A season of international political thrillers MAY 12TH - 30TH
As the 1960s drew to a close, the idealism and optimism that typified the decade soured and was replaced by an air of uncertainty and an anxious strain of political activism. The student uprisings in Paris in 1968, terrorism in Italy and Germany, President Kennedy’s assassination, and the shockwaves from the Watergate scandal in the US all contributed to the volatile mood of the era – old norms were being challenged and the future was unstable.
Responding to these seismic cultural and political shifts, filmmakers turned to the thriller, a genre that readily offered the opportunity to explore conspiracies, authoritarian régimes, state corruption and the violence both the left and right factions were using to effect the changes they sought for society. The films in this season are reflective of the creativity and urgency this new age of high anxiety engendered in the filmmakers of the era.
Introduction and film notes by David O’Mahony.
We may be obsessed with authenticity, but in the natural world and human society, faking and mimicking can be highly effective strategies for success.
Curated in response to the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin’s current free exhibition FAKE, which runs throughout May, the films in this season explore how filmmakers have engaged with issues around copying and fakery.
From the fascinating Tim’s Vermeer, which ponders the value of replicating the old masters, to Catfish, the shocking documentary that coined the term, the films in the season shed light on our preconceptions of authenticity.
The mixture of love and crime has proved fertile ground for filmmakers throughout the history of cinema, attracting great directors such as Victor Sjöström (The Outlaw And His Wife, 1918), Fritz Lang (You Only Live Once, 1937), Luchino Visconti (Ossessione, 1943), Nicholas Ray (They Live by Night, 1948), and Jean-Luc Godard (Pierrot Le Fou, 1965); as well as proving the basis for the entire genre of film noir, as well as any number of tales of amour fou.
The popularity of such material has endured through recent times in films such as Michael Lehmann’s Heathers (1988), which will be re-released later this year, and Tony Scott’s True Romance (1993). The films selected for this season see couples either willingly participating, or at the very least proving complicit in that most heinous of crimes, the act of murder. Mixing genre work with fact-based films, the purpose of the season is not to glamorise this connection (and there are consequences for each pair’s actions), but to provide a snapshot view of both the artist’s and the audience’s never-ending fascination with those two great totems of life, sex and death.
Introduction and notes on individual films by Kevin Coyne, except where indicated.
ARCHIVE AT LUNCHTIME PROGRAMME 2: MAY 2018
LEAN ON PETE
LET THE SUNSHINE IN
THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES
THE YOUNG KARL MARX
TRUST NO ONE: STATE OF SIEGE
The IFI is supported by The Arts Council