CBL | Support The Library | Membership | Members' Events
Skip Navigation

Our Membership programme has been extremely popular and is currently fully subscribed. Please check our website in the coming months for updates.

We still have space for Contributing Members - for further details please click HERE or contact members@cbl.ie

Members’ Calendar of Events
January to April 2017


In 2017 Ireland and Japan will celebrate 60 years since the establishment of formal Diplomatic relations. A number of events will take place during the year to celebrate this occasion and the Chester Beatty Library Members' Film Club will feature screenings of some interesting Irish and Japanese films.



Film Club screening – Tim Robinson: Connemara 



Tim Robinson has been extensively mapping and studying Connemara for the last thirty years. His work has reached international recognition through publications such as ‘Listening to the Wind’, ‘The Last Pool of Darkness’ and ‘A Little Gaelic Kingdom’. Tim Robinson: Connemara is a documentary portrait by renowned Irish film maker Pat Collins and an exploration of landscape, history and mythology.



We are delighted that Pat Collins will join us to introduce the film and to take part in a Q&A session.



Running time – 57 minutes

Language – English

Cert – CLUB



Talk with Colin Sheaf - Chinese Art for Western Interiors


Colin Sheaf is Chairman of both Bonham’s United Kingdom, and Bonhams Asia; Deputy Chairman of the Bonham’s Group; and Global Head of the International Asian Department. After reading Modern History at Oxford, he joined London art auctioneers Christies in 1974, and began to specialise in Chinese ceramic and works of art. During four decades of continuous expansion in the global auction market for Asian art, he has organised major auctions in London, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore and Amsterdam.



As an author he has published over 120 articles and book chapters, mostly on the subjects of Chinese art and the art market, and he has lectured on aspects of Chinese art at many of the world’s leading specialist Asian art societies and museums. He is Co-Trustee of the Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, the world’s greatest private collection of Imperial Chinese Porcelain, currently on loan at the British Museum.


***We will enjoy tea & coffee after the talk 



Film Club screening – Shall We Dance?


One night as he is taking the train home after work, a man sees a beautiful woman standing alone at a second floor window, lost in thought. The second night, she is there again. Why is she sad? What is she thinking? The sign on the window advertises ballroom dancing lessons. The third night, the man gets off the train at an unaccustomed stop and climbs the stairs to the dance studio.


Ballroom dancing is regarded with great suspicion in Japan and with Shall We Dance? director Masayuki Suo has created a beautiful film about loneliness, secrecy and allure.


Running time – 96 minutes


Language – Japanese with English subtitles


Cert – PG


Film Club screening – His & Hers


“A man loves his girlfriend the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.” Old Irish Proverb


From kitchens, living rooms, and hallways across the Irish midlands, His & Hers delightfully combines observation and charm to tell a 90-year-old love story through the voices of 70 women. This intimate gender and cultural snapshot explores the many stages of a woman’s life, and the relationships with the men in her life - father, boyfriend, husband, son.



His & Hers is an enchanting and affectionate appreciation for woman in all her versatility by award-winning director Ken Wardrop


Running time – 80 minutes

Language – English

Cert – G


Book Club meeting – Silence by Shusaku Endo



Father Sebastião Rodrigues is an idealistic Portuguese Jesuit priest who, in the 1640s, sets sail for Japan on a determined mission to help the brutally oppressed Japanese Christians, and to discover the truth behind unthinkable rumours that his famous teacher Cristóvão Ferreira has renounced his faith. Once faced with the realities of religious persecution Rodrigues himself is forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God.




Winner of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, Silence by Shusaku Endo's is a highly acclaimed novel of historical fiction and a classic of its genre. It caused major controversy in Japan following its publication in 1967.


***We will enjoy tea & coffee during the meeting and the book is for sale in the Chester Beatty Library gift shop. Please show your membership card to receive a 10% discount.


A film adaptation of the book has been the "passion project" for director Martin Scorsese for over 20 years. The film, starring Liam Neeson, will be released in the United States of America in December 2016, just in time for the awards-season. When the film reaches Irish cinema screens we will arrange a Chester Beatty Library Members’ group visit to see it.  


Talk with Akira Yamaguchi – The World of Noh Costume


Noh theatre is a classical stage art of Japan which combines elements of dance, music and poetry. It developed in the 14th century under the patronage of the aristocracy and has been regarded as the highest traditional form of theatre in Japan ever since. Noh features the dramatic portrayal of complex psychological relationships, and one of its most impressive aspects is seen in the magnificent costumes involved.


The clothes of Noh Theatre, called Noh-Shozoku, have a critical function to express in a visual manner the spirit and essence of the world of Noh. The lively designs of the fabrics are created with a technique that combines silk with Japanese washi paper covered with gold, silver or lacquer.


We are delighted to welcome Akira Yamaguchi, Director of the Yamaguchi Noh Costume Research Center, who will outline the evolution of the clothes of Noh Theatre.



***We will enjoy tea & coffee after the talk 


Film Club screening – Ikiru


"The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates



An old man has drifted through his life and he knows that he is dying of cancer. In a bar, he tells a stranger that he has money to spend on a “really good time,” but doesn't know how to spend it.



Ikiru (meaning ‘to live’) is director Akira Kurosawa's 1952 film about a bureaucrat who works at Tokyo City Hall for 30 years and never accomplishes anything. This heart-warming film, featuring acclaimed actor Takashi Shimura, examines a man’s struggle to find meaning, and his determination to accomplish at least one worthwhile thing before he dies.



Running time – 141 minutes

Language – Japanese with English subtitles 

Cert – PG