14 August 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
The Irish in Galway - Fleadh '99
15 Jul 1999 :
A low key opening and what, if there is any justice in the world, will be a low key film, launched this year’s 11th Galway Film Fleadh on Tuesday 6th July.

Agnes Browne, a truly deformed crossbreed between ‘60’s "Paddy" Dublin and ‘80’s "Commitments " Dublin merely managed to combine the worst elements of both and left the majority of the audience reduced to counting continuity errors to amuse each other with over the coming week.

The remaining Irish entries were a mixed bag. Liam O’Mochain’s, The Book That Wrote Itself, an entertaining but ultimately too cheap debut feature got drowned out by the Browne premiere, while Roger Corman’s Concorde Anois Teo studio in Tully decided to hold back on the soft core porn this year and, in a gesture that some termed penance, delivered a world premiere and free children’s screening of The White Pony, Brian Kelly’s follow up to last year’s extremely successful A Very Lucky Leprechaun.

Des Bell’s Rotha Mor an tSaoil (The Hard Road to Klondike) and Lionel Mill’s Us Boys got their outings on Wednesday afternoon. Bell’s piece makes excellent use of archive footage to tell the story if Irish labourer Mici McGowan who emigrated to America in the 1880’s, and in doing so utilises a skilful understanding of the relationship between sound and visuals.

Mill’s Us Boys, already seen at the Dublin Film Festival, followed brothers Ernie and Stewart Morrow, now in their ‘70’s, about their daily business in the Glens of Antrim over a four year period. A highly entertaining and moving piece of work, it nevertheless suffers from an over familiarity with the format as a result of the plethora of inferior fly-on-the-wall docs that we’ve been bombarded with of late. Wednesday evening also saw the premiere of Walter Foote’s The Tavern, which featured a performance and soundtrack by Tuam’s own Sawdoctors.

The Irish excitement on Thursday night was provided by the arrival, fresh from L.A., of Gabriel Byrne for a late night screening of The Usual Suspects, part of a tribute programme that included Miller’s Crossing and Defence of the Realm and culminated in a packed public interview on Sunday afternoon where both his Mammy and Lelia Doolin made sure he didn’t bring any L.A. pretensions home with him.

Sprinkled throughout the week were varieties of that new mini-genre, the USA produced ‘Irish in the States’ flick. Bill Muir’s Exiled, George Bazala’s Beyond the Pale and Nelson Hume’s Sunburn, all entertaining in their own way, but all equally straight to video fare.

Friday saw the Irish premiere of Damian O’Donnell’s East is East, a deserving winner of the Fleadh’s Best First Feature award which demonstrated the O’Donnell has lost none of the quirky style which endeared ‘35-A-Side’ to so many. Alternatively funny and touching, it’s the story of the trials and tribulations of a Pakistani family and their English born mother’s attempts to mediate between her patriarchal husband and her seven children in 1970’s England and it opens in Dublin at the end of August.

A strong Irish programme on Saturday included John Carney and Tom Hall’s overly intense ‘Park’ , and Eoin Moore’s first feature Break Even, a German co-production. Moore is currently shooting his second feature, Connemara in said part of the country at the moment.

Bob Quinn’s paean to Donal McCann, ‘It Must Be Done Right’, went down a treat with the local populace and Nichola Bruce’s excellent adaptation of Timothy O’Grady and Steve Pyke’s ‘I Could Read the Sky’, with a stunning performance by writer Dermot Healy kept the pointy heads happy.

Sunday saw the world premiere of Donal Haughey’s Books in the Blood which told the history of Kenny’s book shop and art gallery, a second outing for Martin Duffy’s follow up to The Boy from Mercury, The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, a gentle, understated piece of work that makes a nice addition to the canon of one of Irelands best and frequently ignored directors, Declan Recks flawed but amusing Making Ends Meet (with a script by Damian O’Donnell and Arnold Fanning) and the world premiere of Sinead O Brien’s Luke, and affectionate and revealing portrait of Luke Kelly produced by Noel Pearson.

The presence of many of his family members and the bould Ronnie Drew et al added to the emotion of the screening and served as a fitting cap to a week of respectable Irish fare. A sound problem meant that I exited the closing film prematurely. Felicia’s Journey, Atom Egoyan’s adaptation of the William Trevor book, partly shot in Cork, seemed to divide those who stayed for the problem to be sorted, with many deciding it was an inferior piece to last years inspired The Sweet HereAfter, but you can make your own minds up at the end of the month when the film opens and Michael Dwyer interviews Egoyan in the IFI…

Nicky Fennel

Free Industry Newsletter
Subscribe to IFTN's industry newsletter - it's free and e-mailed directly to your inbox every week.
Click here to sign up.

 the Website  Directory List  Festivals  Who's Who  Locations  Filmography  News  Crew  Actors

Contact Us | Advertise | Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Security & Privacy | RSS Feed | Twitter



bodrum escort bayan escort antalya gumbet escort