A New Year of films at Pálás and Light House
It's a new year and with it comes a whole host of new films making their way to the big screen. When deciding what will be shown in Pálás and Light House, our Programmers are always keeping an eye on release schedules and are lucky enough to see films early. With that in mind, we asked them what films they are most excited about in the coming year.
Alice Black - Head of Film Programming
Straight out of the blocks, the film I cannot wait to see again (and again) is Todd Field's Tár which is coming out mid-January. Cate Blanchett is surely on track for an Oscar nom for her performance as the talented but troubled conductor and as wonderful as she is, the film as a whole is an absolute marvel. It's complex and dark but absolutely gripping from the beginning (those opening credits!) to the final frame. We watch a lot of films as we make our decisions about what goes on our screens and what doesn't, and this is one which is seared on my memory. I'm almost always looking for the next exciting watch so it is a rare thing indeed for me to be eagerly awaiting the chance to see a film again. That speaks volumes about how much I loved it.
I am also desperate to share my favourite film from Cannes, Close, with our audience. Directed by Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont (Girl), this is a wonderful film about friendship and the devastating impact of peer pressure. It feels very much like a companion piece to Aftersun or An Cailín Ciúin in the way it puts two young actors at the centre and quietly, but powerfully, tells a heart-breaking coming-of-age story.
And lastly, in terms of films I haven't seen yet, the one I'm most excited about is .... Barbie! Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Margot Robbie and (Canada's own) Ryan Gosling? Sign me up!
David Kelly - Light House Programmer
There are way too many films to mention as 2023 is shaping up to be an incredible year for cinema, but personally I can't wait for the long-awaited Irish release of Ti West's Pearl in March. Hirokazu Kore-eda returns in February with Broker and it's an absolute beauty, filled with richly drawn characters, as we've come to expect. Also out in February is Sarah Polley's Women Talking. It's a deeply moving experience filled with incredible performances. We have the 30th anniversary re-release of Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence to look forward to and hope to see Killers of the Flower Moon released this year too. Ben Wheatley has directed a sequel to The Meg so count me in for that! Not to mention Dune Part II and Yorgos Lanthimos' Poor Things...and Barbie and Oppenheimer are still scheduled to open on the same day! What a time to be alive!
Will Fitzgerald - Pálás Programmer
Coming to the Pálás/Lighthouse Group from the Galway Film Fleadh, my roots are firmly in indigenous Irish cinema, and I can’t wait for audiences to see Robert Higgins’ and Patrick McGivney’s midlands GAA drama Lakelands when it comes to cinemas this year. It’s an Irish Friday Night Lights (or midlands Normal People) that will really resonate with domestic audiences while telling a universal story of searching for identity and coming-of-age. Éanna Harwicke (Vivarium) and Danielle Galligan (Shadow and Bone) light up the screen as bona-fide movie stars in a truly independent feature made with passion and wonderful craft. On the documentary side, we’ve also got Frankie Fenton’s Atomic Hope to look forward to in February, which is a cinematic exploration of a timely, vital and controversial question. And while we’re talking about independent film from this side of the Atlantic, I’m also really looking forward to playing Blue Jean, the debut feature from UK director Georgia Oakley and a striking portrait of queerness in Thatcher-era Britain.