Saturday, 1 May 2010

WILL WE EVER HAVE AN 'IRISH NEW WAVE'?

Critics of Irish cinema have moaned that nothing new is done here. Films we think are great bomb in other countries. We even had to set up our own awards called the IFTAs as our films receive little recognition internationally. The answer to the question 'will we ever have an Irish new wave' is a resounding NO!

Here are some reasons why:

Size
We're too small a country to produce an impressive body of work in a short time. Ireland has produced a lot of new feature films thanks to the Film Board but sadly it's quantity over quality.

Education
The conservative education system here ruins any chance of producing a remarkable talent! An Irish Herzog or Ozu would be nice but any originality gets knocked out from an early age!

Who cares about a New Wave anyway?
Most Irish filmmakers couldn't give a sh*t about creating a New Wave here. They are more interested in using the latest HD camera than doing anything original!

Culture
Ireland is a mish-mash of cultures especially American. Any originality has been diluted years ago. Most Irish films are weak versions of Hollywood or British titles.

Irish Film Board
The Board is interested in personal, auteur directors but only after a decade of funding complete rubbish which made little money. It's more a case of 'we've tried everything else and failed so we might as well start funding directors with something to say'! Too little too late?

Obsession with technical ability!
Ireland does not want to produce low-budget, original masterpieces! Instead, most Irish films are used to show off the crew's excellent technical ability. Nothing wrong with that. But when the film is about a married couple who fall out of love using filtered shots, glossy cinematography, and big production values actually ruins the movie instead of improving it e.g. Eden.

Film schools!
Film schools teach you how to make stuff like everyone else. Working on a TV series until you get the chance to prove yourself with a feature results in making another telefilm.

Lack of film culture
Watching Tarantino or Scorcese DVDs ten times does not mean we have a film culture! No-one in Ireland really discusses cinema but if you do people will shout 'begrudger'!

Directed by comittee
Maybe it's all the teamworking but a lot of Irish films appear to be directed by a group rather than an individual. Where are the arrogrant Irish filmmakesr?

Emphasis on shorts
The belief that you use an expensive short film as a stepping stone to making a feature is flawed. The skills you learn on a short such as making it look as expensive as possible have ruined countless Irish feature films. Another misconception is that if you make an award-winning short then you will make a really good feature. Sadly not true.

Lack of momentum
Most Irish filmmakers take years to make a feature. Then they take years to make another feature! People lose interest!

Lack of confidence
Irish filmmakers are too quiet and diffident. Where's Lars O'Trier? Someone controversial, someone poking fun, someone insulting, someone breaking the rules (or making up new ones)?

Bland leading the bland
No-one will take notice of Irish films when they are so bleedin' bland. Most stuff here is safe, middle-of-the-road, technically polished, and forgettable!

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