As an Chicagoan of strong Irish descent myself, let me step in and play the part of “good authority.” I have it on good authority that the annual Irish American Movie Hooley is a boisterous event with a trio of buried treasure movies that normally wouldn’t grace American screens. Just as the event’s name translates: “When a party gets rowdy, the Irish call it a ‘hooley.’” You need to join the 5th edition of this artistic autumnal party at The Gene Siskel Film Center over the weekend of September 27–29. Come for the scene. Consume some friendly and fascinating culture.
Barbara Scharres, the Director of Programming for The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and Irish American radio personality Mike Houlihan recently announced the three choice selections for the upcoming fifth annual mini-festival. All three are making their Chicago premiere with one American premiere to close the weekend slate.
The Irish American Movie Hooley will open Friday night, September 27th with the darkcomedy Misty Button directed by Seanie Sugrue from Tralee, County Kerry. The film plays at 8pm and tells the story of a pair of Irish lads, living in the Bronx, who get caught up in a caper gone bad, with a 35–1 shot racetrack wager on the right horse by the wrong guys. An engaging cast of Irish and Irish-American actors make this a thrill ride all the way down the stretch.
After the screening, director Seanie Sugrue will be in attendance for a talkback. As an added perk, the welcome audience is invited to an opening night reception at The Emerald Loop Bar and Grill, 216 N. Wabash Ave., immediately after the film, with complimentary Paddy’s Irish Whiskey.
THE MAN WHO WANTED TO FLY
On the second night, The Man Who Wanted to Fly makes its Chicago premiere at 8pm. This crowd-pleaser was a big box office success in Ireland and tells the story of octagenarian Bobby Coote dreaming of being his own pilot while owning no plane, space, or training. Director Frank Shouldice will be present for the post-screening discussion.
CUMAR: A GALWAY RHAPSODY
Closing affairs on Sunday is Cumar: A Galway Rhapsody making its American premiere right here in Chicago. The diverse glories of the city of Galway, celebrated in song, performance and image, make this lyrical bilingual documentary a must for any lover of all things Irish. Set in a lush green countryside at the edge of the sea, Galway has long attracted Ireland’s most adventurous storytellers in every medium and genre. The confluence of cultural riches evokes the mystical and mythical elements that make Galway a legend in its own right. The documentary plays at 5pm and producer Aisling Ní Fhlaithearta will be present for audience discussion after the showing.
Paddy’s Irish Whiskey will offer a sampling station in the lobby of the Gene Siskel Film Center before each screening, and also hold a free “whiskey raffle” after each screening and award a complimentary bottle of Paddy’s Irish Whiskey to the winner.
For more information about the Movie Hooley, visit: http://moviehooley.org
All screenings and events are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located at 164 N. State St.
Tickets to each screening — unless stated otherwise — are $12/general admission, $7/students, $6/Film Center members, and $5/Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) staff and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) faculty, staff, and students. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website.
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