Progressive Film Club Screenings: Sat 24th Oct

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Date for your diary – our next screening features a documentary from Mexico (Spanish with English subtitles) and a gritty feature film from Dublin.

Sat 24th October 2015
New Theatre · 43 East Essex Street · Dublin 2
3pmOut of Focus [2013]
San Fernando is no ordinary prison. In Mexico City’s most notorious juvenile detention centre, boys between the ages of fifteen and eighteen are serving sentences for serious crimes. When they are released after many years they have their whole lives ahead of them—but what then? “In my community and throughout Mexico,” says Cholo, “even around the world, as an artist I want to be known, not only as a thief and a loser.” As part of a film and photography workshop organised by the film-makers, the juvenile inmates’ hopes and dreams are artistically reflected in short stories, sculptures, songs, poems, and films. They tell of their experience with violence and crime but also of dealing with each other and the importance of friendship. ? Directed by Adrián Arce.? Running time: 37 minutes.

In the style of a bootleg VHS, Smolt is a unique portrayal of an eventful few days in the lives of Darren and Leon, two Irish lads who generally have to fend for themselves. While killing time selling second-hand cigarettes, the boys run into some trouble with a girl, a gun, and a shipment of counterfeit football jerseys. Smolt offers an intimate, visceral slice-of-life of two young lads in the concrete playground that is Dublin. ? Directed by Michael Higgins. ? Running time: 67 minutes.
See trailer:-

Admission is free – as usual.

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Progressive Film Club, Sat 27th of April, Labour Rights and Immigrant Workers

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Progressive Film Club – at the New Theatre · 43 East Essex Street · Dublin 2 · Saturday 27th of April

Labour Rights and Immigrant Workers

Admission free. (Donations welcome.)

2 p.m.
Irish premiere

Living as Brothers (2012)

Living as Brothers looks at the lives of Jamaican migrant workers toiling in the orchards of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada. In their own words, these men, some of whom have been returning for more than twenty years, tell of the second life they have created for themselves in Canada, the reasons for their making this journey, and their struggles at home in rural Jamaica. Told over a season of picking fruit, their story is arduous, stressful, and precarious, one that offers few second chances. · Produced and directed by Kevin Fraser.

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Films of the Year 2012


It is a moot point to say if any year is a good or bad one in cinema, especially if one watches films on theatrical release, as I do, even more so if one is considering films from all corners of the Earth, and only a tiny sampling at that. That said, there were long stretches this year when I wondered whether I was going to see anything of note again; the better releases mostly seemed to come in clumps in the spring and the autumn, with long stretches of unremarkable fare in between. In the end, though, it was a decent enough year, with more than a few films that will be remembered in years to come as classics.

On the awards front, 2012 was a year when nobody was happy with anything. The Artist was a surprise Academy Award winner (or maybe not such a surprise) with many in the US complaining that the Academy was becoming increasingly detached from the concerns of ordinary filmgoers (that a film as ultimately unchallenging as The Artist might be considered an avatar of elitism just shows how alternative a universe the Oscars actually do inhabit). At Berlin, though the Taviani brothers’ Caesar Must Die was in many respects an admirable film, few people expected Miguel Gomes’s Tabu to be overlooked for the Golden Bear in its favour. Michael Haneke picked up a second Palme d’Or at Cannes for Amour, and there was much grumbling about the overweening deference to realist dramas shown by Nanni Moretti’s jury; in truth those films that were rewarded were, by and large, quite good but, like many others, I think it might have been a shot in the arm for unconventional cinema to have given the top prize to Leos Carax’s wonderfully barmy Holy Motors. The Mostra’s arcane rules prevented Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master from winning the Golden Lion at Venice, Kim Ki-duk’s Pieta being a surprise winner instead. All of these controversies are piddling in the wider scheme of things but it was curious how resistant to (qualified) popular opinion the voters were throughout the year.

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Cartoon Wars: Waltz with Bashir

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A couple of weeks back on Irish Left Review I wrote a piece on good and bad left-wing cinema, noting how many films whose political views one might share tend to be atrocious and embarrassing…

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Class Trip

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A surprise from Cannes, the host country got its first Palme d’Or since Maurice Pialat’s Sous le soleil de Satan in 1987. The winner was Laurent Cantet for Entre les murs (known in English as…

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Awarding Time


A quick word on the Oscars, if only because ignoring them in the week of this site’s inauguration would be just a little too perverse. I didn’t deign to actually watch the ceremony – the…

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