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Written by Casey Hynes.

This May, the Irish Film Institute (IFI) presents a selection of Irish and international new releases, including Lakelands406 Days, and Beau is Afraid. The IFI is delighted to showcase a retrospective dedicated to Irish filmmaker Joe Comerford, screening in-cinema from Saturday 13th, concluding with a conversation with the director on Saturday 20th.

From Friday 5th, Lakelands, starring Éanna Hardwicke and Lorcan Cranitch, Return to Seoul, which recently screened at the IFI as part of this year’s East Asia Film Festival Ireland, and Maryam Touzani’s The Blue Caftan open in IFI Cinemas. Screening from Friday 12th are new documentary Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, Chie Hayakawa’s debut feature Plan 75, and beautifully paced, intimate epic The Eight Mountains.

Coming to IFI Cinemas from Friday 19th is Ari Aster’s latest feature, Beau is Afraid, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Patti LuPone. From Friday 26th, new documentary 406 Days, focusing on the strike action undertaken by one thousand Debenhams workers in 2020, Full Time, starring Laure Calamy, and the new 4K restoration of David Lynch’s Inland Empire open at the IFI.

From Saturday 13th, the IFI is delighted to showcase the films of Joe Comerford, who has worked as an independent director in Ireland for over 50 years, producing work that is distinguished by its cinematic subversion and social commentary. The retrospective will comprise of four programmes, each consisting of a feature film and short film double bill, including hits TravellerHigh Boot Bennyand Reefer and the Model. On Saturday 20th, IFI Head of Irish Film Programming Sunniva O’Flynn will host a conversation with Comerford about his body of film work and the cultural, personal, and political concerns which infuse it. Tickets are on sale now on the IFI website, with multi-film passes available from the IFI Box Office.

This month’s Irish Focus strand presents Blissed, a new experimental love story from director Maximilian Le Cain, screening in-cinema on Tuesday 9th, followed by a Q&A with the director. This year as part of Bealtaine, the IFI will present The Noble Call, a filmed theatre event featuring excellent performances from IFTA-nominated Vinnie McCabe and Noni Stapleton, screening on Thursday 11th and followed by a Q&A with playwright Michael Harnett and actor Noni Stapleton. The Bigger Picture strand this month will present a screening of Generation Wealth also on Thursday 11th, introduced by entrepreneur and activist Andrea Horan of Tropical Popical.

On Saturday 13th, the IFI screens a special showing of David Easteal’s mesmerising docu-fiction work, The Plains. From Friday 19th to Sunday 21st, the IFI is delighted to present limited screenings of Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero, produced by Lord David Puttnam and starring Peter Riegert and Burt Lancaster, to mark its 40th anniversary.

From The Vaults in May presents a one-off screening on Wednesday 17th of three works (Emerald ShannonLiffey FacesCiall Cheannaigh) created by the Guinness Film Society Film Group, meticulously restored by the IFI Irish Film Archive with the support of the Heritage Council and the Dublin Port Company. This month’s Archive at Lunchtime programme, Welcome Home!, presents two programmes of short films, screening for free at lunchtimes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

The EAFFI Discoveries strand returns in May with a screening of Bong Joon-ho classic The Host on Sunday 28th, presented on stunning 35mm with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Ireland. The Mystery Matinee on Sunday 21st offers audiences the chance to see a surprise film, new or old, for only €6.

This month, Wild Strawberries, the monthly film club for over 55s, offers screenings of A Bunch of Amateurs on Friday 26th and Wednesday 31st (Open Captioned). May’s IFI Family screening presents Boonie Bears: Guardian Code on Sunday 28th, with special family and child tickets available.