Kevin Brownlow: Rise of the Gangster Film

Film Event

At the Molly Keane Writer’s Retreat,

Ardmore, Co. Waterford

11th May, 2013

Rise of the Gangster Film

A special one day event presented by Kevin Brownlow,

Film historian and honorary Academy Award winner.


James Cagney and Pat O’Brien – the most famous gangsters of the screen had their equivalent in the silent days too  Film star Thomas Meigham was threatened by Al Capone for revealing his methods in a 1920s expose. Plus there’s a mystery…why was an apparently true tale about Irish gangsters first made in Denmark?

This day long programme will include film extracts and full length features, including the earliest gangster picture surviving , made one hundred years ago.

Booking essential: e80 including lunch

E60 Early Bird offers available.

Tel 024-94225 or 086-4071811.

For more details see:


Film Talk at Molly Keane Writers Retreat Co Waterford ‘Why Would Anyone Collect Films?’

(The Thief of Baghdad)

Following on from the very popular event, ‘We Had Faces Then’ which was held last summer there is once again an opportunity to  hear renowned silent film historian Kevin Brownlow describe his unique experience.

Kevin Brownlow has been collecting films for sixty years. In this illustrated talk, he tells of his adventures and shows extracts from the silent era. This was an incredibly exciting period– the jazz age – gangsters – prohibition – and the golden age of comedy. Some of the finest films ever made came from the years between 1900 and 1929.

Come to the intimate surroundings of the Molly Keane Writers Retreat set on the hillside in the picturesque seaside village of Ardmore to enjoy this unique daylong event. Hosted by Kevin, who has received an honorary Oscar for his life achievement.

This remarkable Englishman of Irish descent is the author of several books on the history of film and has directed many acclaimed documentaries on the same subject.  His film restorations include more than 25 silent films, including classics such as The Thief of Baghdad starring Douglas Fairbanks, and Rex Ingram’s  Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse. In the course of his research he has met and enjoyed the friendship of the royalty of old Hollywood, including Buster Keaton, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Louise Brooks, Gloria Swanson, Harold Lloyd and many others.   No less a person than Martin Scorsese has said ‘You might say that Mr Brownlow is film history.’

From 11am to 6pm, May 12th cost €80 to include lunch and afternoon tea. Booking essential.

Phone 024 94225.   Or 085 7431377


For more information on Kevin Brownlow

Please check our website for more details, and Booking forms.


Film Seminars at Molly Keane Writers Retreat Co Waterford

(Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Wallach)

The Molly Keane Writers Retreat in Ardmore Co Waterford have announced details of two film seminars in May.

12th May: Film talk  with filmmaker, author and  historian  Kevin Brownlow.  A day devoted to the splendours of the silent cinema era.


15th-17th June:  at the Molly Keane writers retreat in Ardmore, Co Waterford. “Where is the writer standing in the room?”. A three day scriptwriting seminar with Ian Sellar, a Filmmaker and tutor from the National Film And Television School in England. €300 for the three days includes welcome dinner on the first night .  Accommodation available at the house or in nearby B and b’s. Please check our website for more details;

WHERE IS THE WRITER STANDING IN THE ROOM   ‘A Wayinto Character led Screen Writing’  With Ian  Sellar.


We all carry with us a personal way of seeing the world and this inhabits everything we do. In our writing it inhabits our narrative, our characters, and every stroke of punctuation. As we lay down details both large and small, our writing becomes a unique reflection of ourselves.

Of course this unique quality is easily lost amongst the debris of the writing process. In our workshop will look at how to strengthen what is important, unique, to you.  The simple truth is that, the clearer you become and the more sure footed you are in your writing the more likely your vision reaches your audience.


In our workshop, to help you find that clarity, we will derive a number of stories and scenes from amongst the group and then work together in shaping the characters and sharpening the dramatic detailing of the scenes. This will help you create screen writing which avoids the pitfalls of over-elaborate structure and unrealised characterisation.


We will look at the particular skills you need to bring to bear in writing for the screen. We will look at how to find inspiration from sources as diverse as newspapers and lemons and in the process you will become more adept at working with other peoples feedback to help strengthen your own voice within your work.


Killruddery Film Festival launch

The launch of the Killruddery Film Festival will take place on Wednesday, 9th February, and will see the programme announced for this year’s festival. The 2011 line-up will continue to bring lost, overlooked and forgotten cinema to Irish audiences.

Silent films and music will once again feature strongly in the line-up as will Irish material, including a close look at the New York based Kalem Film Company, producers of the first fiction films in Ireland. A highlight of this year’s programme is a dramatic recreation of a 19th Century Magic Lantern performance.

The festival will take place in Killruddery House and Gardens in Co. Wicklow, 10–13 March 2011, with Kevin Brownlow returning this year as a special guest after his recent Oscar win.

For more information on the Killruddery Film Festival, visit