Ballina Arts Centre is welcoming back Ballina Film Club after its extended Covid hiatus, starting next Tuesday night (12th October).
A fascinating and eclectic programme of film for the coming months will have something for all tastes, and tickets are just €5.
The first showing of the season, New York: Our Time, is part of Ballina Fringe Festival.
Read about the films and watch the trailers below.
New York: Our Time (Dir: Vivienne Dick, 2020, Ireland, 79mins)
Tuesday 12th October, 8pm
When Irish film artist Vivienne Dick arrived in New York’s run-down Lower East side in the late 1970s, she was deeply inspired by the vibrant community of avant-garde musicians, makers and artists who lived there.
In this, her much anticipated first feature film, Dick revisits old haunts and reconnects with a number of friends (among them Cynthia Sley, Nan Goldin and Lydia Lunch), many of whom still manage to work as artists in the city, despite sky-high rents and gentrification.
Dick’s own previously-unseen Super 8 captures the gritty, post-punk era while the intimate present-day sequences (filmed by her friend, cinematographer Declan Quinn) celebrate the importance of friendship, particularly women’s friendship, community and memory. Funded under the Arts Council’s Reel Art Scheme.
I Am Not A Witch (Dir: Rungao Nyoni, 2018, UK/France/Germany/Zambia, 93 mins)
Tuesday 26th October, 8pm
Welsh-Zambian director Rungano Nyoni casts a baleful eye over the status of women in Zambian society in her satirical début feature that screened to acclaim in the Director’s Fortnight sidebar at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. After a minor incident in her village, 9-year-old orphan Shula (Maggie Mulubwa) has been accused of witchcraft by the superstitious elders of her village.
Cast out, she falls into the care of Mr Banda (Henry B.J. Phiri), a venal public official who sees an opportunity to make a fortune from the girl’s supposed gifts. Housed in a makeshift witchcamp, Shula is tasked with absurd duties such as summoning rain to the arid region. Nyoni’s film is playful yet pointed in its critiques, with nods to magic realism in its visual metaphors, such as the length of white ribbon tied to the waist,that tethers the alleged witches to the earth lest they fly away.
About Endlessness (Dir: Roy Andersson, 2019, Sweden/Germany/Norway/France, 76 mins)
Tuesday 9th November, 8pm
Acclaimed Swedish director Roy Andersson’s latest film is a reflection on human life in all its beauty and cruelty. A work of quiet wonder, Andersson’s tragicomic scenes elevate the everyday ordinary to the dreamlike poetic.
A couple floats over a war-torn Cologne. On the way to a birthday party, a father stops to tie his daughter’s shoelaces in the pouring rain. A priest consults a psychiatrist about his loss of faith. Teenage girls stage an impromptu dance outside a café and a defeated army marches to a prisoner of war camp.
About Endlessness captures the variety of humanity’s most obscure desires and tendencies, creating a beautiful anthology of human frailty. Perhaps Andersson’s final film, it is another artistic triumph.
The Bright Side (Dir: Ruth Meehan, 2020, Ireland 99mins)
Tuesday 23rd November, 8pm
Kate, a jaded stand-up comedian enjoys relative success on the local circuit. Every night she runs through her cynical, self-deprecating set, concluding with backstage beers and gambling with her equally jaded male colleagues.
But when an unexpected cancer diagnosis requires her to undergo treatment, Kate encounters a diverse group of women, all at different stages of treatment and recovery.
Based on the memoirs of stand-up comedian Anne Gildea, The Bright Side is both a sensitive and darkly humorous tale of solidarity between a small group of women from a cross-section of society. As each travels on their own personal journey with cancer, the unlikely group also form strong bonds, and support each other through good and bad times.
Minari (Dir: Lee Isaac Chung, 2020, USA, 116mins)
Tuesday 7th December, 8pm
Lee Isaac Chung’s tender and gentle depiction of the American dream sees Jacob – Steven Yeun, Okja (Bong Joon Ho, 2017), Burning (Lee Chang-Dong, 2018), The Walking Dead) – and Monica (Yeri Han) moving their children, Anne and fragile David (Alan S. Kim, extremely winning), to 1980s Arkansas for a fresh start.
Jacob wants to start a farm for Korean fruits and vegetables to offer the tide of fellow immigrants a taste of home. Between the rigours of this new enterprise and their day job sexing chickens, a carer is required for the children, and arrives in the form of their grandmother (the revered Youn Yuh-Jung).
Deftly pulling together its multiple threads, this subtle and moving film is one to be cherished.
It Must Be Heaven (Dir: Elia Suleiman, 2019, France/Qatar/Germany/Turkey/Canada/Palestine, 102mins)
Tuesday 21st December, 8pm
Over the course of his career, the work of Palestinian director Elia Suleiman (Divine Intervention, 2002) has invited frequent comparisons to that of Jacques Tati, Buster Keaton, and Roy Andersson as a result of both Suleiman’s deadpan acting style and his reliance on visual storytelling over expository dialogue.
In his latest, typically droll film, Suleiman’s conceit of playing a filmmaker looking for international funding is played out in a series of vignettes that function not only as a meditation on the continuing plight of his people and their desire for a safe place to call home, but also draw sharp parallels between the evolution of the surveillance state in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and some of the west’s major cities
Booking is through www.ballinaartscentre.com, as well as at the box office in the Centre.