With all the controversy stirred up by RTÉ’s dismal television dramatisation of the 1916 Easter Rising, its strange overtones of colonial denialism perhaps best summed up by the programme’s title, “Rebellion” (not, “Revolution”), I was reminded of this paragraph from a 2013 article by professor Bryan Fanning in the Dublin Review of Books. While examining a long forgotten “science-fiction” style story by Patrick Pearse published… Read More Patrick Pearse And RTÉ’s Rebellion
In the 1990s and early 2000s many critics decried the stunted practice in the movie and television industries of plagiarising the productions of rival studios and networks. Cinematic-clones were set against each other in the theatres while TV broadcasters copied popular programmes to take advantage of existing audiences. Over the last few years the preference for remakes or reboots has become the… Read More Is MTV’s New Fantasy Offering Shannara Shore Or Shannara Cribs?
With all the hype this week surrounding the release of J. J. Abrams’ new addition to the Star Wars franchise, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, it’s good to return to the original 1970s’ trilogy as brought to us by George Lucas and co. So here, for your delight (or horror), is the rarely-seen 1978 television spectacular, “The Star Wars… Read More The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special
I must admit to being fairly critical of Peter Capaldi’s work in the British sci-fi series Doctor Who – having been a fan of his “fuck-the-fuck off or fuck-the-fuck in” belligerence as Malcom Tucker in “The Thick of It” – but I have been pleasantly surprised by the programme’s most recent episode, “Heaven Sent “,… Read More Peter Capaldi Finds His Doctor Who
While most eyes and ears were focused on the headline-grabbing announcements in the November budgetary review by the UK’s aristocratic finance minister, George Osborne, more seasoned observers were analysing the lesser discussed passages in the chancellor’s financial plans for 2016. Thanks to the diligence of Plaid Cyrmu and other interested parties it quickly emerged that the hereditary indifference or antipathy amongst Britain’s metropolitan elites… Read More Celtic-Speaking Communities Of Britain Denied Funding
I’ve been meaning to write something about the ridiculously talented Irish folk group, Lynched, for some time; fortunately Britain’s Guardian newspaper has got there ahead of me. The band was formed in the early 2000s by Darragh and Ian Lynch as a folk-punk duo until joined by Cormac Mac Diarmada and Radie Peat, eventually becoming… Read More Irish Folk Band, Lynched
I have a great deal of affection for Joss Whedon’s prematurely ended science-fiction series, “Firefly”, which aired on Fox Television in the United States in late 2002, and was viewable in Ireland via the old Sci Fi Channel in 2003. It was an odd but effective “space western” which initially baffled most audiences and critics,… Read More Exploring The Genre Frontier In Joss Whedon’s 2005 Movie Serenity
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!
If you’re familiar with Irish TV broadcasts from the 1980s and early ’90s you’ll certainly remember the less-than-professional advertising that used to populate the commercial breaks of RTÉ and TG4 (or UTV). It wasn’t quite at the same level as local public access channels in the United States but at times it didn’t seem that far off, either. These days such things… Read More VHS Memories: Bedspring Bob
Coincidental to the temporary silencing of a compliant Irish press by a billionaire businessman whose past dealings have become mired in controversy, the Irish Times reports on the Fine Gael-Labour coalition’s new rules on media ownership which will give: “…the Minister for Communications power to decide if a proposed media merger is in the public interest in terms of… Read More Irish Language Rights Are No Rights At All
Susceptible as I am to the marriage of history with technology, being the original antiquarian-technophile, my love affair with the Internet Archive (a digital library offering free access to a legion of books, movies and music, not to mention some four billion cached web pages) grows ever deeper. If you haven’t browsed its files you really need to… Read More Here Be Dragons, Book Images Of The Internet Archive On Flickr
Scottish blogger Tocasaid has cast a cold eye over the Anglo-American television adaptation of the genre-defying Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon, and drawn the wrath of fans everywhere. Personally I like time-travelling tropes (Julian’s May quadrilogy, Saga of the Exiles, remains one of my favourite SF series) however what little I know of Outlander – the novel and TV show –… Read More Risking The Ire Of Outlander Fans
From France 24, the story of Haya El Ali, a young Syrian woman who befriended female members of the Islamic State in her hometown of Raqqa. Using a camera hidden in her purse she filmed events in the city until she fell under the suspicion of the IS authorities and was forced to flee into exile in France.
Al Jadeed or الجديد is a 24-hour news and current affairs television station based in the Lebanon and broadcasting across the Arab world. During a recent interview between popular presenter Rima Karaki and the London-based Islamist scholar Sheikh Hani Al-Siba’i things became somewhat heated. It is a useful reminder that there are numerous regional and national differences in the societies and cultures of the… Read More Al Jadeed, Rima Karaki And Running The Show
The National Review Online, the web-version of the right-wing American current affairs magazine, has published a series of “leaked” emails from the Al Jazeera news network under the somewhat disingenuous headline “Leaked Newsroom Emails Reveal Al Jazeera Fury over Global Support for Charlie Hebdo“. In fact the emails don’t reveal any such “fury” but rather… Read More Those Leaked Al Jazeera Emails On Charlie Hebdo
These are the people, the right-wing Nationalist forces, that initiated and won the counter-revolutionary civil war of 1921-23 and this is the conservative Irish Free State they replaced the liberal Irish Republic with. From an article by Fin Dwyer of the excellent Irish History Podcast: “In the early 1920s Ireland was in a ruinous state.… Read More The Irish Famine Of 1925
So after eighteen years of an online presence our self-proclaimed “national public service broadcaster”, RTÉ, has finally got around to providing a web-based Irish language news site (though you might have to search through the RTÉ homepage to find it). I suppose one should welcome the move as a sign of more demand driving more… Read More The Embarrassment Of Being Irish
Il était une fois… or “Once Upon a Time…” is an ongoing animated series produced by the multi-talented French television-maker Albert Barillé and his Procidis studio in Paris. Since the late 1970s the franchise has devoted itself to charting the broad evolution of humankind for a children’s audience with each series devoted to one… Read More Cultus Obscuram, Once Upon A Time… Space
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
Some more good news for the Scottish language (Scottish Gaelic) with the announcement by Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, that a further £2.1 million pounds (2.5 million euros) will be made available to MG Alba, the state-funded media organisation. The group funds Scottish language television and radio programmes in cooperation with the BBC and various… Read More Big Boost In Funding For Scottish Language Broadcasting
Hot on the heels of my post discussing the urgent need for the reform of public service broadcasting in Ireland comes news of a veritable revolt by journalists within RTÉ’s normally quiescent ranks as reported by the Irish Times: “Almost 50 staff members in RTÉ have written to Director General, Mr. Noel Curran, to express their… Read More Culture Wars In Ireland And Britain