In recent weeks the TG4 period drama, An Klondike, has garnered favourable reviews from across the Anglophone press and media in Ireland, gaining plaudits from even the most cynical critics of Irish language broadcasting. For a channel that has been underfunded and pilloried since its establishment, the Conamara-based television station has built up an enviable reputation for producing well-crafted dramas, comedies and documentaries that… Read More ¡Viva Irlanda! I’m Irish – Speak Spanish!
I’m not a huge fan of either “franchise”, however would I watch this? Damn sure I would! ;-)
From a report by the Galway Advertiser: “The first Irish language ‘talkie’ ever made has premiered at a renowned Italian festival of rediscovered and restored film… Oidhche Sheanchais, an 11-minute film featuring Aran islanders from the Man of Aran cast listening to a story told by seanchaí Seáinín Tom Ó Dioráin, was the first ‘talkie’… Read More Oíche Sheanchais, The First Irish Language Sound Film
It says much for the fantasy politics of British nationalism that a decision by the English-born children’s author JK Rowling to boost the already hefty warchest of the Unionist “No” campaign with a donation of one million pounds is being heralded by the right-wing press in Britain as “the most significant” celebrity intervention in the referendum… Read More Harry Potter To The Rescue!
Sometimes looking back at Ireland in the 1970s and ‘80s I wonder if the entire nation was quite right in the head. It was a truly surreal time. Forget the war in the north-east against the British, the twin scourges of poverty and emigration, the political scandals and omnipresent corruption, the hegemony of the Roman… Read More Cultus Obscuram – Mr Rossi, Signor Rossi
I was going through my collection of Blu-ray and DVD movies and box-sets over the weekend, not to mention several hundred hours of digital content on my main HTPC, and it suddenly struck me that less than 1% of the total was actually Irish-made. I have a huge catalogue of films and TV shows from… Read More Irish TV And Cinema? Some Hope
The old cliché “…so bad it’s good” springs to mind when one watches the 1975 cinematic release “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze”. Based upon the eponymous 1930s’ pulp magazine character primarily written by Lester Dent the film was intended to be the first in a series of purposefully old-fashioned adventure movies by legendary Sci-Fi entertainment… Read More Cultus Obscuram – Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze
I’ve been asked to highlight a recently released independent Irish movie, “The Randomers”, the fourth feature-length film from writer-director Graham Jones. The free-to-view drama focuses on a love affair sparked by the actions of a young woman living on the west coast of Ireland who places an advertisement seeking a man for a relationship “without speaking”. What follows… Read More The Randomers
In the oft-played Geek game of “Cultus Obscuram” I’ve yet to be beaten, whether it is in the arena of movies, TV programmes, books or comics. Undoubtedly my winning hand when it comes to contesting a knowledge of cult films is the truly obscure 1981 George A. Romero effort “Knightriders” (note the plural) notable for… Read More Cultus Obscuram – Knightriders
Because there is far too little Steampunk in Ireland, here are some links: Steampunk Collective Ireland Steampunk Ireland The Josie Baggley Company Talking to a friend a few days ago who is a sean scoil Steampunker I found him frustrated by the way the movement in Ireland is subsumed into the cod-Victoriana of the Pax… Read More Steampunk In Ireland
Oh for the cinematic vision of “Dune” that could have been. From Salon and Andrew O’Hehir at the Cannes Festival: “According to “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn (who’s also here this year with the ultra-violent “Only God Forgives”), the legendary unmade mid-‘70s film version of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” by Chilean-born mad genius Alejandro Jodorowsky actually exists – and… Read More Jodorowsky’s Dune
After touring the convention circuit the Judge Dredd-inspired fan film “Judge Minty“, written and directed by Steven Sterlacchini, has finally been released online. While the acting may be less than inspiring the special effects on the other hand show just how far technology has moved on since the days of filming spray-painted plastic bottles on wires against a blue background.
While going through the old bookmarks on my browser the other day I came across the Cimmerian, a wonderful if now defunct group-blog that was dedicated to Fantasy, Horror and Adventure fiction, with a focus on the works of the Irish-American writer Robert E. Howard in particular. Some of the most intelligent and thoughtful pieces on… Read More Robert E. Howard – The Whole Wide World
Christopher Tolkien, the son of J.R.R., is the person who has undoubtedly done the most to explain the background and history of his father’s writing to the general public, and in particular to his many fans and admirers. Le Monde recently carried a lengthy interview with Tolkien from his south of France home, noteworthy not least for how rarely he grants access to his… Read More Christopher Tolkien On The Legacy Of His Father, J.R.R. Tolkien
Excellent article over on Indian Country Today on a new documentary, The Young Ancestors, which examines the efforts of Native American students in New Mexico to learn their indigenous Tewa language. “When producer/director Aimée Broustra heard about it she decided to make a documentary. “The teenagers in The Young Ancestors are motivated and enthusiastic about learning because… Read More The Young Ancestors
Several weeks ago I examined the acquittal in a British-run court in the North of Ireland of the long-time Irish Republican activist Colin Duffy. Following years of imprisonment while awaiting trial (colloquially known as “internment on remand”) he was found not guilty of the killings of two British soldiers shot dead during an attack on… Read More The Murder Machine – The British War In Ireland
Another image borrowed from the Occupy movement with another Irish spin. More of the original images are available from libcom.org and occupypocatello.org. The 42% of course refers to the percentage of Irish people who described themselves as speaking fluent or partial Irish in the 2006 Census of Ireland. We are still awaiting the results from the most recent 2011 census. Related articles Bella, Joan And Me (ansionnachfionn.com) The… Read More We Are 42%
One of the most interesting, and thought-provoking, Irish language documentaries of recent years will be screened at a film festival in Estonia, reports IFTN: “Irish production companies Planet Korda Pictures and Vinegar Hill’s co-production with Lithuanian production company Era Films, ‘The Book Smugglers’, a documentary which was directed and written by Jeremiah Cullinane (Hitler’s Irish Movies, Dangerous… Read More The Book Smugglers. Ireland, Lithuania, And The Freedom Of Language
The Irish Times carries a very personal report celebrating the weekend’s Oireachtas na Samhna, the annual Irish language and culture festival, this year held in Cill Airne: “IT IS the time of Samhain and I am heading south to Killarney. Every year at this time I find myself on the road to somewhere. The reason – Oireachtas na Samhna.… Read More Oireachtas na Samhna
British journo Ian Birrell carries a lengthy rant against Martin McGuinness in the “Right Minds” section of the Daily Mail, a suitably right-wing British newspaper. It is replete with plenty of hackneyed phrases and stock stereotypes from the “Big British Book Of War In Ireland” (which is also popular reading amongst the Irish media establishment) but the most fun… Read More Irish Pigs In The Daily Mail
John Carter of Mars holds a special place in the history of Science-Fiction. The hero of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ series of Barsoom novels he is one of the archetypal figures of the genre, a character who has been reimagined numerous times and under numerous guises in the works of other authors. So it was with more than a… Read More John Carter Of Mars Gets The Disney Treatment… Cry Now, Or Later?