A multipass with 5 films for €45 is available at Box Office.
The ways in which cinema evokes memory are manifold. Films are time capsules of the eras in which they were made. They act as sensory triggers for the viewer, inviting us to ponder where we might have been in life when a beloved film was first viewed. As a visual artform, cinema is adept at giving life to the memories and inner worlds of fictional characters.
This Memory on Film season hopes to explore the variety of innovative ways this has been achieved, from the central character of Ingmar Bergman’s elegiac Wild Strawberries observing the memories of his youth as though a spectator at a play, to the fallibility and unreliability of memory as expounded in Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, where a trio of characters attempt to tease out conflicting versions of a terrible event.
Amnesia, the absence of memory, forms the basis of Christopher Nolan’s deliciously knotty Memento. How a society comes to memorialise and ultimately celebrate a shared traumatic event in its history is explored in Radu Jude’s excoriating ‘I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians’, which depicts a community at odds over how to mark the anniversary of a controversial event, a theme with particular resonance for Irish viewers.
Introduction and notes on individual films by David O’Mahony
Since production of her early shorts in the 1980s, Trish McAdam has created a vibrant and varied body of work, embracing a range of forms and subjects and retaining a distinct, independent voice.
McAdam became interested in filmmaking after working in New York with photographer Nan Goldin and Super 8 filmmaker Vivienne Dick. A co-founder of the Ha’penny Film Club, her early 16mm shorts Berlin and The Big Time were formally experimental and influenced by fine art practices. Snakes and Ladders (1997), her debut feature, was one of the first Irish films directed by a woman about contemporary women’s lives, and she continued to position women squarely on screen with her ground-breaking documentary series Hoodwinked: Irish Women Since the 1920s.
McAdam has noted that her inspiration is as much from art, literature and music as it is from film. This is in evidence in her documentary investigations of artists Leo O’Kelly and Donal O’Kelly, and in a series of short films about Chinese political poet and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo. Her most recent works Strangers to Kindness, Whistleblower and Confinement, are further testament to an endlessly curious, ongoing search for new and engaging modes of story-telling.
June 8th to 30th 2019
The rapid development and integration of automation, information and biotechnologies offers seemingly limitless opportunities in all aspects of our public and private lives, but at what cost? The unchecked progress of machines with artificial intelligence capabilities has the potential to become a pressing concern for future generations, though cyborg armies will probably remain the preserve of speculative science fiction. Greater social inequality seems a more likely prospect as automation in the service and industrial sectors, driverless cars and medical diagnosis by algorithm could see millions out of work as human roles become redundant. Perhaps we are facing the prospect of a two-tiered system where ‘upgraded humans’, those elite classes who can afford the latest age-defying enhancements, will have the advantage over the less fortunate. With millions of newly unemployed, and a two-tier system favouring those who can avail of the benefits of A.I., humanity may be required to re-evaluate its significance in relation to the machines.
As we await our fate, Dark Skies, IFI’s annual science-fiction film festival, explores how the genre has responded to our ambiguous relationship to the machines we have created. From Donald Cammell’s bizarre and unsettling Demon Seed, which foreshadows the current merging of information and biotechnologies, to James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day (screening in spectacular 70mm), which feeds anxieties surrounding A.I.'s role in a nuclear war into a pyrotechnic action spectacle. Elsewhere, Stanley Kubrick’s icy intelligence is complimented by Steven Spielberg’s trademark sense of wonder in the visually resplendent A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and the sober documentary Hi, A.I. takes a look at some contemporary human-robot relationships.
Introduction and individual film notes by David Mahony. A multi-film pass for the season, 4 films for €37 excluding Terminator 2: Judgment Day, is available directly from the IFI Box Office.
BIRDS OF PASSAGE
13.30, 16.00, 18.20
DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB
EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE
FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY
IRISH FOCUS: TRISH MCADAM – FLIRTING WITH THE LIGHT/THE DRIP
WOMAN AT WAR
The IFI is supported by The Arts Council