Monday, 31 January 2011
Although Shoot the cabbage only reviews features this TV series from the 1980s was later released as a re-edited movie. A politician gets shot in London and a spy moves to Belfast to track down the assassin. He stays in lodgings and finds manual labour. After attending a dance he tracks down the killer resulting in a tragic ending. Impressively employs no-nonsense filmmaking and real characters. Set among the terraced streets and clubs during the Troubles. Clannad performed the theme tune.
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Saturday, 29 January 2011
If there's one Irish director who will never receive a screened season of his work at the Irish Film Institute it's Dubliner Montgomery Tully. That's because none of his forty(!) feature films seem to have been seen by anyone in decades? They're not available on DVD either? Interesting fact: his last feature Battle beneath the earth was one of the films parodied by the Austin Powers series.
Friday, 28 January 2011
Hope I'm wrong and the Irish horror-comedy Grabbers is a huge success but probably not. Yesterday's Irish Times notes that 'Hotels, bars and restaurants on the Inishowen peninsula have been enjoying a boost in January trade since the 100-strong cast and crew of comedy-horror Grabbers rolled into town.' So fu*k the quality it's all about the jobs. Someone with an interest in documentaries should make a feature one about these wretched movies. Follow it from pre-production to release. Follow the hype, the production, the 'craic' on set, interview the pleased locals, the premiere, the release in two Irish cinemas, the puzzlement over the poor reviews, the DVD release on Region 4 only! 'I would normally sell around €20 to €30 worth of coffee a day but my sales have jumped to between €150 and €250 a day thanks to the film crew'. Yep, Irish cinema really has a bright future!
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Seems today's Evening Herald are questioning the fact that the Northern Irish Academy Award-nominated short film The crush failed to receive an IFTA nomination. Why the puzzlement? It's a non-state funded film so is not part of the 'official' Irish film industry and will be politely ignored. Another reason is that no-one in Ireland can correctly decide a film's quality. That's why Once failed to receive a Best Film IFTA nomination a few years back. Another probable reason is that the filmmakers may not have submitted it for an IFTA award? Another reason is that it probably wasn't hyped enough to receive much notice? It takes a few years to be accepted into the film 'industry' in this country. America loves outsiders coming out of nowhere and making a splash. In Ireland you must pay your dues first. After that, you're part of the system and can do no wrong no matter how talentless a filmmaker you are!
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Monday, 24 January 2011
Once considered a joke but thanks to Boy eats girl and Shrooms it not as bad as its reputation. In fact it's quite entertaining and scary in parts. What really works is the monster appearing in daylight. Like most Irish genre movies from the '80s this one was set and filmed in Wicklow. An ancient god is summoned and kills people. Extremely watchable and enjoyable movie (which is not often said about Irish horror!).
Sunday, 23 January 2011
The most hyped and acclaimed Irish movie from the '90s. Kids were told to take a half day off school to see this picture! So what did they see? None other than a standard Hollywood movie (influenced by many biopics and The Godfather) with short scenes, a silly romance subplot, and a fast-paced storyline. Nothing special, overrated, and bloated. Then there's the contrived scenes that didn't happen and the altered ending. Neil Jordan may be our top director but world class he is not.
Saturday, 22 January 2011
Short but funny article in today's Irish Independent (Weekend section) where director John Carney claims he has received verbal abuse in pubs over his movie Once. Apparently either people thought it was rubbish or they resent his success. What will they make of his next movie which will cost €25 million?
Friday, 21 January 2011
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Born in Northern Ireland, one of several posh Irish actors who are usually considered to be English. Appeared in several famous titles: Bride of Frankenstein, Werewolf of London, Drum, Great expectations, and Kind hearts and coronets.
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Famous Northern actor with another impressive filmography: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, This Sporting Life, A Man for All Seasons, Charlie Bubbles, Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Murder on the Orient Express, and Dogs of War.
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Seems no respectable Sunday paper can ignore the recent ITFA nominations. This time it's last week's Sunday Business Post who say 'Scanning the list and reading about the awards, it’s all enough to make you think that Irish cinema is in a healthy and vibrant state. The truth is a little grimmer.' Apparently it's all Hollywood's fault for releasing so many movies. So the plan now is to release Irish films abroad first to generate 'buzz' at home. Then they mention the usual countries (France and Denmark) to aspire to. Well let's see, both countries have produced masterpieces since the 1920s. World class directors such as Dreyer, Truffaut, Renoir, Von Trier, and Rohmer. We have produced Jordan and Sheridan (not Kirsten the other one). Not exactly in the same league eh? Then the usual excuse of the Film Board's budget getting cut. As if you need a big budget to make good cinema? Of course the other excuse: 'When Irish people do go to the cinema to watch an Irish film, they have to accept that production values will be lower'. WELL STOP MAKING FILMS THAT REQUIRE LARGER BUDGETS THEN! Most of the top French/Danish directors didn't require a huge budget to make their stuff? Here's another quote from the article: 'a lot of audience-friendly Irish films are being ignored by the audience for whom they are created'. Ever wonder why? Will I tell you? BECAUSE NO-ONE WANTS TO WATCH AN IRISH VERSION OF A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE WHEN THEY CAN EASILY WATCH THE REAL THING AT THEIR LOCAL MULTIPLEX. That is why Irish films fail to connect with audiences. Quite enjoyed typing that!
Monday, 17 January 2011
Sunday, 16 January 2011
Good to see the IFTAs getting slated again! This time it's today's Irish Mail on Sunday who states that four of the five Best Film nominations have yet to be released. In fact two (Perrier's bounty, Swansong) have already been theatrically released here. The other three? Who cares? The main points are that the IFTAs have once again ignored most releases from last year. Also, two nominated films are sh*te while the other three are probably not much better. Having an annual awards ceremony for a Film Industry that just doesn't produce the goods either commercially or artistically is a waste of time?
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Friday, 14 January 2011
Ireland's favourite right winger Kevin Myers wrote an interesting article in yesterday's Irish Independent. Basically we have no living geniuses (which is true) but also: 'Neil Jordan's artistic voice is essentially that of Hollywood.' Doubt that Jordan considers himself a genius but the article was really criticising Irish society not him. When our Film Industry has 'minor and submissive tributaries to far larger streams' no wonder we can't produce good cinema?
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Winner of last year's Best Film IFTA and it's easy to see why! Lots of arty camera angles, serious tone, brief shocks, scenery, loneliness, and a big deal made out of little. What a shallow, dull, and empty film! A man whose wife has died, cares for his tennis-playing kids, works at a book festival, meets a writer, and sees ghosts. Set in the touristy Cobh the most interesting aspect was how wealthy the people there appear! Lots of hotels, cars, houses on cliffs, people in suits, fine food, and polite locals. The rest of the movie is (as usual) ruined by too much editing. Neither romantic, scary, nor even good (apart from the ending). If you want to see a movie with this title then watch the far more impressive Antonioni film.
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Another little-seen IRA movie this one involves a plan to blow up an electronics factory! Then there's a clock in a pub all through the movie that says 9:07 in every scene! However, on the good side there's some interesting footage of Ireland back in the 1960s and impressive casting. Makes a few interesting points about the industrialisation of Ireland and the clashes between the older and newer patriots. Routine and lame film that would look good edited into a one-minute trailer but the overall movie is disappointing.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Once again the IFTAs have displayed a narrow outlook on Irish cinema. Not that anyone expects them to nominate every Irish film but having Perrier's bounty on the list is just wrong. Here's a movie that convinced people it would be great before it even got made. Then it turned out to be derivative and contrived rubbish before making less than $700 in America. Also one the list is Swansong a likeable but shockingly unoriginal movie about growing up in Sligo. Like Wild Decembers it couldn't get the era correct. Then there are three other movies which have yet to be released but no doubt are 'triumphs' of the Irish Film Industry. What a joke the IFTAs are. Of course a fee is needed to submit the films for consideration so smaller titles from last year probably didn't bother. Could they not have a system where the non-state funded titles could be considered free? How come the Meteors have packed it in for this year while and the even worse IFTAs are still going? Again, what a joke the IFTAs are.
Monday, 10 January 2011
Sunday, 9 January 2011
This recent lame TV movie is getting a lot of criticism but for the wrong reasons. The newspapers* are complaining that its setting is inaccurate. Apparently the book it's adapted from was set in the '70s but the film is set in the '90s. But no-one told RTE television who think the production was set almost forty years ago. So the scenes of the '92 reg car, reference to sunbeds, and mobile phones have caused people to complain and criticise the film. As if this would make the film better? The film was rubbish because Edna O'Brien movies went out of date back in the 1980s. Another problem was that these films have been done to death here and there's nothing new to add. Unless of course you use a director-for-hire and a team of technical filmmakers who can show how great they are at making a telefilm. Only in Ireland?
* Today's Sunday Tribune
* Today's Sunday Tribune
Saturday, 8 January 2011
Friday, 7 January 2011
Another Irish actor (from Cork) with an impressive filmography. Most of his roles didn't make the films' credits though! Merry widow, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Invisible man, Bride of Frankenstein, Informer, Steamboat round the bend, Prisoner of Zenda, Stage door, Bringing up baby, and Adventures of Robin Hood.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
Famous Irish character actor with an impressive filmography: No resting place, Quiet man, Titfield Thunderbolt, Darby O'Gill, Tom Jones, Young Cassidy, Lord Jim,Doctor Zhivago, Cul-de-sac, Fearless vampire killers, How I won the war, A Day at the Beach, Start the Revolution Without Me, King Lear, and The Exorcist.
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Tuesday, 4 January 2011
Small but interesting article in yesterday's Evening Herald. Apparently our top two directors have been borrowing money from the Irish taxpayer and then 'pis*ed it down the drain'! How true. Apparently Ondine made the grand some of €1.2 millions world wide. Which is not bad compared with other Film Board efforts. Of course some fool will consider this title as art? The ones who have not seen the earlier and similar True North?
Monday, 3 January 2011
Which movie from 1973 was about an outsider visiting an island to investigate an old-fashioned religious community? Most will say The wicker man but an Irish film from that year had a similar storyline. Martin Sheen (who's back in Ireland again making a new movie) is sent by Rome to help convince a monastry to say their mass in English. It seems to be set in the future as they also discuss abolishing private confession. They even mention clerical child abuse so it was discussed here back in the '70s. The major problem is that there are two many lengthy two-shots in the movie. Still, an interesting and forgotten made-for-TV film with some famous faces. The ending where the monks refuse to change is poignant.
Sunday, 2 January 2011
According to today's Irish Mail on Sunday the Film Board is promising 16 new releases this year. Without mentioning the titles let's look at this magic number. Probably 2 will not get finished in time to get a release this year?. That leaves 14. Of those maybe 4 will be British productions funded by the Board? So that's about 10 left. Maybe 2 will be telefilms and won't get a theatrical release so that leaves 8. Of those left maybe 3 won't actually get a release because they can't find a distributor or a release slot? That leaves about 5 new Film Board releases for 2011? Of those 5 maybe 2 will be American productions partly funded by the Board without any Irish characteristics? So that leaves about 3 new Irish titles for this year which will probably get released in the IFI/Lighthouse? Cynical moi?
Finally one of our better-known directors has spoken out about the economic crash here. Problem is he thinks it would be a good idea to make a COMEDY* about it! While other countries reflect their impoverished society using a new strand of cinematic realism Sheridan think is would be a 'laugh' to make fun of the bankers and property developers? There you go folks - Irish cinema is truly fuc*ed!
* Today's Irish News of the World
* Today's Irish News of the World
Hopefully this web log is useful to some people? Putting a bit of 'balance' into the hype that is the 'Irish Film Industry'. Knocking our 'respectable' directors; bringing notice to the lesser-known movies; and asking questions that others are afraid to.
Saturday, 1 January 2011
Probably a waste of time saying this but it's a new year so let's start again for Irish cinema. Let's tackle the anger in society, the failure of our leaders, and the general incompetence in the country and make films on this stuff. It's time for a change. Will it happen? Nope. Will the same sh*te keep getting made here? Yep. Will anyone really care? Nope. Will Irish cinema continue to be voiceless, lacking identity, unoriginal, TV-like, and casting the same old faces? Of course it will. Anything good made here will happen more by accident than design.
Rather sad article in today's Irish Independent newspaper about Ireland's most overrated female film director. She's been abroad...