BIZARRE LOVE triangles, a WWII drama set in the present day, working class life in Mexico, unlikely romances in Mumbai and Scotland, a South American thriller, an Iranian woman's struggle to play football internationally, and a family determined to keep a secret. This is the 55th Galway Film Society autumn season.
The Galway Film Society autumn season runs from Sunday September 29 to Monday November 25 at the Pálás cinema, with each of the season's eight films screened on Sundays at 6.30pm and repeated on Mondays at 8.30pm.
The season opens with French film, A Faithful Man (L’Homme Fidèle ), starring Laetitia Casta and co-written by Jean-Claude Carrière, best known for his collaborations with Luis Buñuel on the screenplays to Belle de Jour (1967 ), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972 ), and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977 ).
Abel’s long-term girlfriend Marianne is pregnant unexpectedly. Also Abel is not the father. His best friend Paul is, and Marianne is going off to live with him. Eight years later Marianne comes back into Abel’s life - unexpectedly - and now Paul’s younger sister Eve has fallen for Abel! The film won Best Screenplay at the 2018 San Sebastián International Film Festival. See it on September 29 and 30.
WWII is on the horizon and Georg has fled Germany for Paris, assuming the identity of a famous but deceased writer. He plans to use the man’s documentation to obtain a transit visa to Mexico. However, when Georg encounters the man’s widow Marie in Marseille, he finds himself dangerously drawn to her. This is Germany film Transit, directed by Christian Petzold. Despite being set in the past the story is given a contemporary setting, creating ambiguity for the viewer. The Irish Times called it an "art-house modern-day Casablanca". See it on October 6 and 7.
Young single mother Eve works long hours as a chambermaid at a luxurious Mexico City hotel. She is hoping for a promotion and believes enrolling in the hotel’s adult education programme will help. Things do not go to plan. This is The Chambermaid (La Camarista ), the debut feature from Mexican director Lila Avilés. The Telegraph said, "This quiet profile of Mexico’s working class is close to perfect”. See it on October 13 and 14.
Rafi is a struggling street photographer in Mumbai. Under mounting pressure from his grandmother to get married, a chance encounter leads him to Milon, a shy stranger he convinces to pose as his fiancée. Despite hailing from very different worlds, they begin to develop a connection. This is Indian film Photograph, a bittersweet romance from The Lunchbox director Ritesh Batra. The Irish Times called it, "an enchanting romance as plausible as it is magic". See it on October 20 and 21.
When Elena and Jake meet after a New Year’s Eve party in Glasgow it is love at first sight. It is not long before they move in together, and beginning planning for children. When Elena does not fall pregnant immediately, tensions appear in their relationship. British film Only You is the debut feature from director Harry Wootliff. Described by The Guardian as "a sad, tender and gloriously sexy love story", is will be screened on November 3 and 4.
Argentina in the 1970s is the setting for Rojo, winner of Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Cinematography at the 2018 San Sebastián International Film Festival, and which will be screened on November 10 and 11.
One evening, Claudio, a respected lawyer, and his wife, are subject to a verbal attack for no obvious reason from a mysterious stranger. Several months later a Chilean private detective arrives trying to locate a missing person. Is the detective aware of Claudio’s altercation with the stranger? And what other secrets does the detective know? Nothing may be quite as it seems.
Afrooz is the star player of Iran’s national indoor soccer team which is about to go to the Asian Nations Cup in Malaysia, but at the airport, Afrooz is turned away because her husband Yaser has refused permission for her to leave the country. Despite the fact the pair have been separated for more than a year, he still has legal rights over her.
Can Afrooz stop him and captain her team at the cup? This is Iranian film Permission (aka Cold Sweat ), which Variety called "intelligently written, well performed and emotionally rewarding". See it on November 17 and 18.
The season concludes with Chinese film The Farewell on November 24 and 25. Billi is an unemployed Chinese-American writer, who moved to New York as a child with her parents. She keeps in touch with family back home, especially her beloved grandmother Nai Nai.
However when Nai Nai becomes seriously ill, the family decide not to tell her thee truth - that she has terminal cancer. Instead the relatives plot to 'stage' a wedding for Billi’s cousin in China, so everyone can pay their last respects to the oblivious matriarch. Will Billi play along?
Winner of the Audience Favourite award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival London, The Guardian praised the film for how it "deftly details both the guilt of living so far from family and how one's concept of what home really means can get so tangled".
Tickets are available from the Pálás box office and palas.ie A season ticket is €55. These are available until October 7.