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Subtitle European Film Festival, Kilkenny, 25th November – 1st December 2013

I just got this press release about the upcoming SUBTITLE European film festival being held in Kilkenny towards the end of November. I’m always a fan of European cinema, and nothing beats the ethereal atmosphere of a film festival, so I thought I’d pass it on. You can find more details about the festival and their line-up on their website here. I particularly recommend Headhunters and A Hijacking if you can get to see them.

The press release is below.

headhunters

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Non-Review Review: Struck by Lightning

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

The best thing that Struck by Lightning has going for it is Chris Colfer. As a young writer, Colfer’s script is bristling with all manner of acerbic remarks, bitter humour and overdrawn melodrama. The basic ingredients for any half-decent teenage film, to be frank. However, the worst thing that Struck by Lightning has going for it is also Chris Colfer. A better writer than an actor, Colfer finds himself struggling to convince us that his protagonist is worth our time, and finds himself unable to soften the rough edges of his leading character. The result is a film that is quite sharp and well-observed, but which never quite tempers itself properly.

Get the lead out...

Get the lead out…

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Non-Review: Reported Missing (Die Vermissten)

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Die Vermissten feels almost like a Clint Eastwood film by the way of David Lynch. If that sounds like a pretty strange combination, it really is. When his 16-year-old daughter disappears, divorcee Lothar is initially reluctant to investigate. He tries to convince his ex-wife that she’ll turn up, while trying to explain to his new girlfriend that he has a daughter. Eventually determining to conduct his own inquiries into the disappearance of his child, Lothar discovers that the incident isn’t quite isolated, and that there’s something much larger going on here.

Missing vital evidence...

Missing vital evidence…

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Non-Review Review: John Dies at the End

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Don Coscarelli is that most frustrating of film-makers. He’s a remarkable talent able to produce a story with the zany off-kilter madness of Bubba Ho-tep, but can also produce something as disappointing and as frustrating as John Dies at the End. It isn’t that John Dies at the End is completely without charm. It can occasionally be a wittily subversive take on the staples of American horror, from the works of H.P. Lovecraft through to the gore of seventies and eighties schlock-fests.

The real problem with John Dies at the End is that, for all its charm and its wit, it feels terribly unoriginal.

Sauced...

Sauced…

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Non-Review Review: White Elephant (Elefante Blanco)

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Elefante Blanco is visually stunning. Director Pablo Trapero makes excellent use of the film’s setting to construct compelling and powerful images, as characters get lost amid the slums or wander through the ruins of the long-abandoned shell of what might have been the largest hospital in South America. Unfortunately, for all the visceral and visual energy that Elefante Blanco packs, it feels remarkably shallow and trite in its portrayal of life inside those slums, and the challenges facing two priests trying to help the community get back on their feet.

Don't worry, we can build on this...

Don’t worry, we can build on this…

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Non-Review Review: Robot & Frank

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Robot & Frank is perhaps best described as a live-action Pixar film, a lost script or concept from that period only a few years ago when it seemed like the studio could do no wrong. The beauty of films like The Incredibles or Toy Story 3 was the way that these fantasies allowed us to engage with incredibly adult issues in a disarmingly wondrous way. Up could deal with the pain of loss in great detail, because it was really the story of a man flying his house to South America, right? Finding Nemo could play out the darkest fears lurking in a parent’s subconscious, because it was really about cute fish, correct?

And so Robot & Frank provides a wonderful vehicle for the exploration of what growing old really means, and how we cope with the challenges that it presents. Because, after all, it’s just a film with a cute-looking robot butler, right?

Frank'll test his metal...

Frank’ll test his metal…

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February 2013 (Jameson Dublin International Film Festival) In Review

Man. That was exhausting. 29 events spread across 11 days, including classic films. It was a hell of a festival, with quite an impressive programme put together. In fact, by any measure, it was actually a stronger festival than last year’s, even if I didn’t catch a film that was quite as good as The Raid this time around. Using the 4-point audience award scale, the numbers stack in this year’s favour. Indeed, I gave one more “4” than last year and – most impressively – I actually managed to avoid giving out the lowest grade at all, the dreaded “1.” Maybe I’m getting a bit softer as I get older, but I think that’s an indication that I had a pretty good Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

thesummit5

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