Frameline Film Festival.
Powerful new Irish film at this year’s San Francisco Frameline Film Festival
A Date for Mad Mary • June 18, 24
Mary has always been a firecracker — picking fights, mouthing off, and getting wasted at the pub with her best mate, Charlene. But after serving six months in lockup, Mary returns home to find that Charlene has moved on; she’s more interested in her upcoming wedding than in reliving old times. Wounded and lonely, Mary sets off on a series of progressively awkward (and unsuccessful) blind dates with local blokes to show Charlene she can find a date to her wedding.
All seems lost until Mary meets Jess, the cute videographer (and folk singer) hired to film the wedding. After a few fits and starts, Jess and Mary get close one night, and Mary finds herself actually having feelings for someone. But when Jess suspects that Mary has something to prove and confronts her about it, their new ties begin to unravel, and Mary must choose between staying true to her old self and the chance to change. Seána Kerslake (Mary), Tara Lee (Jess), and Charleigh Bailey (Charlene) give nuanced performances in this universal story of shifting friendships and loyalties, and Tara Lee’s live musical performances are an added bonus.
Written and directed by Darren Thornton, this feature set in Drogheda, Ireland, is a sweet and melancholic film about letting go of the past — in order to make room for your future.
Victoria Theatre.Sunday June 18, 2017. 6:30 PM
Landmark Theatres Piedmont .Saturday June 24, 2017. 4:30 PM
Handsome Devil • June 17, 20
An unlikely yet authentic bond develops between two teenage boys at an Irish boarding school, in this charming, rugby-centric dramedy from talented Irish writer-director John Butler.
Sixteen-year-old Ned, with his spiky dyed red hair and ambiguous sexuality, is the music-geek outcast more smitten with David Bowie than with kicking balls around the pitch. Given his reluctance to attend the school and his frequent skirmishes with the resident jock bully, Ned goes to great lengths to distance himself from his athletic new roommate, the handsome Conor, who is struggling to reconcile his own conflicting interests.
The film has buoyant comic flair but doesn’t shrink from tackling homophobia amid a few refreshing dramatic detours. Handsome Devil’s breezy take on the well-mined boys’-school and coming-of-age genres is grounded in the expository voiceover narration provided by Ned, played with scrappy enthusiasm by Fionn O’Shea in a winning performance reminiscent of a young Jamie Bell. O’Shea was recently nominated for a Rising Star Award at the 2017 Audi Dublin International Film Festival for his role in Handsome Devil.
The two leads have a fantastic rapport, and there are affecting performances by Irish actors Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Pride), as the boys’ gay English teacher, and Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones), as the school’s headmaster. The eclectic soundtrack features Big Star, Prefab Sprout, and Rufus Wainwright. Butler has even curated a Spotify playlist for fans of the film’s music.
More than God • June 17, 24, 25
A short film (9 minute) by Kev Cahill about a devout Irish doctor who is forced to deal with a family matter whilst hiding under the bed of a stranger.