Monthly Archives: March 2011

The First ABSOLUT GAZE Filmmakers Project Launched

ABSOLUT GAZE Filmmakers 2011

In 2011 GAZE is celebrating its 19th birthday. The five-day cinematic showcase of Irish and International LGBT film will take place over the August bank holiday weekend. This year, the programme will feature the premiere of the first short film born out of the ABSOLUT GAZE Filmmakers project. The call for submissions to the ABSOLUT GAZE Filmmakers project launched today and is open to all filmmakers based in Ireland. The deadline for submissions is the 20th April 2011. Full application details go to: Continue reading

INTERVIEW: NEIL MCCORMICK, Bono’s doppelganger

Neil McCormick’s unsuccessful quest for rock and roll fame has been immortalized in the comedy rock scene film Killing Bono. He talks to Roe McDermott about the differences between the film and real life, why Bono told McCormick to kill him and how naked women and goats played a part in his job interview for Hot Press

It almost seems redundant to say that the man who spent his life in Bono’s shadow is finally enjoying his time in the spotlight, but Neil McCormick is definitely enjoying having his life immortalized in the new comedy rock scene movie Killing Bono, which is based on his memoir I Was Bono’s Doppelgänger. Chatty, gregarious and quick to laugh, the former Hot Press writer is quick to tell me that Hot Press wasn’t always the incredibly glamorous machine it is today…Okay, glamorous might be pushing it, but at least we don’t use the office as a farmyard these days.

“I was very young and very cocky and I read Hot Press because I was in a band and it was the only thing that was there. And there was an ad looking for an art assistant and I went, not knowing what to expect. And you know, before you actually work in journalism, you assume from the outside that magazines are all produced in these wonderfully sophisticated, glamorous locations. But it was just a house on Mount Street, but what really threw me was that there was a goat in the hall tethered to a stairs. First and only time I encountered that at a job interview!”

A slightly dodgy house acting as the base for cutting-edge journalists headed by an editor with “the longest, most hippiest hair I’d ever seen” with a penchant for keeping goats handy? McCormick would have been forgiven for thinking that his initiation into Hot Press would involve some kind of ritual sacrifice. But apparently a secretary was merely babysitting the goat for a friend (obviously), and all that was needed to secure a job was a certain amount of bullshi…. chutzpah. Continue reading

Light House Cinema Faces Wind-Up Petition

My favourite cinema – hell, one of my favourite places in Dublin – is under threat of closing after its landlord doubled the rent. The gorgeous Light House Cinema in Smithfield Dublin is beautifully designed, with an airy, modern café, a stunning exhibition area and sumptuous screens. Following Smithfield’s recent make-over and the lovely restaurants in the area, it’s a gorgeous place to visit.

And of course, the films are a huge plus too. The arthouse cinema shows lots of independent and foreign language films that aren’t played elsewhere, save perhaps the IFI. The Light House received grants from the Department of Arts and the Cultural Cinema Consortium, a joint initiative of the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board, totalling €1.75 million when it was being fitted out. And though it took a while to build up its audience, this year the cinema has seen its attendance figures reach an all-time high.

However, landlord John Flynn doubled its annual rent last May from €100,000 a year to €200,000. The directors of the cinema have withheld a portion of the rent charged since it was raised last May, and Flynn has now issued a wind-up petition against the cinema.
There have been several shops and restaurants in the area that have closed already due to the recession (which begs the question of how on earth the rent could be doubled), & if the cinema closes it’ll have a huge knock-on effect on other businesses in the area. It’ll also just be a huge loss to cinema-goers, as it’s the most beautiful, modern cinema out there & offers a unique experience.

I’ll be following this story, but for now there’s a Facebook petition supporting the Light House Cinema (of course there is – if a cinema is forced to close & it isn’t on Facebook, it never really happened.) But hell, joining it can’t hurt, so get on & support this stunner of a cinema.

Elizabeth Taylor, 1932 – 2011

After so many health scares and a near-fatal bout of pneumonia in 1990, it feels so surreal that the iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor has really died. But the legendary actress passed away yesterday at age 79. Apart from her incredible career, three-time Oscar winner Liz Taylor was known for being such a larger than life character –a tumultuous life lived in the spotlight, seven marriages, and a rare, openly supportive attitude to LGBT actors in Hollywood (including a bet with Rock Hudson over which one of them could seduce James Dean – atta girl.)

Continue reading

LIMITLESS: Drug-fuelled Thriller provides a Fun Little Trip

Directed by Neil Burger. Starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel. 105 mins.
Rating: Three and a half/Five
In cinemas March 23

When will movie characters learn that accepting sweets from strangers never ends well? Twelve years ago Keanu Reeves obediently ate a red jelly bean and realized not only that his life was a computer -simulated lie and two god-awful sequels lay ahead of him, but also that he had a burning desire to wear a leather coat previously owned by a 15 year old goth. If that doesn’t make the kids ‘Just Say No’, I don’t know what will.
Continue reading

REWIND: For Amy Huberman & Allen Leech

Directed by PJ Dillon. Starring Amy Huberman, Allen Leech, Owen McDonnell. 82 mins.
Rating: Two and a half/Five
In cinemas March 25

Karen’s life is filled with all the trappings of contentedly middle-class suburbia. She has a beautiful house, a handsome husband, an adorable daughter and an enviable wardrobe. But her distant gaze hints that her heart isn’t really in her Stepford wife existence. Plus, she has a Northsider accent, and the grand tradition of promoting Dublin stereotypes, this clearly means she has a shady backstory.
Continue reading

WAKE WOOD: Hammering Home the Gore

Directed by David Keating. Starring Timothy Spall, Aiden Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Ruth McCabe. 90 mins.
Rating: Three/five
In cinemas March 25

Once the dominant production company for horror films, Hammer Film Productions has effectively been in hibernation for thirty years. But their first feature film produced since their hiatus proves that they can still reduce even hardened horror fans to cringing behind their hands.
Continue reading

FASTER: Make a Dwyane Johnson Movie in 5 Simple Steps!

Directed by George Tillman Jr. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Moon Bloodgood, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Maggie Grace. 97 mins.
Rating: Two/Five
In cinemas March 25

At one point in Faster Billy Bob Thornton casually flicks through a Cosmo-style magazine, landing on an article providing men with five steps to satisfying women. Moved by the undoubtedly inspired insights usually provided by those deeply analytical thought-pieces, he rings up his estranged wife, proudly declaring “I got you figured out!” Well if it’s good enough for Billy Bob, it’s good enough for us, so allow me to present:

Five Steps to Satisfying Faster’s Audience.

Step One: Keep it Simple. Why give your characters names when their occupation will do? So revenge-seeking getaway driver Dwayne Johnson is ‘Driver’, Billy Bob Thornton is ‘Cop’ and hitman Oliver Jackson-Cohen is ‘Prettyboy’. Oh sorry, he’s ‘Killer’. Just to further clarify this complex labelling system, have title cards with their names flash up when they come on screen. Continue reading

COUNTRY STRONG: Cliche-ridden music melodrama hits every bum note

Directed by Shana Fest. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester. 112 mins.
Rating: One and a half/Five
In cinemas March 25

Reportedly based on Britney Spears, Gwyneth Paltrow plays Kelly Canter, a country music star preparing for a comeback tour following a stint in rehab. Infatuated with idealistic heartthrob Beau (Garrett Hedlund), she demands that her manager-husband James (Tim McGraw) hire him as her opening act. To even the score, James also hires Chiles (Leighton Meester), a Country Barbie singer whose looks are as Top 40-ready as her Taylor Swift-style croonings. This interesting love quadrangle could have led to a thoughtful examination of love, fame, neurosis and the danger facing fragile individuals constantly in the spotlight. But instead, corny songs substitute for meaningful dialogue, clichés replace sincerity and Paltrow cries her way through so much mascara that all I wanted to do was scrub her face clean with a kitchen towel with the same brand-name as the film’s title.
Continue reading

Werner Herzog to do a satellite Q&A for Cave of Forgotten Dreams today

Cineworld, the IFI and FT Belfast will be presenting a satellite Q&A with director Werner Herzog following a special preview of his new documentary, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS. If you’re interested in hearing from that crazy little German genius, here’s all the info:

Tuesday 22 March, 6.15pm at Cineworld Dublin, IFI Cinemas Dublin and QFT Belfast
Tickets now on sale!

Following ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, Herzog once again takes us deep behind the frontier of an extraordinary place.

Having gained unprecedented access through the tightest of restrictions, he has captured on film the interior of the Chauvet Cave in southern France. This is where the world’s oldest cave paintings were discovered in 1994.

In CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, he reveals a breathtaking subterranean world and leads us to the 32,000-year-old artworks. In true Herzogian fashion, his engaging narration weaves in wider metaphysical contemplations as we learn more about the Palaeolithic art and its creators; we are invited to reflect on our primal desire to communicate and represent the world around us, evolution and our place within it, and ultimately what it means to be human.

To book tickets, please contact the following cinemas:

Cineworld, Parnell Street, Dublin 1 –

IFI Cinemas, Eustace Street, Dublin 2 –

QFT Belfast, 20 University Square, Belfast BT7 1PA

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS opens at selected cinemas from March 25.