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Happy St. Paddy’s Day: Are We Too Harsh on Irish Films?

I read an article a little while ago (which is now locked to registered users of the Irish Times) in which director Neil Jordan suggested that, as a nation, we are too kind to our own films. Not that he was complaining, as he felt that he was doing quite nicely from the somewhat softer criticism.

However, always ready to cause a minor kerfuffle (that’s not an insult – it’s one of the reasons why I like him), Irish Times film critic Donald Clarke took time out to post this observation, provoking a raft of uncomplimentary responses from his readers. Commenting on his own article, Clarke admitted that it had all been a fiendishly clever gambit on his part:

This is all very interesting stuff. I must now confess something of an ulterior motive in posting this. You would not believe — and looking at responses above you really wouldn’t — the number of Irish film-makers who believe that domestic critics are unfairly negative towards their work. I’m glad to see I was not hallucinating.

We’re all “begrudgers” you see. (Incidentally that is my least favourite word in Irish-English.)

So,  do these critics have a point? Are we all just incredibly bitter about our own national film culture? In honour of Paddy’s Day, I thought I’d share my own opinions on the matter.

Note to international readers: most Irish films do not look like this...

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Trail me Lies, Trail me Sweet Little Lies: Hollywood Trailers, Omission of Facts and Downright Lies

Movie trailers are a fickle bunch. Some spoil movies by revealing crucial plot twists. But there’s arguably something far more sinister than an advertisement which innocently gives a plot twist or two away: the movie trailer which actively lies to the audience. It’s a very dodgy advertising strategy, but sadly one that movie studios seem to be quite comfortable resorting to.

Machete: A Romantic Comedy...

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Non-Review Review: The Good, The Bad & The Weird

That was fun. Really, pure unadulterated fun. A skewed trip through the Sergio Leone Westerns with the ingenuity of Raiders of the Lost Ark thrown into the mix, filtered through a modern Tarantino-esque filter of pop cultural awareness and thirst for action and violence. It’s a jumble of a million and one different things, a fresh and mostly original cocktail that leaves a rather pleasant taste in the mouth. If it doesn’t quite measure up to the classics it seeks to emulate, it can take great pleasure in the fact that it is a much more fitting tribute than anything Hollywood has produced in the last two decades.

Naked gun...

Naked gun...

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