Saturday, 18 September 2010


If there's one movie made here in the noughties that stood out from the rest it's a small picture called Pavee Lackeen. It even won an IFTA for Best Film and rightly so. Sadly it won't get much of a mention when Irish cinema gets discussed in the media but Shoot the Cabbage salutes this fine film.

Directed by a true artist
While most Irish movies are made by jobbing directors Pavee Lackeen was made by a talented photographer.

Has it's own style
There's nothing forced about the film and the low-key style works.

Uses real 'actors'
Using real travellers to play themselves gives the film authenticity that's missing in most Irish films. Some audiences confused the movie for a documentary.

Filmed on video
They used a Sony PD150 and this gave the picture a gritty look which allowed the actors to forget that they were being filmed.

Anti-Celtic Tiger theme
While other films at the time (Goldfish memory) were using video cameras to show off the new rich Pavee Lackeen looked at the outsiders in society. More interesting filmmaking.

Instead of receiving pre-production loans and script conferences the movie was self-financed and only received state funding for the post production work.

No script!
Sure made a change from watching dull actors blandly recite over-written dialogue from an underdeveloped script.

Avoided sentimentality
No images of travellers on white horses or cute kids. Pavee Lackeen captured reality without trying to emotionally tug the audience.

Social realism
One of the very few Irish social realist films. Something most filmmakers here are afraid to tackle.

Pays homage to great directors
While some Irish directors try to copy Scorcese/Tarantino/Ritchie the director of Pavee Lackeen paid homage to filmmakers like Alan Clarke and the Dardennes.

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