Cine Gael returns to in-person movies at Concordia
The film series features Death of a Ladies’ Man by Montrealer Matt Bissonnette
By Byron Toben
April 21, 2022
Montreal Cine Gael Irish Film Serieswhich had an abbreviated presentation in 2020 and an imported virtual screening in 2021 due to the pandemic, resumed its in-person screenings on April 8, 2022, with a Canadian-Irish co-production titled Death of a ladies’ man. This marked the 30th season of the series, which began in 1992 as the world’s third annual Irish film festival and the first outside Ireland itself.
As the audience moved on, the screen displayed a Ciné Gaël Retrospective curated by an amazing IT manager Anthony Maloney depicting the history and highlights of Cine Gael over the years.
This marked the 30th season of the series, which began in 1992 as the world’s third annual Irish film festival and the first outside Ireland itself.
Instead of the usual season ticket or individual sales for nine shows and two “galas” after the opening and closing picks, this opening was free but called for voluntary donations to support the beleaguered Ukraine. Seventy-three people attended the 90 places at Concordia University Cinema of Sève and donated around $1,070.
The comedy-drama film was directed by a Montrealer Matt Bissonnette who flew in to attend and present the screening.
Gabriel Byrne stars as a literature professor in Montreal who experiences hallucinations due to an inoperable brain tumor. A recurring imagination is his deceased father, Brian Gleesonwho gives advice from beyond. Jessica Pare plays the most important of its various liaisons.
Seven Leonard Cohen songs are used throughout the film, which is presented in three parts, the second part being the one filmed in Ireland.
“Gabriel Byrne stars as a literature professor in Montreal who experiences hallucinations due to an inoperable brain tumor.”
Many surreal scenes, often mocking death, made this film unique. It is available on demand on the Internet.
Although not mentioned in the film, Leonard Cohen had at least one gig in Ireland in 2013. I believe he included Kevin Barrydedicated to the 18-year-old rebel hanged in 1920 for his participation in the 1916 Easter Rising at Dublin. I don’t know if he sang it in English or Gaelic, as I was told by the great Paul Robson earlier, during his own Irish tour.
Cine Gael continues April 22 with Griffintown: A People’s Story and The Irishman – Child of Gael.
Image: Death of a ladies’ man, courtesy of Ciné Gaël
More articles from Byron Toben
Byron Toben, former president of the Montreal Press Club, has been a theater critic for WestmountMag.ca since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for the now closed websites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, the weekly The Downtowner and the monthly The Senior Times. He is also an expert consultant on US work permits for Canadians.