Thursday, 30 January 2014

Seaside stories

Another obscure feature from our Film Board's back catalogue; this one is terrible! Awful sound quality, camera work, acting, and story. It's a soap opera set in some crap West-coastal town. A woman gets involved with several local men, her daughter arrives from England, and her little boy has a secret. Everyone walks in the middle of the road, snorts cocaine(!), verbally abuses each other, visits the pub in the afternoon, and spy on each other. Thank fu-k I live in Dublin instead of some sh-thole like this place! Nothing to recommend about this movie except the decent music score (which thankfully uses no piano!). This is kind of crap that gets exclusively shown in that CineMobile and rural arts centres! So obscure, I couldn't find a poster image to put with this review! Love the way the IFB's website gives away this movie's entire story!

Title: Seaside stories
Genre: Drama
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Thursday, 23 January 2014


What a statement! Yet there's some truth to it. We're on an island and should be isolated from other cultures but it's only a click away to see the cinema offerings from each continent. That's why most Irish cinema appears to be derivative of better foreign titles. Instead of coming up with our own style of cinema that's different to other countries we imitate - badly. Even acclaimed and successful directors like Lenny Abrahamson offer nothing new. It's conscious Euro arthouse that we've seen before but with Irish accents. Few of our directors stand out and the ones who do appear to have only one movie in them. The internet makes everything available and that's why people are so eager to copy rather than innovate. That's also why our filmmakers are absolutely obsessed with 'the look' of their films - stuff that's shallow and uninteresting but appears great. It's surface filmmaking and lacks the confidence for long takes or anything resembling life. There's a certain technical standard that Irish directors aspire to but audiences end up looking at the movie rather than watching it. That's why there are so many stupid horror and science fiction movies coming out of this country. Directors who have the technical skills but their minds are empty. Blame the internet people!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


Dublin's Abbey theatre is in hot water over the release of a critical report on the quality of their recent productions! It's supposed to be a world-class playhouse but its productions were not! So let's ask Nostradamus what I'm now going to say! 1,2,3 ... where is the report on the Irish Film Board and the productions they support? What happened to John Carney's Rafters? Why do so many Film Board features have the exact same title? Why did Kirsten Sheridan receive funding whilst serving as a Board member? How many movies funded by the Board return profit? How much again did Perrier's bounty gross in the USA? Why do so many directors of features funded by the Board have foreign names? What happened to Five day shelter (yes, I know there should be a hyphen in that title!) and its director? Why have so many features funded by the Board over the years disappeared? Why has the Board not helped fund a new world-class director (Lenny Abrahamson is not in this category!). Why are so many Irish movies funded by the Board so substandard? Why are there the exact same actors in all of these movies? Why did Graham Cantwell have to emigrate? Actually, scrap the last point!

Monday, 13 January 2014


Jason Butler's debut feature (from, one of several recent science fiction efforts from Irish directors. This one is average; a group of mismatched people find themselves in a building and a time warp. Not terrible but rather forgettable.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Another disappointing year for Irish cinema. Despite all the funding, film schools, festivals, and media support little of worth arrived.

Good vibrations - Nordie music bio that worked.

Pilgrim Hill - impressive docu-drama about a lonely farmer. Even better it cost little to make. Talent shines through.

Philomena - enjoyable and moving movie about a woman's search for her lost son.

O'Briens - straight-to-DVD movie about a family gathering in the West of Ireland. Full of annoying characters but it still works.

Earthbound - unusual sci-fi set in Dublin. Made no impact but worth a look.

Jump - rave movie set in Derry. Like a lot of Irish movies it arrives a decade late but is well made.

Belfast story - annual IRA movie. This one got ruined by lame direction but its script kept the story moving. Not as bad as the mainstream reviews.

In fear - this year's horror effort (Citadel wasn't Irish themed). Well-made with a small cast, effective though predictable.

Hardy bucks - another Hollywood copy with Irish accents. Dire stuff.

King of the travellers - bad movie with a romance between two warring traveller families.

Life's a breeze - proof that Lance Daly is a minor talent. This is awful stuff. No-one cared about this family or their stupid mattress.

Black ice - Johnny Gogan's latest piece of drek. Boy racers along the border, in a fog!


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