The Gene Siskel Film Center and Hibernian Transmedia have teamed up and will present the First Annual Irish American Movie Hooley Sept. 25-27 as a way to showcase Irish American films, directors, and emerging talent with Irish or Irish-American roots.
Filmmakers across the country were encourages to submit their films to the “Hooley” last March and the top three films will premiere at the festival this weekend. The films include:
Name Your Poison
Friday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m.
This documentary spins a rip-roaring yarn of a Depression-era murder plot hatched in a speakeasy and perpetrated on a doddering drunk by the name of Mike Malloy, now legendary as “Iron Mike” and the “Rasputin of the Bronx.” In 1933, five down-and-out bar pals plan to kill the homeless man in an insurance scam, but the tough old Irishman doesn’t succumb to vast quantities of poisoned drink or even a sandwich of nails, causing his would-be killers to resort to more desperate measures. Director Hayes follows Donegal football champion Anthony Molloy on a trek in search of the convoluted story behind the legend. DCP digital. Director Paddy Hayes will be present for audience discussion.
Saturday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m.
A death in the family spurs Boston carpenter Jack O’Toole (McIntyre) to write a play based on the rituals, rivalries, good times and sorrows of his big Irish American clan. Writing is one thing, but bringing his new passion to life is a challenge met by dark looks from his estranged dad and trepidation by the rest of the family. With a little help from the local pub, his savvy priest brother, a stage-struck undertaker, and assorted cousins, friends and drinking buddies, Jack embarks on a comically rocky road to show biz. Memorable cameo appearances by Will Arnett and Amy Poehler. DCP digital. Director Dave McLaughlin will be present for audience discussion.
After the Dance
Sunday, Sept. 27 at 3 p.m.
A family secret takes on a new life when filmmaker Asquith and her mother Pat track the mystery of Pat’s unknown birth father from County Clare to Manhattan and back again. Born out of wedlock to a village girl from the remote west coast of Ireland and raised by adoptive parents, Pat’s adult efforts to bond with her eight half-siblings are met with hostility. When two eccentric rural cousins turn up, the barriers of shame, guilt and old-style Catholic morality begin to tumble in the face of an adventure in amateur sleuthing. DCP digital.
Tickets and Info
All screenings and events are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago. General admission is $11. 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. There is a surcharge of $1.50 per ticket. The Film Center and its box office are open 5-8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; 2- 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2-5:30 p.m. on Sunday.