Francophiles and cinéastes
THE SOCIAL NETWORK:A très chic, largely fashionably bespectacled group of film fans gathered at the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar for the opening of the IFI French Film Festival on Wednesday.
The queue extended out the door for the first screening of the festival, Michael Haneke’s Amour, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and is expected to be one of the biggest international releases of the next 12 months. Although Juliette Binoche wasn’t at the launch, there was great excitement about her expected visit to the festival next Saturday, November 24th, to open her new film, Another Woman’s Life. The Oscar-winning French actress is currently filming near Dublin.
The French ambassador to Ireland, Emmanuelle d’Achon, opened the festival and spoke of the importance of cinema in French culture. Afterwards, guests ate bread and French cheese over a glass of wine, as session musicians Tom Millett, Eamonn Moran and Camille Champarnaud added some ooh-la-la to the ambience with their playing.
Philippe Milloux, the newly appointed director of Alliance Française in Ireland, said that he had “two hats”, as he is also chief representative of the organisation. He has been here for two months, having been previously been based in Australia, and said he feels “very at home”.
Irish cinemagoers have a huge appetite for French film, said IFI director Ross Keane. The Irish film director Paul Duane certainly has – he is working on a documentary about French cinema, due to premiere at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival next February. He was travelling south this week to attend the Cork Film Festival, where his film, Very Extremely Dangerous, is showing. He was there with actress Mirjana Rendulic.
The crème de la crème of French film is at the IFI until November 25th.
Who we spotted:Michael West and Annie Ryan of Corn Exchange Theatre Company; the former film censor Sheamus Smith; producer Macdara Kelleher of Fastnet Films.