Boulder’s festival of films, food, music and adventure returns with the 19th annual Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF). Screening March 2-5, across four venues, BIFF hosts more than 70 features and shorts and a series of staples that have come to define the fest: CineCHEF, the Adventure Film Pavilion, additional screenings at the Stewart Auditorium in Longmont, parties, live music and more.
BIFF is big on music, and this year’s opening night film, Immediate Family (Friday, March 3), documents the session musicians who helped define popular music from 1970 on, while the Colorado premiere of Little Richard: I Am Everything (Saturday, March 4) revisits the life and times of Richard Penniman, the self-proclaimed “emancipator” and “architect of rock ’n’ roll.” And for the vinyl heads: Squaring the Circle (Saturday, March 4) explores the career of Hipgnosis, the creator behind some of the most iconic album covers.
But if all that singing and screaming is too much for you, then BIFF will help you catch up on your Oscars homework with the Boulder premiere of Ireland’s The Quiet Girl (Sunday, March 5) from director Colm Bairéad, a small drama jam-packed with
The year is 1981, and 9-year-old Cait (Catherine Clinch) is a silent type trying to stay out of her parent’s way. She already has a handful of siblings, with another on the way, and Mom and Dad are about as physically, emotionally and financially taxed as you can get. So, they drive Cait over to some relatives, an older couple without kids, and drop her off for the summer. They are Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) and Seán (Andrew Bennett), and they live by themselves on a rural dairy farm that looks like a dream. Even the cozy home, with its soft-yellow walls in the kitchen and flowery wallpaper in the bedroom, practically envelops Cait with warm arms. And that’s a good thing, because Cait has a lot of emotional baggage to sort through.
Ditto for Eibhlán and Seán; there’s a hole in their life that Cait slides into effortlessly. A makeshift family forms, full of love, compassion and, in the movie’s best scenes, life.
Aptly titled, The Quiet Girl is a pleasant respite from the chaos of modern society. When people long for simpler times, Bairéad’s filmmight be what they think of. Not that the movie is free of drama, but how director Bairéad and cinematographer Kate McCullough capture these tender moments makes even instances of anguish seem comforting.
And for that, The Quiet Girl will represent Ireland at the 95th Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category. It’ll be quite a night for Irish cinema at the Oscars. In addition to The Quiet Girl, writer/director Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin will compete for nine awards, while An Irish Goodbye — also playing BIFF in the Short Films 1 package (March 3) — will compete in the Short Live Action category. Talk about perfect timing for a couple of BIFF screenings.
ON SCREEN: Boulder International Film Festival, March 2-5, multiple venues. Full schedule and tickets here.