Sunday, 30 September 2012

Relative strangers

Its title gives away the story. Fricker lives in Germany and her husband dies. But she discovers he has another family in Ireland and investigates. Then a kid gets sick and the family abroad are the only possible donors. This is an edited feature version of a TV series and it shows, really bland stuff. Fast-paced with lots of medium shots and bright lighting. The best bits were the dying kid getting fed fried chicken/ice cream/thick-crust pizza in hospital - only in Ireland!

Saturday, 29 September 2012


Of an Irish movie called Relative strangers. Supposed to be a TV mini-series but the DVD release looks like a feature film edit so will give it a look. Can't be any worse than most of the stuff reviewed here already?

Monday, 24 September 2012


Our Celtic Tiger cubs are not the only ones leaving Ireland. Now our greatest-living movie actress has decided enough is enough. In her 90s now and she's packed the bags for the USA. Seems to have been a legal case involving an employee and she's fed up with it all. Never mind - we still have Amy Huberman!

Saturday, 22 September 2012


That's what it says on the cover of the Trapped DVD! Then there are the words SLICK, POWERFUL, and INTENSE! Is someone taking the piss? It was given the worst review on RTÉ television for any Irish film - EVER! Also, there's a Kevin Bacon movie with the same title! Never mind an old Lloyd Bridges movie with the exact same title! Then there's the Corbin Benson movie also called Trapped. Then there's a James Brolin movie called Trapped! Another movie, from the 1980s is also called Trapped. Why couldn't they come up with a more original title? Is it because the movie Trapped rips off so many other ones that it might as well rip off the title as well? What's inspirational about this sh-te?


That Joe Duffy radio show about the Dublin Fringe Theatre Festival was great! One phrase that stood out was 'happy clappy'. So what does it mean? It relates to dumbed down entertainment and diluted art, that has no relation to reality with everyone involved giving 100% and smiling. Politically correct equality nonsense that gets acclaim no matter the content. The kind of stuff that's crap but so good-natured and well-intentioned that people can't criticise without being labelled racist/sexist/elitist. A lot of Irish film is 'happy clappy' too. The 'right cast', the interview on the Late Late Show, the three-star review in the Irish Times, the respectable director (who previously made an award-winning short), the based on a true story script, the well-received world premiere in Galway Film Fleadh, the quality cinematography, the enthusiastic cast, and the general vibe of 'it's a good film before getting released'. Happy clappy is everyone in Irish Film these days!

Friday, 21 September 2012


Now here's an interesting fact: the Catalyst film Rewind (Redux) is similar to the director's earlier short Deep breaths. Same cast, same characters, same woodland setting, same slow car chase, and same storyline. That's two of the three cataylst films that appear to have been expanded from short films. Was the Catalyst scheme really set up for this?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


But people in Russia have accessed this blog more times than people from Britain. Quite strange?


XtraVision is selling the awful Anton under its new title Trapped! The first name was better but for some reason it's been given a second release? Is this the first time an Irish movie has received two separate releases under different titles?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Finally got round to watching the remake of The wicker man. Wasn't as awful as expected but did notice its similarities with most horror films made in this country. For instance the director hadn't worked in this genre before. There was too much emphasis on the scenery. Also, it was too script-based and concerned with telling the story. Just like in most Irish horror films. When the horror parts arrived they were given the same treatment as the quieter scenes. They were too brief because it was time to get back to the story. Compared with the original there was a lack of the 'lingering gaze' where the camera focused on the horror scenes longer than the other ones. There was no observant camerwork that might unsettle the viewer. It's the same with Irish horror films with their routine direction, obsession with technical ability, and emphasis on story telling rather than shocking the viewer.

Monday, 17 September 2012


The guy only wrote two full-length plays but there will be another Brendan Behan movie. After Quare fellow and Borstal boy this new one will be directed by Lance Daly. It details the writer's wild years in France and like too many Irish movies it's getting compared with Withnail and I. So that's this movie ruined already as it won't be as good!

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Where some guy slates Irish theatre for not reflecting the current economy at this year's Fringe Festival. So no guessing what I'll say next! It's the exact same with our cinema. Tools making rubbish horror films while a generation emigrate or live in negative equity. People distanced from reality or too trained to bother making social realism. People making technical crap and hoping to win awards while ignoring the real stories that don't need to be adapted from novels or plays. People standing on stage at the IFTAs wearing a tux and smirking because they play into the system without challenging it. Twenty years from now when others look back on this recession and try and see what stories our filmmakers were telling they will piss themselves laughing how out of touch our film 'artists' were.

Friday, 14 September 2012


There's a strange man in Dublin who walks around with a dog. His name is David McDermott and is a famous American artist. However, he's also known for appearing in several No Wave films in the 1970s. These are the low-budget films that gave directors Jim Jarmusch and Susan Seidelman their start. Bizarre seeing this guy walking around Dublin over thirty years later!

Thursday, 13 September 2012


Not the movie Black Irish but rather the African-Irish living here. Been reading a book called Black directors in Hollywood about the low-budget stuff directed there by African-Americans and it might be a good idea to have something similar in Ireland? What I liked about the book are the stories of how several filmmakers made their features with little financial assistance or training leading to more personal work. It would certainly be a welcome break from the middle-class, white, 'Official Ireland' style of filmmaking. A film by an African-Irish director would stand out from the usual stuff made here and would be more interesting. Many festivals around the world would select this kind of movie? Would be a good selling point too. Probably another twenty years away but it will happen eventually.


Good that Carlow are recognising one of their own. Along with Katie we have another great Taylor. William Desmond Taylor (who has been mentioned on this blog several times) now has his own festival. This silent director is one of Ireland's greats and has made more impact on cinema than Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan, and our current crop of Film Board sycophants. They are screening some of his films this month and it's great that he's getting recognised at last. Hope Herbert Brenon is next?


Today's Evening herald newpaper is still going on about Charlie Casasnova! Here are some quotes:
 The worst Irish movie of recent times ... is back in the news, having picked up yet more awards at a 'prestigious' film festival. is usual with this turkey that will not die, all is not what it seems ...
Then the article says that the judges of the festival which gave CC another award must be mad!

Saturday, 8 September 2012


Been reading a book of interviews with the famous playwright and on one page he says:

Right, I'm going to say something heretical. My experience has been that literal actual art flourishes better without government support. On the other hand, having come up the hard way as everybody does in show business, it would be nice to see if some people could be helped. I'm torn between wanting to see them helped and wondering if the government's subsidising - even a little - this fellow's performance art. Well, I object to a lot of the pablum that gets grant money. I think people who get that money would be better left to their own devices and eventually to lapse back into the real estate business.

In Ireland we have the Film Board funding rubbish made by rubbish filmmakers. People who can't do anything without pre-production 'loans', script editors, and doing everything 'right'. People who think they've got talent because they got a stupid IFTA nomination. The true film artists are the ones making stuff by themselves, the outsiders, scraping by, and not needing permission to do things. Sadly in short supply in this country.

Master of the world

Dated movie from the 1960s with Vincent Price trying to stop wars around the world. He uses an airship to attack from the sky. A group of ...