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Dublin Plays Itself


The IFI Irish Film Archive brought its treasures to the streets in an exciting collaboration with the Irish Architecture Foundation and Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin.

Walking tours of the south and north city drew attention to significant architectural features of Dublin, as part of ‘Hack The City’ – a 14-week exhibition and events programme at the Science Gallery. Participants experienced the built environment at first hand under the guidance of architectural historian Dr. Ellen Rowley and (at key stop-off points) through a range of archival films documenting changes to the surrounding streets presented by IFI film curator, Sunniva O’Flynn.

South Tour

The south tour was held on 18th August and followed the culturally-rich East/West axis of the south city, taking in Trinity College, Dame Street, City Hall, Dublin Castle, Thomas Street and James Street. Some of the films shown were: Gael Linn’s Amharc Éireann newsreel of the collapse of tenement buildings in 1963; opening of Merrion Square in the early 1970s; Ireland the Tear and the Smile (1961) which features Trinity College Dublin and its students; and ended with two films based in the Thomas Street and Guinness area, Clubs are Trumps (1959) and Gael Linn’s Torramh an Bharaille (Wake of the Barre) (1959).

North Tour
The north tour was held on 25th August and took in aspects of the docklands, Busaras, the Abbey Theatre, Malborough Street, O’Connell Street and the Parnell Square area. Some of the films showed scenes from the Eucharistic Congress in 1932, and Gael Linn’s Calafort Atha Cliath (1959) about Dublin’s former docker culture; documentary footage of key modernist building construction such as Irish Life and Busaras; film on the history of Liberty Hall; film of Dublin tenements in the north inner city the 1930s; filmic views of O’Connell Street and the Pro Cathedral; ending with a public Information film about an unhygienic restaurant on Moore Street.

The Irish Architecture Foundation and the Irish Film Institute would like to thank our partners: the Science Gallery, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Irish Architectural Archive, the Abbey Theatre, The Irish Heritage Trust, Trinity College Dublin, City Hall, Dublin City Council, and the National College of Art and Design.