Oíche Sheanchais, The First Irish Language Sound Film

Mian Ní Cheallaigh, An Cladach, Contae na Gaillimhe, Éire, 26ú Bealtaine 1913

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’ … Continue reading

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Harry Potter To The Rescue!

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 … Continue reading

Cultus Obscuram – Mr Rossi, Signor Rossi

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 … Continue reading

Irish TV And Cinema? Some Hope

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 … Continue reading

Cultus Obscuram – Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

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 … Continue reading

The Randomers

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 … Continue reading

Cultus Obscuram – Knightriders

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 … Continue reading

Steampunk In Ireland

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 … Continue reading

Jodorowsky’s Dune

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 … Continue reading

Judge Minty – Taking The Law To The Lawless

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.

Robert E. Howard – The Whole Wide World

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 … Continue reading

Christopher Tolkien On The Legacy Of His Father, J.R.R. Tolkien

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 … Continue reading

The Young Ancestors

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 … Continue reading

The Murder Machine – The British War In Ireland

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 … Continue reading

We Are 42%

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 … Continue reading

The Book Smugglers. Ireland, Lithuania, And The Freedom Of Language

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 … Continue reading

Oireachtas na Samhna

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. … Continue reading

Irish Pigs In The Daily Mail

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 … Continue reading

John Carter Of Mars Gets The Disney Treatment… Cry Now, Or Later?

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 … Continue reading

TG4 Launches Scéal, The Short Film Scheme

News from the IFTN that TG4 has launched a new short film scheme: ‘Scéal is a development scheme that offers talented new Irish-speaking writers/directors an opportunity to adapt a well-known story from Irish language literature or folklore towards a half hour short film. The scheme is following from the success of previous schemes ‘Síol’ and … Continue reading

Big Audio Dynamite

Since I’m watching ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ on TG4 here is some Big Audio Dynamite with ‘Medicine Show’! :-)

Who Doesn’t Like Zombie Nazis? Or Killer Trolls?!

Norwegian cinema is unusual, sometimes very unusual, but fun. And none more so than its small, Indie scene. Here are two recent examples. Of course their Scandinavian cousins have also given us the brilliant TV thriller ‘The Killing‘ (Denmark) and the suitably dark and disturbing movie (given it’s source material) ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘ (Sweden). Enjoy!  

An Fomhórach – The Fomorian

  • blog awards ireland Nominated: Best Politics Blog 2013, Best Personal Blog 2013, Best Blog Post 2013
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated: Best News/Current Affairs/Political Blog 2014, Best Mobile Blog 2014, Best Blog Post 2014