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2006 Irish Studies Film Series

center for irish programs

This year's film series runs over the St. Patrick's Day weekend, beginning on Thursday, March 16 and continuing through Tuesday March 21; films will be screened at both Boston College and the West Newton Cinema, an independently owned and operated art house theater that has gained a reputation for screening innovative American and international films. In an important departure from previous years, the film series will include a symposium on Irish-American film, Screening Irish America.

Rebel Frontier
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Boston College, McGuinn 121
5:00 pm
An anti-war film set in the US which sees America’s immigrant communities up against the national security state. The war in question is the First World War and the anti-war protesters the Irish and Finnish miners of Butte, Montana, a copper mining town high in the Rockies. Butte’s mines are at the center of the US war machine. The miners band together to take on both the copper barons and the state as America enters the war. The film draws on eyewitness testimony, reminiscence and interpretative comment to tell the gripping story of their struggle and betrayal. This is interwoven with a rich seam of archival images, both moving and still, to relate the traumatic events taking place in Butte during 1917—the anti-war protest, the Speculator Mine disaster, the subsequent miners’ strike, the lynching of labor activist Frank Little and the imposition of martial law. The story is told through the eyes of a young Pinkerton agent sent to Butte to spy on its striking miners and to report to the copper bosses on the activities of the “One Big Union,” the IWW. The film, neither documentary nor pure fiction, poses a series of searching questions about this almost forgotten chapter in US history when the still not assimilated immigrant working class found itself up against corporate America. Director Desmond Bell will introduce the film.
Director: Desmond Bell
Running time: 65 minutes
Reception to follow
Admission: Free

Mickybo & Me (2005)
Friday, March 17, 2006
West Newton Cinema
7:00 pm
The year is 1970, and there's war on the streets of Belfast. But at the height of the euphemistically titled Troubles, the battle uppermost in the minds of young rascals Mickybo and JonJo is fought in a more glamorous location altogether: the silver screen.
Based on Owen McCafferty's acclaimed play, Mickybo & Me tells the tale of two kindred spirits, one Catholic and one Protestant, obsessed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Their infatuation leads them from fantasies into petty crime as the two boys play at becoming their heroes, ultimately mustering the courage for a daring escape to Australia.
Director: Terry Loane
Producers: Mark Huffam, Mike McGeagh
Cast: Niall Wright, John Joe McNeil, Adrian Dunbar, Ciaran Hinds, Gina McKee, Julie Walters
Running Time: 97 minutes
Admission: $9.50
Man About Dog (2004)
Sunday, March 19, 2006
West Newton Cinema
7:00 pm
When Belfast boys Mo Chara and his friends Scud Murphy and Cerebral Paulsy receive a young greyhound as payment for a favor to a local bookie, it's a dream come true. Owning their own dog is surely going to end a run of bad luck that has lasted since they placed their very first bets. But Cerberus is a greyhound with a mind of his own and until they have worked out the not-so-complex doggy psychology behind what makes him run, they're mired in a losing streak a mile wide. Deep in debt to the ruthless bookie, the boys risk everything at the most important event in the dog-racing calendar—the Clonmel meet. A comedy of underdogs making good without the aid of wisdom, guile or any natural or unnatural advantage whatsoever, Man About Dog proves that if you're not smart enough to recognize when you're beaten, you might actually end up winning.
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Producers: Simon Channing Williams, Rob Walpole
Cast: Allen Leech, Ciaran Nolan
Tom Murphy, Sean McGinley, Fionnula Flanagan
Running Time: 89 minutes
Admission: $9.50
Short Order (2005)
Sunday, March 19, 2006
West Newton Cinema
9:00 pm
On Planet Earth on any given night, a billion stories unfold describing the mystery and magic of existence, and what better metaphor than food to describe the poetry of life in all its forms. Join in the hilarious, sensuous, violent, intoxicating, fascinating lives of restaurant workers at a short order food counter on the edge of Dublin, where fantasy, ennui and love collide with darkly comic consequences. Will Fiona rekindle her passion for real cooking, a gift so intense that it can, and does, cause orgasms? Or will the cigarillo-smoking Felix free Fiona from her frustration and seduce her back to the fancy kitchens of Shanks, his upscale downtown eatery? On this one night, life becomes a buffet and everything is "short order.”
Director: Anthony Byrne
Producers: Brian Willis
Cast: Emma de Caunes, Rade Sherbedgia, Cosma Shiva Hagen, Jack Dee, Paul Kaye, Tatiana Ouliankina, Paschal Friel, Vanessa Redgrave, John Hurt
Running time: 100 minutes
Admission: $9.50

Rocky Road to Dublin (1968)
Monday, March 20, 2006
Boston College, Higgins 310
7:30 pm
Introduced by Robert Savage, Codirector, Boston College Irish Studies and Maria Luddy, Burns Library Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies
A provocative, biting portrayal of 1960s Ireland, Rocky Road to Dublin was screened for only a few weeks at a single Dublin theater and was critically condemned and accused of being Communist-funded. But while the Irish saw the film as an insult, the French saw it as a work or art; Rocky Road to Dublin was selected for the prestigious Critics' Week at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival. During that tumultuous period, Rocky Road to Dublin was screened numerous times throughout Paris, where the film's theme struck a responsive chord among students in particular. Rocky Road to Dublin captures the stultifying educational system, the repressive, reactionary clergy, and the myopic cultural nationalism of Ireland in the 1960s, issues that still resonate today.
Director: Peter Lennon
Running time: 99 minutes
Admission: Free


Idir Dha Shaol
Monday, March 20, 2006
Boston College, Higgins 310
9:15 pm
The extraordinary life of Connemara man Willie Walsh, who left Ireland in 1968 and ended up homeless in London, is the subject of Idir dhá Shaol (Between Two Lives). The simple, painful and heart-rending story of a forgotten side of the Irish Diaspora, the film tells Willie’s story in his own words and in his own language — Irish. Willie was eventually saved by the Cricklewood Homeless Concern project, but not before losing his wife, child, and his home. He now works for the Concern, helping other people who are going through the same experiences he did.
Director: John Mallon
Running time: 20 minutes
Admission: Free
Inside I’m Dancing (2004)
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
West Newton Cinema
7:00 pm
From the producers of box office smash hit Billy Elliot comes a unique story of two unlikely friends who choose to take life head-on in the face of difficult circumstances. Michael Connolly's (Steven Robertson) life is passing him by until one day he meets the irrepressible Rory O'Shea (James McAvoy), who has a plan that will change their lives forever. Outsmarting the system, the unlikely pair manage to leave Carrigmore Home for the Disabled and land their very own flat. They employ the headstrong but inexperienced Siobhan (Romola Garai) to care for them. Her arrival brings unexpected revelations; Michael experiences emotions he has never felt before and the straight-talking Rory realizes he has finally met his match. With their newfound friendship and independence, life is theirs for the taking.
Director: Damien O’Donnell
Producers: James Flynn, Juanita Wilson, Catherine Tiernan
Cast: Steven Robertson, James McAvoy, Romola Garai, Brenda Fricker, Ruth McCabe, Tom Hickey, Gerard McSorley
Running time: 100 minutes
Admission: $9.50
Special thanks to Aoife Coughlan, Irish Film Institute, Culture Ireland, Reel Ireland, the Consul General of Ireland, Des Bell, Queens University, Belfast, Ruth Barton, O'Kane Senior Research Fellow, School of Languages, Literatures and Film, Tony Tracy, Huston School of Film and Digital Media, National University of Ireland, Galway, Brian Willis, Igloo Films, Lisa Cullen, Axiom Films International Limited, Katie Holly, Treasure Films, Mike McGeagh New Moon Pictures, Gary Crowdus, First Run/Icarus Films, The Clinton Institute at University College, Dublin, David Brumante, Jack Dunn and the BC Office of Marketing Communication especially Eamonn Bonner.