2nd Annual Irish American Movie Hooley
September 30 - October 2
The Gene Siskel Film Center and Hibernian Transmedia team up once again to make movie-going a welcoming experience in the tradition of an Irish party. The hooley, another name for a lively shindig, is dedicated to discovering talented filmmakers whose work celebrates the passion, humor, and swagger of the Irish diaspora.
We invite one and all to commune with their inner Irish (or inner honorary Irish) and enjoy three films that tell universal stories. Writer/director/actor Kevin Baggott appears in person on Friday with BENEATH DISHEVELED STARS, the bittersweet comedy of a New Yorker who travels to his mom’s native village to fulfill her dying wish. Producer Bob Jackson appears on Saturday with the documentary A DOCTOR’S SWORD, a stirring account of WWII humanitarian dedication and courage. On Sunday, poetry holds sway when director Aodh Ó Coileáin appears with his lyrical meditation on the Irish landscape, THE LARK'S VIEW.
— Barbara Scharres, Director of Programming, Gene Siskel Film Center
The Gene Siskel Film Center thanks: Mike Houlihan and Hibernian Transmedia, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Irish American culture; lead sponsor 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey; and supporting sponsors including the Emerald Loop Bar and Grill, The Hilton Chicago, Kitty O’Shea’s, Irish American News, and McCann’s Irish Oatmeal.
Beneath Disheveled Stars
2014, Kevin Baggott, USA, 115 min. With Kevin Baggott, Danny Gilfeather.
"Alternately hilarious, touching and haunting, the movie is shadowed by a sense of increasing uneasiness that gives it a compelling, can't-stop-watching tension." – Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune
As writer, director, and actor, Kevin Baggott reaches deep into the Irish American soul to pull out the humor, pathos, and guilt that characterize his fictional Bobby Tierney, a slyly slippery maintenance man for a ramshackle New York tenement. Alternately a grifter, a drifter, and a seeker, Bobby “borrows” his mobster landlord’s cash and takes off to Ireland to fulfill his mother’s last dying wish. A city slicker in the strange land of Cork, he’s taken for a sucker by the friendly natives in a humorous and touchingly droll succession of encounters that inevitably revolve around shaggy dog stories. ProRes digital. (BS)
A Doctor's Sword
2015, Gary Lennon, Ireland/Japan, 70 min.
"[Aidan MacCarthy's] life is captured in evocative and, frankly, jaw-dropping detail." – Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune
A hidden story of Irish fortitude, heroism, and compassion comes to light seventy years later, when a daughter goes in search of the mystery behind the Japanese sword that her deceased dad, Dr. Aidan MacCarthy, had reverently treasured following his WWII service. MacCarthy was a young doctor from a Cork fishing village when he was taken prisoner of war by the Japanese. Surviving the hardship of the camp, he lived through the horror of the bombing of Nagasaki, only to turn all his skills to aiding the civilian victims. Daughter Niki travels to Japan to uncover the stirring story behind the friendship that bridged opposing sides of the conflict. In English and Japanese with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
The Lark's View
Fís na Fuiseoige
2016, Aodh Ó Coileáin, Ireland, 52 min.
"Forcefully makes the case for the importance of the survival of the Irish language." – Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune
A combined emphasis on the breathtaking beauty of the Irish landscape and the poetry of the Irish language make this tribute to Ireland’s unique blend of people, place, and history a feast of visual and spoken-word lyricism. Director Ó Coileáin makes bravado use of aerial cinematography for the proverbial lark’s-eye view of the sumptuously green land across four provinces, matching this perspective with the soaring poetry of writers including Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Paddy Bushe, Biddy Jenkinson, Gearóid mac Lochlainn, and more, including local tales, ancient lore, and history. In Irish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)