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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
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Travel to Dublin


Light House Cinema, Dublin

1 December 2014

Questions: Andrew Birbeck / Answers: Charlene Lydon, chief programmer, Light House Cinema

We hear you’re a self-confessed ‘film geek’ who lives by the premise of ‘a movie a week’. Tell us about your latest choice. Did it live up to expectations?
I’d almost say a movie a day, or not far off. Part of my job is going to the major film festivals, so I’m lucky enough to catch some really early screenings of the big awards films alongside the exciting ‘sleeper’ indie films. One I’d been really excited about that didn’t disappoint was Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, an excellent film noir that totally delivered. I also really loved Damien Chazelle’s incredibly tense and brilliant Whiplash, a film about drumming that plays like a thriller – wonderful. 

A career in the arts is a notoriously difficult path to take. Any words of advice for those wanting to follow that dream?
It is a long and winding road, but in the arts it’s essential to keep going and going and not give up. I worked for free, I did internships, I maintained a blog – anything to just keep my passion for film evolving. You need a little bit of luck to get your foot in the door, but when opportunity knocks, just grab it. 

Light House Cinema re-opened in 2012 after a much-publicised closure. How have you and your colleagues re-invented Light House, and does it still see itself as having a social and political role in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland?
The closure of the cinema really felt like a blow to the city and was symbolic of the recession. Since we re-opened there’s been a tremendous amount of goodwill towards us from the people of Dublin. I think in return we try to give Dublin a unique space in which to enjoy films. We aim to keep bringing diverse films and film-related events to Dublin and give people a fun social environment in which to enjoy and discuss them. 

You run the Cinema Book Club at Light House. Sounds fascinating. Tell us about it. What’s on the reading list right now?
I wanted to create a social energy to Light House and liked the idea of a film discussion group, so a book club seemed perfect. Each month we choose a book that has been adapted into a film, encourage people to read it, then we watch the film. Then there’s a very informal post-screening chat in the bar facilitated by my colleague Chelsea Morgan Hoffmann and I, when we all discuss various facets of the adaptation. This month it was Lolita. Nothing could have prepared me for how disturbing that book is, and it was fascinating to see how Kubrick managed to tell the story in a way that pacified the censors.

Last but not least, which movie character do you identify most with?
For some reason, though I’m not sure why, it’s Enid from Ghost World – another favourite film of mine – although I don’t think I’m very much like her. Maybe it’s because she’s constantly struggling to keep herself unique and not to allow the world around her to become boring. Now that is truly inspiring.