"The Irish in Film" series continues at Fairfield University


"The Irish in Film," the free film series sponsored by the Irish Studies Program at Fairfield University, opens on Wednesday, October 2 with the first of four diverse films. The series, now in its sixth year, is part of Fairfield University's "Arts & Minds" season of cultural and intellectual programs, and is open to the public.

The films will be shown in the Multimedia Room of the University's DiMenna-Nyselius Library on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. All but one of the films will be introduced by members of the Irish Studies faculty, who will field questions from the audience after the screenings. Two special guests, novelist Mary Pat Kelly and screenwriter Naomi Sheridan, will introduce and lead the Q&A after "In America," the film slated for October 16.

 This year each film will have a "Cities" theme, as part of the University's 2012-2014 interdisciplinary area of focus. The four cities featured in the films are Dublin, Limerick, New York, and Cork.

The series begins on Wednesday, October 2 with "Young Cassidy" (1965), based on the autobiographies of Irish playwright Sean O'Casey (1880-1984). Directed by Jack Cardiff, the film stars Rod Taylor, as a self-educated, working class Protestant, involved in political activities, who lives with his widowed mother in a Dublin slum, while struggling to become a writer. Filmed in Dublin, the film includes enactments of the 1916 Easter Rising, and the Abbey Theatre riot over O'Casey's first critical success, "The Shadow of a Gunman" (1923). The film also features Julie Christie, Maggie Smith, Michael Redgrave and Edith Evans. Nels Pearson, Ph.D., who teaches 20th Century Irish Literature, will introduce the film.

On October 9, the series continues with "Angela's Ashes" (1999), based on Frank McCourt's 1996 best-selling memoir of his early life in an impoverished part of Limerick. Directed by Alan Parker, the movie stars Emily Watson, as Frank's overwhelmed mother, and Robert Carlyle, as the alcoholic father who abandons his destitute family. William Abbott, Ph.D., associate professor of history, will present the film.

"In America" (2002) features a family of Irish immigrants who arrive in Manhattan illegally by way of Canada. Directed by Jim Sheridan, and written by Sheridan and his daughter Naomi Sheridan, the film will be screened on October 16. It stars Paddy Considine, the young father who aspires to become a stage actor, and Samantha Morton, as his wife. The couple's two young daughters are played by Sarah and Emma Bolger. Novelist Mary Pat Kelly, author of "Galway Bay" (2009), and screenwriter Naomi Sheridan will present the film and the engage the audience in a Q&A.

The fall series concludes on October 23 with "Disco Pigs" (2001), a coming-of-age story set in Cork City about two disco-going teens, Pig (Cillian Murphy) and Runt (Elaine Cassidy). Directed by Kirsten Sheridan, daughter of the director Jim Sheridan, the film explores the intense relationship of the inseparable teenagers, who live next door to each other, have their own language, play by their own rules, and retreat into their own dangerous fantasy world. The film will be presented by Robert Epstein, Ph.D., associate professor of English.

For more information, contact Marion White, Irish Studies Program, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 3021 or mwhite@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 16, 2013

Vol. 46, No. 46