Sunday 17 December 2017

Carol Hunt: Honouring 'the ultimate son of the Irish diaspora'

The John Ford Symposium recognises the director as the creative germ of our film industry, says Carol Hunt

On Thursday the National Concert Hall welcomes Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan, John Ford's grandson Dan Ford, IFTA chief executive Aine Moriarty and a host of special guests to the gala opening night of this inaugural symposium.

Christopher Caliendo conducts the RTE Concert Orchestra with his own score, specially commissioned by 20th Century Fox, of Ford's early epic western The Iron Horse.

Friday kicks off with The John Ford Lecture, presented by acclaimed historian and biographer Joseph McBride. The lecture, entitled 'John Ford, Poet and Comedian', draws inspiration from Orson Welles's description of the legendary Irish-American film director. More highlights of Friday's programme include the Ford Film Hub Directors Panel, with Jim Sheridan, John Boorman, Thaddeus O'Sullivan and Brian Kirk; a public interview with the Oscar-nominated director (and friend of John Ford) Peter Bogdanovich; and an exclusive showing of Upstream, Ford's 1927 drama that was rediscovered in the New Zealand Film Archive in 2009 and screens for the very first time in Ireland. The day ends with an outdoor screening of classic western The Searchers in Dublin's Meeting House Square.

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