Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Hooray for the Corona Cork Film Festival!

A few weeks ago, we were pondering the purpose and prominence of film festivals. If you’ve never attended such an event, you might reasonably wonder what the heck they are for. Well, the Cork Film Festival, by virtue of its …

Fri, Nov 5, 2010, 12:08

   

A few weeks ago, we were pondering the purpose and prominence of film festivals. If you’ve never attended such an event, you might reasonably wonder what the heck they are for. Well, the Cork Film Festival, by virtue of its great age, has a very special place in Irish artistic history. Inaugurated in 1956, the southern event was, for many years, a rare beacon of culture in a grim, suffocating landscape.

Golly. It’s Bryan Forbes and Nanette Newman in, we think, 1970. Nice cravat, Forbeso.

The 55th event kicks off on Sunday and, as ever, nuggets, jewels and trinkets abound. The mighty Ms Maureen O’Hara will be in town for the premiere of Dreaming the Quiet Man, a documentary concerning her most famous film. There are advance screenings of anticipated features such as Anton Corbijn’s The American,  Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere and Mark Romanek’s Never Let me Go.

“Yeah, but what’s special about the CFF?” you say.

Well, buddy, you’ve got a nerve asking such an impudent question. I ought to punch you on the nose for your lack of respect. Just learn a bit of…

Oh hang on. I forgot that “you” are rhetorical construct. Well, apart from anything else, Cork has always demonstrated a particular enthusiasm for showcasing the best in new short films. For a young film-maker, nothing compares with the pleasure of seeing your film exhibited on a big screen before a packed audience. It’s a very different business from knowing (or hoping) that some twit is out there squinting at your opus on YouTube.

More importantly, there is just a very jolly atmosphere at the event. You feel yourself in a proper city while knowing that no one screening is too far away from any other. If you’re from Cork you already know this. If you’re not, you could do worse things with your weekend than make your way there.