Horsemen Pass By @ the Festival Club
The festival is half way done, but the energy has increased tenfold as filmmakers, producers and distributors have started to arrive in droves and the number of films with Irish roots fill the schedule; seven screenings today!
But back to yesterday with three screenings that really stood out. First was the continuing program from The National Film School that screened the ground breaking documentary Boys For Rent (1993) by Liam McGrath about teenage boy prostitution and Kirsten Sheridan’s Patterns(1998) an extraordinarily authentic look at autism. This earlier film which is controlled and tightly paced stood in sharp contrast to her new film Dollhouse (2012) which was filmed using a fifteen page script, multiple cameras and a great deal of improve. In the Q&A that followed the screening Sheridan and the cast revealed that frequently only a few people on set knew what was coming next in an attempt to make the film feel authentic and “live”. Whether they were successful was certainly debatable, but that elevated the film as everyone was still debating the film on multiple levels right into the after party at the festival club.
The other screening of note was part of the Free Radicals program entitled Low Definition Control by Austrian filmmaker Michael Palm that looked at how technology has become so intertwined with our everyday lives no one seems to be paying attention anymore. The film looked at both the bio-political and governmental processes that could at some point be used to control society…food for thought as all the Free Radical films always are.
Today promises to be grand with the screening of four Irish films, two documentaries, Very Extremely Dangerous by Paul Duane and Skin In The Game by Donald Taylor Black and two features, Good Vibrations by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn and Phil Harrison’s The Good Man whose short Even Gods screened in Chicago and has won multiple awards worldwide… all very exciting….and of course at last two dozen more shorts!!!!!
Last night saw the final night of the Made in Cork shorts program and it really is incredible to see how much the program has grown now covering three nights. Although there was quite a number that centered on small moments such as Mark Cogan’s Partly Cloudy and Christina Utzeri’s Riddled, there was also a fair representation of intense personal drama with Blake Norton’s Psychosis and out right horror in Twinkle Toes by Daniel O’Connell. One of the highlights of the program was the amazingly animated film Daithi Agus Goliath (David and Goliath) by Gerald O’Brien that updates the classic bible story with vibrant colors and a great soundtrack. And of course, there was a fair amount of Irish humor especially Shaun O’Connor’s Rint and Mutt two films that had the audiences roaring.
This year was the first time we were able to attend the Slow Foods program at the festival and it was amazing. A lovely box of small bites catered by BiteSize set the tone for two wonderful films Conor Ferguson’s short Un Peu Plus, about a women’s insatiable quest for french pastries and the fascinating story of the Michelin starred French chef Michel Bras and his son Sebastian who has worked by his side for over 15 years. Step Up To The Plate ( Entre Les Bras) is an extraordinary documentary that skillfully depicts the creativity and passion that are the hallmarks of french cuisine.
Today has already started on a high note with a screening of Andrew Legge’s the Girl With The Mechanical Maiden as we start the whirlwind screenings of six Irish Shorts programs, a half dozen Irish documentaries and tonight’s screening of Kirsten Sheridan’s Dollhouse which she will introduce and hopefully do a Q&A after, hopefully in the festival bar over a glass of wine….!
One last note, yesterday nostalgia filled the air when Clair Lynch’s Fruit 15 was screened along with Ken Wardrop’s Undressing My Mother and Declan Reck’s Big Swinger among others that prove great films, or in this case shorts, do stand the test of time, they were indeed amazing. Looking forward to the rest of the IADT program.
The sun and clouds reflecting off the River Lee, quick bites on French Church Street and friendly pints with old and new friends are just a small part of what makes our annual sojourn to Cork for the Corona Cork Film Festival so special. Its really all about sitting in the back of the opera house and being amazed, awed and entranced by film after film….looking forward to another brilliant year of Ireland’s best and the world’s newest. See you in Cork, November 11-18!