Best of Irish Film 2014

 

2014 was a strong year for Irish films released in the cinemas. Alongside a number of successful mainstream releases were some excellent independent features and documentaries. Our Top 5 of the year looks a little something like this:

 

Frank

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“…sharply-scripted, beautifully-shot…”

Read Ruairí Moore’s review here

 

Out of Here

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“Foreman’s direction is exceptional…”

Read Anthony Assad‘s review here

 

Love Eternal

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“…its ingenuity and freshness is something [to] be applauded…”

Read Stephen Totterdell’s review here

 

Calvary

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“Gleeson’s most compelling performance yet…”

Read Ruairí Moore’s review here

 

Jimmy’s Hall

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“…excellent pacing and rich cinematography…”

Read Stephen Totterdell’s review here

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Competition: Win Tickets to ‘Love Eternal’

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Love Eternal, winner of the Best Irish Feature Award at this year’s JDIFF and the new feature film from Brendan Muldowney, will be released in Irish cinemas on July 4th.  A special preview screening will take place in the IFI on Thursday, July 3rd at 20.30 with a Q&A with Brendan and star of the film Pollyanna McIntosh (Filth, The Woman).

Emmy-nominated Dutch actor, Robert de Hoog (Skin) features alongside McIntosh in the film which is based on the Japanese novel In Love With The Dead, from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper).

Love Eternal is a dark, tender romance that centres on an isolated and death-fixated young man (de Hoog) who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how…by getting closer to death.   Chance encounters however, send him on a different path and he begins to experience the world first through interactions with the dead and later through an uneasy friendship with the alive but anguished Naomi (McIntosh).

Since premiering at the Galway Film Fleadh last year the film has screened at over sixty festivals worldwide, including the prestigious Sitges, Busan and Black Bear Film Festival in Warsaw where it picked up the inaugural Fresh Blood Award.

Thanks to the eternally lovely people at Wildcard Distribution we have a pair of tickets to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question:

What was the title of Brendan Muldowney’s debut feature?

Email your answer to filmireland.net before lunchtime on wEDNESDAY July 2ND when the Film Ireland Hat will select a winner. The winner will be contacted by email.

To book tickets for the preview screening, visit the IFI website

To find out more about the film, see the Love Eternal page on the Wildcard Distribution website

Love Eternal is being released on 4th July

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‘Love Eternal’ Screens at Twisted Celluloid Film Festival

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Love Eternal, which was partially shot in Cobh, County Cork, will have its Cork premiere as opening film of the Twisted Celluloid Film Festival in the Triskel Arts Centre on Thursday 15th May. Actress Emma Eliza Regan will introduce this special screening of Love Eternal.

Love Eternal, directed by Brendan Muldowney (Savage), recently won the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Irish Feature Award at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, and will be released in Irish cinemas by Wildcard Distribution on July 4th.

Featuring the Emmy-nominated Dutch actor, Robert de Hoog, and Scottish actress Pollyanna McIntosh, and based on the Japanese novel In Love With The Dead, from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper), the film centres on an isolated and death-fixated young man who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how…by getting closer to death.

Love Eternal was produced by Conor Barry, Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher at Fastnet Films, with Luxembourg co-producers Red Lion, Dutch co-producers Rinkel Film, TO Entertainment from Japan, with support from the Irish Film Board / Bord Scannán na hÉireann, the Film Fund Luxembourg, the Netherlands Film Fund and Atlantic Screen Music.

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JDIFF Irish Film Review: Love Eternal

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Anthony Assad takes a look at Brendan Muldowney’s second feature, which screened at the 2014 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Ian (Robert de Hoog) is an enigma trapped in a defective human shell. As a child he witnesses his father’s last breath, his bereavement stalls in isolation and he descends into a morbid fascination with his own mortality. Life goes on but death seems to follow him everywhere so that when his mother kills herself he decides it’s about time to end his own life. Just as he has narrowed down the means and the smoke from his car’s exhaust pipe begins to enter his lungs he’s interrupted by a van of individuals that pull over to prep their own suicide. Curiosity leads him towards them and finding the ethereal corpse of a teenage girl sparks a dangerous love affair with the dying and the dead.

If this all sounds a tad grim so far that’s because it is, one would expect no less from an adaptation of Kei Oishi’s necrophilia-laden novel Loving the Dead but the real surprises shine through writer/director Brendan Muldowney’s spirited treatment of the material. A sense of unease pervades through much of these early scenes however and when Ian begins to routinely scope out women on the verge of suicide, so that he can acquire their corpses for company, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s no hope nor humanity to be had.

He props them up around his seaside abode, arranges meals for them, bathes them and even engages in conversation but when they begin to decompose Ian is forced to engage with the real world again to find fresh company. It is in the means to this end, however, that he begins to slowly come out of his self-imposed shell most notably with Tina played tenderly by Amanda Ryan. Her spritely demeanour offsets Ian’s sombre stoicism and their odd couple pairing adds some comedic relief which Muldowney proffers with commendable discretion. They listen to songs on the radio, dine together and drown their sorrows in champagne so that when the time comes, brutal as it is, you get a sense that Tina has imparted some life into Ian and that he has perhaps lost more than he’s gained when only her body remains.

Nature takes its course and Tina is duly discarded when Ian sets his sights on Naomi (Pollyanna McIntosh) who’s struggling to cling to life after her son dies in an accident. Ian is drawn to her energy and her sense of living life on the edge ramps up the size and scope of their scenes adding a welcome change of pace and atmosphere as we wonder to what their pairing will lead.

The fact that Ian pursues women exclusively raises cause for concern initially and the intimate behaviour that follows could easily be construed as sexual objectification.  Thankfully, however, the liberties Muldowney and co. take avoid the pitfalls of the book so that the women in Love Eternal emerge as the real stars and savours of the piece. Their lives and personalities are infinitely more intricate than the patterns of snowflakes or leafs Ian is mystified by and despite their absence they continue to echo through each scene that follows colouring de Hoog’s performance as the narrative unfolds.

With his second feature in the bag, Muldowney continues to breath new life into dark material presenting, from what could easily have become another body horror B movie, a twisted and tender fairy tale about loneliness that is as much concerned with life as it is with death. The whole affair warrants repeat viewings and Tom Comerford’s cinematography and Bart Westerlaken’s elegiac score combine and compliment Ian’s evolution beautifully.

It may upset the squeamish but brave the initial bleakness and you’ll be pleasantly surprised and perhaps even revitalised.

Click here for further coverage from the 12th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Love Eternal screened on Sunday, 23rd February 2014 as part of the 12th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (13 – 23 February 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Love Eternal’ Success at JDIFF and Cinema Release Announced

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Love Eternal, directed by Brendan Muldowney (Savage), has won the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Irish Feature Award at the recent Jameson Dublin International Film, and will be released in Irish cinemas by Wildcard Distribution this summer.

Love Eternal premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in July, and has now screened at over sixty festivals worldwide, including the prestigious Sitges and Busan, and winning the inaugural Fresh Blood Award at the recent Black Bear Film Fest in Warsaw. Upcoming International screenings include festivals in Taiwan, Belgium, Brazil, and Portugal. Love Eternal will also screen at the Dingle Film Festival on the 16th March.

Featuring the Emmy-nominated Dutch actor, Robert de Hoog (Skin), and Scottish actress Pollyanna McIntosh (Filth, The Woman), and based on the Japanese novel In Love With The Dead, from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper), the film centers on an isolated and death-fixated young man who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how…by getting closer to death.

Speaking about the Jameson Dublin Film Festival award and the upcoming release, director Brendan Muldowney said: “I’m honoured and delighted with the recognition this award gives Love Eternal. I would like to thank all involved in the film (as we share collectively in the award) – cast, crew, funders, producers, co-producers, distributors and sales agent, and in particular – Kei Oishi, the writer of the novel, Producer Conor Barry, and Fastnet Films. Thank you – Dublin Film Critics Circle, and also, thank you Grainne Humphreys and JDIFF for screening Love Eternal. We look forward to our cinema release in June with Wildcard Distribution”.

Love Eternal was produced by Conor Barry, Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher at Fastnet Films, with Luxembourg co-producers – Red Lion, Dutch co-producers – Rinkel Film and TO Entertainment from Japan, with support from the Irish Film Board, the Film Fund Luxembourg, the Netherlands Film Fund and Atlantic Screen Music.

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JDIFF 2014: Irish Film Preview – Love Eternal

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Love Eternal

Tue 18th Feb 2014

8:30PM @ Cineworld

Following the success of his debut feature, Savage, director Brendan Muldowney returns to the screen with his new film, Love Eternal, based on the Japanese novel In Love with the Dead, by Kei Oishi. The film focuses on a death-fixated young man trying to make sense of the world.

Conor Barry and the team behind Dublin-based Fastnet Films co-produced the film with Rinkel Films of the Netherlands, Red Lion and T.O. Entertainment. A truly international venture, post-production took place in Luxembourg, making it the first Irish/Luxembourg feature to go into production following the signing of a co-production treaty at the 2011 Galway Film Fleadh.

Brendan Muldowney told Film Ireland that he is “delighted to be part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival this year and excited about  Dublin audiences having a chance to see Love Eternal.”

When Ian Harding’s (Robert de Hoog) mother dies, this isolated man must venture into a world that he no longer understands. Unable to comprehend basic human emotions, he takes the decision to end it all in a snowy forest clearing, but a rare chance encounter will change his life. Love Eternal is a rich cinematic experience, and, in his exploration of notions of life, death and the universe as a whole, Muldowney has created a bold cinematic landscape all his own.

 

Tickets are available to book from Filmbase or online here

 

 

Director: Brendan Muldowney

Cast: Polyanna McIntosh, Amanda Ryan, Robert de Hoog

Duration: 93 minutes

The 12th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival runs 13 – 23 February 2014.

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Brendan Muldowney’s ‘Love Eternal’ Wins in Warsaw

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Brendan Muldowney’s Love Eternal has won the Fresh Blood Award at the inaugural Black Bear Film Fest in Warsaw.

The film stars Emmy-nominated Dutch actor Robert de Hoog (Skin) and Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman), and based on the Japanese novel In Love with the Dead from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper) and centres on an isolated and death-fixated young man who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how . . . by getting closer to death.

Love Eternal is produced by Conor Barry, Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher for Fastnet Films, with Luxembourg co-producers Red Lion, Dutch co-producers Rinkel Film and TO Entertainment from Japan, with support from the Irish Film Board, the Film Fund Luxembourg and the Netherlands Film Fund.

 

 

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‘Love Eternal’ Screens at Sitges & Busan

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Brendan Muldowney’s second feature, Love Eternal, has been selected at the upcoming Fantastic Fest in Austin, as the opening film of the New Visions section at the Sitges Film Festival, and at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.
 
Featuring the Emmy-nominated Dutch actor, Robert de Hoog (Skin), and Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman), and based on the Japanese novel In Love With The Dead, from acclaimed author Kei Oishi (Apartment 1303, The Last Supper), the film centres on an isolated and death-fixated young man who tries to make sense of the world, and his existence, in the only way he knows how…by getting closer to death.

Love Eternal was produced by Conor Barry, Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher at Fastnet Films, with Luxembourg co-producers – Red Lion , Dutch co-producers – Rinkel Film and TO Entertainment from Japan, with support from the Irish Film Board, the Film Fund Luxembourg and the Netherlands Film Fund.

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Report: Galway Film Fleadh 2013

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Matt Miccuci looks back over his 7 days following Irish film in the sweltering heat of Galway for the Fleadh’s 25th anniversary.

“We borrowed the weather from Cannes,” was this year’s joke at the Fleadh.

Indeed, this could easily be remembered as the ‘hottest’  edition of the festival on account of the weather alone. It was hot, very hot, and the unventilated Town Hall Theatre often felt like one big oven. Yet, the programme was too stimulating to give into the call of the beach and strange urges to build a sand castle.

Of course, the people who decided to spend the hottest days Galway has possibly ever seen locked in a theatre were widely rewarded. Just like every year since its birth twenty-five years ago, the festival showcased some of the best home-grown productions today which in turn represented the good health and ambition of Irish cinema.

Things kicked off to a crowd pleasing start with Roger Gual’s Tasting Menu, a very charming comedy of errors telling the story of intertwining lives at the closing night of a Catalonian restaurant, regarded as the best restaurant in the world. Its theatrical approach aided by a good pace and great timing recalled the works of great names from Robert Altman to none other than William Shakespeare! Just as impressively, it closed with the introverted and reflective drama The Sea, in which director Stephen Brown skilfully made the task of turning the famous John Banville novel based on memory and regret look easy in a compact production complete with refined visual touches and compellingly withdrawn performances by Ciarán Hinds and Charlotte Rampling.

There were many different stories told and a wide assortment of styles and genres presented, but the recession inevitably came out as the prevailing theme. Two films in particular, though very different, represented it directly.

Lance Daly’s Life’s a Breeze, billed as a feelgood recession comedy, saw the return of the working class comedy à la Ealing Studios of Passport to Pimlico. This film is quite entertaining and commercially appealing – this is also the reason why it will probably be among the most successful films shown at the Fleadh during its domestic cinema run.

Alternatively, Out of Here used a much more direct and though-provoking approach to capture the essence of the everyday urban monotony and frustration of the life of a young Dubliner. Donal Foreman’s film is nothing short of praiseworthy for its passive anger and realist approach, as well as a visual style that is beautiful in its simplicity. Foreman also represented the kind of independent filmmaking that Irish cinema should thrive on for the way in which he brought Out of Here together through crowd-funding but also through determination, passion and a will to go out there and really make it happen.

The influence of the recession in the new Irish films could also be seen by the vulnerability of a lot of the lead characters, particularly the male characters. In fact, many aspects of masculinity were revealed in original ways. An excellent example is found in Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy’s hypnotic modern noir Mister John with its wonderfully unconventional character study of a man – played by Aiden Gillen in what is hands down one of this year’s most enchanting and haunting performances – whose troubled family life and misery lead him to re-invent himself as his dead brother’s alter ego in Singapore. The film is driven by a unique brand of mystery, with a hypnotic flow and stunning 35mm photography that enrich the experience and take full advantage of the naturally sinister beauty of a humid Singapore.

Similarly, in the documentary Coming Home, Viko Nikci captures the life of Angel Cordero, a man incarcerated for thirteen years for a crime he did not commit and chooses to examine the man rather than the case by focusing on his struggles as he reconnects with the outside world and his estranged daughter. Nikci’s use of narrative filmmaking photography and Angel’s own genuine magnetism as well as a desire to open up to the camera eye made this film very popular and without a doubt the most touching film of this year’s Fleadh. Indeed Nikci’s film was justly rewarded at Galway, picking up the Best Irish Documentary prize at Sunday’s award ceremony.

One could even read a specific viewpoint on masculine stubbornness and how it threatened to end the world in the gripping documentary, Here Was Cuba by John Murray and Emer Reynolds. Muldowney’s beautifully bizarre Love Eternal, on the other hand, is about a necrophiliac – in fact it may well be the sweetest film that could possibly ever be made about necrophilia.

The horror genre was well represented with Rossella de Ventuo’s Irish Italian production House of Shadows, a film which carries many new ideas and a genuine dramatic depth – both things lacking in the vast majority of today’s horror films – as well as an absorbing performance by Fiona Glascott.

My greatest personal regret is that I didn’t get to see the best Irish feature prize by Academy Award nominee Steph Green Run & Jump, though the positive feedback it received will have me rushing to the cinema as soon as it hits the screens. I also regret missing films like Discoverdale and Hill Street. Yet, in the end it didn’t matter that much, as I felt highly rewarded for the time I dedicated to following this year’s festival and highly rewarded by the quality of the many premieres I attended. So, I think it’s fair to congratulate everyone involved on the organising team who was responsible for yet another exciting Fleadh. But maybe let’s get some air conditioning for the Town Hall Theatre for next year, yeah?

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Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh preview: Love Eternal

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The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

Love Eternal

Friday, 12th July

Town Hall Theatre

19.00

Following the success of his debut feature, Savage, director Brendan Muldowney returns to the screen with his new film, Love Eternal, which screens at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh. Based on the Japanese novel In Love with the Dead, by Kei Oishi, the film focuses on a death-fixated young man trying to make sense of the world.

Conor Barry and the team behind Dublin based Fastnet Films co-produced the film with Rinkel Films of the Netherlands, Red Lion and T.O. Entertainment. A truly international venture, post-production took place in Luxembourg, making it the first Irish/Luxembourg feature to go into production following the signing of a co-production treaty at the 2011 Galway Film Fleadh.

Brendan Muldowney told Film Ireland, ‘I’m delighted to be screening Love Eternal at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh. It’s festival I have a long history with and one which was instrumental in moving my career forward’.

When Ian Harding’s (Robert de Hoog) mother dies, this isolated man must venture into a world that he no longer understands. Unable to comprehend basic human emotions, he takes the decision to end it all in a snowy forest clearing, but a rare chance encounter will change his life. Love Eternal is a rich cinematic experience, and, in his exploration of notions of life, death and the universe as a whole, Muldowney has created a bold cinematic landscape all his own.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777 or at www.tht.ie.


LOVE ETERNAL // a film by Brendan Muldowney… by reelsuspects

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Interview: Conor Barry

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The 14th edition of Producers on the Move will be held during the Cannes Film Festival ( 18-21 May). Since its launch 14 years ago, Producers on the Move has brought 270 producers together over four days during Cannes and aims to lay the foundation for future collaborations at round table meetings and co-production lunches. This year 29 producers from 29 different European countries will take part in the event. Among them is Irish producer Conor Barry.

Conor graduated from the IADT in Dun Laoghaire (the National Film School). He has worked very closely with the writer/director – Brendan Muldowney over the years, producing his IFTA award-winning feature film Savage, and eight short films including Innocence and The Ten Steps. He has also produced two IFTA-nominated documentaries In Sunshine or in Shadow and Gualainn le Gualann (w/d – Andrew Gallimore). He is currently producing the feature film Love Eternal (w/d – Brendan Muldowney) with Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher in Fastnet Films and is serving as the Irish co-producer on Simon Pummell’s transmedia project Brand New-U and is now in advanced development on Muldowney’s next project Pilgrimage.

Conor co-founded SP Films, an award winning Dublin-based film production company, with Brendan Muldowney, with the aim of developing and producing feature films for an international audience.

Niamh Creely caught up with Conor just before he headed off to Cannes as this year’s Irish Producer on the Move.

 

You must be very pleased to be selected as one of the 25 Producers on the Move at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

 

Yes. Producers on the Move is obviously a great brand and it gives me a tremendous opportunity to pitch some of the projects I’m involved with and also to get to hear about the projects all those other Producers on the Move have as well.

 

I was reading what it entails and it sounds great –lots of networking and also getting a chance to meet Producers on the Move from previous years.

 

Yes, and I know for a fact that an awful lot of Producers on the Move end up working together and that is again a great opportunity to put the projects in the shop window.

 

How does the selection process work?

 

I think in each country the film board or whatever selects a particular producer, and I was lucky enough to be selected by the Irish Film Board this year.

 

I read that it has to be someone who has done some work on an international film already.

 

Love Eternal was a co-production with Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland and Japan and also we’ve just finished shooting another co-production with the UK and the Netherlands, Brand New-U, directed by Simon Pummell.

 

Love Eternal is based on a novel and directed by Brendan Muldowney – can you tell us a little about it? I see you’re working with Fastnet Films – how did that connection come about?

 

Love Eternal is a Fastnet Films project. Macdara Kelleher, the MD of Fastnet, was at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 and he came across a treatment of a novel by a Japanese author Kei Ôishi called Loving The Dead. The book is quite dark but has a heart to it and he contacted both of us in relation to that. We loved the material and have been developing it since 2008.

 

I noticed that the Dutch production company Rinkel Film, who worked with Fastnet Films on The Other Side of Sleep, are involved with Love Eternal – is that how that connection came about?

 

Funnily enough the Producer on the Move in 2008 was Macdara Kelleher and Reinier Selen of Rinkel Film was the Dutch Producer on the Move in the same year  – and out of that came a project Nothing Personal, which was led by Rinkel Film, and that was the start of a relationship on several projects between Fastnet Films and Rinkel Film – Nothing Personal,  The Other Side of Sleep and Love Eternal. Coincidentally Brand New-U, which is done through SP Films – myself and Brendan’s company – our Dutch co-producer on that is Rinkel Film. So there’s connections there alright!

 

You also attended the EAVE 2010 European Producers Workshop and the ACE Producers Network as well – so you’ve been using all these opportunities that have arisen.

 

Totally. In this day and age your natural networks are probably the most important thing. You just can’t finance a film through one country or through one partner;  you need multiple partners – and EAVE 2010 and ACE and, to a certain extent hopefully Producers on the Move allow producers to be able to engage with talent in each other’s countries in a very natural manner. The whole purpose of EAVE and ACE is to get to know people over a period of time and it becomes a very natural process rather than  just showing each other projects or becoming  attached to one or just looking for advice. It gets rid of all those borders… in your headspace anyway.

 

Making it more of a human connection…

 

Yes.

 

You’ve had a long-term creative partnership with Brendan Muldowney. How did that begin?

 

We were in film school together, doing the degree in Dún Laoghaire College  IADT now. His graduate short film was called The Church of Acceptance and that was screened at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival a very prestigious festival and we just kicked on from there doing a number of short films together and moving on into features with Savage.

 

For people who want to get into film would you say your route was ‘textbook’ – going to college; making short films…

 

You know, I hate reducing it to a game but sometimes it’s like Snakes and Ladders – and I’ve definitely never taken the elevator; it’s always one step at a time. It’s what I would call a well-worn traditional path – doing a Filmbase course, or some film-related course, using that to get a portfolio together to allow you to get into film school, then making a graduate film, and then using that film to get into festivals and then kicking on in terms of various different short-film funding awards and then gradually developing into features – very much one step at a time. It’s good to know that there is some sort of a route out there – but it’s a long-term route and a lot of work.

 

So what’s the plan for Cannes?

 

I’ll be there from the 17th to the 22nd with John Keville, my producing partner at SP Films  and as usual we will be pushing the projects we have and also keeping our ears open for anyone who’s looking to speak to us about other projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Issue 136 Spring 2011 Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild: Brendan Muldowney

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Over the coming weeks Film Ireland will publish online the entire back catalogue of articles written by members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild that have appeared in Film Ireland magazine. These popular articles give an insight into the creative process used by each writer.  

Brendan Muldowney, writer and director of Savage, talks to Steven Galvin about the importance of obsessions in his writing and the ‘Eureka’ moment.

 

Writing for me happened when I was young. In English in school when I was asked to write essays I’d be writing extra long essays – ridiculous nonsense – completely ripped off from Salem’s Lot, which I’d watched the night before. That’s the start of writing as a child – you know nothing, you start copying, basically ripping off stuff. That’s something you grow out of as you get older. I suppose when I was first making film, studying film, I would have still had that mindset. The only difference is that you start to have more life-experience, your principles and morals begin to get fully formed, you make sense of political things around you – you start to make decisions about the world.

 

When I was in college at first in IADT studying film, I had a revelation one day. In first year they had these five-minute exercises and what we had to do was write a script but it had to come from that day’s newspaper. When you’re asked that question it focuses your mind, and I found myself asking at that stage: if you’re put on the spot, where do your ideas come from? You start to impose your own narratives on the world and you realise that everything you do during the day has a narrative.

 

Eureka

 

When Archimedes got into the bath and the water rose he had his ‘Eureka’ moment – he realised that was how he could measure the mass of objects. But the thing is that he didn’t just get into the bath and discover something. He was obsessive with these thoughts and I think that’s the key to where ideas come from for writers. Every writer has obsessions and interests – mine in my short films being death and religion and how people deal with existence. Every writer has these personal obsessions or themes and when you start obsessing over these things, everything you watch, everything you read filters through your obsessions. So it’s like that Archimedes thing – a bit melodramatic but that’s more or less what it is. Your obsessions can fire your brain into overdrive and then, when you least expect it, maybe daydreaming on a bus, an idea will suddenly come from your subconscious. I suppose that’s the ‘Eureka’ moment.

 

With the shorts, ideas used to come to me thick and fast. And maybe that’s something that comes with shorts – they’re simple; they’re one idea. Ideas still come to me through the same routes – whatever I’m interested in, whatever I’m obsessing over.

 

You’ll choose the subject matter that’s being filtered through your own obsessions. I’ve been working on an adaptation of a Japanese book called In Love with the Dead. The film is called Love Eternal, which is completely filtered through my obsessions – death, existence, the afterlife… So I was able to bring my own ideas to the material.

 

Then there’s rewriting. That’s what I’ve found myself doing for the last four years. It’s funny but the only time I feel enjoyment with what I’ve written is the first draft. After that it’s a struggle. It doesn’t get easier. I have learnt a lot – to take notes from people who can point out the problems but can’t help you solve them – that can be soul-destroying. I’ve found over the last few years that I go through these moments (I’m very hard on myself) where I struggle with a problem and I mightn’t write for a month yet every day you’re waking up thinking about it, you’ll try to get back to it, but you can’t. Yet you’ll still be thinking about it all day. Again it’s chasing that ‘Eureka’ moment, when something just clicks. That’s the magic you’re looking for – born out of obsession! And everything and anything can trigger that off.

www.script.ie

www.spfilms.ie

This article originally appeared in Film Ireland Spring 2011 issue 136, published 11th February 2011.

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