Fairfield University’s The Irish in Film Series Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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Fairfield University’s The Irish in Film Series Celebrates 10th Anniversary

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — “The Irish in Film,” a free movie series sponsored by the Irish Studies Program at Fairfield University, kicks-off its tenth anniversary on Wednesday, September 27, with the first of five dynamic and diverse films. The series is part of Fairfield University’s Arts & Minds season of cultural and intellectual programs and is open to the public.

Each film will be screened in the Multimedia Room of the University’s DiMenna-Nyselius Library on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m., and will be introduced by a member of the Irish Studies faculty who will field questions from the audience after the screenings. Light refreshments will be served.

The series begins on September 27 with the Oscar-nominated animated film Song of the Sea (2014). Directed and written by Tomm Moore (“The Book of Kells”), this enchanting story follows Ben and his little sister Saoirse — the last of the selkies — as they embark on a fantastic journey into the Celtic spirit world. The film takes inspiration from the mythological selkies of Irish folklore, who live as seals in the sea but become humans on land. Celtic and Early Irish Art professor Marice Rose, PhD, will introduce the screening.

On October 4, director Scott Cooper’s American crime drama Black Mass (2015) will be presented by English professor and author Michael C. White, Ph.D. Based on the true story of James “Whitey” Bulger, the film stars Johnny Depp as a ruthless south Boston gangster and brother of a senator (Benedict Cumberbatch), who becomes an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf during the 1980s.

The series continues on October 11 with A Monster Calls (2016), a magical fable directed by J.A. Bayona and based on a coming-of-age novel by Patrick Ness. The film stars Lewis MacDougall as Conor O’Malley, a 13-year-old whose life takes a turn after his mother (Felicity Jones) becomes fatally ill, and he moves in with his unsympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver). As an escape, Conor turns to his artwork and conjures up a 40-foot-high monster (voiced by Liam Neeson), who guides him on a journey of courage, faith and truth that helps the young boy cope with his grief. Dr. Robert Epstein, professor of English, will introduce the film.

On October 18, famed director Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall (2015) will be introduced by English professor Nels Pearson, PhD. Set in Ireland in the 1930s and based on actual events, the film stars Barry Ward as Jimmy Gralton, an Irish communist and community activist, who returns from New York after a ten-year, self-imposed exile. Upon witnessing the levels of poverty and oppression overtaking his home, the activist in him reawakens as he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.

The series concludes on October 25 with After ’16 (2016), a short film collection commissioned by The Irish Film Board to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising. The collection consists of nine short films by various Irish filmmakers in a mixed format of live action, animation, and documentary that date from the eve of the Rising to the Troubles in 1970s Northern Ireland. The film’s presentation at Fairfield University is made possible by the Irish Film Institute in Dublin, Ireland, and will be introduced by associate professor of History and co-director of Irish Studies William Abbott, PhD.


Vol. # 50, No. 39

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

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