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CinÉireann – Issue 9 (September 2018)

The latest issue of CinÉireann has just been released.

It’s full of the usual great stuff, mostly thanks to editor Niall Murphy. However, there’s also some other great stuff in there including Conor Murphy‘s regular column on cinematic education and Ronan Doyle‘s “Queer Ire” column. I contributed a piece on Black ’47, the Irish famine western that is one of my favourite films of the year so far, discussing it in the context of the mainstreaming of the postcolonial western.

As ever, there is some fantastic talent involved in the issue, and it is an honour to get a chance to write for CinÉireann. A massive “thanks” to the fantastic Niall Murphy over at Scannain for letting me be a part of it.

You can read CinÉireann as a digital magazine directly. You can even subscribe and get future issues delivered to you directly. Or click the picture below.

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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #36!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Jason Coyle, Grace Duffy and Ronan Doyle to discuss the week in film. As usual, we talk about the top ten and the new releases, as well as what we’ve watched this week. In this episode, we discuss the appeal of Tony Scott’s (arguably) underrated late film Domino, which Jay claims as a cinematic classic and Ronan watched while hung over. We talk about the true horror lurking in Ghost Stories. We debate whether Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation is a Sacha Baron Cohen show as a horror movie.

We also talk about the films that the “young ones” will be watching as part of the back-to-school programme at the Irish Film Institute, the ongoing Dublin Festival of History and the first look deal between Element Pictures and Fox Searchlight that speaks to the viability of Irish film as award fare.

In terms of the top ten, there’s in-depth discussions of both Black ’47 and The Little Stranger, all four panelists having seen those films.

The top ten:

  1. Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation
  2. The Predator
  3. Christopher Robin
  4. The Little Stranger
  5. Mile 22
  6. The Nun
  7. A Simple Favour
  8. Crazy Rich Asians
  9. Black ’47
  10. The House With A Clock In Its Walls

New releases:

You can download the episode here, or listen to it below.

New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #35!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Jason Coyle and Ronan Doyle to discuss the week in film. As usual, we talk about the top ten and the new releases, as well as what we’ve watched this week. In this episode, the celebration of Agnès Varda continues, dovetailing into the release of her new film Faces Places. We also discuss the Toronto International Film Festival, the masculinity of Clint Eastwood, the strange reception of A Wrinkle in Time and the appeal of the classic Disney animated canon.

We also mark the passing of Irish film critic Stephen Coffey (who wrote under the name of Gar Cremona). Details of the memorial service can be found here, and his books are available for sale here.

The top ten:

  1. King of Thieves
  2. Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation
  3. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
  4. Christopher Robin
  5. BlacKkKlansman
  6. The House With A Clock In Its Walls
  7. The Predator
  8. Crazy Rich Asians
  9. The Nun
  10. Black ’47

New releases:

You can download the episode here, or listen to it below.

 

New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #34!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Jason Coyle, Ronan Doyle, Grace Duffy and Andrew Quinn to discuss the week in film. As usual, we talk about the top ten and the new releases, as well as what we’ve watched this week. In this episode, we discuss the work and legacy (and delayed appreciation) of Agnès Varda, the charm of When Harry Met Sally, the appeal of the original Halloween and the horror of The Exorcist.

You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

Top Ten:

  1. The Nun
  2. Black ’47
  3. BlacKkKlansman
  4. Christopher Robin
  5. Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation
  6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
  7. Incredibles II
  8. The Meg
  9. Searching…
  10. Ant Man and the Wasp

New Releases:

  • A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot
  • The Predator
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • King of Thieves
  • The Rider

New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #33!

Bringing us completely up to date with the Scannain podcast, it’s this week’s episode!

This week, I join Grace Duffy, Ronan Doyle and Luke Dunne from Film in Dublin for a jam-packed discussion of the week in film news. There’s a lot of great stuff here, covering everything from the closure of the Village Voice to the strong feelings that Luke and I had towards the Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg action vehicle Mile 22. It’s also a big week for new releases, including Bart Layton’s American Animals, Corin Hardy’s The Nun and Lance Daly’s Black ’47. The latter of which will be the largest Irish cinematic release ever, screening in one hundred cinemas North and South.

Give it a listen at the link, or check it out below.

New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #6!

Into the mouth of madness…

Discussing the latest in film news here and abroad, the Scannain podcast is a weekly podcast discussion of what we watched, what we watched, what is dominating and the box office, and what is lurking on the horizon film-wise. This week’s episode was recorded right before the premiere of Black ’47 at the launch of the eleven-day-long Audi Dublin Film Festival 2018, and covered everything from Black Panther to Galway cinema.

I’m thrilled to be part of a panel including returning host Niall Murphy and returning guests Ronan Doyle and Alex Towers. Give it a listen below.

Non-Review Review: Black ’47

This film was seen as part of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2018.

Black ’47 is a powerful piece of pulp storytelling, a bold and daring window into an under-served chapter of Irish history.

Directed by Lance Daly, working from a story derived by a variety of writers, Black ’47 is essentially a western set against the background of the Irish Famine. Of course, the reality is much more nuanced than that simple description would suggest, but it provides a suitable starting point for discussion. Indeed, all the genre elements are in place; a soldier returns home from war to discover the horrors that have befallen his family, and decides that there shall be no justice on earth save for that which he might exact by his own hand.

Black ’47 is a very sparse and rugged film. It would be a surprise if the nominal lead character, Feeney, speaks more than one hundred words. Indeed, at one point he explicitly rejects the English language as a tool of communication. The landscape of the film is rough and cold, the audience feeling the chill that runs through the film and almost smelling the decay in the air. Black ’47 reflects its rough and wild settings, and the characters who have been shaped and moulded by those surroundings.

Black ’47 is an effective piece of storytelling.

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