Written and directed by Dubliner and relative newcomer Dáire McNab, The Gingerbread Men follows on from his 2009 debut horror The Farm. This movie switches genres, exploring the strained and touching relationship between two Trinity College students and housemates – surly womaniser Charlie (Elliot Moriarty) and hapless virgin Ken (Kenneth Conway), whose facial scars have removed his last shred of confidence, making it almost impossible for him to engage with women. Ken observes Charlie with a mixture of awe and envy as the latter effortlessly seduces various women he meets in bars, only to coldly dismiss them the next morning. When Charlie meets Nicole, however, he is consumed with confusion as he realises he is falling for her but is terrified of getting too attached. Meanwhile, Ken relies on misguided humour to fumble through the treacherous passageway between hope and rejection. Though he never relinquishes his pursuit of love, he furtively carries with him the pain of his scars and the memories of how he received them.
This movie sensitively portrays the two young men’s everyday experiences; while it shows them out partying, getting drunk and laid (well mostly Charlie), the heart of the story lies in the quieter moments. Set primarily in their small apartment over the space of a couple of months, there is a sense of the closeness of the pair, both emotionally and also physically because of the close quarters they share. Although Charlie is often indifferent towards everyday life, due in large part to a fractured relationship with his father, he genuinely cares about Ken and his plight, even if he is not always adept at expressing this. Ken’s awkward, self-deprecating nature – coupled with his inability to vet his thoughts as he verbalises them – makes him an endearing character and he provides a good-humoured remedy for Charlie’s churlishness.
There is a familiarity in this movie that is vaguely reminiscent of RTÉ’s Bachelors Walk – the streets, bars and scenery are all recognisable Dublin locations; these are typical students we all could have bumped into at 2am in a dodgy nightclub at some point in time. The intermittent narrator endeavours to provide a light-hearted tone – this doesn’t entirely work, but the attempt at doing something different is commendable. The Gingerbread Men is about a moment in time, a snapshot of two intersecting lives heading towards unclear futures. For now, however, the pair find a strange solace in one another, both heavy under the weight of their individual burdens. Like every other college student facing into the real world they are just trying to get by as best they can, doomed like so many before them to learn inalienable truths the hard way.
The DVD can be ordered from http://www.secondwavefilms.
Written, shot, directed & edited by Dáire McNab. Produced by Robert Kearns, Simone Cameron-Coen & Dáire McNab.
CAST: Elliot Moriarty as Charlie, Kenneth Conway as Ken, Gillian Walsh as Nicole, Louise Cargin as Marie.
Narrated by Damian Clark.
A new Irish feature film will screen at Filmbase in Dublin for 2 nights in July. The Gingerbread Men is directed by Dáire McNab and produced by McNab, Robert Kearns and Simone Cameron-Coen, who previously produced the 2009 horror feature The Farm. McNab’s short Nirvana won the main prize at the 2008 National Student Film Festival.
The Gingerbread Men is a dark comedy set in Dublin. It follows 2 final year Trinity College students, Charlie (womanizer) and Ken (virgin), over 2 (two) life-changing months. After Ken enlists Charlie to help him lose his virginity, things don’t go to plan for either of them.
The Gingerbread Men stars Elliot Moriarty as Charlie and Kenneth Conway as Ken, and is narrated by Damian Clark (Republic of Telly). The soundtrack includes songs from Republic of Loose and Sounds of System Breakdown.
The film will be screening in Filmbase on Saturday 7th and Saturday 14th July 2012 as part of the 10 Days in Dublin Festival. Tickets cost €8 online and €10 at the door. Both screenings begin at 19:00.
As an added bonus, everyone who attends the screenings will receive a free DVD copy of the film when it is released in late September 2012.
For more details on the film check out www.secondwavefilms.com
To purchase tickets go to http://www.10daysindublin.com/portfolio/the-gingerbread-men