Film festivals always seemed to be a hidden paradise, a holy grail of coolness. Going to Tribeca or Sundance was always something I wanted to do one day, but only one day.
What I didn’t know was that the perfect film festival is right here in DC. And happening this week!
The Irish Film Festival has the creativity and verve, but not the superficiality and well, sun, that Cannes has. It is the perfect expression of creativity in a film festival wrapper.
The film festival is sponsored by Solas Nua, DC’s contemporary Irish arts center. Films run all week, ending on the 11th. Screenings are at E Street Cinema and the Goethe Institute. They are $10 per show, which, to my mind, is a deal. All these film (or fil-ums) are the product of (hopefully, figuratively) the blood, sweat and tears of years of the creator’s life. These films are good.
Opening night brought My Brothers, a first feature film from Paul Fraser. The story follows three brothers in County Cork who take a trip to the seaside to retrieve their dying father’s watch. The story shows the callousness sorrow creates in people, especially teenagers, just before they break. The audience laughed and cried and applauded. We all appreciated the way Irish children curse with abandon. Read a full review of this tender and honest film here. Also, the original music was composed by Gary Lightbody and Jacknife Lee. These names are amazing!
After the film, the celebration moved to Co Co Sala (in the curious hinterland between Metro Center and Chinatown). I found myself in a group of Irishmen (and women) with an open bar–I love the Irish. They’re wonderful. I noticed that no one was dressed weather-inappropriate. I suspect that people in DC think they can make it warm again by wearing open-toed shoes in 40 degree weather. None of that here; the Irish are real.
I have to put in a plug for Co Co Sala. Once you’ve found it, it’s a little recess of chocolate and dim lighting, equaling…the perfect date location! You heard it here first. I recommend the Malted Milk Martini and the creme brulee. But you do what you like.
The festival is running all week. There is something for everyone: The Secret of Kells for the kiddies, Perrier’s Bounty for those with a Cillian Murphy crush, etc, etc. See the schedule.
If this has just whetted your appetite, the Jewish Film Festival is running concurrently. Have fun, kids!