From the IFTA's best Irish film The Guard, to the triumphant Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - all available on DVD from the IFI FIlm Shop.
Brendan Gleeson in The Guard
His and Hers: Ken Wardrop’s delightful documentary is composed entirely of interviews with over 70 Irish women of all ages, from a three month old baby to a ninety year old woman reflecting on her pass. The subject of their conversations is the (always-unseen) men in their life, building up a vivid image of the fathers, brothers, husbands and sons that everyone can relate to.
The Guard: This black crime comedy forms an unlikely team of an unconventional small-town Irish policeman (a wonderfully profane Brendan Gleeson) with a strait-laced FBI agent (Don Cheadle, star of Hotel Rwanda and Crash) who reluctantly work together to track down an international drug-trafficking gang operating in the Connemara Gaeltacht.
Pina: A Best-Documentary Nomination for the 2012 Academy Awards, Wim Wenders latest film is an affectionate tribute to the legendary dance choreographer Pina Bausche, who died suddenly in 2009. Wenders’ mesmerising documentary features many of Pina Bausche’s greatest works, performed by the Tanztheater Wuppertal ensemble.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams: Legendary film-maker Werner Herzog was given unprecedented access to Chauvet Caves in Southern France, where his documentation of 35,000 year-old cave paintings is interspersed with typically random asides (an archaeologist is interrupted mid-interview as Herzog quizzes him on his past life in the circus). Forgotten Dreams marks the director’s first (and possibly last) foray into 3D film-making is a thought-provoking, meditative work that transports you back to a world when humanity was young, and art was timeless.
The White Ribbon: Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke followed up his enormously successful thriller Caché (Hidden) with this chilling Palme D’Or winner set in a small German village on the eve of World War I. A series of mysterious accidents befall the villagers, becoming increasingly sinister and pointing to a bizarre form of “punishment”. But who is responsible, and why?
The Lives of Others: The outstanding debut by German filmmaker Florian Henckel Von Donnersmark (Winner of the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Feature) is set in the shadowy world of state surveillance in East Berlin during the 1980s. A coldly efficient Stasi officer is assigned to monitor a controversial playwright and his actress girlfriend, but finds his loyalties divided when he starts to empathise with their passionate outlook on life.
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