Feb. 17, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 11

"Cinegael Paradiso" (March 14) will be one of the films screened on campus during the Irish Studies Film Series.

Irish Film Series Begins Feb. 27

By Rosanne Pellegrini
Staff Writer

The Boston College Irish Studies Program will once again showcase outstanding contemporary Irish movies and documentaries during its popular Irish Film Series, which will begin on Feb. 27 with the American premiere of "The Boys from Clare."

Screenings for the series, now in its fifth year, will take place at the West Newton Cinema as well as on the BC campus.

"The Irish Studies Program has always considered film an integral part of Ireland's complex culture," said Irish Studies co-director Robert Savage, the series curator. "During the past five years, we've screened over 50 contemporary Irish, British and American films, and this year's program promises to be provocative."

According to Savage, the series includes a wide variety of films - many by young or first-time directors - that challenge stereotypes often associated with Ireland. "These are cutting-edge contemporary films, which - especially in March - are an alternative to another stereotype: 'traditional' St. Patrick's Day celebrations of corned beef, cabbage and shamrocks," he added.

A highlight of the festival will be the US debut of "The Boys from Clare," which will be shown at West Newton Cinema, located on Washington Street in West Newton. Set in Ireland during the 1970s, the film follows the fortunes of two estranged brothers who meet by chance after 25 years, in rival bands at the All Ireland Ceili Band Competition.

The films being screened at BC, which are free and open to the public, are: "The Battle of the Bogside" (Feb. 28), which offers an in-depth look at the 1969 riots in Derry between Catholics and Protestants; "Cinegael Paradiso" (March 14), a profile of Irish film pioneer and innovator Bob Quinn by his son, Robert; and "Black Day at Black Rock" (March 21), a satire about a small Irish village that unexpectedly becomes the new home for 30 asylum seekers.

Also showing at BC will be "You Looking at Me?" (March 28), which explores the cultural and political complications that arise from a love affair between a Chinese girl and a Protestant boy in contemporary Belfast; and "Failte Mr. President" (April 4), a documentary on the unexpected controversy that erupted over President Reagan's visit to Ireland in election year 1984, and the unlikely alliances forged among diverse sectors of Irish society in response to the event.

All BC screenings will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Devlin 008.

Other films to be shown at West Newton are: the crime comedy "Headrush" on March 6; "Blind Flight" (March 13), based on the true story of the relationship that developed between Irishman Brian Keenan and Englishman John McCarthy while they were held hostage in Lebanon; a St. Patrick's Day screening of "The Halo Effect," about the misadventures of a compulsive gambler trying to stay out of debt and out of trouble while keeping his business afloat.

Also, "Adam and Paul" (March 20), a dark comedy about a day in the life of two boyhood friends who struggle to survive as desperate junkies; and "Holy Cross" (March 27), a fictional drama set within the real-life 2001 clash in Belfast over the rights of Catholic girls to pass through a Protestant area on their way to school.

More details about the series and the films are available through the Irish Studies Web site at, or the West Newton Cinema site,

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