The Pope’s Toilet
Ballina Film Club’s Spring programme comes to an end this week with a screening of The Pope’s Toilet, on Tuesday May 19 at 8pm.
The inhabitants of Melo, a small Uruguayan town bordering Brazil, make their living as best they can, but business is not booming and the customs police exact a hard price for turning a blind eye to illegal border traffic. Then news comes through that Pope John Paul II is visiting and many seize the opportunity to capitalise on this once in a lifetime opportunity. For Beto (César Troncoso ), this involves investing the family’s meagre savings in the construction of a toilet that will service the tourists during their time in the town. Oscar-nominated cinematographer César Charlone and screenwriter Enrique Fernández have made an engaging drama of human aspiration which takes its initial idea from the 1988 Papal visit to Melo. While focusing on Beto’s race against time to construct the lavatory, the film-makers are able to set his struggle against the larger canvas of the community’s colourful adventures. The result is an elegantly crafted tale of the frenzy that ensues when a celebrity comes to town. Ballina Film Club is affiliated to access>CINEMA, the national organisation for the promotion and distribution of cultural cinema in Ireland. Admission: €7
Moby Dick at Ballina Arts Centre
Following their acclaimed production of Beckett’s First Love at Ballina Arts Centre last year, Gare St. Lazare Players return on Wednesday May 27, (starting at 8pm ) with one of the greatest novels ever written. The story of Captain Ahab on his epic journey of revenge in pursuit of the great white whale as told by the mysterious Ishmael, Moby Dick is an adventure story of biblical proportions. Performed in inimitable style by Conor Lovett, Moby Dick is produced with the support of The Arts Council and Cork City Council. Admission: €12/10.
Synchronization: Lucia Barnes exhibition at Ballina Arts Centre
Ballina Arts Centre’s visual arts programme maintains its record of high quality eclecticism this month with Synchronization, an exhibition by Dublin-based artist Lucia Barnes. Synchronisation is an exhibition containing new works by Barnes, which reference both art and science, as she creates an immersive space comprising sculptural elements, videos and sound installation.
Her work explores the interplay between the familiar charm of the domestic and the seemingly relentless scrutiny of clinical, scientific investigation. Her interest lies in looking beyond the exterior at how hidden systems and mechanisms work, with particular emphasis on the human body. Responding to different environments, within a healthcare setting, these recent works focus on the anonymity of the ‘specimen’ while alluding to the processes of laboratory testing on food, with its inherent contradictory opinions and analysis. Free admission. All are welcome to attend, exhibition runs until May 30.