THE 10TH ANNUAL MAGNERS IRISH FILM FESTIVAL UNSPOOLS
NOVEMBER 13-24 at the Harvard Film Archive and the Brattle Theatre.
Tribute to Famed Director/Producer John Boorman, Excellence Award Honoree –
2008 Excellence Award Honoree
Among the featured activities is a week-long retrospective of the festival’s 2008 Excellence Award honoree John Boorman, acclaimed director of “Point Blank” (1967), Deliverance (1972), Excalibur (1981) and Hope and Glory (1987). Organized in conjunction with the Harvard Film Archive and the Brattle Theatre, the retrospective is the first of its kind in the United States and will feature 12 of the director’s best-known films.
On Friday, November 21 at 7:00 PM, The Harvard Film Archive will screen one of Boorman’s most acclaimed films, “The General” starring (2006 Excellence Award honoree) Brendan Gleeson as real-life Dublin crime lord Martin Cahill. This will be followed by a special award ceremony in which Mr. Boorman will take to the stage to receive the Excellence Award and answer questions from the audience. A long-time resident of Ireland, Mr. Boorman has frequently turned the camera on his adopted homeland, most strikingly in “Excalibur” and the cult sci-fi drama “Zardoz” (1974).
“There is no better evidence of Ireland’s culture becoming more contemporary, more international and more diverse than through the films being showed at this year’s festival,” said Peter Flynn, Festival Director.
Among the films scheduled to screen is the highly acclaimed new drama, “Eden”, which won the festival’s coveted Best Feature Film Award. Starring Eileen Walsh (winner of the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival’s Best Actress Award) and Aidan Kelly and adapted from Eugene O’Brien award-winning play of the same name, “Eden” is an unflinching portrait of a 10-year-old marriage on the rocks. “Eden” will screen at the Brattle Theatre, Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 PM before its theatrical release at Kendall Square on November 21.
This year’s Director’s Choice Award goes to “Vox Humana (Notes for a Small Opera)”, the touching new film from veteran Irish filmmaker Bob Quinn. Set to the heavenly music of the Galway Baroque Singers, “Vox Humana” tells the story of Luke, a homeless man seeking redemption after the accidental death of his daughter. This year’s Best Short Fiction award winner is “The Basket Case,” a touching drama about a husband who refused to be parted from his wife . . . even after her death from cancer. Both screenings will take place on Friday, November 14, beginning at 7:00 PM.
Other festival award winners include Best Documentary “At Home with the Clearys” a feature-length examination of Ireland’s first major clerical scandal when the nation’s beloved celebrity priest Father Michael Cleary was revealed to have fathered a child with his live-in housemaid. This will screen on Saturday, November 15 at 5:00 PM.
Other films scheduled to screen include the taut political drama “Anton,” about an IRA suspect on the run from British authorities, “Rua,” a delightful documentary about Ireland’s famous redheads and the drama “The Busker” which was shot and produced in Boston. Written and directed by New Hampshire native Stephen Croke, the film tells the moving story of a young Irish-American musician who strikes up a relationship with a spirited African-American girl.
“We received over 150 submissions this year, demonstrating not only the enormous talent on display in Irish cinema, but also the importance of independent festivals like our own to showcase this work,” added Dawn Morrissey, Festival Executive Producer.
Tickets, ranging from $8 to $10, are available at www.irishfilmfestival.com and on-site at the Harvard Film Archive (24 Quincy Street) and Brattle Theatre (40 Brattle Street) box offices, both located in Cambridge. In addition to screenings, there will be receptions at event sponsors, Jurys Hotel Boston and Grafton Street Bar & Grill.