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      The Year Ahead at Light House and Pálás

      It's 2024! And a new year means new films!

      2023 was a very big year in cinema and saw record breaking attendances in both Light House and Pálás but it's the new year and there is a lot to be excited about in 2024! As ever, our Programming team will endeavour to bring you all the best cinema that 2024 has to offer, and with that in mind, we asked them what films they are most excited for in the coming year and here's what they had to say,

      Alice Black - Head of Cinemas

      When we were looking ahead last year, not many of us could have predicted the way that the high profile duo of Barbie and Oppenheimer would create a game changing moment for our industry. Creating a must-see moment, they were both the talk of the town and in Light House and Pálás, as they navigated a sea audiences jolly in pink or quietly contemplative, our staff rose to the occasion and reminded me of just how magical going to the movies can be.
      So what, might you ask, will be this year's big hitters? I have been doing this job long enough to know not to try and second guess the audiences! But I have had the privilege of seeing a lot of the 2024 releases already and can say with every confidence, that it is going to be an exceptional one for film lovers. We’ve put together some or favourites - put them in your diaries:
      Andrew Haigh is a British filmmaker I adore - from Weekend to 45 Years - his work is always full of careful, devastating emotion. All of Us Strangers, a four hander starring Ireland’s own Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal (supported by Jamie Bell and Claire Foy), is a time travelling tale about love and loss. Scott is astonishing and the film is a wonder. I still think about it most days.
      Also unforgettable, was the period Danish Western Promised Land with the always wonderful Mads Mikkelsen's turn as a retired soldier desperately trying to make a new life as a rural settler. The stakes are high, the villains are dastardly, and he has his work cut out for him to survive. It’s gripping and a great watch.
      And lastly, I’m going to give a shout out for something a film that I fell in love with at Cannes. Robot Dreams is a film which has been picking up awards everywhere it is shown, garnering rave reviews and capturing the hearts of audiences wherever it is shown. It’s a beautiful story of friendship between a dog and his robot companion (just go with it) for all ages. With a rocking soundtrack, this film will have you tapping your feet, but also thinking about the impact a period of loneliness can have on anyone and how important it is to feel connected to those around you.

      David Kelly - Light House Programmer

      I'm going to start at the end with the Christmas 2024 release of The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim directed by the titan of anime that is Kenji Kamiyama. Details have been very light on the ground for this one, but it's very exciting to see LOTR return to the big screen and even moreso in anime form.
      There's so much to look forward to this year and very close to the top of that list would have been Robert Eggers' reimagining of the tragedy of Count Orlock, but the release date for Nosferatu is Jan 01 2025. I can't help but mention it anyway as Eggers' hasn't failed to deliver yet and this really is just a perfect fit for him and boasts an incredible cast.
      On the home front, Patricia Kelly's Verdigris was a deserving winner of the Best Independent Film award at last year's Galway Film Fleadh so I'm looking forward to seeing it get a theatrical release in 2024 and the Element Pictures produced Poor Things arrives on Jan 12th and in 35mm format no less. It's a wonderous fever dream from Yorgos Lanthimos and a real contender for Best Picture at this year's Oscars.

      Bong Joon ho solidified his legendary status with Parasite, so hopes are high for the Robert Pattinson starring Mickey 17 which releases in late March.
      Add to these (deep breath) a Fede Alvarez directed Alien movie, George Miller's Furiosa, Rose Glass' Love Lies Bleeding, Drive Away Dolls, Dune: Part II, Challengers, Gladiator 2 and Beetlejuice 2 to name but a few and 2024 is shaping up to be a very exciting one indeed. I'm sure there'll be plenty of surprises along the way too.

      Will Fitzgerald - Pálás Programmer

      My pick from this past year at Cannes, The Zone of Interest opens in February. Jonathan Glazer’s latest is not only a brilliant film but also a vital piece of film art. Not to mention a masterclass in sound design. You’ll be disoriented leaving the screen and haunted by it long after. Opening in March, director Ilker Çatak’s The Teacher’s Lounge is a European arthouse delight. In her first leading role, shooting star Leonie Benesch plays a young teacher in Germany who brushes up against colleagues and her students’ parents when a series of petty thefts hits the school. The script twists morality, bureaucracy, and social etiquette to wonderful, squirming effect. Kore-eda is back in 2024, re-teaming with Shoplifters standout actress Sakura Ando, in his own Rashomon style drama, called Monster. The Japanese master does it again. And the film I’m most looking forward to seeing has got to be Kneecap. I’ve been following the making of the film and the early footage did not disappoint. Can’t wait to see what kind of waves Kneecap’s signature style makes in Park City before Irish audiences get to see it, probably late next year.

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