To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of its release in Irish Cinemas and the Centenary of the 1916 Rising, Audi Dublin International Film Festival will host a special event screening of Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins, the definitive film of Ireland’s struggle for independence.
The film will have its 20th Anniversary Premiere on Saturday, February 20th at The Savoy Cinema on O’Connell Street, attended by Neil Jordan and Cinematographer Chris Menges, followed by an on stage Q&A hosted by Harry McGee. The celebration will also be attended by some of the 4000 extras who took part in the film.
[quote title=”Grainne Humphreys – ADIFF, Festival Director”]I’m thrilled to be able to programme Michael Collins in the Audi Dublin International Film Festival. Everyone remembers the excitement in Dublin when it was being filmed and so many people were part of it as extras. The resulting film was and is the great film of the period from Neil Jordan at the height of his filmmaking powers. I expect it will resonate with the festival audience just as beautifully as it did 20 years ago.[/quote]
Michael Collins will be available for the first time on Blu Ray from March 4th in a 20th Anniversary Edition re-mastered with the addition of a new specially recorded Intro and Commentary by director Neil Jordan. This edition will also be available on DVD.
Michael Collins will be released nationwide in cinemas in a new digital format from March 18th.
Per the ADIFF Notes: The film Michael Collins was released twenty years ago, conceived and made in the years leading up to that, and it was probably inevitable that it would reflect the state of Ireland, North and South, during those years as much as the turbulent years, 1916 – 1922, upon which it was based. I had made two “Troubles” films, before that point – Angel, and The Crying Game. Both dealt with the persistence – and the awfulness – of the presence of violence in Irish political dialogue. Michael Collins became the third and was to deal with the figure who perfected the use of violence as a political weapon. It was to be a large budget picture, for Warner Bros., and as such, I had to define for myself what that curious genre “historical film” meant. I decided to pare back the historical context, the characters, the events and construct the drama around one character, who used violence for political ends and, having achieved what he could of those ends, attempted, and failed, to decommission the guerilla army he had built. There was a ready made template for that kind of film – the gangster epic, which provided an endurable form, from Howard Hawk’s Scarface to Brian de Palma’s version, from every James Cagney iteration, through the Godfather films. The arc of the central character becomes that of a fatal engagement with some kind of violence. So Michael Collins became a biopic and a gangster epic. That, and the parallels to the decommissioning process that was going on at the time gave rise to much acrimonious debate when we were making the film and during its subsequent release. I didn’t mind that debate, however uncomfortable it became, since films should be about something. It was always to be a film about violence and its consequences. And, about an issue that, in 2016, twenty years on again, seems to thankfully to belong to the past, and not to the present.
The Dublin International Film Festival is sponsored by Audi, with principal funding from The Arts Council. Key partners and funders include The Irish Film Board, hotel partner The Merrion Hotel, beverage sponsor Peroni Nastro Azzurro, print transport partner Wells Cargo, post-production partner Windmill Lane and media partners The Irish Times, RTÉ Supporting the Arts and Entertainment.ie.