Oscar-winning writer and director Neil Jordan will attend a 20th anniversary screening of his acclaimed Irish feature ‘The Crying Game’ next week as part of an event organised by the Irish Film & Television Academy.
The Co Sligo-born director will be in Dublin next Tuesday (September 4) to look back upon the iconic film “nobody wanted to make” as part of a post-show discussion at The Light House cinema in Dublin.
The event is free and exclusive to members of IFTA. For more information about joining IFTA and membership eligibility please click here.
Released in 1992, ‘The Crying Game’ explored themes of politics, sexuality, gender and race, and captured the attention of audiences and critics across the world. It starred Irish actor Stephen Rea as Fergus, an IRA volunteer who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a kidnapped British Army soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker). When the hostage situation goes horribly wrong Fergus flees to London, seeking out Jody’s lover Dil (Jaye Davidson).
The film won 26 international awards including the 1993 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Jordan. It was nominated for six Oscars in total and also picked up honours at the BAFTA, PGA and European Film Awards.
Speaking ahead of next week’s screening, Jordan recalled the struggle he faced bringing his controversial story to the screen. He said: “‘The Crying Game’ was one of those films nobody wanted to make, because of the disturbing combination of themes - terrorism, politics, race, sexuality, gender.
“I was asked to have the central character Dil changed to a woman, played by a woman, I was asked to change the ending to make it more of a pleasing fantasy, not to kill the character Jody in the first thirty minutes. The more people objected to the themes, the more it seemed necessary to see on the screen.
“Stephen Woolley, my producer, managed to put together the funding, with the help of Channel 4 Films. And although the budget was miniscule, and led to a bare bones, stripped down level of production, the strength of ideas behind the story drove it forwards and through some strange alchemy, communicated to audiences worldwide.”
Ahead of Tuesday’s celebration, Bob and Harvey Weinstein – whose then company Miramax distributed the film - recalled their time working on the film.
They said: “We will forever feel honored to be associated with ‘The Crying Game’. Bringing a film to audiences that artfully explores in equal measure themes of race, gender, nationality, and sexuality is a rarity, and we are happy to see that people are just as moved by the film 20 years later.”
The IFTA event is one of the Irish Academy’s series of events in 2012. Highlights this year included the Academy’s John Ford Ireland Film Symposium with Peter Bogdanovich, Joel Cox, Jim Sheridan, Kyle Eastwood, Stephen Frears and John Boorman; as well as events with cinematographer Seamus McGarvey and ‘Total Recall’ director Len Wiseman.
Áine Moriarty, chief executive of IFTA said: “‘The Crying Game’ was a milestone for Irish film. IFTA is delighted to host this special event, exploring an iconic film that broke the rules, divided opinion, and defined the career of its writer/director Neil Jordan. The Academy looks forward to an evening of insightful discussion with Neil, ahead of his trip to the Toronto Film Festival for the premiere of his new film ‘Byzantium’.”
‘The Crying Game’ 20th Anniversary Celebration takes place this Tuesday (September 4) in Dublin’s Light House Cinema.
For more information on IFTA visit www.ifta.ie.