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SGC Dungarvan Cinema Blog

4K, 3D, 2D Movies, Culture-Live in Hd, Opera, Ballet & Theatre

The Magic Flute and King Lear Live on successive evenings at SGC Dungarvan

Mozart and Shakespeare (“The Two Great Dramatists” – Peter Hall)

To have Shakespeare and Mozart live within twenty-four hours is something to joy in – and when these two monumental works are being shown, surely the joy is unconfined. It’s all the more to be treasured when they come from Covent Garden and London’s Globe Theatre ,respectively – readers of these pieces will know how highly I rate Covent Garden while I believe The Globe is the theatre which gives us the most consistently brilliant and authentic productions of Shakespeare’s plays. ”King Lear” is the first Live screening from there but we’ve been fortunate in recent years to have many recordings of superb Globe productions at SGC.

The legendary pianist, Arthur Schnabel (his recording of the Beethoven Sonatas is one of the towering peaks of recorded music), once wrote that “some music is better than it can be played” – these two works, each among the great creations of the human mind and spirit, are probably in that category; being of inexhaustible and unfathomable richness. “King Lear”, that bleak, terrifying and wonderful play, has some of the most sublime poetry that Shakespeare “(or anybody) ever wrote, while “The Magic Flute”, despite some of the complexities of its plot/libretto (where were you Lorenzo da Ponte when you were needed), has some of the most heavenly music that the “God of music” from Salzburgh ever set down. Of him the music critic, Colin Wilson, wrote:- “Mozart was the greatest of all opera composers, and his four mature masterpieces (of which “The Magic Flute” is one) are surely not only the greatest of all operas but also the greatest works in musical history”

Why are Shakespeare and Mozart so closely linked in my mind? Well, some years ago, at The Galway Arts Festival, I heard the great theatre and opera director, Sir Peter Hall, tell his audience: “Of course, there are two great dramatists in our western theatre – Shakespeare (no surprise there!) and” … as we waited expectantly, he followed up with the composer that millions of us revere above all others, “Mozart.” And he went on to explain how it is that Mozart, with his sense of drama, his musical giftedness and his sublime understanding of human nature, was able in his operas to reach Shakespearean heights (or depths) in his delineation of our species.

In a similar vein, Lang Lang, one of our century’s pianistic greats, has written re his first encounter with Shakespeare: – “I loved the complexity of ‘Hamlet’, the way its themes overlap and subtexts emerge like different melodies … Shakespeare’s dialogue made me think of Mozart’s phrasings, the way his music would change from character to character; through Shakespeare’s characters and the way they interact with each other, I finally began to understand Mozart”. Again, Shakespeare and Mozart sit happily together.

Mozart’s opera will delight children of all ages – its fairytale, pantomimic and comic elements are a delight while it’s a beautiful exemplary story of love overcoming even the most treacherous ordeals; “King Lear” is for a slightly more mature audience, although I must say I always thought a great privilege to explore it with my Leaving Cert students. (I always have a word of advice for newcomers to Mozart – regardless of what’s happening on stage, always listen to the music.)

In Prague, in January 2017, I saw a great performance of the “Flute”, with lovely singing and some of the most marvellous Mozart playing I’ve ever heard but the latest “Lear” I saw, a few years ago in London, wasn’t inspiring with Sir Ian McKellan (for me, one of the greats) not at his best on the night. However, theatre lovers will on no account miss these screenings. “King Lear” isn’t easy to stage: Charles Lamb (wrongly) thought it unactable while “The Magic Flute” presents its own staging dilemmas. But given Directors and performers who approach these works with the humility appropriate to such wondrous masterpieces, we should have two memorable nights at SGC, Dungarvan.

“The Magic Flute” is on Wed, Sept 20th at 7.15; “King Lear” is on Thurs, Sept 21st at 7.30. As the great Con Houlihan might say: – “Not to be missed atall, atall!  (From Jim Ryan).

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American Made Review

American Made is a biographical crime film directed by Doug Liman, written by Gary Spinelli and starring Tom Cruise The Movie is set in the 1980’s and follows the exploits  of Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who became a drug smuggler at the time making more money than he knew what to do with. The Movie is based on the true story of this American super pilot and features Cruise doing what he does best in what seems like the perfect role for him to show what has kept him at the very top of the acting world for so long.The Story follows the life of Barry Seal a former TWA pilot who is initially signed up by the CIA to perform low flying photography missions for them. These missions sow the seeds that eventually lead to Seal beginning his multi-million dollar drugs and arms smuggling empire.

American Made is very entertaining to watch and has to be one of Cruises best for a while. The comparisons will of course be made with the Wolf of Wall St and that is certainly justified as both movies are true stories based on the main characters becoming filthy rich from there illegal activities. They are also both really good movies with fascinating story lines that ultimately lead to a very entertaining trip to the movies.

Rating 5/5

Bill Tubbritt

Chekhov’s “The Seagull” from Stage Russia; “Carmen” from Bregenz –

Anton Chekhov is one of the world’s great playwrights, and his four major plays, of which “The Seagull” is one, are, in good productions, among the great joys of theatre – although a 2016 production of the play I saw in Dublin left me unmoved.

Chekhov was born in Southern Russia in 1860, became a Doctor. By 1890 he had written some masterly short stories which brought him fame, but until 1895 his only theatrical successes were monologues and farces. When “The Seagull” premiered in 1896 in St. Petersberg it was greeted with hissing and catcalls but it was revived two years later at The Moscow Arts Theatre and it has remained among the popular of European plays ever since. G B Shaw, among many others, was an ardent admirer of Chekhov’s plays and some of the wonderful plays of Brian Friel are in the Chekhovian tradition. The latter’s last play, “The Cherry Orchard”, premiered in January 1904 and the author died in July of the same year.

Not much happens in a Chekhov play – and yet everything happens. Lives are changed irrevocably in the course of seemingly humdrum days. He “holds the mirror up to (human) nature”, as Shakespeare prescribed. It has been said that in Chekhov “characters fulfil their destinies while appearing to do little more than complain about the weather and fish; they reflect on their failures, play cards, suffer and rejoice in the unpredictable rhythms of life”. It has also been noted that in “The Seagull” there is a chain of unrequited passion in which most of the characters are in love with somebody who is in love with somebody else”. How tragic and yet Chekhov insisted his plays were comedies!

In “The Seagull”, a young playwright’s mother is having an affair with a novelist. He stages one of his plays, with a neighbour’s daughter, whom he loves, in a leading role. Next day he presents her with a seagull that he has shot. The novelist comes and flirts with her and says he will write a story about a girl who is destroyed, like the seagull. The distraught playwright tries to shoot himself … but fails. And thus the events of the play are set in motion … .

It comes from the excellent Stage Russia.  It should be superb.

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For many, “Carmen”, by Bizet, one of the most popular of all operas, and coming from the stage on Lake Constance in Bregenz in Austria, will provide a dilemma – which of these two wonderful attractions to choose from. For many, this delightful, tuneful opera is one of the joys of the genre. Denis Forman, who gives it one of his very rare Alpha-plus ratings, states: “So “Carmen” is great. “Carmen” is a wonder, and anyone who don’t like “Carmen” don’t like opera and should look elsewhere for musical excitement”. It has a feast of good tunes and a great, human story.

Thurs, Sept 14th is, for lovers of theatre in its various forms, surely a “win, win” evening. What a wonderful menu to choose from. I might add, here, that I am likely to opt for the Chekhov, purely on the basis that we get many opportunities to see the much-loved opera, while a play by the great Russian master is a much greater rarity.   (From Jim Ryan]

 

 

Atomic Blonde Review

This throwback to 1980’s cold war action thrillers Directed by David Leitch (John Wick), hits all the right notes with Charlize Theron perfectly cast in the titular role as Lorraine Broughton. She starts the movie in a bath tub of ice, battered and bruised and then heads to a debriefing of her mission, where the story begins as she proceeds to inform MI6 Agent Eric Gray (Toby Jones) & CIA Agent Emmet Kurzfeld (John Goodman) what happened on her mission in Berlin where she was tasked to find a secret file that has information about all the active agents in both the CIA & MI6, that was taken by a rouge Russian KGB Agent.

When Lorraine arrives in Berlin she meets her contact, another agent called David Percival (James McAvoy) who could or could not be a double agent. But before she has a chance to meet him, she is picked up by two KGB agents, this is where the action starts and there is very little let up of the action till the movie ends. Lorraine is very adept in fighting and uses a wide variety of objects to take out her enemies including a shoe, some rope, a hose and many others to boot.The movie is filled with beautifully choreographed fights that feel realistic and are wonderfully shot to keep you right in the action. I can’t express how much of a badass Charlize Theron is in this movie, she never lets up no matter how much she is beaten, and strives at every stop to not let anyone get in the way of her mission. I left the Cinema with a smile on my face and a banging 80’s soundtrack in my ears.

4/5 Stars

Ronan Sandford

Girls Trip Review

Girls Trip is the new hilarious comedy written by Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver and is loosely based on their own experiences with their female friends. The movie stars Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Larenz Tate and Mike Colter. The cast really gel together very well indeed with the four main characters having an excellent on screen chemistry. Extra credit needs to be given to Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith who play Dina & Lisa, providing a lot of the laughs throughout the movie and are by far a large part of what makes this movie so funny.

The movie follows the four main characters as they reunite after five years to go on a girl’s trip to New Orleans to attend the annual Essence Music Festival. There is a brilliant mix of back ground stories and personalities to the girls which set it up nicely for a wild weekend they will never forget. The Movie is almost split in two parts as the first half the humour just keeps coming at you  before slowing down just a little toward the second half as the four friends try to deal with some emotional baggage from their past and present.

The ladies of Hollywood are certainly fighting back these days as some of the biggest movies of the year so far have had mostly female leads, movies such as Hidden Figures, Wonder Women and Beauty and the Beast have already enjoyed huge success at the box office. Girl Trip looks to and deserves to continue that trend as it has to be one of the funnies comedies of the year so far with lots of laugh out loud moments.

Rating 4/5

Bill Tubbritt

Leirmheas Dunkirk

Rinne na meáin scéal mór den scannán le Christopher Nolan “Dunkirk” agus tá a fhios agam cén fáth. Leis an taithí agus rath atá ag Nolan is léir go mbeadh an scannán móréilimh seo fíor gnóthach gan dabht. Tá an scannán seo suite sa radharc coscrach den Dara Cogadh Domhanda. Tá sé bunaithe ar an smaoineamh nuair nach féidir leat dul abhaile, tá ar teacht chugat.

Is scannán ionraic, spleodrach agus glórach é a cuireann an lucht féachána ar chorr a suíocháin iad. Tugann sé radharc casta den cogadh ach dhírigh sé m’aird ar iontas an duine. Tá na híomhanna suntasacha; an bealach ina bhogann an ceamara, léirínn sé dúinn an iargúltacht a bhí ann do na fir. Níl mórán diallóg sa scannán mar sin tá orainn tarraing ó na híomhánna beoga ar an scáileán mór. Cuireann an fhuaim go mór leis chomh maith, ag scaoileadh racht mothúchán ón mbreathnóir.

 

Tugtar cúlra dúinn faoin ré staire, bhí Churchill i gceannais cé nach feictear é sa scannán. Ina  ionad cuireadh béim ar dornán fir a bhí ag scríobh stair ar an talamh, san fharraige agus san aer. Tugann sé léargas réadúil ar bhród agus scanradh na fir ó gcéad seit tosaíonn an scannán amach le “bang” mór. Níl mórán forbairt ar na carachtair, níl aon scéal grá ann. Níl aon namhaid ainmnithe seachas “am”. An t-aon rud nach bhfuil dóthain ag aon duine go háirithe na fir seo a bhí i láithreacht bhás gach lá. Bhí cur chuige éagsúil ag Nolan i leith na scéalaíochta.

Molaim duit dul agus d’aigne féin a dhéanamh ar an stiúrthóir ealaíne Nolan agus 106 nóiméid a thógáil chun breathnú ar na teicnící cinéimeatacha.

Dunkirk Review

Dunkirk is the new war movie which was written, co-produced and directed by Christopher Nolan. The Movie stars James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and One Direction’s Harry Styles. Filming took place in Dunkirk France in 2016 and is based on the true story of the battle of Dunkirk which began in late May 1940 in the French port city of Dunkirk, where some 400,000 Allied soldiers were penned in by the Germans. Nolan seems to have written the script to be told more visually than verbally as there is not an abundance of dialog, instead the story is portrayed via the use of amazing cinematography and visual effects as the movie really looks and sounds amazing on the big screen.

The Movie takes place just after Germany’s World War 2 invasion of Poland and tells the by now mythical story in British history of the rescue mission of 400,000 troops known as Operation Dynamo.Dunkirk is definitely a war movie but it is also a story of suffering and survival. It nice to see Nolan didn’t include any back story as it’s assumed the audience will know what the war is about and why the troop are where they are.

Dunkirk is of course based on a true story and lovers of this type of genre of movie will really enjoy the way this exciting historic story is portrayed. As I said before there is not a lot of back story or even character history and that is probably the reason this movie is not drawn out with  a 2 hour + running time. Dunkirk is more about the experiences of war rather than the strategics behind it. Christopher Nolan has definitely put his own stamp all over this movie and has made a lot of big production calls which largely has worked very well indeed.

Rating 4/5

Bill Tubbritt

Spiderman: Homecoming Leirmheas

Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Cheapfá nach mbeafaí in ann scannán eile a chruthú as an scéal céanna ach geallaim duit cuirtear casadh úr agus spleodrach ar Spider-Man. Tá an scannán suite i suíomh ardscoil Meiriceánach tipiciúil. Is léir nach bhfuil an-ghean air Peter Parker (Tom Holland) ar scoil. Is iarmharán é agus is ball den chlub deacatlan é.

Tosaíonn Homecoming i ndiaidh an ionradh ar Nua-Eabhrac a bhí ar siúl i rith The Avengers, freagraíonn sé ceist an lucht féachana; cad a tharla den chathair tar éis an cogadh cathrach?

Tá go leor téamaí uilíocha tríd mar shampla, cairdeas faighimid léargas iontach den chairdeas idir Peter agus Ned. Is carachtar greannmhar, geanúil agus saoithín é Ned. Le linn an scannáin athraíonn a ról go dtí cúntóir nó mar a glaonn Spidey air “An fear sa chathair”. Tugann an scannán léargas úr ar fíor chairdeas.

Téama eile ná ógántacht. Ceapainn Peter go bhfuil sé réidh a bheith mar bhall den fhoireann mhór “The Avengers” ach tá Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) ag déanamh meantóireacht air agus níl sé róchinnte. Tá an caidreamh idir athair/mac míchompordach  agus greannmhar fad is a fhorbraíonn sé.

Níl sé cáilithe mar laoch go fóill, agus caitheann sé cuid mhaith den scannáin ag dhéanamh cad a dhéanann déagóirí an lae inniu; ag déanamh botúin ollmhóra agus damáiste do gach rud ina dtreo.

Tá gnéithe den bhun-plota fite fuaite tríd go cliste agus go slítheánta, leis an ngnáthphlota agus cúpla casadh curtha leis. Tá an-tóir ar an scannán seo do pháistí, déagóirí, daoine fásta, fanaiceach Marvel nó duine nach bhfuil mórán suime acu i sárlaochra. Is léir go bhfuil rud éigean go gach duine sa scannán seo a ghluaiseann go tapaidh agus atá lán de bomaite grinn.

Cloisim daoine á rá gurbh é Tom Holland an “Spider-Man is fearr” agus caithfidh mé a rá go bhfuil mé i gcomhaontú leo. Tá Marvel tar éis cinntú go bhfuil Spider-Man slán sábháilte ina lámha.

4.5/5

Cars 3 Review

 

Pixar Animation Studios are back with this the third instalment of the popular Cars animated Movies. It was looking a bit like Cars was beginning to run its course when Cars 2 came out in 2011 and It’s good to see they have gone back to basics in this one as we see Lighting McQueen who is still being voiced by Owen Wilson back in his underdog run. This was I feel why the first movie worked so well. It may or may not be the end of the road for this franchise after this movie but one thing is for sure, this is a vast improvement on the second offering.

Cars 3 sees Lighting McQueen who is now getting a bit older and seems to be falling behind the new more powerful up and coming cars. Lighting needs to revaluate his life and motivations in order to reclaim his spot at the top of the pecking order by using his smarts to outwit his rivals as he no longer can match them for speed.

Cars 3 should go down feel with the younger ones at the cinemas. Pixar seems to have come up with a type of Children’s Rocky Movie which I’m sure is one of the reasons for this movies appeal. It’s a tossup between this one and the first Cars movie as to which is the best in the series, personally I think Cars 3 might just shade it.

Rating 3.5/5

Bill Tubbritt

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