GALWAY UNESCO City of Film will celebrates 100 years of cinema and the centenary of the 1916 Rising, with screenings of Irish film and TV landmark s, across eight Saturdays in 2016.
The event, entitled 100 Years of Cinema, will take the form of one-day events featuring screenings, debate, and discussion. Each will be themed and programmed by a different guest curator. The opening event is on Saturday February 20 in An Taibhdhearc, Middle Street, curated by Gar O'Brien, the Galway Film Fleadh programmer.
Gar will explore the theme of 'The Rising On Film', starting at 2pm with Mise Éire. Originally released in 1960, it was the first Irish feature-length film that utilised an orchestral soundtrack, that soundtrack being that magnificent score by Seán Ó Riada. It was also an innovative film, through its technique of recounting the Easter Rising entirely through existing archive material. Common now, groundbreaking then.
This will be followed by the documentary Curious Journey at 4pm. In 1973, Kenneth Griffith gathered nine veterans from the 1916 to 1923 period to give their account of what it was like to live through those turbulent times. The film is a powerful and heartfelt testament to nine brave men and women who risked their lives for their country, as well as being a first hand historical record. It will be followed by a discussion on how the Rising was captured and protrayed on film, with Kevin Rockett, professor of film studies, Trinity College Dublin, and Dr Conn Holohan, Huston School of Film and Digital Media. It will be chaired by Patsy Murphy.
At 7pm, David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter, set in 1916, will be screened. The production was infamously long and drawn out, the director waiting for perfect weather conditions for his many outdoor scenes. Leading actor Robert Mitchum commented that working with the director was “like constructing the Taj Mahal out of toothpicks".
Separate to the main event will be a screening at 12 noon of the classic Man of Aran (1934 ), which the British Film Institute has listed as one of the Top 10 most important documentaries of all time. It now also has a soundtrack by UK Indie band, British Sea Power.