June at the Irish Film Institute (IFI)

A packed June at the IFI cinema in Dublin’s Temple Bar sees the return of its Dark Skies science fiction season; one of the year’s most anticipated documentaries, Apollo 11; a new film from Áine Stapleton about the life of Lucia Joyce; and two evenings dedicated to pioneers of experimental film.

For decades, cinema has examined the constant battle between man and machine, from the rise of the first computer to the development of uncannily life-like robots. The third Dark Skies season, Man Vs Machine, explores how the genre has responded to our ambiguous and often fraught relationship to the increasingly intelligent machines we have created.

The season opens on Saturday 8 with Michael Crichton’s Westworld, the basis for HBO’s current hit series. It stars Yul Brynner as a gun-slinging android who goes rogue and pursues two friends, played by James Brolin and Richard Benjamin, following a series of technological malfunctions at a futuristic theme park.

Saturday 15 sees the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator in James Cameron’s 1991 action epic Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This will screen in glorious 70mm as the IFI remains the only cinema in Ireland with the capacity to exhibit this format.

Also showing as part of the season will be Bryan Forbes’s The Stepford WivesDonald Cammell’s Demon Seed, Isabella Willinger’s documentary Hi, A.I., Shin’ya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, Jonathan Frakes’s Star Trek: First Contact and Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Finally, the season will feature The Wachowskis’ The Matrix, presented in association with Dublin 2019: An Irish WorldCon in a new 4k restoration. The cinema’s free daily Archive at Lunchtime screenings will also carry the sci-fi theme to tie-in with the season.

The turbulent life of Lucia Joyce, the daughter of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle, is further explored by filmmaker Áine Stapleton in her latest film, Horrible Creature. A follow-up to 2015’s Medicated Milk, the piece sees Lucia’s own writing interpreted by a cast of international dance artists, filmed at locations in Switzerland where she spent time. The screening on Sunday 16 aka Bloomsday will be followed by a Q&A with Stapleton. It’s presented in association with the Bloomsday Festival.

As always, the IFI is committed to bringing a diverse range of film to audiences. June sees two special events looking at pioneering practitioners of experimental cinema. On Thursday 13, Suranjan Ganguly, Director of the Brakhage Centre in Colorado, will present an illustrated lecture on the work of Stan Brakhage.

Brakhage (1933-2003) is widely regarded as one of the most innovative filmmakers in the history of experimental cinema. He made nearly 400 films in his 52-year-long career. The event will include screenings of nine of his films.

On Wednesday 19, in association with aemi, the IFI will present films from directors Joseph Bernard and Germaine Dulac. American Bernard created over 100 silent, super-8mm films during the 1970s and 1980s, foregrounding a tactile and sensory approach to his intricate works. Meanwhile Frenchwoman Dulac, who worked in the early part of the 20th century, was a key figure in the historical avant-garde and a proponent of ‘pure cinema’.

The IFI will welcome actor-director Hugh O’Conor to introduce a screening of Wim Wenders’s classic 1984 film Paris, Texas on Tuesday 25. Winner of the Palme d’Or, the film features the great Harry Dean Stanton as a man reunited with his son after four years who then takes him in search of his mother, played by Nastassja Kinski. Written by the late Sam Shepard, the film also features Ry Cooder’s iconic much-loved score.

One of the year’s most anticipated documentaries, Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, opens on Friday 28. Filled with astonishing, previously unseen footage from the 1969 lunar mission restored to pristine quality, it shows astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins undergoing final preparations before entering the shuttle, interacting as they travel to the moon, and Armstrong stepping on to the moon’s surface as filmed from inside the landing module.

Further new releases in June include Irish director John Butler’s new film Papi Chulo; Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria Bell starring Julianne Moore; Michael Bully Herbig’s East German drama Balloon; Oscar winner Asif Kapadia’s latest, Diego Maradona; and Peter Strickland’s In Fabric. Jeremiah Zagar’s We The Animals and Thomas Piper’s documentary on gardener Piet Oudolf, Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf, will screen exclusively at the IFI from Fridays 14 and 21 respectively.

Other must-see events throughout the month include Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan on Thursday 6 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings; Nickolaus Geyrhalter’s eco-documentary Earth, which will be presented in association with the School of Creative Arts at Trinity College Dublin, also on Thursday 6; and our From the Vaults showing of Fielder Cook’s 1959 drama Home is the Hero starring Walter Macken.

The IFI Café Bar continues to be a hive of activity in June. Its great value Meal Deal continues on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Guests can avail of an IFI Café Bar main course and any standard screening ticket for just €19.

Separately, patrons can also avail of two IFI Café Bar courses for €18 and three courses for €23 seven days a week – terms and conditions apply. The newly re-launched Terrace @ IFI is now open for business for the summer season with a new menu including delicious flatbreads available to order alongside Franciscan Well beers and Ha’penny Gin. Terrace @ IFI is open Thursday to Saturday, 16.00 ‘til late. Finally, the IFI will host a summery tapas, prosecco and cava tasting evening on Thursday 20.

Tickets for all events are now on sale from www.ifi.ie. A special multi-film pass is available for the Dark Skies season directly from the IFI Box Office. This provides entry for 4 films for €37, excluding the 70mm screening of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

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