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Guests of the Nation at the National Concert Hall (Review)

I was very kindly invited along by the wonderful folks at the National Concert Hall.

I have to admit, I’m always in awe of the effort that the National Concert Hall make in presenting classic film. It really is something to see a classic movie projected on to a big screen, as it was intended, but with a full orchestral accompaniment. They recently hosted a celebration of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse complete with RTÉ Concert Orchestra performing a live soundtrack. This time, it was arguably something even more special, a premier of the remastered version of Guests of the Nation with a brand new score by Niall Byrne. It’s clear that a lot of love went into the project, and there was something genuinely touching about the introduction from Irish actor Stephen Rea. It’s really a wonderful celebration of Irish cultural heritage, and proof that our cinema legacy stretches back a lot earlier than most would give it credit for.

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A Gilda Caged: Thoughts on the Movies We Label “Classic”…

I had the pleasure, a while back, of attending a screening of Gilda being hosted by the Irish Film Institute. The black-and-white forties noir-tinted thriller is somewhat warmly regarded among film historians, and one of those movies you label as a “classic” without any real hesitation. However, as I emerged from the cinema, I found myself wondering how such a film would be received were it released today. I honestly wonder what we would make of these “classics” if they didn’t have the word “classic” to hide behind.

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One Hundred Mornings Opening at the IFI This Friday…

One Hundred Mornings, the post-apocalyptic movie from director Conor Horgan is opening at the Irish Film Institute this Friday, 6th May. For those interested in Irish cinema, the IFI will be hosting a free workshop and discussion with the award-winning writer director on Saturday 7th May. More details here. Meanwhile, the trailer is below.

Non-Review Review: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.

It’s strange. For all the huge cultural impact that George A. Romero’s The Night of the Living Dead had (and it had quite a bit), people tend to focus quite a bit on the sequel, Dawn of the Dead. Perhaps it’s because the film is in colour, or because it features a far broader tapestry than Romero’s original zombie effort, or maybe it’s simply a better film, but the sequel is arguably every bit as well known (even to those who haven’t seen it) as the original – the idea of surviving a zombie apocalypse in an American shopping mall is one now etched on public consciousness (so much so that anywhere any survivor in any film ever seeks shelter is compared in some way to that mall) and even the damn elevator music has become famous in its own way. While I will concede the film is far more ambitious than its direct predecessor (and probably contributes more to the zombie mythos), I think it can also be argued that the film has far greater weaknesses as well.

Hope he's a dead shot...

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