30 Years On - The Arts Council and the Film-Maker
Day by day programme:
DAY 1 - FRIDAY March 28
1.00 from The Heritage of Ireland (1978, 6x1hr)
Episode 3: Saints and Scholars
Dir: Louis Marcus
DOP: Robert Monks, Commentary: Douglas Gageby.
Contact: Louis Marcus, email@example.com
The Heritage of Ireland is a filmed six by one-hour series on Ireland’s cultural and artistic history, largely funded by commercial and semi-state “patrons” who gave Louis Marcus repayable loans. The balance of the approximately £80,000 budget came from the Arts Council, and RTE paid a broadcast fee in advance. An ad for the National Dairy Council (one of only two he made) allowed Marcus to survive for the long period of production in 1976. This third episode looks at Ireland’s religious heritage.
The series was intended, as Louis Marcus puts it, as “an assault on the international coffee-table culture market”, with one eye on a sale to the public broadcasting network in the US.
Requiem for A Civilisation (1992, 52m)
Dir: Frank Stapleton
Written by and featuring: Dr. Noel Browne. Prod: Catherine Tiernan, Mus: Peadar O Riada, Ed: J. Krystoph Romanowski, DOP: Cian de Buitléar, Billy Keady. Also feat: Colette Shaughnessy, Colm MacCába.
Contact: Ocean Film Productions Ltd: (01) 663 0036
The late Dr. Noel Browne speaks about his personal vision of the lost civilisation of Connemara. The stone wall landscapes, Atlantic storms, flickering black and white images and soundtrack are evocative of a culture now vanished in the struggle to survive.
3.00 The Outcasts (1982, 100m)
Dir/Wri: Robert Wynne-Simmons
DOP: Seamus Corcoran
Co-funders: RTE, C4, Irish Film Board, J. Armstrong, C. Cusack (deferred fee).
Cast: Mary Ryan, Mick Lally, Cyril Cusack
Contact: Tolmayax Ltd. (RWS) 0044 208 244 2276
Set in 19th Century rural Ireland, Maura (Mary Ryan) is a young disabled girl who lives on the fringes of her community. She associates with another outsider, Scarf Michael (Mick Lally), a musician who is believed to have magical powers. When the locality is beset by poverty, hunger and the elements, Maura is blamed for her community’s bad fortune.
“In this film we raided the vast store of folkloric material of which Ireland is guardian, in order to create a new myth in the ancient tradition of storytelling.” – Robert Wynne Simmons, 2003.
5.00 Wheels (1976, 25m)
Dir: Cathal Black
DOP: Joe Comerford, Pat Whelan, Sound Sup: Denis Whelan, Ed: Brian Cash, Dubbing Ed: Pat Hayes, Stills: Arthur Gilligan, Brian O'Reilly.
Contact: Cathal Black, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cast: Brendan Ellis, Paul Bennett, Tom Jordan, Rose Maura Keeley, Alec Doran, Don Foley, Johnny Murphy, Peter Caffrey, Paul Britton, Grainne Weber, Lorchain O Treasaigh, Con Weber.
An adaptation of John McGahern’s short story about a young man’s return to his family home in the country, revealing the difficult relationship between father and son which the young man’s step-mother has to negotiate.
“Cathal Black’s film is, I would claim, a significant step forward in Irish film-making, and a significant pointer to forms it might ultimately assume.” – Neil Jordan, Film Directions Vol 1:2, 1978
(1977, 65m, English subtitles)
Dir: Bob Quinn
Wri: Colm Bairéad, DOP: Seamus Deasy. Other crew: Shane O’Neill, Michael Cassidy, Marian Richardson, Peadar McDonncha, Ben Gibney, Frankie MacDonncha, Helen Quinn, Cathal Black, Arthur McGuinness, Al O’Donnell, Brendan Deasy, Pat Hayes.
Cast: Cyril Cusack, Niall Tóibín, Donal McCann, Mairead Ni Conghaile
Contact: Bob Quinn, email@example.com
A deeply unsentimental view of Connemara and the West of Ireland, Bob Quinn’s film was the first filmed drama of its length in the Irish language. In a story that has parallels in contemporary tales about turf wars among drug-dealing gangs Cusack plays a wily, ageing poitín maker who is threatened and robbed by younger men who have no idea how ruthless he is.
“Its good, a deromanticisation of Conamara.” – Bob Quinn, 2003
7.00 Down the Corner (1977, 40m)
Dir: Joe Comerford
Wri: Noel McFarlane, Prod: Art O Briain, DOP: Adam Barker Mill, Asst Cam: Cathal Black, Ed: Bob Quinn, Joe Comerford, Dubbing: Pat Hayes, PA: Marian Richardson, Songs: Liam Weldon from the album, 'Dark Horse in the Wind', Addtl Mus: Roger Doyle, Sd Rec: Roger Doyle, Props Marian Whelan, Prodn Sec: Rosalind Pearson, Advisors: Roddy Day, Mary Farrell, Mary Maher.
Cast: Joe Keenan, Declan Cronin, Kevin Doyle, Christy Keogh, Michael Joyce, Liam Weldon, Monica Murray, Alec Grassick, Joe Kenny, Esther Leaden, Marian Richardson, Tony Keating, Michael Keenan, Gerard O'Byrne, Mary Holland, Marian Whelan, Eileen Robinson, Eileen Cleary, Kathleen Norton, Mary Farrell. Catherine Bowe, Fidema Cronin Deirdre Cronin Joan Norton Dolores McDonnell , Matthew Halpin, Larry Doran, Brendan Weldon.
Contact: Joe Comerford, firstname.lastname@example.org
A drama documentary about the lives of five young boys and their families, involving the people of Ballyfermot under the aegis of the Ballyfermot Community Arts Workshop.
“Joe Comerford made a movie there called Down the Corner, years and years ago, and that was like, bizarre, you know. We never fully comprehended what that was - someone making a film in Ballyfermot about some guys robbing an orchard. It's like dreams and ambitions, you know, you tend to divert what you want to do and a lot of guys done that.” – Jimmy Smallhorne, director ‘2by4’, speaking about growing up in Ballyfermot at the time. (Film West, 32)
Our Boys (1981, 40m)
Dir: Cathal Black.
Wri: Dermot Healy, Cathal Black, DOP: Thaddeus O'Sullivan, Asst Cam: Art O Laoghaire, AD: Liam Mulcahy, Mus: Bill Somerville Large, Sd: Michael Ostroff, Ed: Se Merry Doyle, Sd Mix: Pat Hayes, Prodn Team: Jacinta Deignan, Barbara Bradshaw, Geraldine O'Reilly, Brendan Ellis, Anne O'Brien, Philip Boxburger, Niall Meehan, Ruth Bradshaw, Christy McGinn, Art Dir: John Lawlor, Post Prodn Sd: Kieran Horgan, Courier: Maggie Mooney.
Cast: Mick Lally, Noel O'Donovan, Archie O'Sullivan, Terry Orr, Ciaran Hinds, Vinnie McCabe, Seamus Ellis, George Keegan, Paul Bennett, Brendan Ellis, Jimmy Brennan, Dermot Healy, Dermot Lynskey, Johnny Murphy, Charlie Roberts, Liam Stack, Tom Jordan, Anne O'Connor.
Contact: Cathal Black, email@example.com
A telling docu-dramatisation of the role of the Christian Brothers in Irish education, made before ‘Official Ireland’ was ready for it.
“Apart from the narrative outline, the film uses archive material and interviews, interwoven with ‘story’, to reflect a flavour of Irish Catholicism and catholic education – Christian Brothers style. I hoped, with this style of presentation, to understand the years of conditioning process which have gone into making me, Irish men, Christian Brothers, what we are.” – Cathal Black, December 1981.
9.00 Traveller (1981, 80m)
Dir: Joe Comerford
Wri: Neil Jordan, DOP: Thaddeus O Sullivan, Asst Cam: Cathal Black, Ed: Joe Comerford, Sd Sup: John Anderton, First AD: Liam Mulcahy, Prodn Co-Ord: Margaret Williams, Research: Marian Richardson, Prodn Asst: Tony Moylan, Dubbing Ed: Pat Hayes, Animator/s: Aidan Hickey, Singer: Agnes O Donnell, Instrumentalists/Singers: Davy Spillane, Chris Mosley, Chris Nestor, Mary Delaney.
Cast: Judy Donovan, Davy Spillane, Alan Devlin, Marian Richardson (Angela, voice), Johnny Choil Mhaidhc, Paddy Donovan, Joe Pilkington, Nora Donovan, Christy Howley, Róisín O’Hehir.
Contact: Joe Comerford, firstname.lastname@example.org
Young travellers Michael (Davy Spillane) and Angela (Judy Donovan) are paired off in an arranged marriage and then promptly sent north across the border on a smuggling trip by her father (Johnny Choil Mhaidhc) to buy televisions and other commodities for roadside trading. Along the way they meet an older, enigmatic character, Clicky (Alan Devlin) and experience mounting misfortune. Ultimately they stop running and, returning on their own terms, they cut themselves free of their families.
“In my opinion you can tell what is happening to a society not by looking at the centre so much, but by looking at the margins. The centre knows this and when necessary ensures that you cannot function on the margins. But I intend to continue making films.” – Joe Comerford, May, 1996.
DAY 2 SATURDAY March 29
11.00 After 68 (1993, 25m)
Dir/Wri: Stephen Burke
DOP: Donal Gilligan, Prod. Des Mark Geraghty
Cast: Deirdre Molloy and Ger Ryan
Contact: Mammoth Films, email@example.com
Short film drama about a teenage girl’s attempts to lead a normal life in Derry against the backdrop of the emerging Civil Rights movement. The film uses the strong mother daughter bond as a means to explore the conflict and changing political realities.
“This film was the start of my career as a director, it wouldn’t have happened without the Arts Council Grant.” – Stephen Burke
Horse (1993, 30m)
Dir/Wri: Kevin Liddy
DOP: Donal Gilligan, Prod: Fintan Connolly
Cast: Mick Lally, Pat Leavy, John Kavanagh, Tom Lawlor, Ruaidhrí Conroy.
Contact: Kevin Liddy,
A tale of childhood, loss and revenge set in 1960s rural Ireland.
The Visit 1992 (22m)
Dir: Orla Walsh, Prod: Paul Donovan
Cast: Magael MacLaughlin, Ger Carey, Brendan Laird
The Visit is set in 1987, on the day Sheila (Magael MacLaughlin) goes to visit her husband Sean, a long-term Republican prisoner in Long Kesh. During the journey she reflects on the last seven years of being a prisoner's wife - the expectations, attitudes and pressures of both family and community. By the journey's end Sheila has made an important decision she must reveal to Sean. Based on a story by Laurence McKeown.
“Fledgling director Orla Walsh's debut packs breathtaking tension and emotional turmoil into little more than 20 minutes.” - Belfast Telegraph, June 1993
Sometime City (1986)
Dirs: Joe Lee, Frank Deasy
Prod: Hilary McLoughlin, DOP: Seamus Deasy, Sd: Brendan Deasy, Ed: Jim Duggan.
Produced by City Vision, a film and video co-operative founded in 1984. The members were Joe Lee, Helen O’Donoghue, Frank Deasy, Malachy Coleman, Thomas Hyland, Caroline Byrne, and Hilary Mc Loughlin. The group was involved in developing drama, (‘Sometime City’, ‘The Courier’), and community-based video projects. It also made videos about child art and development (‘Childscapes’, ‘Look at My Hands’). The group was also involved in developing experimental video animation. City Vision disbanded in 1988.
“’Sometime City’ was a real achievement for City Vision. It was new contemporary drama set in the urban landscape. At the time there was very little Irish urban drama on film or television. The film won a joint prize as best short film at the Cork Film Festival in ‘86 and came to the attention of the Ward Anderson Group who, with help from the Irish Film Board, got a 35mm blow-up of the film and screened it in Dublin cinemas with films like ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’!” – Joe Lee
Thirty Five Aside 1995 (26m)
Dir: Damien O'Donnell
DOP: Harry Purdue, John Moore, Prod: Petra Conroy, Paul Fitzgerald. Ed: Damien O’Donnell, Alan Duffy; Mus: Stephen McKeon. A Clingfilms Production.
Cast: James Mahon, Moira Hoey, Maria Hayden, Eamonn Hunt, Ciara Dwyer.
Contact: C/O 187 Ballyshannon Road, Coolock, Dublin 5
A comedy / drama detailing the trials of a young boy, Philip Maguire (James Mahon), at his new school. He is the only one left out of the football team, and he is also being picked on. Since his father’s in prison it is up to his mother to sort out the bullies. Thirty Five Aside has won more than 30 international festival awards.
2.00 All Souls Day
DOP: Andrew Baybutt, Prod: David McLoughlin, Mus: The Smiths, Therapy?, Morrissey, Rautavaara, Fauré, Grieg.
Cast: Declan Conlon, Eve Birthistle, Jayne Snow,
An experimental drama about a woman and her deteriorating relationship with people in her life, culminating in her death. On November 2nd, All Souls Day, Nicole's (Eva Birthistle) body is found on the beach. Seven years later her mother Maddie (Jayne Snow), resolves to find out what really happened that day and visits her daughter's former boyfriend Jim (Declan Conlon) in prison. All Souls Day is a very low budget feature film, shot over two years, on a variety of formats including Super 8mm, Hi-8, VHS and Super 16mm, blown up to 35mm. The film was premiered at the 1997 Cork Film Festival. It was funded by the Arts Council in 1989 (as a treatment of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’) and completed with co-funding from RTÉ and the Irish Film Board.
"An intense and demanding picture...All Souls Day takes on a hypnotic hold as it delves deeper into its interlinked themes of memory, truth, forgiveness and redemption, and it continues to play on the mind long after it finishes on screen." - Michael Dwyer, The Irish Times
4.00 Misteach Baile Átha Cliath (1995, 30m, English subtitles)
Dir: Paul Duane
Wri: Séamas Mac Annaidh, Prod: Fiona Keane, Ciotóg Films.
A black comedy about a Dublin civil servant.
The Bargain Shop (1992, 57m)
Dir/Wri: Johnny Gogan
DOP: Declan Quinn, Ed: Geraldine Creed, Prod: Jane Gogan, Mus: Cathal Coughlan.
Cast: Emer McCourt, Garrett Keogh, Stuart Graham, Ruth McCabe, Brendan Gleeson.
When Billy inherits his father's antique shop in Dublin, he is caught up by the dream of converting it into a Bargain Shop. His employees Packy and Maria are horrified by Billy's plans and as the tacky transformation take place their initial mutual antipathy turns to romance. Then Billy's dream falls victim to a property development conspiracy.
“A piece of contemporary TV fiction – a rare thing in early 1990s Ireland – it marked an important bridge for me in the transition from short films to feature film production. Property and planning-based corruption was not much spoken about (more whispered) at the time, though it later became publicly aired at Tribunals etc.” – Johnny Gogan, 2003
6.00The Long Way Home (1995, 45m)
Dir: Paddy Breathnach
Wri: Joseph O'Connor, Prods: Robert Walpole, Sophie Loughnane.
Contact: Treasure Films, 0 1 670 9609
Ray Priest leaves his wife, Maria, after a row at a family wedding. As he drives into the night he picks up a young hitchhiker – mysterious, a confidante yet sometimes menacing, he allows Ray to explore his relationship with his family. When the car runs out of petrol they must walk to a nearby garage before being mistaken for two runaway convicts and held at gunpoint. Ray escapes, leaving the mysterious hitch-hiker and his nightmare world behind, the journey taking him back to the hotel and his wife where he begins to rediscover love which, according to the hitchhiker, is “a home, an inside to our lives.”
8.00 Anne Devlin (1983, 124m)
Dir/Wri: Pat Murphy
DOP: Thaddeus O’Sullivan, Ed: Arthur Keating, Mus: Robert Boyle, Prodn Des: John Lucas, Cost Des: Consolata Boyle, Prods: Pat Murphy, Tom Hayes
Cast: Bríd Brennan, Bosco Hogan, Ian McIlhinny, Des McAleer, David Kelly, Gillian Hackett.
Pat Murphy’s film is based on the life of the neglected historical figure Anne Devlin (Bríd Brennan), who had observed the 1798 rebellion at close hand and worked with Robert Emmett in the planning of the abortive rising of 1803. Subsequently she was arrested and tortured but refused to name the conspirators. She was held in solitary confinement for three years in Kilmainham Gaol and her entire family were also imprisoned, seven of them died in captivity before her own release due to illness. She related her life story, subsequently published in ‘The Life, Imprisonment, Sufferings and Death of Anne Devlin’, before dying in abject poverty.
‘Anne Devlin’ is a quietly resolute re-telling of a tragic chapter in Irish history from a hitherto unheard perspective. Pat Murphy maintains many of the visual trappings of the conventional period drama while constantly demanding the viewer re-examine the received rules of the genre by using the medium to mirror the point of view of her eponymous protagonist.
DAY 3 SUNDAY March 30
11.00 Waterbag (1984, 9m)
Dir: Joe Comerford
With: Brian Bourke
A man, a woman, a trawler: a short experimental pre-cursor to the feature ‘Reefer and the Model’.
“The third [short film], ‘Waterbag’, is the first in which I crudely mixed the two disparate veins of action and abstraction - not for effect, but because if you do not advance film language even a little you are advancing cliché and as a consequence, wittingly or unwittingly, propaganda.” – Joe Comerford, May 1996
Forty Below (1999 5m)
Dir: Clare Langan
With: Tristin Gribbin
‘Forty Below’ is a non-narrative film shot on location in Ireland and Iceland. Its themes are time and an exploration of the frailty of human existence in the face of formidable nature. It was initially shown as part of a photograph and film installation at the Green on Red gallery in April/May, 1999, before being projected at festivals. It is the first part of a trilogy of films (the others being ‘Too Dark for Night’ and ‘Glass Hour’) which are showing at the RHA Gallery until March 30th.
A Skinny Little Man Attacked Daddy (1994, 23m)
Dir: Vivienne Dick
“I am trying to find a new form – mosaic like – a new space of connections where disparate events interweave or fold into one another. The chaos is rearranged to make an order. It is subjective and objective at the same time and this is reflected in the style – social documentary and home movie. It is about the strangeness of what is ordinary and about how we are marked in a very physical way by place – the rain, the wind, the textures of Donegal. The strangeness of just being. The title comes from a dream I had once. I imagine it has something to do with the effects on the psyche of inhabiting a world where the subject is male!” – Vivienne Dick, 2003
C oblique O (1999, 16m 47sec)
Dir: Blue Funk
Voice/Dialogue: Evelyn Byrne, Cam: Donal Caulfield, Thomas Green, Kevin Kelly, Ed: Valerie Connor, Brian Hand, Cúán Mac Conghail, Sd mix: Peter Blayney, Mus: Dennis McNulty, Evelyn Byrne, Percy Grainger. Cost./Stills: Orla Ryan
Cast: Donncha Crowley, Dermod Lynskey, Helen Roche, Billie Traynor.
This was the last project made by the collaborative group of artists, Blue Funk. ‘C oblique O’ was made in memory of Evelyn Byrne – friend, colleague and member of the group – after her death from Cystic Fibrosis.
“C oblique O’ was developed by Blue Funk in documentary form while engaging with the representational and symbolic language used by Evelyn Byrne in her own art. Evelyn Byrne worked largely in sound, photography and live performance as well as performance to camera. The film is presented in three related sections that recall the intellectual and emotional texture of Evelyn Byrne’s work.” – Valerie Connor, for Blue Funk, 2003
Matilda Tone (tbc) (2003, 25m)
Dir/Wri: Moira Tierney
Co-prod: Masha Godovannaya, Camera (wake scene): Shuji Momose, Cam Assts (wake scene): Lili Chin, Matt Thompson, Songs: Susan McKeown (vocals) Eamon O'Leary (guitar), Mixer: Guillermo Escalona, Prodn Asst: Jurga Stakenaite, Casting: Lilia Pasciewitz.
Cast: Aideen O'Kelly, Paul Meade, Oisín Clancy, Patrice Lerochereuil, Pierre Louaver.
Matilda Wolfe-Tone died in Washington in 1849 having outlived two husbands and all her children. She had had an eventful life, eloping with Theobald Wolfe-Tone at the age of 16, spending 20 years fending for herself in Napoleonic Paris, and ending her days as head of a household of three generations of Irish-Americans.
“The film opens on her overgrown, illegible tombstone in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn. Dug out of the ground, the stone is driven to the restoration workshop upstate. As the sculptor cleans the stone, Matilda's skeleton history emerges from its eroded surface - birth, marriages, death. The soundtrack is structured around story-telling & music; the primary source, Matilda's own letters, being complemented by other accounts of her time, and punctuated by songs of the period.” – Moira Tierney.
Seven Days ‘til Sunday (1997, 10m)
Paddy Jolley, Reynold Reynolds
Wri: Paddy Jolley, Camera: Nina Bruderman, Graham Brennan, Wendy Judge, Christoph Draeger, Mus: Brenda Kahn.
Dummies repeatedly attempt self-destruction against a grim urban backdrop in this darkly comic series of vignettes that recall the fragility of human life. In a reversal of the usual practice in films where dummies are used instead of actors in dangerous set-ups, ‘Seven Days ‘til Sunday’ calls to mind the possibility that these dummies are auditioning for the dangers of real life. It is the first of three films on which Jolley and Reynolds have collaborated, the others being ‘The Drowning Room’ and ‘Burn’.
from The Hottest Sun, The Darkest Hour (1999, 10m)
Dir: Jaki Irvine
First shown at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in the Summer of 1999, ‘The Hottest Sun, The Darkest Hour’, is composed as a simultaneous and continuous five screen projection of five 16mm films. Each short film has its own title – ‘Marco, One Afternoon’, ‘Fireflies at 3am’, ‘Dani and Diego’, ‘Portrait of Daniela’, and ‘The Take-off’. The whole, and each of its elements, draws on Irvine’s experience living in Italy. The title alludes to that time of day when the heat and light reach an intensity which drives people indoors, to rest in the cool shade of shuttered rooms where memories play and replay in the mind. The piece being shown is ‘Marco, One Afternoon’.
Prejudicial Portraits 1993 (5m)
Dir: Brian Maguire
This short film is part of Brian Maguire’s exploration of the creative act of portrait making and how it relates to the social and political process whereby alienating images are made, or taken, of people who are subject to the criminal justice process.
The Turning Point (2002, 3m)
Dir: Grace Weir
Camera: Owen McPolin
‘The Turning Point’ is a short film filmed on Howth Road in north Dublin. It opens with a shot of a suburban early modernist type house and cuts to various shots of the surroundings; the street, trees, cars, leaves on the ground. It then cuts to a dark interior shot of the house where a man is lying on the bed watching the patterns of light on the ceiling caused by the cars passing outside…
“Momentarily, one experiences a spatial and temporal rapport but one that is ungrounded. An aberrant moment of stimulation and response. The act of recognition, Deleuze writes, is the moment around which everything turns and passes itself.” – Grace Weir.
Billy’s Museum (2002, 15m)
A retired prison officer built up an enormous collection of ‘found’ objects during his time working in the Long Kesh/Maze prison. This is one element of a much larger project that explores the significance of the prison which remains a potent symbol for the long conflict in Northern Ireland.
2.00 Forum 30 Years On The Arts Council and the Filmmaker
A panel discussion chaired by Colum O Briain
4.00 Budawanny (1987 80m)
Dir: Bob Quinn
Wri: Pádraic Standúin, Bob Quinn. DOP: Seamus Deasy, Ed: Martin Duffy, Mus: Roger Doyle, Prodn Des: Tom Conroy.
Cast: Donal McCann, Maggie Fegan, Tomas Ó Flatharta, Peadar Lamb, Freda Gillen, Sean O'Colsdealbha
Contact: Bob Quinn, firstname.lastname@example.org
A lyrical adaptation of Pádraic Standúin’s novel ‘Súil le Breith’ in which the priest (Donal McCann) serving a remote island community rescues a lost young woman (Maggie Fegan) who becomes first his housekeeper and then his lover. Her pregnancy forces their relationship into the open and causes divisions in the formerly united community. Except for a framing device shot in colour, with sound, the film is shot in black and white with intertitles, much in the style of a film from the silent era. It was subsequently revisited as ‘The Bishop’s Story’ in 1994.
“Yeah. We didn't have to say anything at all the first time doing that, it was great. Bottles of stout and move your lips, that was nice.” – Donal McCann, 1998. “Words fail me. It’s great but it was jinxed from the start. God disapproved.” – Bob Quinn, 2003
6.00 As Láthair (2002, 72m)
Dir: Paul Rowley
Narration: Tim Blue, Jim Davis, Narrator: Susie Whyte, Prod: Nicky Gogan, Composer: John Blue, Art Dir: David Phillips, Post Prodn Sup: Maura Horan.
Cast: Steven Price, John Blue.
Contact: Paul Rowley, email@example.com
“‘As Láthair’ is a reworking of the Western genre. The film uses a fragmented, episodic narrative to tell the story of a cowboy and a bounty hunter who are locked into pursuit over the brutal landscapes of Baja, Mexico. Using a hypnotic, dreamlike visual style, and a lyrical narration based in Irish folklore and history, this experimental film parallels impressionistic, multi-layered depictions of Western bravado with narrated stories of displacement and removal.” – Paul Rowley
8.00 High Boot Benny (1993, 82m)
Dir/Wri: Joe Comerford
DOP: Donal Gilligan, Prodn Des: John Lucas, Ed: Elen Pierce Lewis, Composer: Gaye Mcintyre, Prods: David Kelly, Joe Comerford,
Cast: Marc O'Shea, Frances Tomelty, Alan Devlin, Fiona Nicholas, Annie Farr, Seamus Ball.
When a police informer is found murdered on the property of a small school dedicated to desegregated education on the southern side of the border, the school’s directors - a Protestant matron (Frances Tomelty) and an ex-priest (Alan Devlin) - become suspects. Also implicated is Benny (Marc O’Shea), a seventeen year-old delinquent who has found refuge at the school only to get caught up in the maze of conflict created by the mix of politics and religion. A timely opportunity to reappraise this film in the light of ongoing revelations about policing in Donegal.
“It is … about identity and democracy, about private emotions and public survival. ‘High Boot Benny’ is an allegory on a conflict which has produced more deception than truth.” - Joe Comerford
DAY 4 MONDAY March 31
12.00 Two Lives: A Portrait of Francis Stuart (1984, 52m)
Dir: Carlo Gébler
Camera: Pascoe McFarland, Ed: Kees Ryninks, Mus: Michael Klien, Prod: Iain Bruce, Ass. Prod: Pierre Hodgson.
“This is a simple film about Francis Stuart and the reason why he went to Germany. Incontrovertibly, he improved his mettle as a writer by his action. His books that came out of the German experience are the best he wrote. One or two can even be described as great. But he paid a price. He was ostracized. He thought this valuable. He thought the experience made him a better writer. And well it may. But should artists be allowed to do what ever they want in order to improve their art? The films asks (though doesn’t answer) this question and as the number of artists doing their thing in this world proliferates it’s a question that’s more and more worth asking.” - Carlo Gébler, 2003
Between Heaven and Woolworths (1993, 52m)
Dir: Alan Gilsenan
Camera: Peter Dorney, Research: Victoria White; Ed: Martin Duffy; Prod Martin Mahon.
One of three ‘Art on Film’ documentaries commissioned by the Arts Council in 1993, ‘Between Heaven and Woolworths’ explores where artists come up with the ideas and inspiration for their work. Features artists including John B. Keane, John Banville, Shane MacGowan, Tom Muphy, Neil Jordan and Nuala Ní Dhómhnaill.
2.00 Forum Resource Centres and Film Preservation
A panel discussion on the current resources for filmmakers – chaired by Siobhan Bourke
4.00 Hush-A-Bye Baby (1989, 72m)
Dir: Margo Harkin
Wri: Margo Harkin, Stephanie English, DOP: Breffni Byrne, Orig. Mus: Sinéad O'Connor, Prod: Tom Collins. Derry Film & Video Workshop.
Cast: Emer McCourt, Cathy Casey, Sinéad O'Connor, Michael Liebmann, Julie Marie Reynolds, Seamus Ball, Rosina Brown.
‘Hush-A-Bye Baby’ pits the reality of a young woman’s life against the political and moral polemic that passed for debate in 1980s Ireland, on both sides of the border. Goretti Friel (Emer McCourt) is one of a spirited group of four teenage girlfriends with boys on their minds in Catholic Derry. Her boyfriend, Ciarán (Michael Liebmann), is arrested and imprisoned in fall-out from the ‘supergrass’ trials. When Goretti finds herself pregnant Ciarán rejects her and she is left to handle the crisis on her own. Emer McCourt won the best actress award at the Locarno Film Festival in 1990 for her performance.
6.00 Conneely’s Choice (1992, 28m)
Dir/Wri: Barra de Bháldhraithe
DOP: Cian de Buitléar, Ed: Se Merry Doyle, Mus: Donal Lunny, Prods: Aisling Prior, Barra de Bháldraithe.
Cast: Brendan Glesson, Treasa Ní Fhatharta, Cillin Mac Dhonnacha, Máiréad Mac an Iomaire, Joe Murdiff, Bairbre Hergett.
A dark reinterpretation of Irish mythology in which a storyteller recalls the legend of a seal-woman who drowns when her skin is stolen.
Clash of the Ash (1987, 52m)
Dir/Wri: Fergus Tighe
DOP: Declan Quinn, Prodn Des: Robert Armstrong, Pro: Jane Gogan
Cast: Liam Heffernan, Gina Moxley, Vinny Murphy, Michael McAuliffe, Kay Rae Malone.
Stifled in his last year at school by the expectations of family, friends and community in his small home town, Phil (Liam Heffernan) is torn between duty and deciding for himself what he wants out of life. Fergus Tighe’s semi-autobiographical film is not just unerringly true to the feelings of claustrophobia a small town can induce in the average adolescent, it works equally well as a snapshot of Ireland at that moment in time when the country seemed perilously close to terminal decay.
8.00 Hard Shoulder (1990, 72m)
Dir/Wri: Mark Kilroy
DOP: Shane O’Neill; Ed: Se Merry Doyle, Prod: Jane Gogan.
Cast: Olwen Fouere, Johnny Murphy, Donal O’Kelly, Geoff Golden, Eamonn Hunt, Gina Moxley.
Henshaw (Johnny Murphy) is a dodgy door-to-door fire extinguisher salesman with an aphorism for every situation. He takes on new recruits Ella (Olwen Fouere) and Tony (Donal O’Kelly) but they have to ply their dubious trade while on the run across Ireland, ending up in Knock where they find something unexpected.
“One of only two films shot in 1990, the dark years of no Film Board. I’d do it differently now but like a troubled child, I’ll always stand by it. One of its themes, parental abuse, was not considered proper subject matter in those days. How times have changed! I call ‘Hard Shoulder’, a spoiled road movie (‘spoiled’ as in priest).” – Mark Kilroy, 2003
DAY 5 TUESDAY April 1
12.00 Hindesight (1993, 40m)
Dir: Joe Lee
Camera: John T Davis, Sd: Pat Hayes Ed: Sé Merry Doyle, Prods: Seamus Mc Inerney, Margaret Jennings.
A 40 minute arts documentary that looks at the life and work of photographer and post card manufacturer John Hinde. The context for the project was a major exhibition of Hinde and his company’s photographers at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, part of a series of exhibitions that the museum programmed which explored the role and nature of photography in contemporary culture.
“Hindesight was the second arts documentary I made after City Vision closed down, the first being ‘Heartfield’ about a German communist artist who developed the technique of photomontage in Germany during the 1920’s. ‘Hindesight’ could not have been a more different project except it turned out John Hinde was one of a small number of photographers in Britain who were pioneers of colour photography during the 1930’s. The human interest side of the story that interested me was that Hinde returned to a very different Ireland from the one he had left behind a quarter of a century earlier. This was the vehicle I used to tell his story and to uncover some very beautiful photography from the war years in Britain. Almost all of the work that I have done either on film or on video seems to oscillate between explorations of contemporary or social reality or explorations of visual art that explores similar themes.” – Joe Lee, 2003
The Prisoner (!984, 10m)
Dir: Tim Booth
Contact: Tim Booth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Booth drags William Butler Yeats into late twentieth century Ireland with this irreverent animated interpretation of ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’. Peace comes “dropping slow” with Gary Moore and Phil Lynott on the soundtrack.
2.00 Cloch (1975, 30m)
Dir/Wri: Bob Quinn
DOP: Bob Quinn, Mus: Roger Doyle.
With: James McKenna, Cliodhna Cussen, Noel Hoare, Eamonn Hogan, George Laffan, and Brid Ní Rinn.
Initiated by Cliodhna Cussen, ‘Cloch’ is an evocation of the art of stone-carving, drawing on work being produced by James McKenna and on the Kilkenny sculpture workshop of 1975.
"The main aspect that interested me was the physical relationship between a person and inanimate material. I wanted to suggest that it's a very sensual material. The clue I got for that was a sculptor who said to me, ‘I love to see people touching my sculptures’." – Bob Quinn, quoted in ‘Irish Cinema’ by Brian McIlroy.
Art of the State (1993, 52m)
Dir: Séan Ó Mordha
Like ‘Between Heaven and Woolworths’ this was also commissioned directly by the Arts Council, in conjunction with RTÉ and BBC NI, as part of the ‘Art on Film’ series of arts documentaries. Séan Ó Mordha’s film looks at the relationship between the artist and the nation and includes a prominent interview with the late Tony O’Malley.
4.00 The Uncle Jack (1996, 80m)
Dir: John T. Davis, Sé Merry Doyle
Camera: John T. Davis, Liam McGrath, Conor Hammond, Wri: John T. Davis, Jimmy Duggan, Sé Merry Doyle Ed: Sé Merry Doyle, Mus: Philip Donnelly, John McBride Neill, Prod: Brendan Byrne.
Contact: Holywood Films, Seapark Road, Holywood, Co. Down
John McBride Neill was a noted cinema architect in the cinema building boom in Northern Ireland in the 1930s. His cinemas were 1,000-seater monuments to the golden era of the silver screen. He was also a builder of model airplanes, a musician and repairer of organs, unmarried and, when the work dried up, a cantankerous recluse for over twenty years. He was John T. Davis’s Uncle Jack. He gave him his first camera and, when he died, he left John T. his house. ‘The Uncle Jack’ is John T. Davis’s attempt to come to terms with the unfinished business of their relationship, but it also about coming to terms with himself.
6.00 H for Hamlet (1993, 77m)
Dir: Vinny Murphy
DOP: John Moore, Prodn Des: Ned McLoughlin, Ed: Gaye Lynch, Mus: Vinny Murphy, Terry Cromer
Prods: Yvonne Thunder.
Cast: Vinny Murphy, Jack Lynch, with the students of Jobstown Community School.
A reworking and updating of Shakespeare’s Hamlet arising out of drama and improvisational workshops that Vinny Murphy had been running with youngsters in Jobstown.
8.00 Tom Murphy documentary (tbc) (2003)
Dir: Alan Gilsenan
A brand new documentary collaboration between Alan Gilsenan and playwright Tom Murphy.