Two Irish films will screen at the Chicago European Union Film Festival. Below is the information on the shows and info on the Gene Siskel Film Center. Songs of Maze: March 30, and April 1
2017, Stephen Burke, Ireland/UK, 93 min. With Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward.
The biggest jailbreak in British and Irish history, involving the escape of 38 IRA prisoners from high-security Maze prison in September 1983, is dramatized in a tense but remarkably even-handed story that foregrounds the relationship between failed hunger-striker Larry Marley (Vaughan-Lawlor) and Gordon (Ward, of Ken Loach’s JIMMY’S HALL), the steely, arrogant head guard. The republican political prisoners are forced into pressure-cooker conditions under the noses of virulently hostile loyalists in the same cellblock. Marley wins over his compatriots to an escape plan, hoping to play his captor like a fish, but complications grow, along with his grudging respect for the hardened guard. Courtesy of Visit Films. DCP digital widescreen (BS)
Granite: March 10, and March 15
This poetic portrait of the life of traditional Irish folksinger Joe Heaney is less a documentary than a set of impressionist tableaux that capture the mood of the hard, spare life of Heaney’s rural childhood and the footloose career as a laborer and pub-singer that finally takes him to America. Elegant black-and-white cinematography gives the vistas of County Galway a timeless quality, and beautifully accentuates the underlying gravity and melancholy of many of the vocal performances.
Archival footage of Heaney himself blends seamlessly with dramatic reenactments. A must-see for any devotee of traditional Irish music. In Irish Gaelic and English with English subtitles. Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories. DCP digital. (BS)
Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
164 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60601