Cats, ghosts, and disastrous dinner parties

Galway Film Society's autumn/winter 2017 season

Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot in French film The Midwife.

Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot in French film The Midwife.

TURKISH CATS, a dinner party that goes wrong, spiritual journeys, haunted houses, mysterious strangers, and moral dilemmas - all will feature in the impressive line-up of movies from around the world, that make up the Galway Film Society's autumn/winter 2017 season.

One of Sweden's best known actors, Rolf Lassgård (Wallander, Dag, Sebastain Bergman, The Hunters ) takes the lead role in A Man Called Ove (Sweden/Norway 2016 ), the opening film of the new Galway Film Society season. Ove is a struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife, a struggle he angrily takes out on his neighbours by strictly enforcing the estate rules. Then his world is further turned upside down by the young family who move in next door. A hit movie in Sweden and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Oscars, it will be screened on this Sunday.

Screen legend Catherine Deneuve stars in The Midwife (France 2017 ), a tender comedy drama about female friendship and rediscovery. Claire (Catherine Frot ) is a conscientious midwife and single mother who lives an isolated life. Beatrice (Deneuve ) is a free spirited, professional gambler who wishes to reconnect with Claire’s father. Shocked that he has passed away, she implants herself in Claire’s life bringing chaos, joy, and happy memories. See it on October 1.

Cat lovers are in for a treat when Kedi (Turkey, 2016 ) is screened on October 8. Thousands of street cats roam Istanbul, visiting shops and restaurants, knowing they will get a few scraps of food. Some spend their days trying to defend their kittens. Others are nocturnal hunters, keeping the local rodent population at bay in return for treats from grateful locals. This is a charming documetary about Istanbul, its cats, and people.

Frantz (Germany, 2016 ), to be screened on October 15, is set in post-WWI Germany, and centres on a grieving woman, Anna, who finds a young Frenchman, Adrien, laying flowers at the grave of her fiancé Frantz. Revealing himself to be an old friend of the deceased man, he reignites an obsolete joy in Anna and the possibilities of life open up to her again. The Daily Telegraph called it director François Ozon’s "gripping homage to Hitchcock".

The ghost of a recently deceased musician returns to the home he shared with his wife. Forced to watch passively as his grieving widow slowly rebuilds life without him, he finds that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time. This is the acclaimed low-budget supernatural drama, A Ghost Story (USA 2017 ), starring Rooney Mara and Oscar-winner Casey Affleck. It is shot in a boxy 4:3 ratio with limited dialogue. See it on October 22.

Romeo, Magda, and their teenage daughter Eliza live in a neglected apartment in northwest Romania. When Eliza is assaulted just prior to taking her final school exams, the scholarship she had won to study psychology in the UK is put into jeopardy. Desperate not to let Eliza’s opportunity slip away, Romeo finds himself faced with having to call on a system of 'favours', and involve his daughter in a web of dishonesty and moral compromise. This is Graduation (Romania, 2016 ) which will be screened on November 5.

Based on the true story of French aid workers plotting to smuggle West Sudan orphans to pre-paid adoptive parents in France, The White Knights (France, 2015 ) is a provocative procedural drama about good intentions gone awry. Concentrating on the process, logistics, and dangers of relief work, the film indirectly emphasises the NGO’s inability to reflect on the limits of humanitarian aid missions. The film, which won Silver Seashell for Best Director, at the San Sebastián International Film Festival 2015, is screened on November 12.

On Body and Soul (Hungary, 2017 ), to be screened on November 19, centres on Endre, the reserved director of a Budapest abattoir. He takes a shine to his new quality controller, the socially awkward Maria, but their initial interactions are extremely uncomfortable. When by chance, they discover that each night, they are having exactly the same dream, they feel compelled to attempt a romance to match their shared visions.

Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas ) has been appointed Shadow Health Minister and decides to celebrate by holding an intimate dinner party for her closest friends. As each new guest arrives and various secrets are revealed and Janet’s plans for the evening start to unravel, particularly when husband Bill (Timothy Spall ) makes a surprise announcement of his own. This is The Party (Britain, 2017 ), which also stars Cillian Murphy, Bruno Gantz, and Emily Morimer ) and will be screened on November 26.

After a prophetic dream, 77-year-old Daya decides he must travel to the Indian holy city of Varanasi to attain salvation before dying. Reluctantly accompanied by his overworked son Rajiv, the men’s arrival at Mukti Bhawan forces them to reconnect – not just with each other, but also with what is important in life. This is Hotel Salvation (India, 2016 ) which will be screened on December 3. The film won the UNESCO Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival. Tulsi Restaurant will provide samples of its fare prior to the screening.

All films will be screened in the Town Hall Theatre on Sundays at 8pm. For season and individual tickets contact the Town Hall (091 - 569777, www.tht.ie ).

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