October at the Irish Film Institute (IFI)
Festival season at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) shows no signs of slowing down in October with the return of its annual gorefest IFI Horrorthon and the Dublin Arabic Film Festival. As the only venue in Ireland capable of showing the format, the IFI will be presenting an Irish exclusive 70mm run of Todd Phillips’s acclaimed film Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix and Robert DeNiro.
IFI Horrorthon returns on Thursday 24 for five more nights of bloody mayhem. The festival will open with Abe Forsythe’s Little Monsters. The film features Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o as a kindergatern teacher looking to protect her class from a horde of zombies.
Richard Stanley’s long awaited directorial follow-up to 1992’s Dust Devil, Color Out of Space, will screen on Saturday 26. Starring Nicolas Cage, the film centres on a small town in the aftermath of a meteorite strike. Two new Irish films will also premiere at the festival: Paddy Murphy’s The Perished and Zoe Kavanagh’s short, Meat Cute.
Curated by Jim Sheridan and Zahara Moufid, the Dublin Arabic Film Festival, which runs from Friday 4 to Sunday 6, once again showcases the very best of new Arab cinema. Highlights of this year’s programme include the opening gala screening of The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, Soudada Kaadan’s The Day I Lost My Shadow, and Mats Grorud’s The Tower. The festival will also welcome director Nour Eddine Lakhmari and producer Kadija Alami for a Q&A following the closing screening of Burnout.
Hot on the heels of its Golden Lion win at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Todd Phillips’s hotly anticipated Joker opens at the IFI exclusively in 70mm on Friday 4. Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. Longing for any light to shine on him, he tries his hand as a stand-up comic, but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty and, ultimately, betrayal, Arthur makes one bad decision after another that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty, allegorical character study.
Other new releases in October include Paul Duane’s Best Before Death, following a sold out screening at last month’s IFI Documentary Festival; Shelly Love’s A Bump Along the Way; Land Without God, co-directed by Gerard Mannix Flynn, Maedhbh McMahon and Lotta Petronella; and Ian Fitzgibbon’s Dark Lies the Island. There will be a special preview screening of the latter on Thursday 17, followed by a Q&A with director Ian Fitzgibbon and novelist Kevin Barry.
October sees the return of the cinema’s popular autumn Evening Course which this year focuses on the the cinemas of East Asia. Screenings include Chang Cheh’s Golden Swallow, Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, and Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaiden. As always, every screening will be followed by a talk from a specially invited guest.
Dermot Lavery and Michael Hewitt’s moving documentary Lost Lives will screen on Wednesday 30. The film interweaves archival footage with recordings of family and friends as they respond to the devastating news of deaths during the Northern Irish Troubles. The film features readings by Kenneth Branagh, Brendan Gleeson, Roma Downey, and Liam Neeson. Lyra McKee, the journalist and writer murdered in April 2019, is the last victim to figure.
Other special screenings throughout the month include:
- A 70th anniversary screening of the Carol Reed’s The Third Man on Tuesday 1
- Tom Burke’s ecological documentary Losing Alaska on Thursday 3
- Music documentaries Roger Waters Us + Them (Wednesday 2) and Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Sunday 13 and Monday 14)
- IFI Projectionist Paul Markey introducing of Zhang Yimou’s Hero as part of the monthly Bigger Picture strand on Wednesday 16
- A timely screening of Gerry Stembridge’s satirical 2001 film Black Day at Black Rock on Thursday 31
Tickets for IFI Horrorthon are available from www.ifi.ie/horrorthon – a range of Horrorthon multi-film and day passes are also available directly from the IFI Box Office.