Saturday, 31 March 2012
Friday, 30 March 2012
Interesting book and good value discussing various Irish movies made in Dublin. Each title gets a two-page article and there are other general articles included in the book. Some minor issues: the book resembles those free guides from the National Concert Hall or Dublin Theatre Festival and the paper is similar so it appears cheap. Also, they only discuss movies made from the late 1950s onwards. Surely they could have started in the silent era (with Irish destiny) which used Grafton Street as a location EIGHTY years before Once. Also, the films selected aren't the best. 32A and Snakes and ladders? Why didn't they pick international titles such as Great train robbery with its impressive final scene filmed in TCD's front square. Or that scene filmed at the back of the Dáil for the Fu Manchu movie with Christopher Lee? All in all though, this book is worth a read.
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Recent book which for some reason compares Irish and Spanish cinema - which is like comparing the Airtricity with La Liga football leagues! So I skipped the Spanish film pages and read all the Irish ones. Seems the writer has seen very few Irish movies and refers to comments from other books. Then the ones he has seen takes about three pages to discuss. Some terrible titles selected with lots of forgotten titles from the 1990s. There's the usual strong mother/lost father theme which gets identified in lots of terrible Irish titles. One good part was the discussion of Dublin as a city in cinema and how it fails to impress compared with other major cities around the world. Most of the interesting Irish films from the last twenty years are MISSING from this book. Unless you're interested in the cinema of hacks like Johnny Gogan and Liz Gill this book is useless. That's about it so if you see this book in the shops AVOID!
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Been reading some reviews of this movie in the British press. One thing most note is that the Dublin scenes were confusing and there is supposed to be a different version released in the States to remove this confusion? Anyway, a few points: what's with both Olwen Fouere and Simon Delany playing the SAME characters as in their other films? Fouere's character is almost identical to the one she played in the recent Other side of sleep. Delaney seemed to be reviving his Rock-Steady Eddie character from Halo effect? This movie had a world-class director yet it seems the IFB got involved and made the movie less successful than it could have been?
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Yet another violent and ugly Irish mob movie set in Hells' Kitchen. Lots of plot with friends killing each other, weddings, and bar scenes. Movie has an odd look and I think it was made in Canada? Some of it is well done, has a good cast but the voiceover gets tedious and most of it has been done in other and better movies. The late, great Bruno Kirby appears and Assante plays the psycho leader who kills off his friends.
Confusing, silly, and at times impressive movie about a former pop star (Penn) who laments the death of two fans. He moves from Dublin to America to track down a former Nazi who imprisoned his father. Lots of pointless scenes, new characters appearing, confused story, and lots of variations of the Talking Heads' song. Every second or third scene has a pointless crane shot. Also, that awkward 'goths at table' scene was done already in the woeful Irish movie Speed dating.
Monday, 26 March 2012
Still haven't seen the third movie in the Cataylst series but did watch a short film last night from the director of Eamon. Lo and behold, it's the EXACT same film! Same setting on the beach, same shots of a woman lying on the sand, same story of a kid annoying the adults, same shots through the grass in the dunes, same people exercising on the beach, and same scenes of people standing in the sea! There's even a bleedin' crab in this film! So basically the director remade/expanded her short film and got funding by the Catalyst scheme for Eamon? No wonder when reviewing this movie I said it resembled a short film!
One of Truffaut's criticisms of French films in the 1950s was that they were too well made, too slick, everything was done just right. Does this sound familiar with today's Irish movies? How many feature films made here have good cinematography, good music on the soundtrack, good acting, good direction, and good editing. A lot! But they're still sh*t! Irish cinema is just too accomplished and that is a problem and might explain why they're boring to watch. They are lifeless and plod along at a certain accomplished level but never getting above this. The system in this country is set up to produce these accomplished but inadequate films. Even our new filmmakers buy into this process. Films made on digital video appear more stilted and dull than older stuff made on cinefilm.
Sunday, 25 March 2012
TV war movie about an Irish priest who helps people flee the Nazis in the Vatican. Not really an Irish movie but Peck makes a big deal about Ireland and mentions his dislike for the British! It's standard stuff and involves Peck's dealings with Plummer. Like a lot of TV films it's routine and contains few good scenes. Worth a look as there's an impressive cast and is based on a true story. Title comes from the colours of the Vatican/Nazi flags and also refers to the Scarlet Pimpernel which had a similar storyline.
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Friday, 23 March 2012
In the Ticket supplement and discusses the lack of audience for recent Irish films. It suggests that Stella days has no audience and neither did the opposite Other side of sleep. Nothing new there. Stella days is a movie for TV audiences on a Sunday evening. Other side of sleep is for arthouse cinemas on mainland Europe. The article notes that Irish audiences seem to prefer comedies. True, so let's make lots of crap but profitable films like Man about dog?
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Used to love watching those silly adventure/monster movies as a kid. Stuff like At the earth's core, Warlords of Atlantis, Land that time forgot, and People that time forgot. Even bought these titles on DVD recently as they're great fun! Now the director of these movies, Kevin Connor, has recently been making Irish-themed films. Titles include Crossmaglen, Connemara days, and Chasing leprechauns (featured in today's Evening herald). Good stuff!
A few years ago the idea of an Irish horror film seemed far fetched. We were too busy making dreary dramas set in the 1950s and such. Now we have lots of Irish horror films but the problem is that most are crap! Here (in no deliberate order) are ten examples:
Good but confusing movie about a murdered girl and the impact of this on another girl. It's like a social realist film without the rows, ensemble acting, edge, and energy. Set in Offaly where no-one smiles(!) it's similar to the film Helen and the recent Parked, while the second half gets confusing. Lots of grainy night-time footage, repetitive shots of the girl on a bus, working in a factory, and trees over a driveway; this is the kind of film you'll either like or hate. I was impressed! It pieces together the longer it goes on, clips from the TV or newspapers tell the story. There's a good scene where the accused's mother says 'f the begrudgers'.
Title: The other side of sleep
Title: The other side of sleep
Monday, 19 March 2012
Sunday, 18 March 2012
Saturday, 17 March 2012
Friday, 16 March 2012
Seems some guy from RTÉ has listed his ten favourite Irish movies. As expected it's a predictable list. The dead is a good choice but it wouldn't get into director John Huston's top ten list! My left foot is another good choice but here's something not many know. There is a film guide from 1990 and this movie is listed as a turkey of the year! Crying game is another overrated choice. Too young to remember but wasn't this a movie that no-one liked here until the Yanks loved it? More of a good distribution story than a great film? The snapper was a TV movie and is as dated as most. Still, an interesting choice. The general is laughably overrated. From the laughably overrated John Boorman. A director with more bad films than good ones. The informer is a creaky, stagey effort from John Ford who has made far better titles. Picking this movie over Ford's The quiet man was silly? The commitments is another predictable choice and is from another overrated director. Lots of Irish people hate this film but it's not bad. Adam & Paul is a good choice and is definitely one of the best Irish titles from the last decade. I went down is just silly. Maybe the recent hype that it got a DVD release made it onto this list? Odd man out is a good film but no classic. The director has made better stuff. Always found it to be overrated. So that's a predictable list from someone who has not seen most Irish films? Lots of titles from the 1990s too? There are better Irish films out there but that's for another post!
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
This is sh*t! Another stupid Irish movie set in the 1950s with the usual characters from a small town. A priest sets up a cinema against opposition from the authorities. One good scene: the teddy boy arrives back from England! There are much better films like this out there e.g. Smallest show on earth and Cinema Paradiso. It's like those crap Irish movies made 15 years ago with everyone dressed in clean costumes and different tones for each scene. It just runs along at a low level with nothing sparking it to life. Honestly, there are dozens of pedestrian Irish films made back in the 1990s that are identical to this rubbish.
Monday, 12 March 2012
Sunday, 11 March 2012
For about the 20th time too. No ½-decent Irish film would use a studio anyway. Ardmore was only for foreign and television productions, stuff like The great train robbery. Movies that weren't Irish but used the studio anyway. So good riddance!
Saturday, 10 March 2012
Not to confused with a forgotten Irish film from the 1980s called The outcasts. This one is yet another horror effort from our Film Board. Starts off in an Irish traveller camp (with the sexy Fiona O'Shaughnessy) and then it moves to a grim flats complex in Scotland. There's some kind of monster on the loose and a pair of Irish travellers track it down. Confusing, boring, and overdone. There are scenes in this movie where nothing happes but someone walking along a path yet the filmmakers have to use scary music and that stupid jittery camerawork. Then it makes a big deal about the flats complex (already done in another horror movie called Urban ghost story). The only good thing about this movie is that it's more intelligent than other Irish horror films!
Still only ten followers but who cares? The world's greatest Irish film web log now has nine hundred posts. Telling the truth about Irish cinema, mentioning the lesser-known movies made here, knocking the overrated names in the industry, and questioning our Film Board. To be continued ...
Friday, 9 March 2012
There's this book out on terrible movies that people should not watch. Fair enough, but one title was an Irish horror movie from the 1960s Dementia 13. Compared to recent Irish horror movies this one is quite good.
The annual film guide for this year is out in book form but there's one problem. Most countries have a few pages on their recent movie releases except Ireland. This looks bad but does anyone care? Michael Dwyer was our writer for this guide but he's deceased. Is there no-one else who could write a few pages on our cinema for this guide or has anyone else even noticed this omission?
Thursday, 8 March 2012
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Starts off in Ireland and then moves to South Africa. This is another emigration movie (made for TV) - a man splits up with the wife and helps another woman do up a house. It's a Maeve Binchy film so lots of bland characters, zero conflict, dull family life, and nothing of interest. The film is quite well made but so what? The weather is too good in most scenes to create anything interesting from the drama. Then there's Carrie Crowley as the wife and an estate agent who looks exactly like Crowley but it's a different woman!
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Monday, 5 March 2012
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Saturday, 3 March 2012
Not angry or violent but strange. A few contenders include The fantasist which was made back in the 1980s and is long forgotten. There are several strange scenes in that movie: a bald woman puts on her hat as she doesn't want someone to see her with no hair. Another scene involved a guy playing bongos on a woman's buttocks! There's also the earlier Daughter of darkness which has a woman killed by an alsation dog! More recently there was Puffball where rural women steal used condoms and try to have a baby. Sadly these strange (and not too good) films are the exemption to the bland dross in Irish cinema. The point is that as most Irish films are crap surely it would be a good idea to make these madder or stranger to stand out?
Friday, 2 March 2012
Rather sad article in today's Irish Independent newspaper about Ireland's most overrated female film director. She's been abroad...