Pursued by a Bear »

  • JDIFF countdown and Slamdance delight

    January 29, 2010 @ 12:30 pm | by Fiona McCann

    What a week for Irish film. Not only does Conor Horgan’s haunting debut feature One Hundred Mornings get a Special Jury Mention at the Slamdance Film Festival in Utah, but the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival has launched its programme with plenty of cinematic goodies to look forward to. The latter kicks off with the European premier of Neil Jordan’s Ondine, while also featuring a celebration of Kristin Scott Thomas’ French film work, including the Irish premiere of her new film Partir. Then there’s the screening of I Am Love with director Luca Guadagnino and actor Tilda Swinton in attendance, Woody Allen’s Whatever Works starring Larry David, Tim Burton’s glorious-looking Alice in Wonderland 3D, a Russian season that includes a screening of Mermaid, a Korean season with Bong Jun-ho’s Mother, a screening of Horgan’s aforementioned Slamdance hit, a tribute to this newspaper’s late film correspondent Michael Dwyer which includes a series of films he particularly championed, and lots more to be found hereSome Blind Alleys gives its documentary tips here. Any other recommendations? (more…)

  • J.D. Salinger bows out

    January 28, 2010 @ 7:21 pm | by Fiona McCann

    As Holden Caulfield put it: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wished the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”

  • Irish Times Theatre Awards

    January 27, 2010 @ 12:13 pm | by Fiona McCann

    There’s been some kerfuffle about the nominations for the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2009,  with all manner of cyber mutterings, some measured comment and some, perhaps predictable, outrage – it is an awards list, after all. “This was our reflection of what was most memorable and what was of the highest artistic standard,” was how Sara Keating defended the nominations by the three judges, who saw hundreds of shows between them over the course of last year. Yet still these choices seem to have raised the hackles of those who query ommissions or quibble with inclusions. So what is it about these nominations that has so many tongues wagging in the theatre world? This blog is open for comment: have your say.

  • Kate McGarrigle RIP

    January 19, 2010 @ 2:01 pm | by Fiona McCann

  • Monday roundup

    January 18, 2010 @ 6:09 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Reading: Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray. Finally, some Irish writing set in contemporary Ireland. And it ain’t pretty (the Ireland, not the writing).

    Saw: Up in the Air. Though slow enough in the take off,  it’s not that often a film can surprise you, for which I am grateful. It helps that I have a soft spot for anything that stars any member of the cast of that comedic delight, Arrested Development.  Strangely, Up in the Air already feels dated, but there are moments – like that crashed convention, if you’ve already seen it – that were cringingly true to life. Unbearable lightness of flying, anyone?

    Squashed: That’s the word I’d use for the Irish Museum of Modern Art last Sunday, where EVERYBODY had taken advantage of the sudden change in our meteorlogical fortunes to hightail it down to Picturing New York. So yes, the small building housing the exhibit was a little jammers for tranquil viewing, but still worth a trip for some beautiful photos of a city that became itself through them. Shots by Alfred Stieglitz, Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson are among the 145 black and white works on show, dating from the nineteenth century to today. All are from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, with this selection curated by Sarah Meister. Go see New York at IMMA (but pick a rainy day).

  • Choice Music Prize

    January 14, 2010 @ 12:52 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Looky, it’s the Choice Music Prize shortlist, and frankly, that’s often the best bit of the Choice race. After that it’s all horse-trading and faux controversy (ooh! who got up the wrong side of the bed this morning?). Anyway, below I have kindly assmbled a YouTube for each artist, so we can all make our own minds up. Amn’t I generous? So, Ladies, Gentlemen, and readers of this blog, I present to you, the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year 2009 shortlistees:

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  • The blog is dead – long live the blog!

    January 13, 2010 @ 11:44 am | by Fiona McCann

    I’ve gone a bit schtum of late, partly because I’ve been kept fierce busy staying abreast of the big bloggerfuffle as evinced here and here. After all, if blogging is dead, does that make me a necrophiliac? Course, I’ve also been on hatwatch, which can be very time-consuming indeed, as you can well imagine. But moving swiftly on, a quick alert for an event which has already made an appearance in the comments here, but really deserves its own post: that’s right folks, it’s the Sing-a-long Sound of Music at Dublin’s Sugar Club. So don your Von Trappery and head a-long to said venue on February 6th for a night of raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens. The film will be screened with subtitles for anyone who gets confused about whether they’re sixteen going on seventeen, or how you find a word that means Maria (a flibbertijibbet, a will-o-the-wisp, a clown, in case you didn’t know). Kick off at 7.30 p.m. Sing it with me, doe a deer, a female deer. . . .

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  • Diary dates, lists and other miscellany

    January 7, 2010 @ 12:45 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Plenty afoot, folks, despite the weather. First off, Fustar is back with Dreadful Thoughts: find your reading assignments here.  And in the spirit of new years, Fashionista Rosemary MacCabe has a fancy new blog here. Though the Temple Bar Trad Fest is still a fortnight or so away, it may be time to note it in the diaries. A little sooner, Conor Byrne’s county gigs continue next week at the Button Factory with Kildare, and bejapers if it isn’t Christy Moore that’s the special guest this time. And another one for your diaries, while you have them out: the IFI is offering a day of free screenings on February 6th throughout the venue. Full programme details will be released on their website www.ifi.ie towards the end of this month. And here are the so-far sounds of 2010 according to the BBC: number one slot still open, any takers?

  • Michael Dwyer RIP

    January 2, 2010 @ 9:04 pm | by Fiona McCann

    I’m in Berlin and have just heard the news about the death of my colleague, Michael Dwyer, so am reposting a piece from Jim Carroll’s On the Record: This newspaper’s film critic Michael Dwyer died on New Year’s Day after a short illness. Hugh Linehan’s obituary is here and tributes can be posted on Donald’s blog here. Michael’s last piece for the paper, which was published in The Ticket a few weeks ago, is here.


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