April 25th 2019: This May, the Irish Film Institute (IFI) presents a season of films examining that most indefinable of concepts: memory. Featuring films from directors including Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Terence Davies, Christopher Nolan and Michael Haneke, the season will explore the variety of innovative ways memory has been portrayed on screen.
Films are time capsules of the style, thoughts and ideas of the eras in which they were made. They act as sensory triggers for the viewer, inviting us to consider where we might have been when a classic film was first viewed. Spanning a period of almost 70 years, the films selected look at memory through the various prisms of childhood, war, colonialism, death and love. The season begins with Kurosawa’s Rashomon (Sat 11th, 16.00), which centres on three characters who relay conflicting accounts of the recent murder of a samurai and the rape of his wife.
Speaking about the season, David O’Mahony, IFI Head of Cinema Programming, said, ‘As Ireland’s own Decade of Commemoration continues, now is the perfect time to explore how some of cinema’s greatest filmmakers approached the concept of memory. These varied films are not only visually striking, but their imaginative leaps in relation to storytelling and characterisation make each screening an utterly unique and unforgettable experience.’
Three masters of European cinema follow Kurosawa: Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 Wild Strawberries (Sun 12th, 16.00) stars Victor Sjöström as a professor on his way to accept an honorary degree, who becomes haunted by powerful memories of his youth. Alain Resnais’s atmospheric Last Year in Marienbad (Tues 14th, 18.30) features Giorgio Albertazzi as a man who approaches an unnamed woman (Delphine Seyrig) and insists they met a year ago and fell in love, though she has no recollection of the encounter. Federico Fellini’s nostalgic Amarcord (Sat 18th, 15.50), screening on 35mm, is a delightful evocation of a year in the life of a small Italian coastal town in the 1930s, as seen through the eyes of a young boy.
Also screening on 35mm will be Terence Davies’s autobiographical The Long Day Closes (Sun 19th, 16.00), which dramatises the director’s own intense memories in the years following the death of his father. IFI is delighted to also present Christopher Nolan’s ground-breaking Memento (Thur 23rd, 18.20) on 35mm as part of the season. Featuring a brilliant central performance by Guy Pearce, the film focuses on Leonard Shelby, a man with no short-term memory, who tries to solve the mystery of his wife’s murder.
Two of modern cinema’s most imaginative directors, David Cronenberg and Michel Gondry, also feature with Spider (Sat 25th, 19.00) and the Oscar-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Sun 26th, 15.15) respectively. Michael Haneke’s unsettling Hidden (Tues 28th, 18.20) screens on 35mm and features Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche as a couple whose comfortable lives are turned upside-down by the arrival of anonymous video tapes showing footage of their home.
The season finishes with Radu Jude’s latest film “I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians.” (Wed 29th, 18.10), which won Best Film at last year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. A provocative theatre director (Ioana Iacob) is commissioned to commemorate a controversial episode in Romanian history, the much-disputed 1941 massacre of Jews in Odessa by collaborationists, and proceeds to mount a deliberately shocking and unpatriotic large-scale public re-enactment of the atrocity.
Tickets for the season are now on sale here; a special multi-film pass, offering five season films for €45, is available directly from the IFI Box Office on 01-6793477.
FULL MEMORY ON FILM SCHEDULE:
Saturday 11th (16.00): Rashomon
Sunday 12th (16.00): Wild Strawberries
Tuesday 14th (18.30): Last Year in Marienbad
Saturday 18th (15.50): Amarcord
Sunday 19th (16.00): The Long Day Closes
Thursday 23rd (18.20): Memento
Saturday 25th (19.00): Spider
Sunday 26th (15.15): Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Tuesday 28th (18.20): Hidden
Wednesday 29th (18.10): “I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians.”
For more information, high-res images, or interview availability, please contact Aisling O’Halloran (email@example.com) at the IFI Press Office on 01-6795744.
IFI acknowledges the support of the Arts Council.
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The IFI is supported by The Arts Council