Category Archives: Film

Fava beans and chianti: ‘The Silence of the Lambs’


Yesterday evening I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole and ended up watching the horror film ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ from 1991. The film was directed by Jonathan Demme and was based on the book of the same name by Thomas Harris. Had I been actively seeking the film then I would never have found it. Being a classic, the copyright holders are quite stringent in who can access the work – people who pay for the privilege essentially – and constantly remove clips that breach their copyright. Continue reading Fava beans and chianti: ‘The Silence of the Lambs’


Theatrical: ‘The Snapper’ at the Gate


Currently in preview at the Gate Theatre is the stage adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s book ‘The Snapper’. The official opening is on Wednesday 20th June. Theatrical etiquette rules that reviewers don’t review plays until opening night. Preview shows are intended to allow the director and the cast to iron out any last minute issues with the play. I am going to ignore that rule – for the simple reason that I paid full whack for my preview ticket (no freebies for regular audience members). As the show I saw, was the fourth preview performance, if they are not about 99% stage ready by this point then they never will be. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Snapper’ at the Gate

Cult movie time: ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane?’


I have just watched ‘What ever happened to Baby Jane?’ What a riot. These days it is a cult classic, with a back story equally as fascinating as the tale being told onscreen. It is a psychological horror /thriller starring Bette Davis as ‘Baby Jane’ Hudson, and Joan Crawford as her sister Blanche. Blanche Hudson is a paraplegic, 1930s film star, being cared for by her sister ‘Baby Jane’. Baby Jane is somewhat eccentric – attired in gaudy make-up, and a dress and hairstyle more in keeping with her time as a child star. She is now a fifty-something, decrepit alcoholic, poisoned by bitterness and jealousy that her disabled sister is having a career comeback thanks to her old films appearing on television. In fact Jane is losing the very few marbles she ever possessed. Continue reading Cult movie time: ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane?’

1950s cinema: ‘Summertime’

sue ellen ewing

The dank, miserable evenings of the first week of January are perfect for summer holiday films. Watching golden, glorious sunshine is no match for the real thing – that is certainly true. But it reminds you that we are in the countdown to spring already. Even though it is only a fortnight since the shortest day of the year, almost imperceptibly, the daylight hours are stretching. Hope is on the horizon.

A 1950s summer romance film set in Italy, is a treat for the eyes. Continue reading 1950s cinema: ‘Summertime’

Cinema: ‘Loving Vincent’

‘Loving Vincent’ is a new animated film about the life and death of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh.

I watched it last night at the Irish Film Institute.

When I say this that this is an animated film, I am not telling the full story. It is in fact the first fully painted animation film. Each of the 65,000 frames used in the ninety mimute tale is a Van Gogh style oil painting on canvas. It took the talents of 115 painters/animators to create the film. Continue reading Cinema: ‘Loving Vincent’


I watched ‘Jackie Brown’ on Friday. This movie had been mentioned in some report about serial predator Harvey Weinstein that I’d read a day earlier. I’d seen that film many times. I’d loved that film. I detest violence or harassment against women.

But I decided I needed to do some research. Did Whalestein influence ‘Jackie Brown’? Continue reading Weekend

‘You’re terrible, Muriel’

Over the weekend I watched the film ‘Muriel’s Wedding’.

I have seen this film  more times than any other – except for one – in my life. (The only film that I know for certain, that I have seen more often is ‘Heathers’).

I know that it’s the only movie I went to see three times in the cinema on its release, back in 1994/1995. Since then, I have owned a DVD of the film, which I watched repeatedly. It’s also one of those pictures that has become a modern classic, so it is still a regular feature on the television schedules. Continue reading ‘You’re terrible, Muriel’

Film review: ‘God’s own country’

Johnny Saxby works on a farm in the Pennines in Yorkshire. His is a brutal existence –  a life of quiet desperation, living with his grandmother and father. Every night is spent binge drinking in the local pub. Every day is spent labouring on the farm by himself – his father’s stroke has rendered him unable to help with the gruelling manual work. Apart from drinking, his only other outlet is anonymous gay sex in trailers with trainee auctioneers at the local cattle mart. Bitter and disillusioned he lashes out at his old school friend, home from university for the weekend. His lonely life seems like a prison. Continue reading Film review: ‘God’s own country’

Cinematheque: ‘Atomic Blonde’

Monday evening is my only night off this week. Tuesday night will be the tech rehearsal for the show. Wednesday will be the dress rehearsal. Then from Thursday to Saturday it is show-time. For this run, (The show is ‘Uncut 2017 ‘ and is on at the Pearse Centre from 17th to 19th August at 8pm) I have not written any acting part for myself. Partly to do with my utter laziness when it comes to learning lines (make no mistake – just because you have written a piece doesn’t make it magically easier to learn). It also has to do with the fact that ‘Mother’s Little Holiday’ is a sequel to a piece I wrote for the February showcase called ‘Mother’s Little Holiday. The cast remains the same, therefore no room for me. I will be directing this new piece however, so it’s not like I will be idling. I won’t have pre-show nerves in the same manner that I get before going onstage. But the tension will still be palpable.

My Monday plan was to loll about, like a sack of meal on a sofa, watching television. I received a text asking if I wanted to avail of a ‘two for a tenner’ cinema offer. A fiver for a film is a bargain, so I agreed. ‘Atomic Blonde’ in the Odeon Cinema on the top floor of the abandoned shopping centre in the Point it was so.

I knew nothing about the film, save for what I’d seen on the side of Dublin buses. Therefore I knew that Charlize Theron was glammed up and carried a gun. Continue reading Cinematheque: ‘Atomic Blonde’

Gaze Film Festival: Documentaries

The August bank holiday weekend, also saw the 25th anniversary of  GAZE – the Irish LGBT film festival. Over forty films were screened – some old classics; films soon to be released in cinema; low budget films that exist thanks to the film festival circuit; short films and documentaries. The festival was held in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. Continue reading Gaze Film Festival: Documentaries