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      In their quest to bring you all the finest that cinema has to offer, the programmers of Light House & Pálás found themselves at The 76th Festival de Cannes last month. Now that they're back in Ireland, having brought some Riviera sunshine with them, they have kindly shared some of their festival highlights! With 6am wake ups for tickets and many, many, many films watched, there's simply not enough of a word count to cover everything and so, films that are very likely already on your radar receive an honourable mention such as; Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon, James Mangold's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Wes Anderson's Asteroid City as well as Monster the latest from Hirokazu Koreeda and Occupied city from Steve McQueen.

      Will Fitzgerald - Pálás Programmer

      I was moved by Elena Martín’s Creatura, which premiered in Director’s Fortnight. The writer/director plays a woman in her thirties whose sexual frustrations with her boyfriend lead her to reflect on her history with intimacy and desire. In particular, how it was shaped and informed by the men in her life. Creatura’s gentle, humorous script and candid, intimate filmmaking will make for an insightful and cathartic experience for many viewers. My Competition pick is Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest. The chilling surrealism of watching the mundane and domestic lives of Commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig (played by the always brilliant Sandra Hüller) play out on the grounds of Auschwitz is an affecting piece of film art. I also loved the Un Certain Regard entry, How to Have Sex by Molly Manning Walker. A debut feature that sparks with such a fully realised directors' vision and a youthful, unflinching, vitality.

      Alice Black - Head of Programming

      Two of my favourite filmmakers returned to competition this year: Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki (The Havre) with Fallen Leaves, a sweet, odd-couple romance set in the shadow of Putin’s menace. Winner of the Prix du Jury, it had all hallmarks of Aki’s charming signature style: dead-pan delivery, a mid-century colour palette and a quirky rock’n’roll soundtrack. Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan (One Upon a Time In Anatolia) too was back in fine form with About Dry Grasses, turning his lens on the abuse of power between a teacher and student in a rural school. Meticulously crafted and beautifully shot, each frame subtly infused with detail which make his films a pleasure to sit with, contemplate and decode. And finally, it felt fitting too after many failed attempts, the final film I saw on the final day was the Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall. Directed by Justine Triet (In Bed with Victoria, Sybil) this courtroom procedural had been the talk of the festival, and rightly so. Toni Erdmann’s Sandra Hüller (also appearing in Glazer’s Zone of Interest) is extraordinary, as a successful German novelist on trial for the murder of her husband in the snowy Alps. Did she or didn’t she? You decide. One thing is for sure, Snoop the border collie also well deserved his Palme Dog award!

      David Kelly - Light House Programmer

      Some of my highlights from this year’s festival included the delicious The Pot-Au-Feu and the scandalicious May December. Tran Anh Hung’s (Cyclo, Norwegian Wood) The Pot-Au-Feu stars Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel as culinary masters who share a deep connection in the majestic French countryside. I watched this at 8.30am so needed something a bit gentle and found the meticulous scenes of preparing meals fit for Kings to be completely hypnotic and beguiling. Tran Anh Hung certainly weaves a rich, appetising, tapestry with this one.
      I started queuing an hour beforehand just to be 100% sure I would see Todd Haynes' May December and I was not alone. Anticipation and expectation were high, and I got the sense that no one left the screening disappointed. Natalie Portman plays a famous actress who spends a few weeks researching her latest character, played by Julianne Moore, who was the focus of tabloids 20 years earlier due to her affair and later marriage to a minor which ended with her imprisonment for 7 years. Haynes delivers the discomfort, melodrama and suspense in equally delicious doses here. As we’ve come to expect. Other highlights include Ken Loach’s timely and emotional The Old Oak, Alice Rohrwacher’s slow burning La Chimera and my favourite of the entire festival - Aki Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves!

      We look forward to bringing all of these wonderful films (and more) to audiences in Dublin and Galway - starting with Anderson's Asteroid City on June 23rd!

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