Saturday, 8 May 2010

WHY DO SO MANY IRISH FEATURE FILMS RESEMBLE TV MOVIES?

If there's one thing almost certain when a new Irish movie gets released it's that it will probably resemble a telefilm. Is this a bad thing?

What's the problem with that anyway? Some of the best movies were made-for-TV: Abigail's party, Boys from the Blackstuff, and Heimat are examples. However these are the exception. Most TV movies are rubbish, the kind of stuff that uses out-of-favour actors, melodramatic storylines, a bland glossy look that makes it appear like every other TV movie, and a feeling that it was directed by a committee. A lot of Irish films are like this. In fact most Irish movies are better suited to the small screen. Don't know why this happens but some reasons might include:

Obsession with a certain technical standard
It's all about the 'look' in Irish cinema. For every Once or Honeymooners there are dozens of titles that look like they're trying to win an Oscar for best cinematography! What wrong with that then? Here's what's wrong - using high quality cinematography for every Irish movie regardless of what the story is actually ruins the film.

Showing off the location
Who's idea was it to try and get tourists to come here by showing off our locations? Using these photogenic areas in films results in distracting the audience as they admire the location. It's a stupid idea and probably doesn't work as most tourists don't come here anymore.

Same boring faces
I would hate to be actor in this country because the same people get the jobs! Nothing wrong with that if you're 'in' our film industry but seeing the same actors regardless of their suitability to the role ruins the movie.

Soundtrack music
Why do Irish movies have to use so much bleedin' soundtrack music. It's as if the audience don't know if the scene is sad or scary so let's use music on the soundtrack to tell them! That's just bad filmmaking.

Dumbed down
Nothing intellectual, aimed at a wide audience, don't shock, don't challenge, don't provoke. Just like most TV movies.

Over-50s filmmaking!
You know what I mean. Most Irish movies are aimed at older people. The kind who don't go to the cinema much and prefer watching TV.

Where's the 'voice'?
Most Irish movies look like they were put together by a committe. They probably were! Technically bland, aimed at a wide audience, polished, and voiceless. Their filmmakers have nothing to say except that they can copy other movies.

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