Irish Film Institute -GAZE: THE NOVICE


Director: Lauren Hadaway

94 mins, USA, 2021, Digital

From Monday September 6th, in line with government guidelines, all patrons must show proof of vaccination upon entering the cinema screen.

Fresh from an award-winning run at the Tribeca Film Festival, Lauren Hadaway’s accomplished debut asks at what point does human drive become a dangerous psychological game?

Alex is a young queer college student driven to make it onto her university’s rowing team. Classes, parties, love interests, and even her own state of mind come second to her pursuit of athletic perfection, as those around her powerlessly try to intervene. Hadaway’s cinematic story is tightly wound with a commanding performance from Isabelle Furhman (horror fans will recall her memorable role in 2009’s Orphan).

The Novice takes the familiar queer story of self-determination and personal strength and dashes it with the psychological-thriller and flecks of horror.  Once you see The Novice, the rowing machine will never quite be the same again. All together now: ‘legs-body-arms, arms-body-legs!’

A perfect opener to GAZE 2021 and a welcome reminder of what queer cinema is all about.

Screening before the Feature
Shuttlecock, dir. Tommy Gillard (13 mins, UK, 2020)
For one amateur badminton player, size really does matter. And it’s causing quite a racket.

Screening as part of GAZE 2021, September 29th to October 3rd 2021.

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