Top 10 Films We Want To See at the Dublin Film Festival ’17

Every year, the Dublin film festival presents us with a vast library of films.
Every year, we are disappointed that we can’t be in four places at once.
Tight scheduling simply doesn’t allow for films to be shown, one after another, in a single venue. This forces us to choose which films we want to see and which we need to grudgingly miss.

If you find you are having a similar problem, or simply don’t have the time to browse this year’s programme, we’re here to give you a helping hand.
For your reading pleasure and in no particular order, we have gathered Bone-Idle’s Top 10 Films We Want To See At The Audi Dublin Film Festival.*

*Please note that this list doesn’t include any horror films. As we are huge horror fans at bone-idle, we have compiled a separate list specifically for that genre, as we would easily recommend them all.


1. The Secret Scripture
Venue: Savoy
When: 18th February, 19:30

“Based on Sebastian Barry’s acclaimed novel, Jim Sheridan’s first Irish-set film since The Boxer (1997) explores the life and history of Roseanne McNulty (Vanessa Redgrave), a woman confined to the Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital for 50 years.
As the institution is about to close, Dr. Grene (Eric Bana) is sent to see whether she’s fit to be released. He’s intrigued by Roseanne’s eccentricities and her fierce attachment to her Bible, in which she’s been keeping a diary since she was first admitted. As he delves into her past, Dr. Grene gets to know the younger Roseanne (played by Rooney Mara) and eventually learns the terrible truth about her confinement.
Shot in the starkly beautiful west of Ireland, The Secret Scripture uncovers a dark chapter in Ireland’s history.”


Jim Sheridan has rarely produced a dud, and this too bears the marks of quality the director is known for. As an added bonus, the filmmaker will also be present at the screening, for a Q&A session after the end credits.

Watch the trailer here

2. Like Crazy/La Pazza Gioia
Venue: Lighthouse Cinema
When: 19th Feb, 18:30
24th Feb, 16:00

“Beatrice is a motor-mouthed fantasist, a self-styled billionaire countess who thinks she’s on intimate terms with world leaders. Donatella is a tattooed introvert, a fragile young woman locked in her own mystery.
Both are patients at the Villa Biondi, a progressive but secure psychiatric clinic. Like Crazy tells the story of the unpredictable and moving friendship that develops between the two women as they flee the mental institution in search of love and happiness.”


Shot with the same virility and enthusiasm as Thelma and Louise, Like Crazy is a shameless exclamation of joy in the face of adversity. A French/Italian production, this is a comical tale of two friends taking to the open road with no plan and almost no direction. It promises to be uplifting, cheeky and a great introduction to French cinema.
And as an added bonus, it is showing on two dates, to ensure everyone gets a chance to see it.

Watch the trailer here

3. Catfight
Venue: Cineworld
When: 19th Feb, 20:40

“Former college friends Veronica and Ashley run into each other at a party. The women, now in their forties and having not seen each other since school, find that their lives have taken very different paths.
Within minutes of their reunion, a rivalry is revived, old wounds are torn open, and a Manhattan stairwell becomes the scene of a woman-on-woman brawl worthy of the greatest martial arts epics.”


Some films are very lucky to get a commercial release, and Catfight feels as though it might be one of those films. Delightfully weird in premise, it sells itself as a slapstick comedy, despite being grounded with a realistic tone.
For those looking for a neat blend of culture and action.

Watch the trailer here

4. My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea
Venue: Lighthouse Cinema
When: 19th Feb, 20:45

“No matter your age, part of you never outgrows high school, for better or worse. In this debut animated feature from acclaimed graphic novelist Dash Shaw, two best friends write for their high school newspaper and uncover evidence that the building isn’t up to code.
When their articles fail to convince the administration to take action, disaster strikes and now the friends must fight to survive as their school slides into the ocean.”


Visually bizarre and with a narrative to match, this feature promises to draw a large crowd based on its idiosyncrasy alone. With a sense of humour akin to Joss Whedon mixed with Mike Judge, this promises to be a very memorable film.

Watch the trailer here

5. Mindhorn
Venue: Lighthouse Cinema
When: 21st Feb, 20:40

“When MI5 Special Operative Bruce Mindhorn was captured in the late 1980s, his eye was replaced by a super-advanced optical lie detector, which meant he could literally “see the truth.”
He escaped and fled to the Isle of Man, to recuperate in the island’s temperate microclimate, and today has become the best plain-clothes detective the island has ever seen. This cheeky and hilarious send up of television detective shows is destined for cult status.”


Julian Barratt, of ‘The Mighty Boosh’ fame, brings with him a promise of bizarre humour that is best appreciated in the early hours of the morning. If this is anything like his previous work, you can expect outrageously fake looking costumes, dream-like scenarios and an overall sense of confusion only overwhelmed by your own constant giggling.

*No trailer available

6. I Am Not Your Negro
Venue: Lighthouse Cinema
When: 21st Feb, 20:45

“Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and with unprecedented access to James Baldwin’s original work, award-winning filmmaker Raoul Peck has completed the cinematic version of the book Baldwin never wrote – a radical narration about race in America that tracks the lives and assassinations of Baldwin’s friends, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers.
Whilst partly anchored in the struggle for equality in the ’50s and ’60s, I Am Not Your Negro is about what it means to be black in America today.”


To say the release of this film is timely feels nebulous: there has likely never been a time when a film such as this isn’t hugely relevant in our society. Nonetheless, this should have particular resonance with audiences today, considering the racial difficulties mounting in America today. If you see any documentary this year, this should be it.

Watch the trailer here

7. Free Fire
Venue: Savoy
When: 23rd Feb, 18:30

“It’s 1978, and Justine (Brie Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley) and a gang led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer) who are selling them a stash of guns.
Everything seems to be going smoothly at first, but when shots are fired in the handover, all hell breaks loose and a heart stopping game of survival ensues.
Moving from tense caper film to explosive action free-for-all, Ben Wheatley’s latest exercise in genre marries tight choreography with an intelligently witty script (co-written with filmmaking partner Amy Jump) to create a hugely enjoyable crowd pleaser.
Inspired by films like Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, and benefitting from the involvement of Martin Scorsese as Executive Producer, Free Fire is another stunner from one of today’s greatest genre filmmakers.”


Ever since Ben Wheatley’s explosively entertaining and genre bending Kill List, the director has gone from strength to strength, releasing films at an almost Takashi Miike rate of frequency. With an excellent cast and Wheatley’s trademark direction (and he will be in attendance), this is a film you would not want to miss.

Watch the trailer here

8. The Age of Shadows
Venue: Lighthouse Cinema
When: 25th Feb, 11:00

“Korean superstars Song Kang-ho, Han Ji-min, and Gong Yoo headline the latest from cutting edge director Kim Jee-woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird), an epic-scale period thriller about a double agent sent to infiltrate a band of freedom fighters during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1920s.
Highly entertaining even as it shines light on a dark period of recent Korean history.”


Looking absolutely stunning and with a healthy dose of engaging action and conspiracy to boot, The Age of Shadows  looks to be a real crowd please. Kim Jee-woon has an incredible knack for bringing complex stories to the screen without sacrificing good fun.
Here’s hoping he can do the same with this film as he did with The Good, the Bad, the Weird.

Watch the trailer here

9. David Lynch: The Art Life
Venue: Lighthouse Cinema
When: 25th Feb, 16:20

“David Lynch takes us on an intimate journey through the formative years of his life. From his idyllic upbringing in small town America to the dark streets of Philadelphia, we follow Lynch as he traces events that have helped to shape one of cinema’s most enigmatic directors.
This portrait shines a light into the dark corners of his unique world, giving audiences a better understanding of the man and the artist”


It should come as no surprise that a documentary centred on the creator of ‘Twin Peaks’ is on our list of films to see. One of the greatest auteurs still operating today, his work has inspired countless others and has become synonymous with the notion of the surreal.
If you’ve seen Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway or Eraserhead, you really don’t need us to tell you why glimpsing into the man’s past would be such treat and privilege.

Watch the trailer here

10. Headshot
Venue: Cineworld
When: 26th Feb, 11:00

“When an unknown Indonesian film called The Raid premiered back in 2011, action cinema welcomed a new hero, thanks to the furious flying fists and lightning-fast feet of star Iko Uwais. Now Uwais returns as the hero of Headshot, an amnesiac who’s forgotten everything about his past life — apart from his aptitude for ass kicking.
A young man washes ashore, an amnesiac with a serious head injury. After being nursed back to health by a young doctor, violence ensues as Ishmael takes on the henchmen of a vengeful drug lord while piecing together his past as a remorseless killing machine.
Directors Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel — a.k.a. The Mo Brothers — have a keen eye for action, and they keep it coming at a speedy clip as Ishmael kicks, punches, ducks, and flips his way through the Indonesian underworld.”


When it comes to hardcore action, The Raid was an absolute tidal wave that hit our shores. Totally uncompromising camera work and immaculate choreography coalesced into one of the best action films of the decade. The question here is whether Uwais was a one hit wonder or if he will have the lasting appeal of great action stars, like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jackie Chan.
Signs look good however, considering The Raid 2: Berandal, though not quite the masterpiece its predecessor was, still rose head and shoulders above most others in that genre.

Watch the trailer here

Special Mention – Surprise Film
Venue: Savoy
When: 26th Feb, 17:00

“Over three decades of the Dublin Film Festival, in all its incarnations, we have been delighted, amused and sometimes bemused by the surprise film, and the sense of expectation we experience before the curtains part is one of the highlights of the viewing year.
In an ideal world, we would be offered the chance to see a surprise film every week, because it’s good for the cinemagoer’s soul. But we do not live in an ideal world, and so the opportunity only comes around once every twelve months. What are you waiting for? Take it.”


There’s nothing quite like the Surprise Film at ADIFF. The excitement of guessing what major upcoming film everyone is about to be privy to. The ecstasy of the reveal, the sense of atmosphere created by an audience united in anticipation.
Whether it’s a hot new blockbuster or an indie hit you might have never discovered otherwise, there’s no denying that the Surprise Film is, at the very least, an experience worth having.


Tickets for these films can be purchased at the ADIFF website.
The Audi Dublin Film Festival is running from Thursday, 16th of February to Sunday, 26th of February.
If you’re looking for a horror fix at the festival, be sure to check out our article on Horror at ADIFF 2017.

Written by Stephen Hill

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