THE CONTROVERSIAL Israeli film Foxtrot, three films from France, a Danish thriller, a Turkish story about family and home, and a Hungarian film dealing with anti-Semitism, will be screened in the Pálás Cinema during the Galway Film Society's Spring 2019 season.
The season, which runs from February 17 to April 15, opens with the French film, Return Of The Hero (February 17 and 18 ). Set in 1809, handsome philanderer Captain Neuville is called to war, leaving his fiancée Pauline heartbroken. When Pauline does not hear from Neuville for months, her sister Elizabeth hatches a plan to write her fake letters from Neuville, a plan that will cause a lot of confusion once he returns.
Starring Jean Dujardin (The Artist ) and Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds ), this is "a good old fashioned corset comedy" (The Hollywood Reporter ) and "a delight from start to finish" with "shades of Pride and Prejudice" (Time Out Australia ).
Two men arrive in a small town in Hungarian film 1945 (February 24 and 25 ). Nobody knows who they are, but they are quickly identified as Jewish. The community is unsettled by their arrival, as many of them profiteered from the deportation of their Jewish neighbours during the war. Are these strangers here to reclaim the property and goods of deceased relatives? Or to expose what the town did to it's Jewish citizens? Variety called it "a fresh, intelligent, cinematic approach to a difficult topic", while RTE.ie said it was "marvellously directed and acted".
Turkish film The Wild Pear Tree (March 3 and 4 ) sees aspiring writer Sinan return home from college to find his father's gambling addiction has brought the family to the brink of financial ruin. Caught between his literary ambitions and loyalty to his family, he must make decisions that will affect his life permanently. Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Winter Sleep ), The Guardian called it "gentle, humane, beautifully made and magnificently acted...an unhurried, elegiac address to the idea of childhood and your home town – and how returning to both has a bittersweet savour”.
The second of the season's three French films is The House By The Sea (March 10 and 11 ), winner of the UNIMED Award at the 2017 Venice Film Festival. By a little bay near Marseilles is a picturesque villa owned by an old man. His three children have gathered by his side for his last days, and must now weigh up what they have inherited of their father’s ideals and the community spirit he created here. The Independent said of it: "Anyone who enjoys classic French art house drama will find plenty to relish here."
The claustrophobic Danish thriller The Guilty (March 24 and 25 ), uses sound as its primary storytelling tool. Demoted to deskwork and awaiting a disciplinary hearing, Asger is working the night shift in an emergency call room when he receives a call from a woman who has been abducted. His resolve and arrogance are tested in a race against time to locate her. The film won the World Cinema Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance festival, and the Audience Award and the Youth Jury Award at the 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam.
In Just To Be Sure (March 31 and April 1 ), the third French film of the season, Erwin accidentally discovers his father is not his biological father. Now he has to juggle the search for his biological dad with his daughter's unplanned pregnancy, and Erwin's own aspiring relationship with sparky veterinarian Anna, who, it turns out may or may not be his sister! The Hollywood Reporter called it, "the kind of intelligent and rather artful French comedy that doesn’t come around so often nowadays". It is screened in partnership with the Embassy of France and Institut Français.
In Israeli film Foxtrot (April 7 and 8 ) Michael and Dafna are informed their son Jonathan has died while serving in the Israeli Defence Force. As they come to terms with the news and prepare for the funeral, they’re informed that a horrifying mistake has been made. Jonathan is actually manning an isolated checkpoint, where he and his colleagues never know what will happen next. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Venice Film Festival, The Washington Post called it "gentle but devastating...bursts with integrity and tough honesty, even in its most lighthearted moments”.
The season comes to a close on April 13 and 14 with a screening in association with the annual Japanese Film Festival. The film to be screened will be announced in early March.
All films will be screened on Sundays and Mondays at 6.30pm. For tickets contact 091 - 394800 or see www.palas.ie