Sunday, 26 April 2015

I see a dark stranger


So much for acclaiming old black and white movies! This one is a let-down. Starts off in Ireland where a young girl wants to join the IRA but is 20 years late. Then she heads to England and becomes a spy for the Germans. There are silly sub plots and guesswork on which side of the Irish border they are in. Does make some good observations on how a talky Irish girl can get herself into trouble abroad. It's like a bad copy of an early Hitchcock thriller with too much dialogue. Another old Irish movie finally available on DVD but is a disappointment.

Title: I see a dark stranger
Genre: Spy
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Glassland

There's something not right when average Irish films receive glowing reviews elsewhere. This one is like a cross between the far better Patrick's day and I used to live here. Strange that these recent titles are so alike? Not the first time our Film Board has funded similar features close together! A taxi driver cares for his alcoholic mother, in Tallaght. Nothing remotely interesting or worthwhile, dull cinematography (yes, I know that was the point!), disjointed scenes, poverty porn, characters you won't care about, and a 'tense scene' in XtraVision. All that was missing was a junkie character. One part I did like were the scenes with the overprotective and motherly neighbour. Also good was how some of the story occurred off screen with characters we never saw. Compared with The stag this movie is a minor masterpiece but adds nothing to social-realist cinema which we've seen over and over. Is any Irish director capable of doing something a bit different or will we always follow the beaten path laid down by other countries and just repeat with Irish accents/settings?

Title: Glassland
Genre: Social realism
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Monday, 13 April 2015

Dublin nightmare


Would rather watch these old black and white movies than most sh-te our Film Board funds! This one is a B-picture from the 1950s about a robber who goes missing. His friend arrives to try and help the foreign girlfriend find out what happened after a van gets robbed across the border. Lots of empty street shots but most of the film is studio-based. Several actors look alike and it's at times confusing. There are some good scenes but most of it is too talky. A highlight is when the main guy (Sylvester from 2001) gets pushed into a canal. There's awful music on the soundtrack, like a plastic keyboard with the batteries running down. Strange the way these old movies make Dublin appear more interesting than recent titles can.

Title: Dublin nightmare
Genre: IRA
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Sunday, 12 April 2015

And then there were none


SPOILER ALERT! Another old movie that never gets mentioned in books on our cinema. Unlike those IFTA winners, director René Clair was a genuine talent. This movie is about an Irishman who visits an English island with several people and kills most of them! They have all murdered other people in the past. Not a horror movie as the deaths are off screen. Based on a stage play so is more of a 'whodunnit'. Other versions of this movie are available under another title (Ten little indians). Famous cast including Fitzgerald and Huston.

Title: And then there were none
Genre: Murder mystery
New/old: Old
Cinema/DVD: DVD

Sunday, 5 April 2015

I used to live here

Awful film about a mother-less family in working-class South Dublin. Nausea-inducing camera work with the usual piano and 'Brian Eno music' on the soundtrack this is easily the worst Irish release of 2015. Full of silly continuity credits about which day is it (as this had any relevance?); it's about a young girl who struggles to cope with a loser boyfriend, unfaithful dad, and a strange friend. Lots of people are jumping off a local flyover too. There's one scene where she has to walk from the city centre out to Tallaght but the music on the soundtrack sounds like something off Schindler's list! About as subtle as a brick in the face this movie is just terrible. Full of close-ups of ugly people where we're supposed to care about their pathetic lives. The kind of movie where its film makers are far more involved in the story than the audience. Really aimed at teenagers but they'd be better off watching the similar but better Irish movie Jump.

Title: I used to live here
Genre: Social realism
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

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