Athlone audiences are in for a treat as September marks the start of Athlone Film Club’s autumn/winter season. From September 15 to December 15, films will be shown every second Tuesday at 8pm on the big screen in the Dean Crowe Theatre and Arts Centre. From comedy to classic, from world cinema to contemporary, the club promises an exciting line-up that will appeal to all tastes and ages.
The season kicks off on a feel-good note with the Irish produced 2008 film Kisses. Winner of the Best Irish Feature Film at the 2008 Galway Film Fleadh, Kisses tells the story of two pre-teen kids, Kylie and Dylan, who live in a suburban housing estate devoid of life, colour, and the prospect of escape. After a violent altercation with his father, Dylan runs away from home and Kylie decides to run away with him. Together they make their way to the magical night-time lights of inner city Dublin, to search for Dylan’s brother, and in the hope of finding, through him, the possibility of new life.
From the bright lights of Dublin to the untamed waves of the west coast of Ireland as, on Tuesday September 29 the club will screen the Irish documentary Waveriders directed by Joel Conroy. Waveriders is a superb and astonishing Irish documentary about extreme surfing that won the audience award at the 2008 Dublin International Film Festival. Through Waveriders Conroy achieves something unexpected and transcendental, riding waves in the maw of a monstrous angry ocean will linger long in your mind.
Action of a different kind will be experienced in the screening of the Danish/German film Flame and Citron (2008 ). Set during World War Two its heroes are key assassins for the resistance, who were responsible for eliminating dozens of Danish collaborators and eventually Nazi officers. Flame and Citron is courageous, complex and gripping, and has already become one of the highest-grossing pictures in Danish film history.
Tokyo Sonata (Japan, Netherlands ) is yet another of director Kiyoshi Kurosawahs chilling portrait of micro and macro alienation, a family drama as chillingly controlled and despondent as the horror films that have gained him international recognition. Toyko office worker Ryuhei Sasaki is downsized and chooses to keep it a secret from his family making him part of the legion of spectre-like businessmen who roam the city during daytime, pretending to answer work calls while surreptitiously getting lunch at a free food cart!
Music, comedy and drama that will appeal to both young and old are all in the sweet-natured documentary, Young at Heart (2007 ), about the Young at Heart chorus, a singing ensemble from Massachusetts, whose members ages range from 75 to 93 and who specialise in full-blooded versions of rock standards. Their showstopper is a cover of the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” As performed by 90-something Eileen Hall, who asks the question as if pondering whether to remain at home or head off to the garden centre!
Discover director Thomas McCarthy’s heartfelt, often funny story about the self-discovery of a Connecticut widower Walter Vale (Jenkins ), who befriends the Syrian drummer Tarek, in the 2007 US film, The Visitor. Their uneasy meeting turns into a tentative friendship and Walter, a stiff WASP begins playing the congo drums under Tarek’s patient instruction. Alongside McCarthy’s tender treatment of strangers who would never meet except for chance, forming a human bond, is a chilling view of life for immigrants who experince the bad luck of being caught by law enforcement.
The Film Club’s third season ends in December with two very different views of Christmas. Experience Christmas, French style, with the magical yet controversial family drama, A Christmas Tale (Un Conte de Noel ) staring the legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve. And what better way to finish the season and get into the Christmas spirit than with the 1954 musical classic, White Christmas. It’s warm, sweet and a perfect way to spend a winters evening.
There definitely is something for everybody in Athlone Film Club’s autumn/winter line up. Joining the club is easy, come along on opening night 15th September or any of the Tuesday nights screening and sign up. Membership forms can also be downloaded from the clubs new website www.athlonefilmclub.com You can alternatively come along to any films you wish and pay 7 euro for temporary membership. Membership for the season is only €40, €65 for a couple, while student and OAP membership is €30. This includes a complimentary wine reception in the Dean Crowe Theatre bar before each film. What better way to spend an autumn evening!
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