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Activities - 13/10/2011


27 Times Cinema - The Portraits - Gillian Middleton - Irish Film Institute - Dublin - Ireland


Could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do?

I have just completed my BA in Media Arts. I have enjoyed the cinema since I was very young when it was a rare treat. At that time, the thirty mile drive to the nearest cinema was unfortunately too ambitious for my six year old self but I relished the chances that I did get to engage with the cinematic experience. 

Why do you like cinema?

'Experience,' is the word of note here because that is truly what drives cinema as a medium. Film captivates, dazzles and demands. A room full of strangers sit in rapture or leave in disgust. It is a community experience which can also give something different to every individual there. My favourite film-filled weekend of the year here in Dublin is the Gaze Film Festival which shows many gems in a unique atmosphere.

What do you think of European cinema?  What does European cinema represent for you?

In the era of the E.U., cinema is particularly important as a means of sharing experience of the shifting identity which we have as Europeans and of documenting the vast history of this mischievous little continent. I spent a month inter-railing around Europe when I was younger and it was truly an education in history and culture.

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer? Which films are particularly important to you?

My preferred type of film are documentaries. I love Errol Morris's work as well as that of the Maysles brothers. Grey Gardens is probably my all-time favorite film followed closely by Standard Operating Procedure and Regretters. Reality is such a complex object that any attempt to recreate it is honorable. I have only cried once during a film and that was La Vie en Rose. Bambi meant nothing to me.

Do you participate to film forums online? If yes, which ones? Or do have your own blog?

I frequently contribute to My Event Guide which sates my need to opine on everything from music to theatre and, of course, film.   

Do you make films yourself? Do you put them on the Internet?

During my time studying film I directed two documentaries, one on a small lotto run in my locality and the other was about the relationships between sisters (called... Sisters). I also created a lot of stop-motion movies during my teenage years and a video for David Bowie's Space Oddity with a fruit-bowl as my space helmet. Thankfully, none of these are available online.

Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema? What do you like most about this venue?

I'm very proud to be representing the Irish Film Institute at 27 Times Cinema. The IFI, as it's affectionately known, is a little haven in the middle of Dublin for fans of left-of-centre cinema. The first film I went to see when I moved to Dublin was The Killing of John Lennon and that, as with everything else I've seen there was thought-provoking and challenging. Films are shown in the IFI that would never have been allowed in the door of a cineplex. This is what makes it such an important cultural institution for Dubliners. They also have a restaurant with excellent chips.

What are your habits as a film-goer?

I go to the cinema as often as something listed captures my imagination and it's often alone as my other half thinks I have rubbish taste in movies. Whenever I have tempted someone to come along it is usually followed by much wine and a long discussion about the merits of the piece. 


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