Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

PopLives #66: John Butler

Every week this Q&A finds out what interesting people in music, film, fashion, theatre, literature, performance, tech stuff, and whatever else are consuming.

Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 15:46


John Butler is a film director, whose most recent film - The Stag - he directed, and co-wrote with Peter McDonald. It opens in Irish cinemas on March 7th.

What are you reading?
The Bob Mould memoir, See a Little Light. I am a Husker Du fan and a Sugar fan, yes, but even more than for the music, it’s a fascinating account of the life of a gay man in the heart of macho US punk culture in the 80′s.

Last film you saw and your verdict?
Her. Grand, it was. I certainly wanted to punch Joaquin Phoenix on the nose a few times, but perhaps that response was generated and finely calibrated intentionally by writer and actor working in concert.

Last gig/concert you went to and your verdict?
John Grant at The Olympia. Just… the greatest motherf*cker that you’re ever going to meet, from the top of your head, down to the tips of the toes on your feet.

Last stage production you saw and your verdict?
The Weir in London. I’m a huge fan of Conor McPherson. And I’m looking forward to Michael West’s new show, Conservatory in the Peacock. Last stand-up I saw was David O’Doherty, and he, I think, is the snake’s hips.

Last gallery / museum / exhibition you visited and your verdict?
The Jewish Museum in Berlin. Bleak. Fascinating.

You have a golden ticket to Easons, what magazine is first on your list?
The Dublin Review, without a doubt. The Stinging Fly too, while we’re at it. Is Shoot! still a thing?

What are your most clicked bookmarks?
Twitter, Gmail, Kottke, McSweeneys.

Do you have a favourite podcast or radio programme?
No. It’s something of a secret shame to confess that I just don’t listen to the radio, nor any podcasts. I listen to music.

Give us a tip for 2014…
Food is having a serious moment, people. As is water.

When you fall into a YouTube hole what’s the general subject matter of the videos you’re watching?
Ferocious rugby tackles. Stand-up comics. The drumming of Bernard Purdie. Dogs running into plate glass windows. The usual.

What song should we listen to right now?
‘Jam on Summer’ by New Jackson – David Kitt is a National Treasure.

Which boxset/TV series do you have on the go at the moment?
None. After three or so very peripatetic years, I’m moving into an apartment this month and will catch up on EVERYTHING EVER. For me, though, nothing has even approached the greatness of The Sopranos. And I love 30 Rock. And Girls.

Which app do you use the most?
Hailo. Shazam. Growlr.

Do you play video games or mobile platform games, and if so, what’s your favourite at the moment?
Not at all. Just not for me, those. They never have been. I don’t know why.

What is your favourite club night of all time?
The Endup, Spundae and the Sunset boat parties, all as a callow youth in San Francisco. Sigh.

What was the last country you visited and what were you doing there?
Sydney, Australia. Visiting my brother and working on my guns (eating).

If you could transport one international cultural outlet to your home town, what would it be and why?
The Frick in New York. Such an intimate, quiet and reflective space to consider paintings. I really hate the implied need to see *everything* at a bigger gallery – those spaces run directly counter to the contemplation of art, I think.

And finally, if you check out one film this week make it…
Can I say The Stag? If I can’t… oh, okay. The Last Days of Peter Bergmann is a superb short Irish documentary, made by some very talented people.

Previously on PopLives: Don Wycherley, MaserRubberbanditsJames WolfSinead GleesonOlwen FouéréLe GalaxieCian O’BrienCian Ó CiobhainKatie HollyElaine MaiAisling FarinellaBrendan CantyMelanie MorrisTaylor MacTemper-Mental MissElayenousFez Fa’ananaChris JudgeXnthonyDavid MullaneJo ManganDerek O’ConnorBeardymanLynnette MoranRob DelaneyJulie Chance,  Conor O’BrienNial ConlanWallis BirdAdrian CrowleyTegan QuinEllie MacnamaraSteve RyanMumblin Deaf RoRick O’SheaGrace DyasMark O’HalloranAmy ConroyLouise McSharryMaeve HigginsRay YeatesNialler9Jeanie FinlayKevin BarryBrigie De CourcyJohn ScottWillie WhiteNiall MuckianPhil BoyleAngela DorganRoise GoanJoshua GordonMick MinogueEilis BoyleAnnie MacBen FrowMichael McDermottSinead O’Connor,  Shane LanganKathy ScottEoghan KidneyMichael Roe, and Phillip McMahon.