REDISCOVER NORTHERN IRELAND
MAY 31 - JUNE 3
One of the regions featured in this year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival (June 27-July 8), Northern Ireland's rich artistic and cultural heritage--from ceramics to music to poetry--will be on display in the Nation's capital beginning this spring, with cinema at the AFI Silver. This terrific lineup of "fillums" includes more than a few familiar faces, as well as some promising new talents. This series is one of many arts and cultural events from Northern Ireland taking place throughout Washington, DC, this spring. For further information on Rediscover Northern Ireland, please visit www.rediscoverni.com.
Films include TITANIC TOWN; MICKYBO AND ME; SHELLSHOCK ROCK with TEENAGE KICKS: THE UNDERTONES; THE MIGHTY CELT; THE CRYING GAME; BREAKFAST ON PLUTO; MIDDLETOWN with BYE-CHILD and OMAGH with TELL IT TO THE FISHES.
THURSDAY, MAY 31 AT 7:00 PM
TITANIC TOWN is Belfast--the doomed ship was built in and launched from its shipyards--here beset by the daily political strife of the early 1970s that was "The Troubles." Julie Walters gives a stirring performance as a housewife who lost a loved one to IRA crossfire. With her neighborhood under constant harassment from the British Army, she naively becomes a voice for the fledgling peace movement. Director Roger Mitchell (VENUS, NOTTING HILL) blends sly humor into this gripping drama.
DIR Roger Mitchell; SCR Anne Devlin, based on the novel by Mary Costello; PROD George Faber and Charles Pattinson. UK/Ireland, 1998, color, 100 min. NOT RATED
THURSDAY, MAY 31 AT 7:00 PM
MICKYBO AND ME
In Person: Director Terry Loane and the film's young star John Joe McNeill, who plays Mickybo
Based on Owen McCafferty's award-winning play Jonjo Mickybo, the film tells the story of two Belfast boys from opposite backgrounds--one Catholic, the other Protestant--who become friends during the beginning of the Troubles in 1970. Their shared obsession with the film BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, which they view repeatedly by sneaking into the local cinema, leads them to several "outlaw" adventures of their own, including running away across Northern Ireland and planning an escape to faraway Australia.
DIR/SCR Terry Loane, based on the play by Owen McCafferty; PROD Mark Huffam and Mike McGeagh. Ireland, 2004, color, 95 min. RATED R
Friday, June 1, 7:00
In Person: Director John T. Davis
Charting the creative explosion of punk music during the Troubles in 1970s Belfast, documentarian John T. Davis captures the bands behind the Good Vibrations record label, including the legendary Stiff Little Fingers (fans of HIGH FIDELITY will remember them as John Cusack's character's favorite band) and the meteoric rise and fall of The Undertones.
DIR/PROD John T. Davis. Ireland/UK, 1979, color, 46 min. NOT RATED
TEENAGE KICKS: THE UNDERTONES
The story of legendary proto-punk band The Undertones, as told by radio personality and #1 fan John Peel, from their formation in Derry to their rise to fame with seminal LP Teenage Kicks, through their rancorous split and tentative reunion.
DIR/SCR Tom Collins; SCR/PROD Vinny Cunningham. Ireland/UK, 2001, color, 72 min. NOT RATED
Friday, June 1, 9:30
THE MIGHTY CELT
In Person: Writer and Director Pearse Elliott
Gillian Anderson stars as a single mother raising a young teenage son desperately seeking a father figure. Newcomer Tyrone McKenna shines as son Donal, who through his fascination with greyhound racing, befriends kindly kennel-keeper Ken Stott, while a man from his mother's past, mysterious Robert Carlyle, represents another kind of influence.
DIR/SCR Pearse Elliott; PROD Paddy Breathnach, Paddy McDonald and Robert Walpole. Ireland, 2005, color, 82 min. NOT RATED
Saturday, June 2, 2:30
THE CRYING GAME
Fifteen years ago, Neil Jordan's THE CRYING GAME parlayed an ingenious and unprecedented plot twist into a word-of-mouth sensation, becoming a sleeper hit and culminating in six Oscar nominations and a Best Screenplay win for Jordan. IRA grunt Stephen Rea has a bonding experience with his British soldier hostage Forest Whitaker. Later, Rea finds himself becoming involved with Whitaker's girlfriend, calling into question his identity--as well as hers. Miranda Richardson dazzles as an icy IRA enforcer, intent on testing Rea's loyalties.
DIR/SCR Neil Jordan; PROD Stephen Woolley. UK/Japan, 1992, color, 112 min. RATED R
Saturday, June 2, 5:00
BREAKFAST ON PLUTO
Cillian Murphy shines in Neil Jordan's Candide-like tale set during the 1960s and 1970s in Ireland and England. As Patrick "Kitten" Braden, Murphy grows from a foundling in small-town Ireland into a female impersonator in London, relying on his wit and good heart in ever-harsher circumstances, ultimately learning that sometimes you can go home again. A fanciful, colorful epic that manages to be both pointedly political and lightly comic, with high-spirited performances from Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson and Gavin Friday.
DIR/SCR/PROD Neil Jordan, based on the novel by Pat McCabe; PROD Alan Moloney and Stephen Woolley. Ireland/UK, 2005, color, 135 min. RATED R
Saturday, June 2, 7:45
When zealous young priest Matthew MacFadyen (PRIDE & PREJUDICE) returns to his Irish hometown from missionary work abroad, he begins an aggressive campaign for church-going and pub-avoiding, throwing him into conflict with his pub-owner brother and independent-minded sister-in-law. Gerard McSorley (THE CONSTANT GARDENER, OMAGH) is the father torn by his love for two warring sons in this neo-Gothic thriller, reminiscent of the psychological Westerns of Anthony Mann.
DIR Brian Kirk; SCR Daragh Carville; PROD Michael Casey. UK/Ireland, 2006, color, 88 min. NOT RATED
Directed by Northern Irish Booker Prize-nominated novelist Bernard MacLaverty and based on a poem by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, BYE-CHILD casts a critical eye on Irish family life as the discovery of a wild child, kept in a garden shed, exposes the hypocrisies of a rural Irish family.
DIR/SCR Bernard MacLaverty; PROD Andrew Bonner. UK, 2003, color, 15 min. NOT RATED
Sunday, June 3, 4:00
An extraordinarily sensitive examination of the "Real IRA's" bombing in the border town of Omagh in 1998, written and produced by Paul Greengrass (BLOODY SUNDAY, UNITED 93). Gerard McSorley gives a powerful performance as the leader of the victims' families, seeking justice in the delicate political climate of the early days after the peace treaty.
DIR Pete Tavis; SCR Paul Greengrass and Guy Hibbert; PROD Paul Greengrass and Ed Guiney. Ireland/UK, 2004, color, 106 min. PG-13
TELL IT TO THE FISHES
A Beckett-like black comedy, featuring Gerard McSorley and comedian Dylan Moran as two small-time crooks standing on a beach in concrete boots, as the tide is coming in.
DIR/SCR/PROD William Sinclair. UK, 2006, color, 10 min.
Sunday, June 3, 6:40