4th ANNUAL IRISH AMERICAN MOVIE HOOLEY WEEKEND FILM FEST: When a party gets rowdy, the Irish call it a “hooley.”
SLANE Irish Whiskey,Barbara Scharres, program director of The Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, Chicago and Irish American writer, playwright, actor, filmmaker, and radio personality Mike Houlihan collaborate in presenting 3 exciting films for the upcoming fourth annual “Irish American Movie Hooley” at the Gene Siskel Film Center September 28th, 29th, and 30th, 2018.
1)The 4th annual Movie Hooley opens Friday night, September 28, 2018 at 8:15 PM with the psychological thriller COVADONGA, 2017, USA, 71 minutes, by Irish American writer/director/star Sean Hartofilis, who wrote, produced, edited, acted, composed the music for and performed in the film! The film is a dreamlike sequence of unusual long shots, wide-angle shots and track-follows. It’s non-linear, told with sparing dialogue, and multi-layered, a powerful, suspenseful drama. With Lindsey Dumont.
* The screening will be followed immediately by audience discussion with writer/producer Hartofilis and follow up with an opening night reception at The Emerald Loop Pub on Wabash, where Hartofilis will perform songs from the film along with lively Irish tunes.
2) On Saturday night September 29th at 8 PM, the Hooley will present the Chicago premiere of CARDBOARD GANGSTERS, 2017, Ireland, 52 minutes, Ireland’s smash hit of the year. Director Mark O’Connor delivers a dark contemporary tragedy. In a housing estate on the outskirts of Dublin, a group of young boys move from followers of a small-time drug seller into backing him in a risky bid to enter the big-time drug trade. John Connors plays the ballsy wannabe gangster taking his shot at the drug lord boss and the boss’s wife; the role won him Ireland’s Film and Television Best Actor Award. With Fionn Walton.
* Director O’Connor will be present for the screening and discussion afterwards.
3) On Sunday afternoon September 30th at 5 PM the Hooley will conclude with the American premiere of MOTHER’S DAY, 2018, UK, 90 minutes, directed by Fergus O’Brien. This BBC production chronicles the historic events surrounding the 1993 IRA bombing in Warrington that killed two children and sparked a peace movement. Two women living on either side of the Irish Sea are brought together in the wake of the tragedy, in a humane effort to make sense of their losses and their lives. With Anna Maxwell Martin and Vicky McClure.
This reviewer had the opportunity to preview this wonderful film. It’s a beautifully presented, poignant, and uplifting paean to the desire of all people for peace, humanity’s love of children, and the ability of one woman (one person) to effect lasting societal change. In the hands of Hollywood, the story would’ve been overlooked or morphed into an overblown cheesy tearjerker. The luminous Anna Maxwell Martin underwent a stunning transformation on film, growing out of her reserve and pain to embrace the support she has been offered. A must-see!
* Director O’Brien will be in attendance for screening and discussion afterwards.
“Once again we’re thrilled to present three distinctive stories that capture and evoke our Irish culture. Covadonga is the product of the Irish Alfred Hitchcock! It’s a psychological thriller in the best sense of the word. Cardboard Gangsters is a good old-fashioned Irish gangster movie. It is intense, scary, a juggernaut! Once it starts, you are in for the ride of your life; it’s not for the faint of heart. Mother’s Day is a great piece of cinema and a historic testament to the power of compassion. These 2 women’s effort was the kindling that led years down the line to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement which in turn led to peace for the next 20-25 years. This film is the jewel of the Hooley.” Mike Hoilihan, producer, Irish American Movie Hooley
For information and tickets, go to www.siskelfilmcenter.org
or visit www.hiberniantransmedia.org
All photos courtesy of the Irish American Movie Hooley