THE DEAD, Donal McCann, Anjelica Huston, 1987, (c) VestronEverett Collection

The New York Irish Center is gearing up for their Christmas “Irish Movie Night.” This double bill will include John Huston’s “The Dead,” starring Anjelica Huston, as well as a short Irish comedy “Cluck.”

“The Dead” was the Hollywood titan John Huston's final film and a labor of love. He chose this adaptation, of perhaps one of the greatest pieces of English-language literature, as James Joyce was one of his favorite authors.

This is a love letter to the land of his ancestors and the country where his children grew up. It also gave him the the chance to work with his screenwriter son Tony and his actress daughter Anjelica.

The film is delicate and unhurried, detailing a Christmas dinner at the house of two spinster musician sisters and their niece in turn-of-the-century Ireland, attended by friends and family. 

Among the visiting attendees are the sisters' nephew Gabriel Conroy and his wife Greta. The evening's reminiscences bring up melancholy memories for Greta concerning her first long-lost love when she was a girl in rural Galway.

Greta's recounting of this tragic love brings Gabriel to an epiphany. He learns the difference between mere existence and living.

The all-Irish cast and careful period detail gives the piece richness and gravity, and Donal McCann and Anjelica Huston are unforgettable as the Conroys.

Also being screened is the short Irish comedy “Cluck.” The movie is described as an “highly original tale about how “feathers are ruffled when a new arrival upsets the pecking order.”

The screen will take place on December 21st. Doors open at 7.30pm, show time 8.15pm.

Admission is free to those who have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy (RSVP required) Seats are limited so book your tickets now by visiting their site here (regular $11 seniors, students, unemployed $6).

Those who buy their tickets online will have the chance to win a two night stay in the five-star Westbury Hotel in Dublin.

Here’s a short clip from “The Dead”