Families, memories, adventures and Penélope Cruz

A TRAIN driver who embarks on a strange adventure, a woman who breaks the mould by entering the male dominated world of 19th century photography, an inspirational schoolteacher, and the mesmerising Penélope Cruz, can all be seen at this season’s Galway Film Society screenings.

The Galway Film Society’s autumn/winter season 2009 runs from September 27 to December 6 and begins this Sunday with the Mexican comedy Rudo Y Cursi (2009 ).

Tato and Beto are two football-playing, working-class, brothers, each constantly trying to put one over the other. What they are both aiming for, however, is to build their mother a big house on the beach. Will they succeed? The Irish short film, Granny O’Grimms Sleeping Beauty, will be screened before the main feature.

Retirement is a difficult stage in life, especially for somebody who has spent a lifetime dedicated to the same profession. Odd Horten loves being an engine driver but he decides to embrace his new found freedom and sets off on a series of strange and wonderful adventures. See what he gets up to in O’Horton (Norway, 2007 ) on October 4.

The Class (France, 2008 ), which won the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, will be shown on October 11. Here a teacher at an inner city Paris school tries to reach out to his multi-racial pupils in innovative ways and through workshop processes. It stars François Bégaudeau, on whose book the film is based. See it on October 11.

Everlasting Moments (2008 ) is a Scandinavian film about a woman photographer living in Sweden at the turn of the last century and the challenges she faces as a mother, wife, and woman working in a man’s world. It will be screened on October 18.

The award winning Polish film Katyn (2007 ) recounts one of the most horrific and tragic events in modern Polish history - the slaughter of some 22,000 Polish army officers in Katyn forest near Smolensk forest in 1941, under the direct orders of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. See it on November 8.

Frozen River (USA, 2008 ) set in and around the physically beautiful but socially deprived Mohawk reservation in upstate New York and southern Quebec, brings together two women, one white, the other Mohawk, both mothers struggling in desperate situations. It will be screened on November 15.

Starring the gorgeous Penélope Cruz, Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film, Broken Embraces (Spain, 2009 ) will be screened on November 22. Broken Embraces flashes back and forth between the present day and 1994.

Mateo, a former film director who lost his sight in a car crash now writes screenplays yearning to escape his ruined real self for the fantasy-refuge of the cinema. But an obituary of his shady financier triggers memories of his movie-making career in the 1990s.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life (France, 2008 ) delivers a highly entertaining, perceptive, and energetic portrait of how just one single day can irrevocably alter the course of a life. Bound together by an era-defining soundtrack and intelligent editing, this is a sharp and moving homage to family life and the memories it creates and harbours. See it on November 29.

Japanese Film Festival

and special screenings

Apart from the main screenings for this season, the Galway Film Society also has a number of special events planned. The foremost among these is the Japanese Film Festival which takes place from Friday October 30 to Sunday November 1, a collaboration of the GFS, the Japanese Embassy, and access>CINEMA.

Titles confirmed at time of print include the award winning films A Stranger of Mine and Kamikaze Girls. Full details will be available in the Japanese Film Festival programme from October. Membership of Galway Film Society includes admission to the Japanese Film Festival.

This year’s special screening will be John Huston’s final film The Dead (1987 ). This acclaimed adaptation of James Joyce’s short story stars Donal McCann, Donal Donnelly, Marie Kean, and Angelica Huston. See it on October 4 at 3.30pm.

The Christmas screening will be the much loved White Christmas (1954 ) on December 6 at 3.30pm. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye meet during WWII and become firm friends. After five years of rolling success they team up with Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, after which the quartet help out old friend General Waverly by organising a benefit concert.

The above film will be screened in a party atmosphere with carol singing, spot prizes, and light refreshments 30 minutes prior to screening.

All films will be screened in the Town Hall Theatre on Sundays at 8.15pm, except where noted. Tickets are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777.


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