Dublin Film Festival picks

The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival announced its programme for this year’s festival, and tickets are now on sale via their web site and box office.

Here are my suggestions for those of you interested in fantastic themes:

On Valentine’s Day, you can see I Sell The Dead: in which grave robbers recount stories from their trade. It co-stars Dominic Monaghan and Larry Fessenden, with a performance by cult horror favourite Ron Perlman. Irish writer/director Glenn McQuaid will be at the screening. This would be my perfect date movie.

There’s a Gala event going on at Dundrum on February 15: a screening of the animated feature film, Coraline 3D, which was adapted and directed by Henry Selick from the novel by Neil Gaiman. Mr. Gaiman will be attending the screening.

On the 16th of February you can see Franklyn, a stylish modern fantasy set in London that weaves been the realms of the real and the imaginary. It’s written and directed by Gerald McMorrow, a British newcomer to the field.

However, you’ll have to choose between watching Franklyn and my other highlighted film, because they’re on at the same time:

Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel, which is written by Jamie Mathieson and directed by Gareth Carrivick. This time-travel comedy stars Chris O’Dowd from The IT Crowd.

This was an inept programming decision. Since there are so few speculative films screening at the JDIFF you’d think someone would have thought not to schedule these films opposite each other. I am amused that one of them is a time-travel flick, as that’s the only way you’d enjoy both films.

Indie and Cult film fans should check out the documentary Not Quite Hollywood, which celebrates Ozploitation – the genre films made in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. This is airing on Tuesday, 17th of February.

On the same day there will be the inaugural Jameson Film Experience, which is themed around graphic novels: British actor Clive Owen (Sin City) will be interviewed onstage by Mark Dinning, Editor of Empire magazine.

On the 20th of February is the screening of The Possibility of An Island, which is written and directed by Michel Houellebecq, and an adaptation of his 2005 novel. The films themes are: belief systems, cloning, humanity’s difficult future, and the (perhaps futile) pursuit of happiness. Some of the reviews of this film aren’t the most complimentary, so caveat emptor.

Above all I must highlight the 21st of February showing of Let the Right One In, the Swedish vampire film about which I have raved before. John Ajvide Lindqvist wrote the screenplay, which was an adaptation of his novel of the same title, and Tomas Alfredson directed the film with great sensitivity. I bet tickets for this one will sell fast, so book early.

In another stupendously-bad scheduling clash at the same time is the showing of the Irish film, The Daisy Chain, a supernatural drama dealing with superstitions about fairies and changelings that centre around an orphaned autistic girl. It’s created by that rarest of Irish talent couplings: a female writer (Lauren Mackenzie) and director (Aisling Walsh).

Both these films deserve a spot where they are not competing for each other’s audience.

The closing film on the 22nd of February is the Irish animated children’s film The Secret of Kells, which is written by Fabrice Ziolkowski from a story by Tomm Moore, and co-directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey.