During the month of May, there will be a series of free lunch-time screenings from the archival Collection of the Irish Film Institute and this is to celebrate Ireland’s Presidency of the EU (until June 2013). The IFI Archive presents a collection of short films exploring impressions of Ireland and Europe in film and this programme is titled, Euro-Paeans: Celebrating Ireland and Europe in Film and it includes a rare chance to see some of the first films made in Ireland from 1897 by the pioneering French company Les frères Lumière.
The footage from Les fréres Lumiére give a tantalising glimpse of nineteenth century Ireland and include scenes of Dublin’s O’Connell Street (then Sackville Street) and firemen’s manoeuvres in Grafton Street. These are some of the oldest films preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. Also screening is a selection from the Amharc Éireann newsreels, which include an exhibition of photographs from the ‘then’ newly constructed Berlin Wall in 1962; the first Aer Lingus Winter sunshine flight to Malaga in 1963; a Scandinavian Ceremony of Light; and an exchange programme for French and Irish school children.
Other highlights of the programme include The Saints Went Marching Out (1967) which celebrates the spread of Irish missionary activity in Europe and revisits Ireland, as a vibrant young country in Ireland’s Presidency of the E.E.C in 1979. Tribulations Irlandaises is a whirlwind tour of Ireland by a French film crew in 1965, which notes the people’s pious adherence to the Catholic Church under Eamon de Valera and Sean Lemass.
Finally the last shorts on the programme are two beautiful films set in small Irish schools, one from the Danish documentary-maker, Jon Bang Carlsen, which follows his son’s experience as a visitor in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare in My Irish Diary from 1996 and Michael Ryan’s recent short film The Polish School.
Sunday, 12 May at 1.30pm
Free screenings from the IFI touring programme. Films of les frères Lumière (1897) Selection of Amharc Éireann newsreels (1960s)
Irland und seine Kinder (1961)
Tribulations Irlandaises (1965)
(Total running time – 57 minutes.)
Sunday, 19th May at 1.30pm
Free screenings from the IFI touring programme. The Saints Went Marching Out (1967). Ireland’s Presidency of the E.E.C (1979). My Irish Diary (1996). The Polish School (2012).
(Total running time – 77 minutes.)