Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

MY FRIEND JOE

 

Year: 1996
Country: Ireland/Germany
Run Time: 97 minutes

Like "Into the West" (17th CIFF, 1993), this is an enchanting all-ages feature nonetheless grounded in the day-to-day, occasionally harsh realities of modern Ireland, expressing both the joys and pains of childhood. Bookish, somewhat timid Chris longs for adventure and travel, and seems to find that spirit incarnated in Joe, a mysterious Peter Pan-like newcomer who rides in from nowhere to outperform the local roughnecks with daredevil bicycle stunts. The Irish kids sense right away that Joe is American, but where did he learn such incredible balancing tricks? From whence arises his endless supply of bicycles? To where does he vanish? Joe, it turns out, harbors secrets within secrets, and desperately seeks the companionship of Chris and his stable home, every bit as much as Chris envies Joe. MY FRIEND JOE's atmospheric direction and wise, noncondescending script breathes life into all the characters, down to the supporting roles - one taken by Cleveland native Joel Grey - and will transfix young viewers and grownups alike. (Recommended for children ages ten and up) - Charles Cassady

Screenplay
David Howard, Declan Hughes (based on the novel "Janne, min van" by Peter Pohl

Director
Chris Bould

Producer
Gerhard Schmidt

Cinematography
Michael Faust

Editing
Rodney Holland

Principal Cast
Schuyler Fiske, John Cleere, Stephen McHattie, Stanley Townsend, Pauline McLynn, Joel Grey

Print Source
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