Given the mass exodus of Irish emigrants who have flocked to Australia in recent years, it should come as no surprise that St Patrick’s Day is as huge an event Down Under as it is here.
Melbourne’s iconic Astor Theatre is getting in on the act with a celebration of Irish film this St Patrick’s Day with Irish comedy and modern classic ‘The Guard’ being the highlight at 2pm this Sunday.
Melbourne-based lecturer Dr Liam Burke, who programmed the event, expressed his delight at bringing Irish film back to the famous St Kilda landmark.
‘The Guard is one of the most successful Irish films of recent years and offers an insightful glimpse into Irish humour against the backdrop of the rugged Galway landscape,’ Dr Burke said.
The Cork native, a media studies lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology, will introduce the screening - which will be preceded by three short films from the Irish Film Board, each reflecting different aspects of the Irish experience.
Animated film ‘Origin’ follows a young man on the brink of emigrating to Australia as he races across Dublin, in a piece that resurrects the city’s mythic origins.
Documentary short ‘Home Turf’ follows a group of elderly men as they engage in the ancient art of cutting turf by hand in the shadow of modern machines. Filmed in Co Kerry, the film portrays the threat to this communal activity and the men’s way of life.
Finally, Irish-language short ‘Asal’ is the heartbreaking story of a young fisherman who risks his life to save a friend.
‘The three short films that will be screened cover a range of issues that will resonate with Irish emigrants, but will also showcase the best of Ireland and Irish filmmaking,’ Dr Burke added.
Proprietor of the Astor Theatre, George Florence said: ‘The Astor has a long history of showcasing exciting films from around the globe. With the recent influx of Irish people to Melbourne, we could think of no better time to celebrate Ireland’s contribution to cinema and introduce Australian audiences to some great Irish films.’
The screening will take place at 2pm on Sunday, 17th March, with tickets costing $15 for adults, $14 for students/seniors and concessions, and $13 for pensioners and children.
Further information is available at www.astortheatre.net.au