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Neil Jordan at Trinity College

I had the great pleasure to pop along to a discussion with Neil Jordan hosted by the University Philosophical Society in Trinity College last night. I didn’t have a pen and paper handy, but I did make a few notes on the conversation which at least offer an interesting perspective or two from the Irish autuer. The Phil website normally has recordings of event up fairly promptly, so I’ll add a link to them soon. In the meantime, there are a few interesting thoughts in what the man said.

Irish film legend...

Irish film legend...

  • Regarding his future film – an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Ghost Book – he suggested the possibility of working in 3D. He did suggest the interesting stylistic choice of only animating the ghosts on 3D and confining the human characters to the 2D screen, which is an interesting choice. He did stipulate, however, that 3D is very expensive – but he’s not adverse to working with it if it can help his vision.
  • He talked a bit about the way that Michael Collins became a national talking point during the peace process, and how the premiere came shortly after the Canary Wharf bombing. He wasn’t really drawn on the film as a commentary on nationalism, but he said he was excited that it was still being used to spark discussion. He also discussed how a recurring theme of his work was how the violence in Ireland impeded what might otherwise have been an era of cultural expansion and awakening in the 1960s and 1970s – he specifically cited Breakfast on Pluto as an example of that sentiment.
  • He also discussed a bit about how growing up as an Irish lad in London has influenced a huge proportion of his work, from his early short stories through to films like The Crying Game and Breakfast on Pluto.
  • He also gave his thoughts on his adaptations, suggesting perhaps he had been too loyal to Anne Rice’s An Interview With A Vampire, and he defended his alterations to the end of The End of the Affair – claiming that he felt the spirituality of the ending contrasted with the end of the book.
  • He also offered a fair bit of insight into the future of film and independent film, reflecting that – despite all the hype surrounding the festival – there was really only one big deal made in Toronto for the American distribution rights to a film. He remembers the day when everybody would get around $3m and change for the rights at the festival. He was fairly even-handed on internet culture, observing that though it may hurt artists financially, it also gives them a much wider audience than the would otherwise have – he believes the home video-editing software has placed the future of movie-making on personal computers.

I will post a link to the recordings when they are up, but I’d like to thank the Phil for a most interesting and insightful evening with the director.

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