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Mother and Child

Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother and Child is more structurally complex than most films, but it keeps a steady bead on its thematic target pretty insistently. Too much so for its own good. That theme is the consequence of child adoption.

The City of your Final Destination

Ismail Merchant may have died in 2005, but the Merchant Ivory tradition of literary cinema carries on with this film directed by his surviving partner James Ivory and scripted by their usual writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, here adapting a 2002 novel by Peter Cameron. Merchant lived long enough to make one contribution: He scouted the Latin American estate where The City of Your Final Destination was filmed. His loss was more keenly felt in the financing difficulties that kept the finished movie on the shelf for the last two years.

Cinegael Buffalo Film Festival

The seventh edition of this program dedicated to Irish films takes place this Friday at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The day begins at 3pm with The Yellow Bittern: The Life and Times of Liam Clancy, a documentary about the last surviving member of the popular singing group the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. (Since the making of the film, Liam has also died.) For the most part filmed sitting alone on a darkened stage, Clancy looks back on a life that began in 1935 (“born with one foot in the Middle Ages”) and took him to undreamt of fame in the US when he and his brothers rode the wave of the folk music boom. Bringing authentic Irish music, which he calls the “people’s history,” to Irish Americans raised on the sentimental mush of Bing Crosby, he has a lot to say about their intersection with the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Leisurely but evocative, with lots of period footage, Alan Gilsenan’s film makes a strong case for an overlooked music.

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