The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015 is almost upon us – that’s 11days, over 130 films and your little brain trying to grab as many of them as possible.
It’s a whirlwind week and a bit and it’s easy to get caught up in the blur of attending stars like Russell Crowe, Alan Rickman and JULIE ANDREWS! Likewise there are marquee films like The Water Diviner, Cinderella and The Sound of Music which easily grab your attention.
I’m here to steer you in a slight different direction with 5 films you might not have heard of yet that are guaranteed to entertain, excite and thrill you, and there might even be the odd little bit of education as well. Here are 5 top films at JDIFF you won’t want to miss.
26/03 – Cineworld – 8.15PM
Swedish director Ruben Östlund follows up the award-winning Play (which won a Jury Award at JDIFF in 2011) with this insanely original vision of a family skiing holiday which goes off the deep end.
It’s about a husband and father who makes a mistake at a moment of high stress and the way that impacts on every aspect of his life. Innocuous events become more and more critical as things creep towards an unknown finale. It’s a drama fundamentally but there’s comedy always bubbling just below the surface and a strange dread enhanced by Ostlund’s powerfully static camerawork which lingers and lingers. Creative and entertaining, it’s a great film to discover at a festival.
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
21/03 – Cineworld – 4.00PM
You may not know the name but you’ve definitely seen a Cannon film production. From 80s nonsense Masters of the Universe to the Delta Force series, Kickboxer, Lifeforce, Superman IV and many, many, many more.
Israeli cousins Menahem Goran and Yoram Globus may not have been the best at spotting quality, but their mix of exploitation grade content and fading stars created a formula for a certain kind of highly entertaining nonsense. And it’s all charted in high octane fashion in this brilliant documentary which features dozens of great interviews with folks like Dolph Lundgren, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Foster, Franco Nero, Mini Rogers and Alex Winter. Lots of fun.
22/03 – Cineworld – 4.30PM
Oscar winning director Bille August creates a compelling family drama in this story about life, love and loss.
Three generations of family gather at an isolated home with one goal – to say goodbye to their wife, mother and grandmother who has decided to end her life when the weekend is over. This highly fraught atmosphere brings up old wounds and leads to frank conversations about the reality of terminal illnesses as well as a mix of genuine warmth and strong emotions as the film progresses. A strong, well-acted drama that’s never sensational.
20/03 – Cineworld – 6.00PM
Another entertaining documentary, this time focussing on the Russian ice hockey team in the 80s and the journey of the players to other clubs and other countries as their own nation was falling apart.
American director Gabe Polsky gained amazing access to the former players and allows them to express their real personalities on camera. And they’ve got a lot to say, including talking about their issues transferring to the American system of hockey and internal turmoil with a tyrannical couch. The conversations also reveal a lot about the state of the USSR and what came after, but though a lens that’s always trying to entertain rather than just educate.
Let Us Prey
27/03 – Light House Cinema – 10.40PM
And now for something completely different. JDIFF isn’t known for its horror offerings but this Irish-Scottish co-production is set to buck that trend.
The set-up is simple – an isolated cop-shop, a bunch of potential victims and a mysterious, dark-clothed stranger with secrets in his eyes (Liam Cunningham). Brian O’Malley’s feature debut is all kinds of batty and really goes to town once the violence kicks in, but it’s a rousing first effort and one that’s ideally placed as an almost-midnight movie offering. Seriously, this is a bloody one. And star Pollyanna McIntosh will be along for the screening!
That’s just a sample of the more than 130 films showing during the 11 day event – so click here to get more info and to book your tickets.
The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015 runs from the 19th to the 29th of March 2015.