Ciné Gael Montreal marks
halfway with The New Music
A charming Irish indie film written and directed by an Italian screenwriter
By Byron Toben
March 13, 2023
One of the hidden gems in movie-mad Montreal has been the Irish film series Ciné Gael Montreal, now in its 31st season. It is a series rather than a festival (normally 7 to 10 consecutive days) as it runs roughly every second Friday from late January to early May, interrupted only by the festivities around St-Patrick’s day. Its selections have been varied, ranging from famous directors and actors to unheralded indie productions,
The current season, fully returned to live screenings after three years of hybrid or streamed showings due to the pandemic, recently reached its midpoint on March 10 with an independent film written and directed by an Italian screenwriter.
The New Music follows a classically trained pianist, diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s, who left his uptight countryside home to reside in Dublin, where he fell in with a punk rock band called the Cell Mates and slowly was enticed to add his piano talents to their guitars and drum.
The New Music follows a classically trained pianist, diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s, who left his uptight countryside home to reside in Dublin, where he fell in with a punk rock band called the Cell Mates…
I myself, for whom my musical Holy Trinity is Gershwin, Berlin and Porter, initially agreed with the pianist’s parents that he should have stayed home, but eventually got caught up in the spirit of the film, which, by the way, had won the Spirit of the Cork Indie Film Festival Award.
The audience enjoyed the post-screening chat thanks to Zoom with film director and screenwriter Chiara Viale, actor, director and producer Cillein McEvoy, and producer and cinematographer Phillip Kidd.
I urge the uninitiated to sample one or more of the remaining four screenings at Concordia downtown’s cozy Cinéma de Sève. The next one, Making the Grade, is on March 31.
Images: frames from the movie The New Music
Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.