Friday, 31 December 2010
Thursday, 30 December 2010
Apparently refused funding by the Film Board and rightly so! Another lame made-for-TV movie based on an Edna O'Brien book. Contains most clichés from recent Irish cinema: woman rapes man; boat on lake (Korea); cow gives birth (Isolation); arguing over land; Garda asking for the gun (Winter's end); mountain forestry (Small engine repair), and lots of crap scenes with a plonky, piano on the soundtrack. Sadly from the director of Short order.
Ireland's sweetheart Amy Huberman is making a film here call Chasing leprechauns*. It's a TV movie for the American market. Why am I posting this? Because that's what our media considers to be the 'Irish Film industry'. Yet another hyped movie made here that no-one in this country will get a chance to see?
* Today's Evening Herald
* Today's Evening Herald
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Don't understand this but the most popular/read post on this blog is the post of suggestions for the new Film Board CEO. All tongue-in-cheek of course but are there really that many people interested in this job? By far the most read post here even though there are better ones!
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Started off with a few new releases then nothing for a few months. Followed by two successes: Savage and the His and hers documentary. Another bad year for Irish cinema indeed. No doubt some fools will be proclaiming 2010 as the best year yet because some stupid short won multiple awards all over the world? Without doubt the most memorable year for Ireland in decades. Just a pity that no Irish film has dared to try and reflect the chaos and anger in this country? But the big question is: Will next years IFTA's be skipping the year like they did at the last awards?
Monday, 27 December 2010
Only in Ireland would the business newspapers cover our film industry better than the media papers! The latest article* is called RTE criticised for not supporting film-makers where our national broadcaster is described as 'contemptuous' of Irish directors and is 'derelict' of its cultural duty. Who in their right mind would say this stuff? None other than Simon 'On the way out' Perry. A few departing, harsh words eh? The gist of the article is that Irish films are too cinematic to get screened by RTE. This is a laugh as most of our feature films are nothing more than TV drama anyway? Most of our directors are journey-men hacks who have about as much passion for cinema as chef Gordon Ramsay has for fake crab meat! What Perry seems to be saying is that thanks to him he's discovered some Irish directing talent but RTE don't want to know? The problem is that though the directors of Garage/Once/Kisses are certainly a notch above what's come before that's no right for RTE to screen these films? If they won't regularly screen films by truly great international directors why should they screen the occasional success from our Film Board?
Sunday, 26 December 2010
This classic is as much Irish as some of the other titles reviewed here! An Irish nun settles in a convent on a mountain in a far-away country. She and the other nuns almost go mad there because of its horrible past. One nun decides to elope with a man but he has other ideas. Filmed and set partly in Ireland this movie is an absolute gem.
Friday, 24 December 2010
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Today's Irish Times reviews this year's cinema releases and notes "We dont hate Irish movies as much as we used to". The article notes that only one Irish film this years did well at the box office and that was a documentary! So why does the Irish Times think we used to 'hate' Irish films? No-one really hates our films. Maybe ingore, avoid, dislike, or laugh at but not hate?
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Only a country like ours with such a poor reputation in world cinema needs a logo to state the film is Irish. Does any other country in the world use a logo to state their films are from there? If we had better films and directors then these would stand out internationally automatically. Also, will this 'Guaranteed Irish' logo have the reverse effect and put people off from watching the films?
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
Another fine Northern Irish actor easily recognisable by his eyebrows! Famous titles include: Odd Man Out, Sound Barrier, Hobson's Choice, Kid for Two Farthings, Moby Dick, and A Night to Remember (a Titanic movie).
Sunday, 19 December 2010
New edition of this book and author David Thompson mentions two of our top (only?) directors. Jordan is described as a 'beginner' for every film he makes. Which is probably true. Sheridan (Jim not Kirsten!) is described as losing his way. Which is also true. However, what's sad is that in the last two decades no new Irish director has broken through internationally to be mentioned in the same league as the above names. Whose fault is that? The Film Board? Our film schools? The pathetic obsession here with making shorts? The rise in television drama? Like U2 we keep latching on to the above two directors' reputations even though their best work is behind them. Where did it go wrong?
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Another forgotten black and white movie. This one is from the 1950s and is like an Ealing comedy except with more plot and fewer posh actors! The Irish part involves Peter Sellers visiting a Dublin pub where he does a good accent only to get found out as an English man and has his face punched! The rest of the movie involves a comic blackmail of several people by the great Dennis Price. Final scene set on an airship is hilarious.
Friday, 17 December 2010
Passed away last year and didn't get much of a mention in this country. Fair enough as he considered himself to be British (though he was born here). Impressive filmography: Hasty heart (the one where they say 'Yank knows a bit about politics' and Ronald Reagan appears!), Stage fright, Saint Joan, and The Longest day. One of those faces that appeared a lot on TV in the old movies.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Anyone with a pulse in Ireland would have heard of the Rubberbandits over the last week. The hip-hop comic duo with plastic bags on their heads are certainly making news. It's about time we have an Irish rap movie? So let's give them a movie because the thought viewing the Film Board's releases for 2011 makes me want to emigrate.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
If there's one movie that has yet to get made here it's a Christmas movie. The only close one was the classic Scrooge by Irish director Brian Hurst back in the '50s. Why is there no Irish Xmas movie? It would be a box-office hit and get screened every December on local television. Surely there's an old Xmas story by one of our famous writers that could be adapted into a movie?
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
One of the few Irish features based on a play that's just as good. Yet another fine movie from between the two Film Boards. Set and filmed in Dalkey (pronounced 'Dolkee') it's about a middle-aged man's conversions with his father who's now gone. Dialogue heavy with lots of characters walking around the area. Little mentioned movie but available on DVD. Directed by the famous Western character actor Matt Clarke.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Easily one of the best Irish movies from the '90s though not as good as it thinks it is! Uses every cliché of mid-Twentieth century rural Ireland but in an interesting way. A young man gets 'messed up' by his surroundings. Got a bit extreme when they had the atom bomb scene and the impression is that Jordan is saying to younger Irish filmmakers "this is how it's done!". The current Film Board has failed to find a new Neil Jordan!
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Very impressive movie about Bobby Sands' last few months. Tells the story from both sides (officers and prisoners). Uses lots of non-dialogue sequences and impressive images. Best scenes: the guy getting shot dead in front of his mother; the very long, static shot at the table; the washing out of the hallway; the guy standing against a wall in the snow; and a young Sands on holiday. Easily one of the best Irish movies from the last decade.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
If there's one 'standout problem' with most Irish movies it's that they are basically weak versions of Hollywood movies. By definition they can never be as 'good' because Hollywood has the stars, scriptwriters, glamour, awards, publicity, and genre. The system in Ireland is set up to produce these 'Hollywood pastiche' films. Stuff that no-one really likes and fails commercially at the box office. The system in Ireland is set up to avoid producing films that are NOT Hollywood pastiche. No-one abroad will take us seriously as a filmmaking nation when we continue to produce Hollywood pastiche cinema. The only way to stand out is to start producing feature films that are new, fresh, different, unique, original, and confuse because audiences have seen nothing like it before?
Another little-known Irish movie from the '90s this one is set a century earlier on the West coast's largest island. It's about a rogue who befriends a rich Protestant lady and abuses her before emigrating. Kind of like Michal Winner's The Nightcomers. However, the film is totally ruined by bad editing (a big problem in Irish cinema). Although technically impressive the scenes fly by before they make sense and it gets dull. Shame, as these kind of Irish films are needed again.
Friday, 10 December 2010
Average but likeable road movie about a famous(?) English guy travelling around the Republic with a kitchen freezer. It's done for a bet but the winnings are less than the price of the fridge! Some famous faces appear: Nik Kershaw, Sean Hughes, and Ed Byrne. Didn't get much publicity here (maybe because it was filmed mostly in England?) but it's an enjoyable movie that could have been better.
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Big news today* as a new Irish horror-comedy movie is getting made here. It's called Grabbers and is about 'squid-like creatures from the sea'. For fu*k sake, haven't we made enough of these films already? Haven't we done enough 'damage' to Irish cinema with these wretched films? They're not horrific enough. They're not comic enough. No-one cares about these films. Horror fans don't care. Comedy fans don't care. No-one will pay money to see these titles. No-one will buy the DVD. When we can't make serious horror who in their right mind expects us to make 'irreverent comedy horror'. Cue the using acting 'talent' in this country playing their roles for laughs. Cue the extremely loud and inappropriate sound effects. Cue the complete unoriginality. Cue the complete sh*teness of the whole project. Cue the over-promotion and adverts everywhere. It'll be sh*te. Just like Boy eat girl was sh*te.
* Irish Daily Mail
* Irish Daily Mail
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Which is less than the unemployeds' payments got cut! Of course nothing will change: the IFB will still measure success in terms of Academy Award nominations, getting their films screened at the famous festivals, and funding high-profile television productions. Nothing will change. They will still fund expensive shorts, they will still give money to foreign productions filming here, they will still shout about their one success while quietly ignoring the dross that they fund, and they will still try to promote extremely average, unoriginal, and voiceless productions across the globe as 'New Irish cinema'. As one audience member recently asked on RTE's The Frontline: 'There has to be an alternative?'
Monday, 6 December 2010
A genuine IRA man, Offaly-born Brent had a very impressive filmography (mostly with Bette Davis): 42nd street, Jezebel, Dark victory, Old maid, Great lie, In this our life, and Spiral staircase. Seems to be completely forgotten now?
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Which Irish actress has the most impressive filmography? Invisible man, Informer, Bride of Frankenstein, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Adventures of Robin Hood, Sea hawk, How green was my valley, Bells of St Mary's, Cluny Brown, Witness for the prosecution, and lots of other lesser-known titles. Northern Irish actress Una O'Connor was an instantly recognisable face in Hollywood movies from the '30s and '40s. Her voice was memorable too!
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Ask most people with an interest in Irish cinema: What is the best title from the 1990s? - they'll probably say something like In the name of the father, Michael Collins, or The Commitments. All very famous and award-winning movies. What very few will select is a little-seen film from 1995 called Korea. Here are ten reasons why it gets the Shoot the Cabbage vote.
Friday, 3 December 2010
Before Veronica Guerin there was When the sky falls. As this movie didn't receive 'official' approval it's been long forgotten. Shame, as Allen is impressive in the lead role. There's a good scene where she gets hassled by a group of skangers (Ireland's own Dead End kids: Gavin Kelty and pals). The main problem is that like the other version this is more of a routine TV drama. While other countries came out with Dogma 95, Irish cinema in the 1990s was more interested in using the ITV crime-drama template. Names are changed but you can figure out who's who.
Title: When the sky falls
Thursday, 2 December 2010
One of the best Irish movies from the last decade. Like a Laurel and Hardy film directed by Leigh or Jarmusch! Best parts were the 'non-glamourisation' of Dublin and the row in the shop. Another good scene was the visit to the 'baba'. A good film made by an intelligent filmmaker with something to say instead of the by usual award-winning, overtrained hacks.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Big news that the director of the best of the Star Wars movies has died. So why is he mentioned on an Irish cinema blog? Because back in the '60s he directed one of the best movies about an Irish emigrant called The luck of Ginger Coffey. Set in Canada it told the story of a middle-aged Irishman whose marriage fails when he can't find a job. Now that's the kind of movie our 'film industry' should be making again?
Rather sad article in today's Irish Independent newspaper about Ireland's most overrated female film director. She's been abroad...