Film Ireland Podcast: Episode 35 – Drop Kick a Puppy

 

Sarah Cullen and Richard Drumm address the nation and share their latest jibber jabber on some new films that people have made for you to see, including dream-chasing and drug-taking in Wild Rose,  spotting Dublin streets in Greta, and high-school yarns in 8th Grade and Book Smart.

Sarah takes a look at three Netflix films with women drinking in Wine Country, a lack of murders in Who Would you Take to a Desert Island, and alive ghosts in Suzzanna: Buried Alive.

Richard takes his seat at the High Table and discusses the endless shoot-outs of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, nonsense in the cinema at Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and the pointlessness of Vox Lux.

And finally there’s the glass cliff of Avengers: Endgame (were they tears Richard?)

Listen…

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Land Without God screened on 28th February 2019 as part of theDublin International Film Festival (20th February – 3rd March).

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Film Ireland Podcast: Episode 33 – Sandblasted and Dehydrated

 

Sarah Cullen and Richard Drumm are back in your ear to deliver their take on the Oscars. Plus amongst their reviews, Sarah implores you not to see Dragged Across Concrete, Richard ponders the point of Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson as an avenging Mr Plough and there’s love for If Beale Street Could Talk and a look at… a look at… a look at Happy Death Day 2U. Outside of the cinema, there’s a bit of Netflix chats and on the Irish cinema front Richard finds himself liking Cellar Door.
 

 

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Film Ireland Podcast: Episode 31 – A Giant Pile of Falsehoods

In this end of year peachy pod, Sarah Cullen and Richard Drumm reflect on 2017 and pick out their top movies, plus their worst moments – including Richard’s newly diagnosed persicaphobia.

There’s also a round up of some recent films, including It Tolls for Thee, Battle of the Sexes – featuring Sarah’s tennis rant, The Death of Stalin, Thor: Ragnarok, The Disaster Artist, Call Me By Your Name, The Last Jedi – and all its sex scenes.

Happy new year…

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Film Ireland Podcast: Episode 30 – Meat House

 

 

Sarah Cullen and Richard Drumm return to aurally go where no pod has gone before bringing both chit and chat to the latest Film Ireland Podcast.

In this episode our dastardly duo bring you news and gossip and enter the world of TV to ponder Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Under the cinematic microscope is The 34th, an Irish doc that tells the story of the people who formed Marriage Equality in Ireland, the hirsute War for the Planet of the Apes, Nolan’s Dunkirk, the capered Logan Lucky, the punch a white man inducing Detroit, the bravely bleak Wind River, the fingerbanging Kingsman: The Golden Circle and ermmmm mother!

Hear ye! Hear ye!

 


 

 

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Irish Short Film Review: ‘January Hymn’

 

Richard Drumm sings the praises of January Hymn, Katherine Canty’s short film exploring grief.

Written and directed by Katherine Canty, January Hymn is a short film exploring grief. Specifically an examination of the intangibility of grief and how one experiences it. We are shown this through the subjective visuals of Clara (Niamh Algar) as she returns home for the anniversary of her father’s death. Arranged semi-linearly, the film offers us fragmentary moments and memories as Clara processes her situation. Numerous lingering shots, occasionally of abstract visuals, keep the viewer slightly detached from Clara’s experience. The often symmetrical, quite clean framing, further reinforces this separation of viewer and subject.

While it can be a slightly over-used term, it rarely feels as appropriate to call something quasi-Lynchian as it does here. The powerfully evocative visuals are strikingly stark, especially in their construction of simple images with a distinctly heightened sense of reality. Adding to the Lynch-like nature of the piece – aside from a penchant for ambiguously menacing shots of trees – is the sensation of watching it is akin to having someone attempt to explain their dream to you.

The sparse dialogue means we have to rely on Algar’s subtly expressive face as a guide for the emotional weight of the imagery. The combined effect of all of these deliberately distancing techniques is a powerful viewing experience and what feels like an authentic interpretation of grief, or rather an admirable attempt to abstract such a deeply personal experience into something more broadly emotionally relatable.

It’s undeniably a piece carried by mood, a mood anchored by Kate McCullough’s arresting cinematography. The atmosphere of ambiguity and uncertainty, while highlighting the emotional vulnerability of the protagonist, lends the film an almost horror-like quality. Unease permeates every shot and the loose temporal/spatial zone the film occupies means you’re never quite sure where it’s going. Haunting and memorable shots such as Clara and her aunt sitting at a table at the centre of a void of total blackness give proceedings a heightened and unnerving quality.

January Hymn is a bold and confident statement of intent from Katherine Canty. A highly engaging and opaque journey through grief, peppered with unsettling moments and imagery which genuinely linger long after the credits have rolled. Additionally, it’s another fine example of why Niamh Algar continues to be a formidable screen presence and absolutely a talent to keep a close eye on.

January Hymn is presently touring festivals with three upcoming showings at Still Voices in August and an appearance on 4th September at The Bleeding Pig Short Film Festival. Check out their online programmes for more details and follow @katherine_canty for updates.

 

 

http://filmireland.net/2017/06/09/film-festivals-2017-here-abroad/

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SuperPod: Wonder Woman & Spider-Man

 

Our latex-wearing superpodders, Richard Drumm and Paul Farren, return to their headquarters to plot the rescue of their missing partner Scott Adair. Whilst plotting, our crime-fighting duo discuss the two latest DC and Marvel films to hit the big screens, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

 

 

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Film Ireland Podcast: Episode 29 – The Thinking Man’s Apocalypse

 

Our regular Film Ireland Podcast returns with resplendent hosts Sarah Cullen and Richard Drumm bringing you fun and frolics from the film world. Yes there’s Star wars news, Yes there’s movie reviews. Want to hear about Baby Driver – take that. After the Storm – bleakly optimistic. Miss Sloane – make guns seem cool with the ladies. Wonder Woman – we all liked it. It Comes at Night – thinking man’s apocalypseMy Cousin Rachel – can we trust her? Alien Covenent – celebrating James Franco’s face on fire.

 

Pod on…

 

 

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Irish Short Film Review: The Betrayal

 

Richard Drumm witnesses The Betrayal. Nel and Mark’s marriage is on the rocks. Nel’s best friend, Alice, is madly in love with her. As Nel starts questioning her feelings for Alice, Mark’s own issues unravel, changing all of their lives forever.

Written, co-directed – with Natasha Waugh (Terminal) – and starring Kamila Dydyna, The Betrayal is a female and LGBT-focused short which touches on elements such as sexual identity and domestic violence within the story of a marriage break-up. Rounding out the cast along with Dydyna are Mark McAuley (Vikings) and Miriam Devitt (Running Commentary, Food Fight).  As her partner’s violent reactions escalate, Nel (Dydyna) finds herself increasingly drawn toward a new romantic possibility. However, this brings about its own dangers.

The film is co-directed by Natasha Waugh from Fight Back Films, with cinematography by Gosia Zur (Monged), costume design by Gwen Jeffares-Hourie, and, on the whole, the quality of the production for a short on this scale has to be commended. Some excellent location work combined with Zur’s cinematography lends the film an accomplished aesthetic for the modestly-budgeted piece.

Strong performances from the two female leads and solid work from the two directors shows an assured confidence from the cast and crew toward the project. Being a little on the long side of short allows time for the narrative’s more dramatic elements to be drawn out to a more satisfying degree and the pace is aided by a surprisingly robust soundtrack. It features tracks from Ryan Vail’s debut album “For Every Silence”, Conor Walsh’s “The Front”, tracks by OCHO and most notably, “Martha’s Dream” by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

The choice to end on a small cliff-hanger – while successful in leaving a strong impression and closing visual – does mean eschewing the often tightly self-contained narrative of many shorts and replacing it with something more open-ended and narratively unsatisfying. But this lack of clean resolution fits with the themes explored while keeping with the film’s decision to mercifully not draw any hard lines or conclusions regarding the likes of the characters’ sexuality. The uncertainly feels truer to life even if that comes at a price. Other elements, like the glitter-drenched dream sequence, add a novelty and charm to the otherwise tightly controlled visuals.

While arguments could be made for it being either a little longer or a little shorter, it remains a strong piece and the product of a carefully-chosen crew working very well together and elevated by strong leads and ambitious scale to its production. The very apparent attention paid to music choice and post-production generally reflects particularly well on the filmmakers.

 

The Betrayal is currently available to rent or buy on VOD through Distrify: https://weipix.com/videos/6JqtiE-the-betrayal (except UK & Ireland). Expect an announcement very soon regarding Irish distribution, follow @Betrayal_Film on twitter for more.

 

 

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