September 25, 2013

18th Busan International Film Festival - Irish Cinema

The 18th Busan International Film Festival (Oct. 3 – Oct. 12) presents an Irish Cinema special, ‘Rogues, Rebels and Romantics: A Season of Irish Cinema’. A total of 11 films by upcoming directors and established directors have been selected. The lineup includes films by John Boorman (a two-time recipient of the Best Director Award at the Cannes International Film Festival with Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998)) and Jim Sheridan of In the Name of the Father (1993).

Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan to Attend the Festival
Irish Cinema and the Local Sentiment to Visit Busan

The size of Irish film industry might be compact but is more international than Korean cinema due to its extensive Hollywood experience; to showcase such culture, it was thought to be most effective to select works by directors with international acclaim and young directors with an international collaboration background. The works by the 3 biggest names in Irish cinema, John Boorman, Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan will each be represented by 2 films. Additionally, a film with beautiful melodies and scenery, Once (2006) by John Carney, was chosen, as well as John Butler’s new film The Stag (2013) which comically shows the world of men. Lastly, Lance Daly’s Life’s a Breeze (Ireland / Sweden, 2013), Brendan Muldowney’s Love Eternal (Ireland / Japan / Netherlands / Luxembourg, 2013) and Lenny Abrahamson’s Garage (2007) will be screened to introduce active young directors.

Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan will visit the Busan International Film Festival and participate in the Hand Printing event. Sheridan will also be a part of Master Class.

The idea of the Special Program in Focus on Irish cinema came from Grainne Humphreys of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and Louise Ryan of the Irish Film Board. The Busan International Film Festival sincerely thanks the Irish Film Board, the Culture Ireland and the Irish Film Institute for their support in helping realize this special program.

Rogues, Rebels and Romantics: A Season of Irish Cinema (listed in chronological order)

ŸLeo the Last (1970) by John Boorman
John Boorman’s 1970 award winning (Best Director at Cannes) masterpiece features a stunning performance by Marcello Mastroianni playing a bored and exiled monarch living in a run-down London mansion, a dreamer intrigued who becomes gradually involved with his impoverished black neighbors.

ŸThe Crying Game (1992) by Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan’s landmark film remains one of the key Irish films of the last 20 years. An IRA gunman Fergus (Stephen Rea) forms a bond with British soldier (Forest Whitaker). Following the soldier’s death, Fergus travels to London to fulfill his promise to look after the man’s lover.

ŸIn the Name of the Father (1993) by Jim Sheridan
Winner of the Berlinale Golden Bear in 1994, Jim Sheridan’s fascinating 1993 feature is based on the autobiography of Gerry Conlon, a Belfast Catholic who spent nearly 15 years in British prisons for a crime he did not commit.

ŸMichael Collins (1996) by Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan’s hugely ambitious account of the rise of arguably the central figure in Ireland’s painful, bloody fight for independence. A subject which was always going to be controversial, but told on a historic scale with the personal conflict of the title character played with seductive charisma by lead actor Liam Neeson. Winner of the Golden Lion Award at Venice in 1996.

ŸThe General (1998) by John Boorman
Boorman won the Best Director at Cannes with this stylish crime film: Brendan Gleeson plays the titular character –based on real-life Dublin gangster Martin Cahill, who terrorized the city in the 1980s by taking on not only the law but also the Catholic Church and the IRA.

ŸIn America (2002) by Jim Sheridan
The semi-autobiographical In America tells the story of a family of Irish immigrants trying to succeed in New York. Written by Jim Sheridan with his daughters, it is shot in the aftermath of 9/11. The film is a heart-warming story about a family coming to terms with bereavement.

ŸOnce (2006) by John Carney
With humble beginnings on the streets of Dublin, Once, follows a musician’s (Glen Hansard) encounter with a fellow musician (Markéta Irglová) that allows two characters create a piece of music so true, that only they could have created it together. Falling Slowly went on to win an Oscar in 2007 for Best Original Song.

ŸGarage (2007) by Lenny Abrahamson
Director Lenny Abrahamson’s award winning character study of a middle aged, lonely garage attendant played by well-known Irish comedian Pat Shortt. The protagonist, Josie takes a young teenager under his wing until a misunderstanding threatens not only the new friendship but also his relationship with the larger community.

Love Eternal (2013) by Brendan Muldowney
Based on the Japanese novel In Love with the Dead, from acclaimed author Kei Oishi. The film centers on an isolated and death-fixated young man who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how… by getting closer to death.

ŸLife’s a Breeze (2013) by Lance Daly
A mattress holding the life savings of an aging mother with mistrust for the Irish banking system is mistakenly thrown out by a big hearted family. A look at Ireland in its current day climate heavily focusing on the relationships bound and tied by family.

ŸThe Stag (2013) by John Butler
A hugely entertaining broad Irish comedy about a stag party which goes spectacularly awry, John Butlers’ debut feature is a sweet natured study of the Irish male.

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