Monday, 20 May 2013

Vox humana

Recent feature film from veteran Bob Quinn. It's great seeing an Irish director in their 70s still making stuff! This is a digital effort about a loser who gets involved with a choir. The guy has some talent as a drummer so it's interesting to see how he's the outsider compared with the bland choir members. Picture blatantly copies the opening scene from Once where the guy robs money, runs into a building and out the other door. The rest of the movie has lots of street scenes, choral music (which I didn't like), annoying Galway people, and family tensions. It's poorly made, badly acted, but has some charm and is moving in parts. One of the better non-Film Board features.

Title: Vox humana
Genre: Music drama
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Hard way

Lost thriller from the 1970s about a hit man who returns to Ireland to settle down only to get offered one last job. He refuses and the baddies go after him. Similar to Cry of the innocent: Shelbourne Hotel; Hollywood stars; bad direction; slow moving; shootout in the hills; airports; and zoom shots. Even Toner's pub makes an appearance! Writer Edna O'Brien appears but she can't act. The best thing about this movie is the way the characters are placed in empty streets, buildings, and countryside.

Title: The hard way
Genre: Thriller
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD


Had a big article on an €80,000,000 movie called Boru getting made here by the director of Strength and honour. Then they had another article on a new Dracula movie getting made up North instead of here. So now you don't even have to read two newspapers to get opposite good/bad news on our Film industry! Even better, the Sunday business post indirectly blames James Nesbitt for enticing the big productions to Northern Ireland. He owns a company that provides toilets (honey wagons), catering, and transport for the big productions over the border.

Saturday, 18 May 2013


Our cinema has produced a lot of stuff over the years about the Irish emigrating. But where to?

Under Capricorn

Felicia's journey
I could read the sky

Luck of Ginger Coffey

New Zealand
River queen

Molly's way

South Africa
Anner House

Disappearance of Finbar

Beyond the Pale
Far and away
In America


With our luvvies over in Cannes at the Irish pavilion air-kissing each other it's time Shoot the Cabbage did a check on the current state of our cinema! Let's see, where are we these days?

Home productions
Lots and lots of stuff getting made but it's not very good. Even better, several recent Film Board titles never got released!

Outside productions
These seem to favour Northern Ireland now. Less work for the techies and union heads. Most of those people now work on the big TV productions here.

Most Irish movies don't get a full release here. The ones who do are gone after a few weeks. Blame the multiplexes for showing the same Hollywood rubbish as each other! Will future Irish cinema only be available to watch on Vimeo/Volta?

With XtraVision closing shops everywhere the only places now to buy Irish movies are the small shops in Dublin: Celtic Note/Tower Records/Golden Discs. Remember this: back in the 1990s lots of Irish movies were forgotten overnight when VHS went. Will the same happen again once DVDs go?

We don't have any! Maybe in animation and the shorts but certainly no new talent in direction. Only two names: Lenny Abrahamson and Ivan Kavanagh. The former overexposed and the latter underexposed! As for the rest: very mixed, maybe Rebecca Daly and Gerard Barrett are the future ones to watch?

Box office
Forget it. Irish movies do not make money. Unless it's a fluke like Once which did well abroad but not here or Man about dog which did well here but not abroad. The next hit should be the follow-up to The guard. Even the Brits don't like our films (though the Mrs Brown's boys movie could change that?)

Non-Film Board stuff
The 'Wild cards' as the Galway Film Fleadh call these! Mostly interesting but nothing special. It's good that this stuff gets made but most titles are difficult to see. Also, they're mostly bland and uninteresting. Surely the point of making a cheap feature is to do something different to what our Film Board funds?

Thankfully very few IRA movies or miserable dramas set in the 1950s anymore. Science-fiction seems to be getting popular and youth films are too. What's really missing is stuff like: social realism, road movies, black comedies, satire, psychodramas, noir, and dialogue-driven movies set in one location. These genres require real talent so no wonder we make so many horror films!

Thursday, 16 May 2013


The organisation that screens Irish films around the world? Their website is gone so either they changed the name or got scrapped? More of a Film Board promoter than a 'reel' pusher of our cinema! Who's now going to bring the latest Irish masterpieces such as Stitches and Hardy Bucks to backwater countries like Russia to show them examples of great cinema?

Where the sea used to be

Recent but little-known feature about two mismatched brothers on Xmas Eve in Dublin. It's like a bland, middle-class Adam and Paul with a few funny moments but mostly dull. Linear story where they return to Howth and meet the neighbours in pubs before heading home. The usual plinky piano soundtrack music, badly-shot night scenes, uneven acting, and a cast that don't really gel. The lead guy is a chemist who worries about his marriage while everyone else try to make him look dull. Best scene: the pub with the two customers slagging everyone. Has the look and feel of a cheap short film but still a promising debut feature.

Title: Where the sea used to be
Genre: Road
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: Online

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


There are lots of Irish movies from the 1990s which are not available on DVD. Despite the hype and acclaim at the time of release they were soon forgotten. However, several titles can still be found on video home system. Only yesterday I picked up a video of Some mother's son for only TEN CENTS in a charity shop! Snakes and ladders, High boot Benny, Playboys, Run of the country, Fools of fortune, Ailsa, Titanic town, Miracle, and about a dozen others from that decade are still available on the old VHS format in car-boot sales and second-hand shops.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Oxfam are currently running some kind of tie-in with the movie Beat girl. They are selling the book of the film AND you get a free soundtrack CD. This is a first for a low-budget Irish film and has to be admired. However, all of this still failed to get this commercial movie a wide release.

Monday, 13 May 2013


Shoot the cabbage likes to keep up to date with the worst of the worst in Irish cinema - the horror film! So it's good to see an obscure effort called The inside getting a DVD release. Even better, it has received a ½-page ad in the latest Total film magazine.

King Solomon's mines

Another famous movie with an Irish theme. Set in Africa a TCD graduate heads off alone to find a diamond mine. His daughter gets an explorer to help find him. They battle the desert elements (which must have influenced the movie Legend of the lost), a fierce tribe (which must have influenced the movie Zulu), and a mine inside a volcano (which must have influenced the Indiana Jones movies). There's a lot of talk about Ireland and references to the Irish so worth a mention on this blog. This review is for the 1930's movie which for some reason is easier to find on DVD than the colour one from the 1950s.

Title: King Solomon's mines
Genre: Adventure
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Friday, 10 May 2013


The first feature from FMN member Smiling Sadly. Set in London it's got nothing to do with Ireland (though I did spot the Rathmines library, Mountjoy Square, and that Fade Street record shop used as locations!). Very bland movie that reminded me of those rap pictures from the 1980s where a ballerina secretly retrains as a break dancer. Nothing special or interesting and only released in one Dublin cinema. Still, the more Irish directors making features the better!


Rather sad article in today's Irish Independent newspaper about Ireland's most overrated female film director. She's been abroad...