21 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Venice 2022: The Banshees of Inisherin and The Ghost of Richard Harris to Premiere at 79th edition
26 Jul 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Inisherin
Martin McDonagh’s Irish drama, which is being produced under the Searchlight Pictures banner, sees the Oscar nominated Irish writer-director reunited with his In Bruges stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

The comedy-tragedy, which also stars Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan, will compete In Competition of the 79th Venice International Film Festival within La Biennale di Venezia.

Ahead of the news about the films official selection at La Biennale, Vanity Fair revealed some exclusive first-look images of the hugely anticipated production, the first since McDonagh’s critical success Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.

“I wanted to tell a breakup story,” McDonagh told Vanity Fair in his first interview about the new movie. “This is about things getting inexorably worse from a simple, sad starting point.”

The film is being described as a “homecoming” of sorts for McDonagh, “both literally and figuratively,” as the film marks the writer-directors first feature shot and set in Ireland. It is also depicted as a intimate character study that is a throwback to the writers early plays with which he made is name before venturing into feature filmmaking.

“I wanted it to be as beautiful as possible,” McDonagh said when talking about why he chose the location of Achill and Inishmore. “To aim for beauty and for cinema. Because if you heard of a story of two guys grumbling at each other, and you didn’t have the epic kind of beauty, it might get a little tiresome.”

“I’ve seen a lot of U.K. and Irish films that don’t seem to aim for the cinema as their number one choice,” McDonagh added.

Set on an island off the west coast of Ireland, The Banshees of Inisherin follows two lifelong friends, Padraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), who find themselves at an impasse when Colm abruptly decides to end their friendship. With the support of his sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon), who along with the local policeman’s son Dominic (Barry Keoghan), has her own qualms within the small island community, a confused and devastated Padraic attempts to reignite their relationship. But when Colm delivers a shocking ultimatum in order to crystalize his intention, events start to escalate to fractious heights. 

The key crew include cinematographer and regular McDonagh collaborator Ben Davis, costume designer Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh, production designer Mark Tildesley, and editor Mikkel E.G. Nielsen. Carter Burwell is composing the score. McDonagh and his frequent collaborators Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin of Blueprint Pictures are producing for Searchlight Pictures and Film4.

The Ghost of Richard Harris

Irish feature documentary The Ghost of Richard Harris has been selected to screen as part of the Venice Classics strand of the festival, which highlights recent restorations of classic films as well as documentaries about cinema and authors.

Produced by Bright Yellow Films, Samson Films and Groove International, the feature documentary is about the story of a legendary Irishman, Richard Harris, one of Ireland's greatest Hollywood stars. Using previously uncovered footage and audio as well as interviews from family and close friends, the film builds a new picture of an extraordinary man through the places and people that were dear to him.

The release of the film coincides with the 20th anniversary of the actors death. Adrian Sibley had met Harris before his passing through his son Damian. Since then, his sons had been approached multiple times by documentary makers, but turned them down as Sibley was the one their father had selected to tell his tale.

Using unseen family footage shot by Richard himself from the family's archive, recently discovered Super 8 footage from his childhood, audio from interviews Richard gave over the years including selected extracts from Joe Jackson's interviews, the film builds a new picture of a fascinating man. The film also explores Harris through the eyes of his sons, and close friends, including Russell Crowe, Stephen Rea, Jimmy Webb and Vanessa Redgrave.

The documentary is financed by Screen Ireland alongside Groove International and Sky Arts. Executive producers are Celine Haddad for Screen Ireland, alongside David Blake-Knox, Mike Downey, Philip Edgar-Jones, and Jack Oliver. Earlier this year, Abacus Media Rights had acquired the documentary for worldwide distribution. It is set to air in the U.K. on Sky Arts and streaming service NOW later this year.

The Eternal Daughter

Element Pictures and A24’s The Eternal Daughter has been selected in Competition to compete for the coveted Golden Lion at this year’s festival.

The Welsh-set mystery drama was shot during the Covid lockdown and sees Oscar winning actress Tilda Swinton reteam with director Joanna Hogg following their successful collaboration on The Souvenir and The Souvenir Part 2.

The film is produced by Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe and Emma Norton for Ireland’s Element Pictures alongside Hogg’s own JWH Films, with development and production backing from BBC Films. As with The Souvenir, Martin Scorsese serves as executive producer.

White Noise, written and directed by Noah Baumbach, starring Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle, Raffey Cassidy, Sam Nivola, May Nivola, Jodie Turner-Smith, André L. Benjamin and Lars Edinger has been selected as the Opening Film, in Competition, at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

Click here for mor information about the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

Full Competition Line-Up:

White Noise, Noah Baumbach (U.S.) – Opening Film

Il Signore Delle Formiche, Gianni Amelio (Italy)

The Whale, Darren Aronofsky (U.S.)

L’Immensità, Emanuele Crialese (Italy)

Saint Omer, Alice Diop (France)

Blonde, Andrew Dominik (U.S.)

TÁR, Todd Field (U.S.)

Love Life, Kôji Fukada (Japan, France)

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Mexico)

Athena, Romain Gavras (France)

Bones and All, Luca Guadagnino (U.S.)

The Eternal Daughter, Joanna Hogg (U.K.)

Beyond The Wall, Vahid Jalilvand (Iran)

The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh (U.K., U.S.)

Argentina, 1985, Santiago Mitre (Argentina, U.S.)

Chiara, Susanna Nicchiarelli (Italy)

Monica, Andrea Pallaoro (Italy)

No Bears, Jafar Panahi (Iran)

All The Beauty and The Bloodshed, Laura Poitras (U.S.)

A Couple, Frederick Wiseman (U.S.)

The Son, Florian Zeller (U.K.)

Our Ties, Roschdy Zem (France)

Other People’s Children, Rebecca Zlotowski (France)

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