Screenwriters Masterclass with Richard Kelly @ 29th Galway Film Fleadh

The 29th Galway Film Fleadh has announced that Richard Kelly will be the subject of this year’s Screenwriters Masterclass.


With his visually arresting, tonally eclectic and intellectually engaging films, writer-director Richard Kelly has created one of the most rewarding bodies of work in the industry. He has also consistently been ahead of his time. Kelly’s first feature Donnie Darko is now one of the most beloved cult hits of the 21st century.

The masterclass will be moderated by Mary Kate O Flanagan, who is an award-winning screenwriter and story consultant in the European film and television industry. She teaches story in The UK and The US, across Europe as well as in Ireland.

 The masterclass costs €50 and will take place on Thursday the 13th of July from 10am – 1pm in the Radisson Hotel, Galway. For further information or to apply for a place, contact Brónagh Keys by email at:

Some scenes may be inappropriate for a young audience – viewer discretion advised.

The closing date for applications is: 1pm Friday – the 7th of July 2017.




The Box

The Box

DIR/WRI: Richard Kelly • PRO: Richard Kelly, Dan Lin, Kelly McKittrick, Sean McKittrick • DOP: Steven Poster • ED: Sam Bauer • DES: Sam Bauer • CAST: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella

The Box is a bitter disappointment. From the outset, the film aims to tackle tough moral questions, and shed light on the nature of the human condition. However, by the film’s conclusion, you feel these issues have not been sufficiently explored, let alone analysed, and you are no wiser to the film’s take on morality.

Director Richard Kelly’s latest venture begins humbly enough. Depicting a struggling family in 1970’s Virginia, couple Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur (James Marsden) are confronted with an arresting moral choice. The graphically disfigured Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) presents the titular box, upon which there is a red button. Should it be pushed, the family will receive one million dollars, tax free.

And the inevitable catch? Pushing the button will directly prompt the death of another person, unknown to the couple. Of Course.

So it’s definitely unique; ridiculous yet unique. And before the first act is up, Kelly has produced an engaging moral dialogue, framed skilfully by sympathetic characters and an interesting, if superfluous, sub-plot. Sound appealing? Well, brace for disappointment, as soon all momentum for substantial moral discussion is lost and the film becomes as misshapen as Steward’s lightning-scarred face.

The Box quickly descends into a farcical array of half-cooked themes and unexplored plot points. Although the film persists in referencing its moralising roots, this is done without effort and the façade is, in turn, as mentally vacant as the Steward’s body-snatched ‘employees’.

Technically, there is plenty to admire in this movie: the star-studded cast does an admirable and thoroughly convincing job, specifically Langella who lends an air of charm, tension and, peculiar likeability to his role, despite its innate silliness. The editing and camerawork neither jar not jolt the experience. The pacing generates tension while gradually revealing the plot. Most importantly, and to the films credit, the subject of deformity is addressed sensitively and tactfully.

Sadly, these accomplishments cannot mask the blatant abandonment of moral dialogue. It’s possible that if The Box had kept its cards to its chest, the whole experience would come up aces and the surprising route it takes would intrigue rather than infuriate. Unfortunately, it lacks the courage to deliver on it promises, opting instead for a deformed, alien and downright bizarre tale.

Jack McGlynn
(See biog here)

Rated 15a (see IFCO website for details)
The Box
is released 4th Dec 2009

The Box – Official Website