On Monday evening you can visit the Chocolate Factory, well in spirit anyway, as the Lighthouse screens Willy Wonka, which just might be the greatest children’s movie ever. Of course, there’s plenty for grownups too, with a wonderfully iconic performance from Gene Wilder and a script packed with genuine wit. It’s also scary as hell in parts!
To mark the centenary of Orson Welles’ birth, the Irish Film Institute hosts a double bill of his first two features on Sunday afternoon. Citizen Kane needs no introduction, as it regularly tops polls as the greatest movie ever made. Personally I disagree, but it is a fantastic movie nonetheless. More interesting is his troubled sophomore effort, The Magnificent Ambersons, which was notoriously recut by the studio. However, even in its bastardised form it’s a fascinating look at an affluent American family, anchored by a great performance by Joseph Cotten.
An entirely different sort of double bill can be found at the Lighthouse on Friday night – Death Wish 3 and Masters of the Universe, two outrageous offerings from the much maligned Cannon films studios. DW3 just might be the most ’80s movie ever created, with an aging Charles Bronson taking on a literal army of denim clad gang members. MOTU is a woefully cheap adaptation of the cult cartoon. They don’t make them like these no more!
The best new release this week is Eden, a sprawling look at the trials of a Parisian DJ over the last two decades. As a movie about music it doesn’t quite function, but scratch below the surface and you’ll find it has a lot to say, playing like a more mature version of the over-rated Boyhood.
The Legend of Barney Thomson is the directorial debut of actor Robert Carlyle, and the worst movie I’ve seen all year. Its tale of a reluctant serial killer is bogged down in outdated ’90s post-Tarantino-isms and features the great Emma Thompson in a her worst performance to date, delivering a horrendous Scottish brogue.
By Eric Hillis