Film folk say farewell to IFI programmer Walsh
A touching memorial service was held for Pete Walsh, much-admired programmer of the Irish Film Institute, at Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold’s Cross on Monday afternoon. Pete, who died one week ago after a short illness, acted as programmer of the Triangle Theatre in Birmingham before taking up his post at the IFI in 1994.A firm film fanatic, with no inclinations towards snobbery, he was as happy watching contemplative Russian art films as he was laughing his way through comedies of the broadest hue.
Grainne Humphreys, former IFI big wig and current director of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, recalled his early days programming a season of films by the mischievous exploitation maestro Russ Meyer. Pete’s nephew, James Mulvey, remembered his uncle as a source of fun and erudition at Christmas time. The themes from Howard Hawks’s Rio Bravo and Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ filled the space with memories of untouchable classics.
Out there in the digital world, more than a few distinguished cinema folk paid tribute. Nigel Floyd, the prominent British critic, described Pete as “a cineaste of the old school”. Geoff Andrew, head of film programme at the British Film Institute, said he was a “supporter of all that’s worth sticking up for”. Adrian Wooton, CEO of Film London, noted that he “gave so many people, including me, their first jobs in film.” Watch this space for rumoured tribute screenings.