Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Another Film Board effort that seems to have made no ripples anywhere? It's 1969 and a scientist visits Ireland where he falls for a local girl. The church and natives disapprove. Exactly as expected: lame, dull, unoriginal, and too stylish. Fight scenes that aren't violent, love scenes that aren't romantic, and religious scenes that aren't severe! An intelligent man who thinks in black and white doesn't fit into conservative Irish society. I know how he feels! This is like a lost Irish movie from the 1990s that has finally been released. It's dated and predictable though the story is moving. The final meet up was well done but that's about it. Surely this has to be based on a true story though there was no indication that it was? HMV have this movie for sale on one shelf for €25 and on another shelf for €8 in the same shop!
Title: Love & savagery
Monday, 24 March 2014
Finally got this on DVD! A pair of Irish Americans in Boston set out to kill Russian and Italian mobsters. Cross-dressing detective Dafoe is on the case. Most of this is done in flashback where the police try to figure out what happened at the crime scene. Stylish, funny, confusing, and uneven. Lots of references to Ireland and religion. Lots of silly shootouts that don't make much sense. Neither does the scene where the two leads speak in different languages? They're like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in those silly Road movies playing everything for laughs. Some impressive scenes but this is the kind of movie you need to watch more than once (which is rare for an Irish-themed movie!).
Title: Boondock saints
Friday, 21 March 2014
Forgotten black comedy from the 1980s. This one deals with older Irish immigrants in Liverpool from both sides of the sectarian divide. It's set in a hall and is like a crazy East European movie from the makers of TV soap Brookside! Lots of men with moustaches, dry dialogue, silly interactions, bad direction (everyone says their line with the camera slowly zooming in), and is too rushed. The best scene has a rock band getting jeered and then a fife group appears to rousing cheers! The kind of working class, politically incorrect movie that would never receive funding from our blinkered Film Board!
Title: No surrender
Thursday, 20 March 2014
The famous Italian film from the 1970s. So what's this got to do with a blog on Irish cinema? Well, there are several titles made here that are quite similar to this movie: Fools of fortune, Last September, Dawning, and Ascendency. Same story of posh characters living in a mansion with war surrounding them while they pass their time with games such as tennis. A confident woman from this family gets involved with a male outsider involved in battle. Another foreign movie that has had a strong influence on Irish cinema.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Another John Ford movie with a strong Irish theme. This one has a young man leaving the 'old country' and joins the US Army. He spends fifty years there and does very little! He trains new recruits, meets Maureen O'Hara, and prepares for two wars. You need to know about US history to understand this movie as it's expected! Lots of Irish references, brass band music, wide-screen long shots, and dated sentimentality. It's like that movie White Christmas where they all arrive at their old general's cabin! Certainly no classic and little-seen.
Title: The long gray line
Friday, 14 March 2014
Like a cross between Zonad and Speed dating this is awful! A bunch of polite wimps go on a pre-marriage trip up the mountains and nothing happens. It's not funny, the characters are jerks, and it's too predictable. Even worse they make a big fuss about Ireland. This is a comedy made by all the 'right people' and it shows. Extremely bland and badly put together. For example there's a scene at the start where Huberman enters a lecture hall to talk with the lecturer and you just know that this lecture will end after a few seconds. Another early scene has the official wedding planner appear startled because the groom knows more about the layout than she does. That is reverse sexism, she realises that he's better than her at the job so she makes a derogatory remark to him. Then there's the part where The Machine says that Gleeson will cry to a U2 song and guess what happens later in the movie? It's like a derivative of a recent Hollywood formula movie with Irish accents. The only good part to this movie was talented actor Scott!
Title: The stag
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
There's a good but little-known Western from the early 1970s called Great Northfield Minnesota raid. In one scene they rob a bank but what was unusual was a sign in the bank saying 'Royal Bank of Ireland Dublin'. Not sure what that was about but worth a mention!
Monday, 3 March 2014
First Irish movie released this year (in Dublin anyway) and this one is another along the lines of Charlie Casanova. A homeless guy meets a younger man, gets involved with his friends and extended family, and then violence erupts! Part awful and part impressive - the acting is terrible and lots of scenes are unintentionally funny. There was one scene in Ranelagh where they head off to the cinema and I thought they were going the wrong way to Rathmines. Then they said they weren't going there but to the IFI! Lots of classical music on the soundtrack - a previous post on this blog complained about the lack this in Irish movies! The characters are all bad caricatures and the dialogue is silly. The violence and cruelty veers into bad comedy. But at least this movie has energy, passion, and unpredictability! They are three qualities missing in most recent Irish releases.
Rather sad article in today's Irish Independent newspaper about Ireland's most overrated female film director. She's been abroad...