The Irish Film Institute have, understandably, built up an amazing archive of Dublin footage over the years. Sometimes, like with the fantastic Irish Destiny (the 1926 homemade film which premiered on Easter Sunday of that year) this footage can become DVD chart-topping stuff. In most cases however, the footage isn’t quite as historically popular as Irish Destiny and interesting as it often is- it remains unseen by the masses.
From January 2010 however, the IFI will be showing some of their fantastic archival footage at lunchtimes- and for free. All the screenings are under 30 minutes long, and the first two deal with 1970s Dublin. Produced by members of the Guinness Film Society, the films offer a unique insight into the Dublin of the period.
The first film, Cill Cheannaigh looks as odd as it does fascinating. Set in Cornelscourt Shopping Centre (Or eh….Dunnes Stores to be exact) the short documentary looks at and engages with the mix of families, teenagers and (or so the website tells me..) priests that pass through the aisles of the South Dublin branch. This was the first Dunnes. Wow.
The second work, Liffey Faces, looks a bit more easy to work out. Going from Kippure to Poolbeg, we get an insight into life on the liffey with everything from the Liffey Swim to the Islandbridge rowers featured. Like Cill Cheannaigh, this one was produced in 1970.
The films will screen at lunch time each week on Monday and Wednesday, and on one Saturday each month, with more info on www.irishfilm.ie