train bound for Paris make an unlikely connection amid some amusing obstacles and encounters in the most romantic city in the world.
All films will be screened in the Town Hall Theatre on Sundays at the new starting time of 8pm (unless otherwise stated). Admission to single films is €9 while season tickets available for €45. Tickets are available from the Town Hall through www.tht.ie or 091 - 569777.