Monday, 16 January 2017

January to April 2017 

Jan 24th. I, Daniel Blake, 2016, Ken Loach

Ken Loach's rousing Palme d'Or winner tells the story of Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) a 59-year-old widowed carpenter who must rely on welfare after a recent heart attack. Despite his doctor's diagnosis, he's denied benefits and told to return to work. As Daniel navigates the Kafkaesque appeals process, he develops a strong bond with struggling single mother Katie (Hayley Squires). A powerful tale of modern life told with humour and warmth.

Feb 7th. Love & Friendship, 2016, Whit Stillman

Love and Friendship is a tremendously witty adaptation of a little known Jane Austen novella. American writer-director Whit Stillman breathes much needed new life into the stodgy Austen period film, mining a delightful seam of irreverent humour in the story of seductive and manipulative Lady Susan (a brilliant Kate Beckinsale) an irresistible anti-heroine who uses devious tactics to win the heart of the eligible Reginald De Courcy (Xavier Samuel). Shot entirely on location in Ireland Love and Friendship is an unexpected delight.

Feb 21st. Hell Or High Water, 2016, David Mackenzie

Brothers on a bank-robbing spree make their way through a Texas in economic decline in David Mackenzie's compelling contemporary western. Divorced father Toby (Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother Tanner (Ben Foster) need money fast to save their family's ranch. Giving chase is Texas Ranger Marcus (Jeff Bridges at his best). Filled with dramatic tension, complex characters, rich, memorable dialogue and uncomfortable reflections on the plight of many modern day Americans, Hell or High Water is a work of broad scale and deep feeling.

March 7th. The Childhood of a Leader, 2016, Brady Corbet.

Singular, ambitious anatomy of a fascist in the making, a half-fact, half-fable story loosely based on a Jean-Paul Sartre's short story, set in France amidst the aftermath of World War I, about the young son of an American diplomat (Liam Cunnngham) working on the Treaty of Versailles. As we witness the child's complicated relationships with those around him, especially his mother (Berenice Bejo) we see an angelic child becoming a future sociopath. A stylistic tour-de-force, never obvious, with a strong score by the legendary Scott Walker.

March 21st. Things To Come, 2016, Mia Hansen -Love.

Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) is a philosophy teacher in Paris. Married with two grown-up children, she lives a comfortable bourgeois life, publishing philosophy books in her spare time. Then her life changes, death, rejection and betrayal come in quick succession. Newly free, with a former student inviting her to stay with him, Nathalie's life is in flux. Winner of Best Director at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, Mia Hansen-Love's coolly intelligent film explores the tapestry of one woman’s life as she moves through an important transition.

April 4th. Toni Erdmann, 2016, Maren Ade

Maren Ade's offbeat father-daughter comedy Toni Erdmann, follows Ines (Sandra Hüller) a high-flying business consultant dealing with a surprise visit from her unconventional father Winfried (Peter Simonischek). A practical joker, Winfried tries to reconnect with his hard working daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego, life coach Toni Erdmann. A funny, strange, brilliant film, at turns hilarious, unsettling and moving. One the year's best and most unique films, confounding expectations all the way.

April 18th. Julieta, 2016, Pedro Almodovar

Based a three Alice Munro short stories, Spanish master Pedro Almodóvar's latest begins with a chance meeting where middle-aged Julieta (Emma Suarez) learns that her long-lost daughter Antia has resurfaced. So begins a recollection of Julieta's past, from meeting future husband Xoan on a night train, to the childhood of her now estranged daughter who, at eighteen, abandoned her mother without explanation. Julieta is a haunting meditation on the mechanics of memory and a deeply satisfying tale of grief and quiet rediscovery.

All films are shown at the Set Theatre, John St, Kilkenny; subject to license.
Seasonal membership (including admission to 7 films) ...€45. Single film membership...€8.
Membership and tickets are available at the venue from 7:30pm on the evening. Films begin at 8:00pm. The Kilkenny Film Club is a non-profit organisation, and is assisted by Access Cinema and Langtons House Hotel.
For further enquiries contact or call Steve Cullen on 086 1217211

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

September to December 2016
Tuesday 20th September

Marguerite, 2015, Fra, Xavier Giannoli
Set in Paris in the 1920s Marguerite tells the tale of an aging socialite who fervently pursues an opera singing career despite an utter lack of talent. Delightfully recreating the period, Marguerite is an amusing and tragic portrait of fortune, infamy and delusion, honouring its real-life inspiration with a well-acted look at the nature of art and the value of a dream.

Tuesday 4th October

Blue Ruin, 2013, US, Jeremy Saulnier
Blue Ruin is an award-winning revenge thriller from Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) about a man, Dwight Evans (Macon Blair) who appears to be a friendless drop-out living in his car. But all isn't as it seems. A turn of events shakes him from his torpor and sends him back to his childhood home in search of vengeance. What follows is a powerful, stripped-down tale of revenge with bloodied hands and blackened heart. Blue Ruin takes a new stab at an old genre with refreshingly results. A lean, tough, thoughtful thriller with serious depth.

Tuesday 18th October

Mustang, 2015, Tur/Fra, Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Set in a small rural community in northern Turkey Mustang depicts the lives of five sisters and the challenges they face growing up in a conservative society. Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Mustang is an amazing debut feature, masterfully balancing personal and political concerns. With atmospheric cinematography, a moving score by violinist Warren Ellis and natural, unforced performances, Mustang is a sweet, sad delight, an ethereal fairytale, and a feminist take on the oppression of women everywhere.

Tuesday November 1st

The Stanford Prison Experiment, 2015, US, Kyle Patrick Alvarez
The Stanford Prison Experiment is a dramatisation of the famous experiment conducted at Stanford University in 1971 by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo in which students played the roles of prisoners and prison guards. Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez cranks up a pressure cooker script to chilling effect, creating an absorbing film that packs a timelessly relevant punch. A richly challenging film that will provide much to discuss and argue about.

Tuesday November 15th

Son of Saul, 2015, Hungary, László Nemes
Set in the Auschwitz concentration camp, Son of Saul follows a day in the life of Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, work units forced on threat of death to help dispose of gas chamber victims. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Son of Saul is grimly intense yet thoroughly unforgettable, a brilliantly directed film that creates a deep-focused fictional story within the Holocaust setting, finding actual drama, and not just despair, in the living hell of a concentration camp.

Tuesday December 6th

A Bigger Splash, 2015, Ita/Fra, Luca Guadagnino
A Bigger Splash stars Tilda Swinton as Marianne Lane, a famous rock star, resting an injured throat while holidaying on the remote Italian island of Pantelleria with her photographer boyfriend, Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). Their lover's idyll is disrupted by the unexpected visit of Marianne's old producer, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), and his daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). What follows is a sly, absorbing, sun-kissed delight, a shifting game of sex and jealousy that offers sumptuously soapy delights for fans of psychological adult drama.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

January to April 2016

Tuesday 19th Jan. Phoenix.   

Dir: Christian Petzold.  Germany.   2014.   98  mins. 

Nelly (Nina Hoss), a German-Jewish nightclub singer, has survived a concentration camp but with her face disfigured. After undergoing reconstructive surgery, Nelly emerges with a new face, similar but different enough that her former husband Johnny doesn't recognize her. Acclaimed director Christian Petzold weaves a spellbinding mystery of identity, illusion, and deception against the turmoil of post-World War Berlin, creating a complex tale of a nation's tragedy and a woman's search for answers as it builds towards a heart-stopping climax.

Tuesday 2nd Feb. 400 Blows.

Dir: Francois Truffaut. France. 1959. 99mins.

The 400 Blows is one of the defining films of the French New Wave. Told through the eyes of young Parisian boy Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), it sensitively re-creates the trials of director Francois Truffaut’s own childhood; neglectful parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. Surrounded by hostile adults Antoine spends his days with his best friend Rene trying to plan for a better life. When one of their schemes goes awry, Antoine ends up in trouble with the law. The 400 Blows is a lyrical masterpiece in love with cinema and Paris.

Tuesday 16th Feb. The President.

Dir: Mohsen Makhmalbaf.  France, Georgia, Germany, UK.  2014. 118 mins.

In an unnamed state the President and his family rule their land with an iron fist, enjoying lives of luxury at the expense of their population's misery. When a coup d'état overthrows his brutal rule, the rest of his family flee, leaving The President and his young grandson behind. Now the country's most wanted fugitive he begins a perilous journey with the boy, criss-crossing the country to reach safety. Inspired by recently fallen Arab dictatorships, master Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf has created a tense and timely allegorical tale about how power corrupts, a vibrant and thrilling film with a satirical sense of humour.

Tues 1st March. The Second Mother. 

Dir:   Anna Muylaert. Brazil. 2014. 112 mins.   

When Val (Regina Casé) left her home to work thousands of miles away as a live-in housekeeper for Fabinho (Michel Joelsas), she carried the guilt of leaving her young daughter Jessica behind with relatives. Now, 13 years later, Jessica shows up in Sao Paulo to take her college entrance exams. Her presence throws into disarray the unspoken class barriers within Fabinho’s home. A savvy, socially conscious crowdpleaser, The Second Mother's compelling characters serve a thought-provoking story beautifully brought to life by a talented cast.

Tues 15th March. 45 Years.    

Dir: Andrew Haigh. UK. 2014. 93 mins.   

There is just one week until Kate Mercer's forty-fifth wedding anniversary and the planning for the party is going well. But then a letter arrives for her husband. The body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. 45 Years offers richly thought-provoking rewards and a mesmerizing acting showcase for leads Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. Andrew Haigh’s sensitive and devastating portrait of a long, happy marriage in sudden crisis is a quiet gem with the power to move.

Tues 29th March. My Skinny Sister.

Dir: Sanna Lenken. Sweden/Germany. 2015. 95 minutes.

Rebecka Josephson is wonderfully engaging as Stella, an awkward 12-year-old who discovers with horror that her popular figure-skating sister Katja (Amy Deasismont) is hiding a growing eating disorder. Drawing on personal experience director Sanna Lenken examines the web of intimacy and alienation that entraps both sisters, showing the volatile love-hate chemistry between the girls in a way that will ring true for anyone with siblings. An engagingly offbeat portrait of family dysfunction that feels at times like a Nordic cousin of Little Miss Sunshine.

Tues 12th April. Ex Machina.  


Dir: Alex Garland. UK. 2015. 108 mins.    

Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant, reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Once there, Caleb learns he's been chosen to evaluate the possible consciousness of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence, Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated, and deceptive, than the men expect. Alex Garland's directorial debut is a sleek, stylish thriller; Mary Shelleys Frankenstein as a 21st-century battle of the sexes.

Friday, 7 August 2015

September to December 2015

Tuesday 22nd Sept 
Force Majeure. 
DIR: Ruben Östlund, Sweden,  2014, 118 mins.
Starring: Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli,
Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius
Language: Swedish, English.

A Swedish family travel to the French Alps for a skiing holiday. But on the second day an incident occurs that leaves their world shaken, a question mark hanging over the father in particular. A critical favorite and word-of-mouth sensation at last year's Cannes Festival, Ruben Ostlund's masterfully composed and subtly devastating psychodrama lays bare the tensions and misunderstandings in a seemingly happy marriage, questioning the nature of masculinity, social roles and the family itself along the way. A thought-provoking treat. 

Tuesday 6th Oct 
The Clouds of Sils Maria. 
Dir: Olivier Assayas, France, 2014, 124 mins.
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Kriten Stewart, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lars Eidinger.
Language: French, English.

Famous actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) retreats to Sils Maria, a remote region of the Alps with her assistant Valentine (Kirsten Stewart) to rehearse for an upcoming play about the relationship between a businesswoman and her manipulative assistant. As they rehearse, the border between fiction and reality begins to blur. An absorbing exploration of the mystery of acting and a biting satire on celebrity culture, Clouds of Sils Maria delivers multi-layered complexities, stand-out performances and stunning Alpine vistas.

Wednesday 21st Oct 
Wild Tales. 
DIR: Damián Szifrón, Argentina, 2014, 122 mins.   
Starring:Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Darío Grandinetti, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg,
Erica Rivas, Leonardo Sbaraglia       
Language: Spanish.

Oscar-nominated Wild Tales is a wickedly sharp black comedy, an entertaining anthology of six shorts united by vengeance and the limits of our patience. Inequality, injustice and the demands of the world cause some people to explode. This is a film about those people, characters who cross the thin line that divides civilization and barbarism. An amusingly subversive satire full of intrigue, suspense and dark humor, Wild Tales delivers absurd complications with marvellous comic timing and rich cinematic style. Great fun.

Tuesday 3rd Nov 
Dir: Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014, France, Mauritania, 97 mins.   
Starring: Ibrahim Ahmed aka Pino, Toulou Kiki, Abel Jafri.
Language: Arabic, French. 

Not far from the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu, ruled by religious fundamentalists, proud cattle herder Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his family. But eventually their quiet lives are disturbed. Witty, beautiful and tough, Oscar-nominated Timbuktu is an engaging, imaginative film stunningly rendered by a master of world cinema. Full of life, irony, poetry and bitter truths, with hushed, memorable performances and the beauty of this desert land in every frame. An inspiring story of defiance and a visual experience to remember. 

Tuesday 17th Nov 
Dir: Dan Gilroy, USA, 2014, 117 mins.      
Starring:  Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Language: English.

Set in the nocturnal underbelly of LA, Nightcrawler follows Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) a hustler who muscles into the cut-throat world of nightcrawling, freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires and murder to sell to local TV news channels. Aided by producer Nina (Rene Russo) Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Powered by a tour-de-force star performance from Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler offers marvelous neo-noir atmosphere and dark, thought-provoking thrills. 

Tuesday 8th Dec 
While We're Young. 
Dir: Noah Baumbach,USA, 2014, 97 mins.      
Starring:  Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver
Language: English.

Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) are a childless New York couple in their mid-forties. As their friends start having children, they gravitate toward young hipster couple Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). Soon the older couple are enjoying the energy of the younger generation. But then Josh begins to suspect Jamie might not be as trustworthy as he seems. A warmly incisive comedy of urban manners that explores the pains of ageing, and the chasms that divide generations with witty precision.