Irish American Movie Hooley
September 29 - October 1
From September 29 through October 1, the Gene Siskel Film Center and Hibernian Transmedia invite you to whoop it up Irish-style with our 3rd Annual Irish American Movie Hooley. The hooley is just another name for a good shindig, and with filmmakers present for discussion at all screenings, stimulating conversation and lively debate are guaranteed as we present Chicago premieres of three films celebrating the passion, humor, and swagger of the Irish diaspora. The Emerald Loop Bar and Grill hosts our happening opening night party on Friday, September 29 (see details with film listing).
The stories may be rooted in Irish American culture, but the humor and human drama are truly universal. Acclaimed writer Kevin Fortuna appears on Friday with THE DUNNING MAN, a black comedy adapted from his popular book. Director Colin Broderick and actor John Duddy are present on Saturday for the premiere of EMERALD CITY, a comedy-drama set in the precarious world of Irish immigrant construction workers in New York. On Sunday, producer Julie Ryan presents the raucous crime caper comedy THE YOUNG OFFENDERS, one of Ireland’s smash hits of the past year.
— Barbara Scharres, Director of Programming
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, and McCann’s Irish Oatmeal.
The Dunning Man
2017, Michael Clayton, USA, 90 min. With James Carpinello, Dawn-Lyen Gardner.
“Infinitely compelling yet edgy…with a healthy dose of action and more than a little humor and heart along the way.” — Richard Propes, The Independent Critic
Out of work and jilted by his girlfriend, Connor Ryan (Carpinello of "Gotham" and "The Mob Doctor") returns to his native Atlantic City, tail between his legs, to manage the apartments he owns in a dumpy low-rise complex at the foot of a luxury casino. Based on Kevin Fortuna’s critically acclaimed short story collection, this comedy-drama plumbs the black-humorous depths of Connor’s existential despair when a harried single mother (Gardner) complains of noise, bringing the reluctant landlord face to face with his other freeloading tenants, including a high-living rapper with an active love life and a pair of sinister Chechen animal trainers moonlighting as gangsters. DCP digital. (BS)
2016, Colin Broderick, USA, 97 min. With John Keating, John Duddy.
“Real, raw and riveting…flying high in every way.” — Frances Scanlon, Irish Echo
The hardscrabble world of a clutch of New York Irish construction workers unfolds in this tale rife with humor, pathos, love, and tragedy. Smalltime contractor Pat Mack (Keating) struggles to keep his hard-partying crew focused on his perpetually behind-schedule rehab jobs while hiding the problems with booze, money, and the law threatening his marriage. He’s got all the charm of the Irish without the luck, and his guys, including ex-boxer Podge (Duddy) and church-going teetotaler Richard (John McConnell), keep the plot simmering with high drama. Director/writer Broderick, born and raised in County Tyrone, has lived it all, and he fittingly plays Collie, the dreamer who yearns to be a writer. Executive produced by Brendan “Mr. Bates” Coyle of "Downton Abbey" fame. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)
The Young Offenders
2016, Peter Foott, Ireland, 83 min. With Alex Murphy, Chris Walley.
“Snappy and smart…a sheer pleasure to watch, filled with capable and charming performances.” — Peter Frampton, Screen Anarchy
This wacky, rough-and-ready comedy, a runaway hit on home shores, is loosely based on the real story of Ireland’s biggest drug bust. Taking exceptional advantage of Cork’s picturesque vistas, it’s a buddy movie with a road-movie caper plot featuring Conor (Murphy) and Jock (Walley), a pair of restless lads from the wrong side of the tracks, who nonetheless harbor millionaire dreams. Their naiveté is borne out in a half-baked scheme to ride to the coast on stolen bicycles in search of a bale of cocaine gone missing in a shipwreck. With a ruthless gangster poised at one end of the equation and an obsessed cop who’s in hot pursuit on his bike at the other end, the boys soon find themselves between the proverbial rock and a hard place. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)