access CINEMA release Our Children opens in Irish Film Institute and Triskel Christchurch from Friday May 10th
access>CINEMA releases the Belgian drama Our Children (A Perdre La Raison) at the Irish Film Institute, Dublin and Triskel Christchurch Cork from today, May 10th. + more
Thoughts on the Galway Film Fleadh by Alberta Lacasa
The Three Amigos : Gary, David and Alberta in Galway.
Alberto Lacasa, a member of the Don Quijote Jury at the recent Galway Film Fleadh reflects on his time at the festival.
Those days in Galway had a special taste. Usually, the city has the typical Irish street colours and a curious mix of odours. But in July, it erupts in cultural events, and gives a special perfume. The city smells of cinema.
The FICC (Federation of International of Film Societies) Don Quijote Award was to be given to the the Best Animation short. There were nearly 30 shorts, most of them really imaginative. The themes moved from comedy to surrealism.
The jury was made up of three people. I was there as a member of the Federació Catalana de Cineclubs. Also there was David Miller who came from the UK and Gary Hoctor, the local Irish member. With both of them, we shared a lot of conversations about cinema and other issues.
Despite the difficulty of choosing, while we were lunching and drinking the mythical black Irish beer, we chose Here to Fall. The animation was surprising, with an amazing aesthetic sense. The story was really emotional and strong, and we thought that it had a great rhythmic sense.
We also wanted to give a special mention to Learning to Fish, a funny story about some seagulls who became used to eating human remains, and they forgot the taste of fish. The animation was really interesting and we argued for a long time about how the film should be read.
The Fleadh (festival in Irish) didn’t end there. The animations were not the only shorts we saw. I saw another interesting short entitled Homemade, a drama with a surprise, or A Different Perspective, an animation with a different take.
The few days there allowed me to see a number of other films. King of the Travellers is a story about two traveller families carrying out a vendetta. The violent fights are very real.
The way to explain the story, with some ‘Romeo and Juliet’ elements, is ok. It's a drama with the correct amount of humour and its violence is not excessive, unlike other films with a similar storyline. Sometimes, the film is predictable, but this doesn’t allow us to forget the interesting psychological draw that the script does with the characters.
If King of the Travellers offered me a funny hour and a half, the great surprise was Good Vibrations. In fact, it won the Best Irish Feature Award. Based on a real story, it explains how a young man, who is bored with the violence in Northern Ireland, opens a music shop where the violence doesn’t have any place.
The main character has some problems because of that. Before I saw the film I thought that it would be really hard to do. I'm not going to say it is a comedy, but it is a positive film during a difficult time. That middle point is not easy to find. The visual narration is intelligent. The story narration is done with the usual fiction tools. Otherwise, the realism is delivered by a documentary language. It's done with real images, which gives strength to the story. And I think that Good Vibrations does it.
The person on whom the story was based spoke after the film to the audience. With great humour, he talked with the same strength that I imagine he had 20 years ago.
One of the highlights of the Fleadh was the special guest: Isabelle Huppert. I must admit that I have a particular affection for her. Of all the films that the festival screened in their retrospective of her work, I really liked The Piano Teacher, a masterpiece from Michael Haneke's (and with whom she has worked recently). Maybe because he was born in the Germany during World War II, he explains, like no one else, the nonsense of violence.
Huppert received the Galway Hooker Award from the Irish director Frank Stapleton. She is almost 60 years old and, as beautiful as ever, and she talked with great eloquence and intelligence.
The experience in Galway was great. The treatment by the Festival of the Jury was fantastic. They showed us around the city, to see everywhere, where to go and have interesting conversations about film.
Personally, this is my first experience as a festival jury. And it's not going to be the last one.
Alberto Lacasa, Federació Catalana de Cineclubs