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285. Trainspotting (#173)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guest Emma Kiely, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

So this week, Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting.

Using heroin to numb the pain of simply existing, Mark Renton drifts through a series of episodic adventures in nineties Edinburgh. Renton and his friends find themselves caught up in a web of sex, violence, drug abuse and existential malaise, grappling with challenges both large and small as they struggle to make it out the other side of their experiences.

At time of recording, it was ranked 173rd on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: Cloud Atlas

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Cloud Atlas is a bold, imaginative, creative, frustrating, original, inventive, exhausting and ambitious piece of work. It’s a film that really forces the audience to collaborate, to try to force the pieces of story on the screen to fit together into a structure that is both rewarding and unique. Coming out of the film – which has been dubbed “the most expensive indie movie of all time” – I was left with the impression that Cloud Atlas is a film where everybody is going to hold a slightly different perception of what the film is, and what it’s about. I can very honestly say that Cloud Atlas is quite unlike any other film I have ever seen, and that sense of experimentation and the sheer skill to force the narrative into a shape that makes some sort of sense, unique to almost each viewer, is one massive accomplishment.

Sweet music...

Sweet music…

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Silent at the Peacock Theatre (Review)

Fishamble’s Silent has already completely sold out its run at the Peacock Theatre. Of course, that shouldn’t be a massive surprise. Winning both the Fringe First and the Herald Angel awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, the one-man show has been touring to great acclaim nationally and internationally. It’s a powerful, well-produced piece of theatre, with writer Pat Kinevane turning in a superb lead performance as the show’s narrator, a charming and engaging (and deeply troubled) homeless man named Tino McGoldrig. His mother was a fan of Rudolph Valentino, he explains, and “Rudolph” just wouldn’t cut it down in Cork. Touching, moving and excellently constructed, it’s an occasionally harrowing piece of theatre.

Yes. It is. Quite. (Photo by mariafalconer.co.uk)

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Non-Review Review: The Illusionist (2010)

It’s hard to fault The Illusionist on a technical level. The film is truly beautiful, not only capturing the beauty of its surroundings in wonderful animation, but also produced with a magical sense of artistry and genuine romanticism. Although one can readily spot the hints of CGI used to help realise director Sylvain Chomet’s vision, the animation feels remarkably and endearingly old-fashioned. The limited use of dialogue throughout adds a strange and ethereal (almost fairy tale) quality to the whole thing. Still, there’s something that feels a bit strange about the whole thing, as if the story – although trying to distract us with flair and bright colours and a clever wit – is a truly depressing saga. Some might suggest that it is “bittersweet”, but I couldn’t help but find the outer “sweetness”nothing but a superficial attempt to distract from a truly bitter core.

It's a kind of magic...

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48 Hours at the Fringe – An Edinburgh Diary

Hey, I had the good fortune to jet off to the Edinburgh Fringe over the weekend. It was my first time to the festival – but not to the city (which is as beautiful as ever and seems particularly alive when populated with strange and wacky students and artistes from all over the world). I arrived after the travel-trip from hell on the Friday night and flew back last night, so I had just two days to spend at the world’s most renowned theatre/comedy festival. I am glad to report that not only have I returned with my sanity intact, but I actually had a pretty good run at the festival.

Best. Holiday. Photo. Ever.

Best. Holiday. Photo. Ever.

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