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Sunday 18th January / 8.00pm

Violette

Martin Provost / France / Belgium / 2013 / 139 mins

Emmanuelle Devos gives an astonishing performance as the volatile, bisexual, pioneering feminist writer Violette Leduc, whose stormy life intersected with the giants of the post-war French literary world--Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Jean Genet, Jean-Paul Sartre.  Director Martin Provost, who showed his affinity for outsider artists in Seraphine, shuns biopic conventions as he follows Leduc from her asexual marriage to the gay writer Maurice Sachs to her arrival in Paris, where she comes under the wing of her stern, imperious mentor, de Beauvoir, uncannily captured by Sandrine Kiberlain. De Beauvoir opens all of Paris’ intellectual doors to Leduc, but our brilliant, difficult heroine, brought to voluptuous life by Devos, wants even more.

A beautifully crafted and performed drama.

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Sunday 25th January / 8.00pm

Human Capital

Paolo Virzi / Italy / 2014 / 110 mins

The film opens on a dark, snowy night in northern Italy—and begins at the end. Approaching a stranger’s tragic death from three vastly different perspectives, the lives of two families, at first only loosely linked by their teenagers’ relationship, overlap in multitudinous ways to devastating effect. Valeria Golina and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, two of Italy’s leading actresses, star in a story based on Stephen Amidon’s best-selling book of the same name that twists love, class, and ambition into a singular, true-life story. As the players tumble toward an ill-fated event to which they are inextricably linked, Paolo Virzi’s refined three-chapter tale reveals a cultural and systemic disparity in the value of human life.

“A  shrewd portrait of a rapacious, unhappy society”. Peter Bradshaw The Guardian

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Sunday 1st February / 8pm

Diplomacy

Volker Schlondorff / France / Germany  / 2014 / 88 mins

Towards the end of World War II, General Dietrick von Choltitz, the governor of Nazi-occupied Paris, receives an order to destroy the city if the Nazis lose it to Allied forces. With explosives strapped to bridges and landmarks, the General is prepared to carry out this atrocity when Swedish Consul-General Raoul Nordling appears in his office and pleads with him to abandon the plan. A fine return to form for the veteran German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum), Diplomacy is deeply connected with its moment in history, yet resounds with timeliness in its study of ideologies and the necessary search for common ground.

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Sunday th February / 8.00pm

Charlie's Country

Rolf de Heer / Australia / 2014 / 108 mins

Charlie (David Gulpilil) lives in a remote Aboriginal community in Arnhem Land, where he struggles  with cultural ties in a world dominated by white law and both deliberate and incidental racism. We follow Charlie as he moves out of the community and tries to live in the country like his ancestors did.  But he is lonely: separated from his community, and with ancestors long gone, the world Charlie wants to exist no longer does.  In the bush, his health deteriorates, and he is eventually forced to hospital in Darwin. After discharging himself early, he meets a woman illegally buying alcohol for her local community, and stays with her. After a run in with police, Charlie finds himself in prison.  De Heer’s film is a slow indictment of the colonialist relationship between white law and Indigenous people. It’s in Gulpilil’s performance where the film finds its power. Charlie is searching for something he can’t fully know or identify, filled with sadness yet buoyed by finding joy and laughter. His laugh is infectious.  A reflection and critical analysis of contemporary Australia.  Jane Howard – The Guardian.

Winner Best Actor, Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival 2014.

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Sunday 15th February / 8pm

Me, Myself And Mum

Guillaume Gallienne / France/ 2013 / 85 mins

Winner of five César Awards, including Best Picture.Comedian Guillaume Gallienne’s first directorial work, based on his one-man play, recalls his youth among the upper class and his ambiguous affinity with his mother, who raised him as more of a daughter than a son, insisting that he is gay despite Guillaume’s uncertainty. A member of the Comédie-Française, Gallienne excels in the art of transformism—playing himself at different ages, his mother, and his mental projections (including Sissi of Austria)—and his do-it-yourself spirit translates confidently from the minimalism of his stage show to the wider canvas of cinema. With its lively, subtly cadenced screenplay, Me, Myself and Mum takes its serious, contemporary subject and stamps it with an elegant humour.   Earned rapturous applause at Cannes Film Festival 2014.

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Sunday 22nd February / 8pm

Stations of the Cross

Dietrich Bruggemann / Germany / 2014 / 107 mins

The allegorical adventures of a young girl on the edge of adulthood.  The parents of 14-year-old Maria belong to a fundamentalist Catholic community and have raised her according to the tenets of their strict faith. At school, Maria must face the jeers of her secular classmates for trying to remain true to her religion, while at home she lives under the constant disapproval of her mother who demands ever-more painful self-abnegations from her. Enacted within a series of tableaux named for the STATIONS OF THE CROSS this emotionally wrenching film is also a formal triumph.

“Made in a small number of shots, each framed and timed to perfection by a dazzlingly accurate ensemble cast and crew… Stations of the Cross nonetheless comes with a bigger surprise: its ‘wicked’ sense of humour, which only enhances its perfect poise between belief and scepticism.” — Nick James, Sight & Sound

Best Script, Berlin Film Festival 2014. Winner – Student Critics Jury, Edinburgh 2014.

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Sunday 1st March / 8pm

Paper Souls

Vincent Lannoo / France / 2013 / 100 mins

Paul has an usual way of earning a living – he writes funeral orations. Victor, his friend and neighbour, no longer knows how to help Paul break out of his solitude. One day, Emma, a young widow, comes to Paul with an original request: could he tell her 8-year-old son the story of his deceased father? But just when a romance develops between Paul and Emma, ghosts from the past reappear...a story of love and...ghosts!   A gentle, charming and touching comedy on an unusual subject.

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Sunday 8th March / 8pm

Leviathan

Andrey Zvyaginstev / Russia / 2014 / 140 mins

In a small seaside town, weather-beaten patriarch Kolya lives with his teenage son Roma and second wife Lilya. Their idyllic homestead harbours deep-rooted familial resentments that are aggravated by the aggressions of the local mayor Vadim, a drunken, corrupt bureaucrat set on grabbing their land for himself. When Kolya calls in his lawyer friend Dima from Moscow, this defensive tactic triggers a series of dramatic events. In the hands of Zvyagintsev and co-writer Oleg Negin, the premise expands from a rural-scale morality play to a deep examination of contemporary Russian society. Marking a full decade since his 2003 debut, The Return, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s magnum opus, Leviathan, premiered at this year’s Cannes to unanimous acclaim, winning the Best Screenplay award and establishing him as a true master of cinema.
 Winner:  Best screenplay, Cannes Film Festival, 2014.

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Wednesday 15th March / 8pm

Whiplash

Damien Chazelle / USA / 2014 / 106 mins

In this psychological drama, Andrew is a gifted young jazz drummer pushed to his breaking point. After being accepted to a prestigious music conservatory, Andrew’s only focus is achieving perfection. Unfortunately for him, that’s also what his brutal and unorthodox new teacher Fletcher has in mind.  Fletcher believes in beating the talent out of his pupils, he slaps them in time to the beat, hurling stand, chairs and musical instruments at them when they fail to reach his standards.  Andrew’s and Fletcher’s relationship dominates the film.  An exhilarating drama that asks how far a person can be pushed, Whiplash is a study in nail-biting suspense.

Winner - Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival 2014
Winner - People’s Choice Award, Calgary International Film Festival 2014

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Wednesday 18th March / 5.30pm

The Case Against 8

Ben Cotner, Ryan White / USA / 2014 / 109 mins           

The Case Against 8 is a documentary of the epic five-year legal battle that overturned Proposition 8. Co-directors Cotner and White take us on a riveting, hold-your-breath, behind the scenes look at the historic 5 year Californian trial that overturned a controversial constitutional amendment. The story first made headlines with the unlikely pairing of Ted Olson and David Boies, political foes who last faced off as opposing attorneys in Bush v. Gore. The film also follows the plaintiffs, two gay couples who find their families at the centre of the same-sex marriage controversy. This extraordinary film provides fly-on-the-wall coverage of a trial the public was never allowed to see.

“Grips from start to finish … a stirring civil rights film that is both cogent and emotionally charged.” – Hollywood Reporter   “An emotional tour of history in the making.” – Indiewire

Winner - Audience Award, SXSW Film Festival 2014
Winner - Best Director, Sundance Film Festival 2014

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Sunday 30th November / 8.00pm

Two Days One Night

Straight from Cannes, the new film from the Dardenne brothers (Kid on a Bike) stars Marion Cotillard as a woman who has one weekend to convince her colleagues to sacrifice their bonuses so she can keep her job. While she’s been away, they have realised that the work can be achieved without her, so now they’re proposing to fire Sandra and make everyone else work that bit harder, with a 1,000-euro bonus as a sweetener. Desperately, Sandra forces her duplicitous staff rep Jean-Marc (a cameo from Dardenne regular Olivier Gourmet) to institute a vote – do they want their bonus or their colleague Sandra? A tense dramatic situation and a subtly magnificent central performance from Marion Cotillard add up to an outstanding new movie from the Dardenne brothers: impassioned, exciting and moving.

“Cotillard shows what a marvellous technical actor she is: every nuance and detail is readably present on her face. She is compelling and moving – and so is the film.” Peter Bradshaw / The Guardian.

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Galway Film Society
Season Ticket

Membership/Season ticket for the ten listed films

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