Young Cassidy

Great Britain 1965. Dirs: Jack Cardiff, John Ford. 110 min. DCP


6:00pm - Doors
7:00pm - Introduction by Brian McIlroy + “Newsreel & Actuality Programme: Ireland 1916-23” with Live Music from Jocelyn Pettit
8:15pm - Young Cassidy

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The early years of Irish playwright and patriot Sean O’Casey are brought to life in this polished, intelligent, shot-in-Dublin screen drama, co-directed by Jack Cardiff and John Ford. Rod Taylor (The Birds, The Time Machine) gives perhaps his finest performance as Cassidy (as O’Casey referred to himself in his autobiographic writings), a young writer, labourer, and freedom fighter who comes to realize that his powerful pen can be a mighty sword. The film begins in 1911, with opposition to British rule on the rise. The powerhouse cast includes Maggie Smith, Julie Christie, Edith Evans (as Lady Augusta Gregory), and Michael Redgrave (as W. B. Yeats). Ford (whose O’Casey adaptation The Plough and the Stars also screens in this series) fell ill mid-production and was replaced by Cardiff, director of an Oscar-honoured adaptation of Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers but best known as one of the great cinematographers (The Red Shoes).

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Brian McIlroy is Professor of Film Studies at the University of British Columbia, where he teaches an online course on Irish cinema. He is the author or editor of three books on Irish cinema, including Genre and Cinema: Ireland and Transnationalism (Routledge, 2007).

Jocelyn Pettit is an award-nominated fiddler, stepdancer, and singer. She has performed on national television and radio; performed with Irish supergroup, The Chieftains; and earned multiple award nominations, including "World Artist of the Year" and "Young Performer of the Year" at the Canadian Folk Music. She will be accompanied by pianist Siew Wan Khoo.