Pursued by a Bear »

  • What have I missed?

    August 31, 2009 @ 10:29 am | by Fiona McCann

    So, while I’ve been off galivanting, Dun Laoghaire’s had its Festival of World Cultures, and a new Tarantino film is out. Sheesh. Thankfully I’m back in plenty of time for several other cultural up-and-comings coming up. Such as the Some Blind Alleys writing competition being run to coincide with the launch of this online journal for new Irish writing and visual art. There are three categories: essay, short story and translation. And three judges: Booker longlisted Ed O’Loughlin, writer Tim Robinson and Rough Magic Theatre Company Executive Producer Diego Fasciati. The deadline for entry is September 18th and, get this, THERE’S NO FEE. This may well be the first time I’ve ever heard of a writing competition that doesn’t require an entry fee, and it warms the cockles of one’s heart to hear it. For more information on the competition and how to enter, click here. Meanwhile, just a heads up that a little further down the line but worth putting in yizzer calendars is the upcoming Offset 2009. It’s a week-long creative festival that culminates in a three-day conference at Liberty Hall and offers a line-up of speakers that includes Serge Seidlitz, Oliver Jeffers (author of the beautiful Lost and Found) and Tara McPherson. It runs November 6th to 9th – put it in your diaries folks. Autumn/Winter is getting busy . . .

  • Break in service

    August 24, 2009 @ 10:43 am | by Fiona McCann

    Apologies for the break in bear service. I have been pursued into wedlock, and am honeymooning. Normal service will resume in a matter of days.

  • Fringe o’clock

    August 13, 2009 @ 11:47 am | by Fiona McCann

    It’s that time of year again, and the Fringe Festival (or Absolut Fringe, as the festival formerly known as the Dublin Fringe Festival is now known) has launched its programme for 2009. Lots of goodies in store, including an interesting Loose Canon project which involves cutting costs by putting on two plays using the same cast, production team, costumes and rehearsal space, as well as the return of Rotozaza with Wondermart, an interactive audio tour through a supermarket. The festival’s young new artistic director Róise Goan gave me the lowdown on how to put on a budget festival on a budget, in today’s paper.

  • Culture and the city: the debate

    August 12, 2009 @ 8:47 am | by Fiona McCann

    Here ye, here ye, funders, artists, public representatives and citizens of Dublin: get thee to Meeting House Square next Wednesday for a public debate on questions of culture and the city. The debate will take in a range of issues, among them the control and regulation of space, and citizen involvement in such. If you’re a little shy about airing your views at so public a forum, fear not: all audience members will be given a mask on entry to ensure anonymity, in the hope that this will promote some plain speaking from the masses. The place? Meeting House Square in Temple Bar (there’ll be a marquee roof covering, so no rain-checking). The date: Wednesday, August 19th. The time: 6.30. The price: Free! For more information, see www.templebar.ie.

  • The day that’s in it

    August 7, 2009 @ 3:52 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Thought I’d post a quick thanks to Mr Hughes for best use of dandruff in a film ever, and one of my own fondest memories of schooldays: my whole entire first year class piled into Anita Murphy’s living room to watch The Breakfast Club. We have photos to prove it, but you’re not seeing them (acne, braces, enormous hair and complete lack of awareness of enormous hair is too heart-breaking to look back on now) but you do get to see this instead:

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    And no, I don’t know who Richard is, but he ain’t no child of the eighties if he calls them Singstar eighties dance moves. Sigh.

  • Extras required

    August 6, 2009 @ 10:08 am | by Fiona McCann

    Feeling fringey? Good. Because not only is the countdown on to this year’s Fringe Festival’s programme launch, but now you have a chance to actually perform. YOU TOO WILL BE A STAR! HOW? Listen up, all you Sarah Bernhardts and Laurence Oliviers..  Argentinian film-maker Gerardo Naumann is looking for all ye aged between 10 and 100 to sign up to be part of his upcoming Absolut Fringe (the festival formerly known as the Dublin Fringe Festival) production, A Useful Play. To take part, the dramatically inclined need to be available from August 29 to September 4 during the day for rehearsals, and from September 5 – 9 for showtime. Applicants should sign up before August 21, by contacting 086 3977832 or emailing laylaomarapr@gmail.com.  

  • This is one of the reasons

    @ 9:51 am | by Fiona McCann

    . . . why I want to see 500 Days of Summer. I’ve tried to embed the video, but it ain’t working so you’ll have to click here and find your Thursday markedly improved.

  • From screen to Booker?

    August 5, 2009 @ 1:03 pm | by Fiona McCann

    As if being longlisted weren’t enough, this Saturday, as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, there’ll be a full line-up of William Trevor-related films at the Set Theatre in John Street. Colm Toibin (Booker prize longlisted himself, so this could get violent – that’s a joke, by the way, before yiz get up-in-arms at the mere suggestion) will be introducing the series at 10.30 a.m., with Hidden Ground, a documentary featuring Trevor’s musings on the landscape of his childhood around Cork, kicking off the screenings at 10.40 a.m. Next up, Atom Egoyan’s cinematic interpretation of the Trevor novel Felicia’s Journey, followed by Access to the Children, starring Donal McCann, and culminating in the RTE/BBC co-production Ballroom of Romance, starring Brenda Fricker, Niall Toibin and Cyril Cusack.  Having only seen Felicia’s Journey, I can at least recommend it, though without having read the original Trevor story to give any sense of how it compares to Egoyan’s interpretation. Anyone else seen any of the above? More information on the screenings here. And more on the festival anon…

  • If you believe . . .

    August 4, 2009 @ 11:56 am | by Fiona McCann

    Duncan Jones’ Moon (reviewed here by Donald Clarke) is a beautiful thing, all solitude and lunar landscapes, a kind of meditation on loneliness that sets your spine tingling. The plot has its own delights, and observations on business and science and the essence of human experience, but what is haunting about this film (seen last night in the Lighthouse Cinema, which cinema is worth a mention in its own right) is how it examines the solitary nature of existence and our need for contact. Where it works is not, however, in its sci-fi twists and hints at the manipulative realities of profit-mongers, but in its portrayal of the machinations of the human mind. Sam Rockwell is affecting, the pocked face of the moon a beauty, and the distant backdrop of this small drama played out among the stars somehow brings it closer. Go see it.


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