Friday, 7 May 2010

IS IRISH CINEMA LIKE OUR OLYMPICS?

It's a bit early to be thinking about the 2012 Olympics but does anyone really expect us to do well? We consistently underperform, get disqualified, do well in sports such as boxing which is not actively encouraged in schools (!), and generally expect too much of our athletes. Irish cinema is a lot like this. Good films happen more by accident than by design (Once, Pavee Lackeen) and are underfunded by the IFB. The films that receive all the support (and hype) do badly at the box office (or get poor reviews), we rely too much on international talent to make our stuff, we claim British films as our own, and we fail to reach our potential. Am I reading too much into this or is the set-up for the Olympics here similar to the filmmaking setup? Other countries our population size (New Zealand, Georgia, Finland) do much better in the Olympics than we do. Other countries with our population size produce more impressive films than we do. Is the Irish film industry obsessed with making certain kinds of films that are done much better in other countries. Should we be concentrating on other kinds of films that would stand out? Look at the British Olympics setup. They saw a gap in certain kinds of sports (where competition was not intense) and focused on these. Then they win big time in China. Should Irish cinema be focusing on a new kind of filmmaking that's not done too much elsewhere. Or should we keep on making stuff like Perrier's Bounty?

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