This month’s programme really does add a new dimension to the IFI, as Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams will be the first film released here in 3D. This powerful technology has revolutionised and reinvigorated the cinema-going experience for many. What its impact on quality drama and documentary will be in the long term remains a controversial question, but one that lifelong innovators like Herzog will not shy away from exploring in the coming years. The documentary is a rare glimpse of the ancient paintings of the Chauvet Cave and I hope that the grown-up subject may tempt a few members and patrons to come to the IFI for their first 3D experience.
March sees the start of an exciting year of IFI International activity in the U.S. as part of Imagine Ireland, Culture Ireland’s year of Irish arts in America 2011. We start with Hidden Ireland, a three-month long documentary film series drawn from the IFI Irish Film Archive and presented in collaboration with the New York Library of the Performing Arts at the Lincoln Centre. The series will offer New York audiences fascinating insights into contemporary Irish life and into the past that has shaped it. It explores perceptions of Ireland as moulded by America, comprising films about Ireland; about Irish experience in the U.S.; about a living culture within a diasporic community; about exile and home-coming; and a series of new documentaries made by Irish people as they consider Irish society today.
Closer to home, IFI National will be at the excellent Killruddery Film Festival (March 10th-13th) with a fascinating programme of recently restored early silent Kalem films, and a series of rediscovered silent films for children from the IFI Irish Film Archive.
Following the extraordinary success of her Oscar-nominated short film The Door, we are delighted that Irish writer-director Juanita Wilson will be joining us at the IFI to discuss the release of her uncompromising and highly recommended first feature, As If I Am Not There, following a female teacher’s harrowing experience of the horrors of the Yugoslav Wars. Another new Irish release to look out for is Mark O’Connor’s Between the Canals, a pulsating crime drama set in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day which features a cast drawn from the north inner city and musician Damien Dempsey in his debut acting role!
Few people stake a claim to a life as creatively productive and varied as Jerzy Skolimowski, the veteran Polish filmmaker who has also chalked up considerable achievements as a boxer, poet and latterly a painter. The IFI is delighted to welcome him to Dublin for a preview of his new film Essential Killing and a season of his work; a key event for fans of European cinema.
All this alongside the latest Woody Allen, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, a pair of Truffaut re-releases and the hotly-anticipated Submarine – join us for a busy springtime at the IFI.