Posts Tagged ‘Films’

Review: His and Hers

28 June 2010

Contributed by Joanne Mc Entee

Using an old Irish proverb as its tag line –  ‘man loves his girlfriend the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest’ – director Ken Wardrop’s documentary His and Hers has won the hearts of judges and film critics alike. And it also looks set to capture the hearts of Irish cinema goers as it hits the box office this week.

Winner of the ‘Audience Award’ at the Dublin International Film Festival, ‘The Feature Award’ in the Galway Film Fleadh, an IFTA for Best Feature Documentary, and a ‘Cinematography Award’ at the Sundance Film Festival 2010, His and Hers has made the frequently insurmountable transition from art houses to general nationwide release. Read more

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The message: films about Africa

22 October 2009

By Kevin O’Sullivan

Idi AminI watched The Last King of Scotland again on Channel 4 on Sunday night. When I say I watched it again I mean I persevered until not even Forest Whitaker’s fantastic performance as Idi Amin could overpower the irritating plot. (For those of you not in the know: errant young Scotsman becomes doctor, runs as far away from his family as possible and, quelle Hollywood surprise, becomes chief advisor to the dictator of an East African state.) Stuck with it until I felt I had to do what all errant youths (or not-so-youths) of today do: sit, type, and add another drop to the internet ocean.

I thought first of writing a piece on the ‘real’ Idi Amin, who died in Saudi Arabia in 2003, but two things stopped me. First, Last King of Scotland actually did quite a good job (Scottish doctor/chief advisor apart) of portraying life in Amin’s Uganda. It’s pretty much all there: human flesh eating; body of dismembered wife sewn back together; utter lunacy combined with almost hilarious displays of grandeur; the unbridled corruption and paralysing fear of Amin among the Ugandan political elite; hope lost and promises broken; and the outside (British, Israeli, Libyan) interference and alliances that propped up Amin’s rule, if all painted in the broadest of brushstrokes.

And second, I didn’t want to write just another ‘horror in Africa’ story, one that ended almost thirty years ago when an increasingly disliked Amin was overthrown. Read More

A country-wide peek at Culture Night…

25 September 2009

By Lisa-Marie Griffith

Recomendations for Culture Night Pue's OccurrencesTonight is Culture Night 2009 and this year even more cities and towns than ever will take part in the event. BelfastCork, Dublin, Galway, Letterkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford and Wexford so I have taken a quick look at whats going on around the country to make some recommendations on what to see.  Belfast is participating in Culture night for the first year and most of the events will take place in the Cathedral quarter which ‘will be totally transformed for the evening as public areas and streets are turned into performance spaces. Read more

Film Review: Dorian Gray

22 September 2009

Contributed by Ann Downey

Dorian GrayDorian Gray is director Oliver Parker’s third foray into adaptation of a work by Oscar Wilde. In 1999 he directed An Ideal Husband and three years later followed with The Importance of Being Ernest, for both of which he wrote the screenplay. The former, starring Cate Blanchette and Rupert Everett, was a more successful film than The Importance, which lacked the crispness and pace of the more successful adaptation of 1947 starring Michael Redgrave and an unforgettably acerbic Lady Bracknell in Edith Evans.

Wilde’s novel has been filmed at least twenty times, the most famous being that of 1945, winning the Oscar for cinematography. The most recent, in 2006 was set in New York. The horror aspect was foremost in the 2005 version called simply Dorian. This current is the fifth film based on the novel since 2000. Before that television adaptations were more common, with versions in 1973, 1976 and 1983. The only feature film made since the 1945 version was that of Massimo Dallamano in 1970 starring German actor Helmut Berger. It was filmed more than five times in the decade before 1920 in German and French versions. This would not be unusual as at this time filmmaking was in its infancy and literature of every sort was mined for stories. These films could be as short as ten minutes, though by 1915 the full length feature had matured. Less than 15% of these early films survive.

Dorian Gray suffers from some of the faults of Parker’s Ernest; an uneven pacing and misjudgements in exposition but is redeemed by an excellent central performance from Ben Barnes.

Read more

Coco Avant Chanel

29 July 2009

By Lisa-Marie Griffith

Last night I went to an early screening of Anne Fontaine’s Coco Avant Chanel at the IFI. I have to admit I have been waiting eagerly for this film, which included a Q&A with the director after the screening.I have had my tickets for this screening for three weeks, probably a good thing as the screening was sold out. Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances, the reason cited, Anne Fontaine could not attend. The cynic in me would like to believe this had more to do with how successful it seems the film will be when it goes on general release rather then personal reasons, but thankfully this did not take from the screening. Read More

Poll: Best film on the Easter Rising and its Aftermath

27 July 2009

Thomas McDonaghPue’s poll is one of the monthly features on the blog. This month’s poll is, as usual, entirely subjective and the result of our collective (and biased, of course) list-making: what’s the best film on the Easter Rising and its aftermath? Well, what are you waiting for? Go to our poll page and vote! Voting is completely anonymous, and we’ll publish the results in about 4 weeks.

Any ideas for future polls? Leave us a comment below.

Not quite Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

20 July 2009

By Lisa-Marie Griffith

Gulliver's Travels promotional posterIf you have been reading this blog in any regular fashion you will have noticed that I tend to try and sell the eighteenth century. As a period I have studied for years I find it fascinating and one of the Irish figures that intrigues me most, like most people who study this period, is Jonathan Swift. I was pleasantly surprised to come across Max Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels (1939) on Sunday afternoon (thank you Film 4). I have never heard of this classic before and thoroughly enjoyed it. The film was released by Fleischer studios to compete with the Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and was nominated for a an Academy Award. It bears all the traits of a late 1930’s cartoon and the influences of Snow White can are clear but it is enjoyable nonetheless. Considering how often Gulliver’s Travels gets adapted this is an enjoyable children’s version and a really good introduction to a classic. Ok- it’s not quite Swift’s version and it deals only with the Lilliputians but for most children the idea of Swift’s little people is the most enchanting part of his tale. The copy right on Gulliver’s Travels has lapsed, it is in the public domain and can be watched online.

Pue’s Recommendations for July

6 July 2009

Pue’s Recommendations is a (mostly biased) monthly list of things worth reading, watching, listening to and attending, put together by the editors of Pue’s Occurrences. If there’s anything you think we’ve missed out on, or anything you think isn’t worth the mention, feel free to leave us a comment.

Harry Clarke - The Wild SwansJuliana Adelman

An oldy but goody for holiday reading: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, a travelogue of his visit to Europe. I’m a bit out of touch with goings on about town, but the Galway Film Fleadh has a few Irish documentaries that might offer interesting recent social history: Adhlacoiri on death and burial traditions in Connemara and His and Hers on love. And while we’re on film there’s a documentary on Ireland’s oldest circus (Fossett’s) at the IFI in Dublin on 26th July.

Lisa-Marie Griffith

The last of the Hodges Figgis sale- recession beating reading, we haven’t quite been driven to the libraries yet! And getting out and seeing some of the sun- Temple Bar’s Summer activities are fantastic this year including the Circus Festival and Temple Bar’s No Grants Gallery exhibition of Evan O’Sullivan and Leo Boyd. Not all historic but it’s summer and I refuse to just read history when there is so much going on in the city. The Trim Swift Festival, 2-5 July, also looks excellent.

Kevin O’Sullivan

I’m reading a lot about the Antarctic at the moment, so I’ll point you to Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s memoir of the doomed Scott expedition, The Worst Journey in the World, which, apart from being one of the greatest books on exploration ever written, is a wonderful microcosm of turn-of-the-century British society (e.g. building a partition wall in the middle of their tiny hut) played out at the South Pole. Closer to home, check out Harry Clarke’s illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales at the National Gallery, and DCU President Ferdinand Von Prondzynski’s always interesting University Diary blog.