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Watch! Hardy Bucks Trailer!

It’s always nice to see an Irish success story. I can be quite tough on Irish television when the occasion calls for it. Any system that makes it easier to pitch a show like Father Ted or Moone Boy to a British broadcaster must be flawed in a significant way. Despite that, I’ll readily concede we do a lot of things quite well. Apparently Love/Hate is doing quite well abroad, and I’ve always been proud of our current affairs coverage. It’s also nice to see one of our shows making the leap to the big screen. Hardy Bucks has been one of the great success stories of Irish television. It was found during the 2009 Storyland competition and ended up going from strength-to-strength on Irish television. While it’s not quite my own cup of tea, it’s hard not to admire the charm and energy put into it – as well as the fact that it has managed to make quite an impact on Irish pop culture.

So the move to the big screen is certainly an interesting development, and I hope the show’s success continues. More popular comedy and diversity in Irish television is inherently a good thing. The trailer is a little bit too much at points – seeing a cheesily earnest American voice-over applied to an “Irish men behaving badly in Europe” comedy feels a little… dissonant – but the trick isn’t so much in the concept as the execution. I’m curious to see how it pays off. It’ll be opening here in February next year.

Ah Sure, It’s Grand: Random Thoughts on Critical Reception to Irish Films…

It’s always a bit interesting when a major and well-received Irish film is released, if only because it typically involves a fairly large divorce between the critical and audience reception to these films. It has been suggested that film critics are too quick to shower Irish films with praise they don’t deserve, out of some misplaced sense of patriotism. As the Trinity Film Review succinctly sums up:

An overrated Irish film is not hard to find. Our tendency towards the inflated evaluation of domestic filmmaking is a self-perpetuating one, leaving audiences indifferent towards the hyperbole-gavaged, entry-level film geese trotted out by our native industry, and filmmakers and critics alike complacent in the immutable, self-congratulatory expository routine the utter nakedness of which nobody seems inclined to comment on.

I have to admit, I’ve seen this in effect quite a few times, and it really bugs me – if only because it makes it harder to spot when a realgem of a film comes along. I honestly don’t think that this sort of attitude helps anyone.

I'm not down with that...

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RTE’s Storyland Competition: The Last Security Man

Just a quick one. RTE has continued their Storyland competition this year, as part of an attempt to find new young talent. The Hardy Bucks won the competition last year, and they seem to be quite popular (talking to people I know). The competition has entered its semi-final stages this year, and one of the shows still in is The Last Security Man  – sort of like a crazy combination of Observe and Report and Mall Cop with a decidedly Irish twist. You can check out one of the shorts below, or read up on them here, or check out their Storyland page here. There’s a new episode out today.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at the National Concert Hall

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

I was lucky enough to be in attendance for a gala performance of Rex Ingram’s 1921 classic The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at the National Concert Hall, complete with live accompaniment by the RTE Concert Orchestra – featuring a new soundtrack composed by Carl Davies. While the film is one of those classics I respect more than I enjoy, I have to give credit to the National Concert Hall for hosting the gala event.

An artist at work...

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