The Austin Film Society starts its new Essential Cinema Series Thursday night. “Troubles and Paradise: The ‘First Wave’ of Irish Cinema” will likely serve as an introduction for many to a world of Irish film not often seen in the States. Sure, we all know Irish director Jim Sheridan’s international sensations “My Left Foot” and “In the Name of the Father,” but AFS’ new program attempts to update people’s understanding of modern Irish cinema, by showing movies that were made specifically for Irish audiences.
The films from guest curator Philip Fagan of the Austin Community College Radio, Television and Film Department address “distinctly Irish themes, social issues, and national concerns.” The program, which runs every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. through December 19, includes Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s “Nothing Personal” (Dec. 5), a harsh look at the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, and a musical double feature of “The Last Bus Home” and “If I Should Fall from Grace: The Shane MacGowan Story” (Dec. 12). All screenings take place at AFS at the Marchesa (6226 Middle Fiskville Rd). More information at AustinFilm.org.