DIR/WRI: Liam O Mochain • PRO: Bernie Grummell, Eamonn Norris, Liam O Mochain • DOP: Fionn Comerford • ED: Ciara Brophy • MUS: Richie Buckley • DES: David Wilson • CAST: Liam Ó Mochain, Aoibhin Garrihy, Lynette Callaghan Norma Sheahan, Brendan Conroy
First up, let’s give credit where there’s a hefty dollop of credit due. It takes insane amounts of determination and effort to shoot a feature. It’s an expensive, exhausting and an emotionally-draining process – even with a few bob in the coffers from a funding body. Six years, a heap of Irish talent, and seven neatly-woven stories later, Liam O Mochain has delivered a jaunty gem in Lost and Found. Completely on his own dime, he spliced together simple vignettes and produced something that holds its own against any Irish film released this year.
The format is not dissimilar to the Kevin Smith cult classic, Clerks. These seven stories, also punctuated by title cards, are loosely centred around Daniel, played by Ó Mochain himself. The mayhem begins when this ne’er-do-well starts working at the Lost & Found in a rural train station. The short, self-contained chapters, featuring Daniel and the people he encounters, swing from amusing to maudlin, then back again. Delivering decent foreshadowing, simple dialogue and a neat plot structure, this feature makes for an easy watch once it ramps up.
When penning the script, O Mochain was inspired by true stories that either happened to him, people he knows or things he was told about. With plotlines focusing on Bridezillas; a desperate bar-owner and his cultural appropriation; World War II treasure-hunting; a tragic older gentleman with dementia; and the worst proposal ever, you have to wonder about the company Liam keeps.
There’s a host of familiar faces dappled through the cast, which adds to the energy of the piece as a whole. What’s even more impressive than their solid performances, however, is how something shot over five years manages to keep such consistency.
Although Clerks is the obvious comparison for a piece like this, tonally these films occupy very different realms. Rather than oozing that grungy ‘90s despondency, Lost & Found steers itself towards the earnest and warm. This is quite refreshing in an era where everything is glib and self aware. Whether it’s the classic character archetypes, jaunty music or the rural setting, there’s almost a touch of the ’70s in there. All in all, Lost & Found delivers a rewarding, quirky slice of Irish cinema.
Now, it’s certainly time to see what O Mochain can do with a budget.
12A (See IFCO for details)
Lost & Found is released 13th July 2018