Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Halloween Thrills

26 October 2011

By Christina Morin

With Halloween fast approaching and in keeping with this week’s ‘Top 5’ theme, I thought I might share a few of my favourite thrillers in case you want to scare yourself this weekend. These are my picks for a fantastic fright night, in no particular order:

1. Jaws (1975) – I’ve written before about Jaws and my use of it as a tool in explaining the Burkean sublime. This year, I showed the clip to a 2nd year class and was somewhat dismayed to discover that more than half of the class hadn’t seen the film. I guess I’m showing my age and will have to find something a little bit more au courant in future, but I still claim Jaws as a firm favourite and one definitely worth including in any horror fest.

2. Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1969) – I only watched this for the first time a few weekends ago and really enjoyed it! Bette Davis looks decidedly haggard, but that just adds to the creepiness of the whole thing. Both she and Olivia de Havilland are alternately heart-wrenchingly and hair-raisingly good. Yes, the special effects sometimes leave a little to be desired by twenty-first century standards, but, in many ways, that doesn’t matter much, given that this is very much a psychological thriller, along the lines of my next recommendation… Read more

Traditional Halloween Barmbrack

18 October 2011

By Lisa Marie Griffith

I am spending this Halloween with my family and nieces in Cork and wanted to resurrect one of my favourite Halloween traditions-the Barmbrack. For the non-Irish the Barmbrack, or tea brack, is traditionally consumed on Halloween with a number of items hidden in the cake which reveal the fortune of those who consume it. According to Darina Allen (in Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course) ‘Barm’ comes from an old English word ‘Beorma’ which means yeasted or fermented liquor and ‘brack’ is the Irish for ‘speckled’. Growing up in Ireland in the 80s I did not consume the traditional home-made Barmbrack- the shop bought was always more highly prized than the home-made and so like many homes we sat around a shop bought brack that was inferior in a number of ways. Only one item, the ring, was ever included and this item was meant to symbolise that the person would marry shortly. Like the free toy in a cereal box all four of us kids fought for it (although I am sure none of us had any interest in getting married at that point)!

Despite, or perhaps because of this, I wanted to try to introduce my nieces to the traditional and proper Irish concept of the Barmbrack and I thought I would share my brack findings with you. The Barmbrack is essentially a simple fruit bread, but traditionally the dried fruit is soaked overnight in tea to give it an added flavour. There are a number of different items which are included and which I am sure varied widely. Read more

Something for the Halloween weekend

29 October 2010

By Lisa Marie Griffith

Film fans based in Dublin should check out the IFI Horrorthon taking place this weekend. The horrorthon is showing a host of new realises like Paranormal Activity 2 but is also screening a long list of classic films that would turn the head of anyone interested in the history of film. They include the controversial I spit on Your Grave (originally released in 1978 this is the 2010 updated version), Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space, Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter, Carrie and Gremlin’s 2: the new batch. Who can resist the opportunity to see a classic film they love on the big screen? This is worth a look!

If you haven’t spotted it already, the IFI are now running a blog with lots of updates about their archive, film courses, talks and screenings. You can find it here. If you are outside of Dublin and would like to recommend something please leave us a comment and tell us what you are doing.