Monday, 26 March 2018


With our media ridiculing the proposed Dublin Metrolink no-one wants to discuss this new film studio for Meath. Work spaces, offices, make-up rooms, CGI facilities, and dining areas are proposed. Have we learned nothing over the last 20 years? The kind of movies that require studios don't work here. They don't get good reviews, make money, or create a sustainable industry. Top American director Soderbergh makes his new movie with a camera phone but here in lil' old Ireland we still need to think big. Because film making isn't about talent, passion, ideas, or saying anything new. Instead, it's about awards, training courses, jobs, and producing small-screen movies for the multiplexes. To paraphrase Truffaut: put good writers, directors, designers, actors, editors, and composers together and you get TV dramas set in the 1950s.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Damo and Ivor the movie

Enjoyable and funny road movie about three brothers, two trying to locate the third. Based on a TV show it's better than expected though has lots of holes in the story e.g. Ivor's marriage troubles. The romance between the Granny and the Garda gets tedious but the movie is fast-paced so you won't get bored. Some of it is hilarious e.g. the dog not allowed into the hospital and the traveller brother offering thousands of Euro for it. Tina Kellegher looks older than the Granny! Instantly forgettable but worth a look and you won't need to have seen the TV show to follow it.

Title: Damo and Ivor the movie
Genre: Comedy
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


Another movie set in the 1920s in a Big House. This one adds horror elements but it's not up to much. Most of the cast are the same age and it's difficult to tell who's who. There's a lake nearby that goes under the house and dead people are living there. The ending is good though no-one could hold their breath that long. Add in the usual bad acting, dire piano music, confusing story, brief scenes, clean costumes, and a general sense of seen it all before so another average effort. One good scene shows petty locals mistreating a WW1 veteran who's lost part of his leg. Good to Deirdre O'Kane here arguing with her Anglo-Irish neighbours but in last year's Halal Daddy she got on great with our new Muslim arrivals! Another movie where a character carries a suitcase that is obviously empty as it swings about too much!

Title: The lodgers
Genre: Big house
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

Monday, 5 March 2018


With current Irish films about as popular as a Lisdoonvarna asylum seekers' centre, STC outlines what's absent from our cinema.

1. Ignore the awards
The best films don't win awards and talented filmmakers don't make films to win silly IFTAs. STC won't even watch that rubbish anymore.

2. No more horror films
Irish horror movies are like Irish indie bands: bland, unoriginal, dull, forgettable, and not that good.

3. Films with low budgets
Not cheaply-made stuff trying to look expensive but films that don't need a lot of money to produce e.g. contemporary dialogue movies.

4. Classical music
Not just orchestral stuff but proper classical music. Plenty of older Irish composers with good music: Stanford, Field, Balfe. Why don't Irish movies use their music? This would raise the film up a notch.

5. Life
Irish films area mostly dull to watch, carefully composed scenes drawing attention to themselves with bad lighting. Lifeless and over-directed. Good films contain energy and movement.

6. Quantity
With some of our most overrated directors averaging about one feature per decade it's daft that the technology is there but there's still such little output. The easier it is to make movies the less get produced here?

7. Realism
Not gritty gangster movies but films that tackle every-day life with real people and their problems.

8. Saying something new
Films that have an interesting perspective to convey; not some character trying to overcome a disability or reach their wedding on time.

9. Taking the piss
What do films by Fellini, Leigh, Greenaway, Russell, Altman, Jarmusch, Antonioni, and Chabrol all have in common? They make fun of the characters and settings.

10. Originality
Has there ever been an Irish film that's not based on another from abroad? Something different that you've never seen before?


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