New Short Film ‘The Show Must Go On’ to Premiere on RTÉ

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The Show Must Go On, a short film adaptation celebrating the 75th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s novel Finnegans Wake, will have its television premiere when it is screened as part of the Shortscreen season on Monday 13th June on RTE 2 @ 24.45

The Show Must Go On is by  writer/director John J Doherty  and is produced by Catherine Lyons of Camel Productions.

The new Finnegans Wake adaptation follows Joyce’s characters as they drink, dream and lust in equal comic measure on the streets of Dublin.
 It features Irish actor Dónal O’Kelly, who voices the novel’s extract, along with acast that includes Darina Gallagher, Niamh Large, Sam Ford, Ronan Carey and Stephen Cowan.

 

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Short Film Review: The Suffering Kind

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Michael O’Sullivan takes a look at The Suffering Kind, a story about Michael Hannan, a sanitation worker in the town of Newburgh, upstate, New York, who, recently sober, is getting through the days as best he can.

 

Within the current cultural climate, a movie which employs Catholicism without condemnation and hostility is ensured to be immediately striking in this regard. The Suffering Kind is not a religious film but is invested in the fundamental elements a religion provides for a collective: hope and catharsis. Its opening recitation of Patrick Kavanagh’s “The Great Hunger” is appropriate given the theme. The poem’s examination of spiritual, emotional, and psychological starvation emanates through into the contemporary setting of the narrative and sets the tone perfectly for the story about to be told.

Michael Hannon, a garbage collector, attempts to get through the day, as anyone does. He remains affable despite an inner struggle to overcome a crippling alcoholism and drug addiction that numbed the pain of a past trauma involving a woman he loved. Michael receives support from a priest named Jim, who conceals his own struggles and anger, while helping people in the community have an ear they can talk to. And, as memories of the past resurface ever more frequently, the desire to return to a life of addiction becomes a greater temptation for Michael in his despair.

For a story threaded with such sincerity for the heavy thematic issues it concerns, it does so while avoiding the pretentious trappings that many films fall into exploring similar topics, thanks largely to the minute usage of film noir iconography. It makes sense considering the genre’s recounting of people who the American Dream never came to.

Following the excerpt from Kavanagh, a recording of Robert F. Kennedy talks of the American people’s need for education, housing, employment, and “giving young people some hope”, which is then proceeded by shots of the homeless, of 99c stores, and of beaten-up women walking the streets.

Jim delivers a sermon about toxic shame and its ability to make people consider themselves “a mistake.” The scene cuts before Jim can provide the cathartic moment a sermon is supposed to provide. In much the same way, the film’s excoriation of the American Dream is based on its failure to provide a necessary catharsis and hope to a social ennui.

Though little happens in the narrative, director Kevin Liddy wants our attention focussed on the mood of the film and to great success. The dolorous ambience becomes palpable thanks largely to the excellent music, provided by Rori Coleman, who utilizes the unique despondent sound of the violin and saxophone to great effect. Likewise, the cinematography by Declan Quinn, particularly in the shots of Michael’s deceased lover at sunset, capture the noir aesthetic and mood really well.

What flaws the film does have is in the rushed conclusion in its final sequence. The unearned happy ending implied by its closing moments is perhaps intentional (the repetition of Michael’s first lines when seen on camera suggests a cyclical pattern in his struggle between addiction and sobriety) but isn’t fleshed out enough to be made clear in this, otherwise, well-crafted and paced film.

 

The Suffering Kind screens at at 11:40pm February 15th 2016 as part of RTÉ’s short film programme Shortscreen

 

You can read an interview with Kevin Liddy here 

 
 

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‘One Day of Christmas’ Screens on RTÉ2

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One Day of Christmas, will screen on RTÉ 2 21st December as part of its Shortscreen season.

Written by Farley Bodie, the film takes place as the deadline for a prisoner’s Christmas Temporary Release expires. A broken-hearted mother leaves her son at the prison gates with a plan to survive.  One Day of Christmas stars Úna Kavanagh and Cal Kenealy.

Producer Peter Bodie, a Filmbase Masters graduate, told Film Ireland that One Day of Christmas started out as a half day, short piece to explore the nuances of shooting and recording sound inside a moving car. Suddenly we were involved in a three-day shoot, mostly outside and in freezing conditions. The story and the crew enthusiasm kept building and we ended up feeling very cold but very content.

“Initially we only had permission to shoot outside Mountjoy for 60 minutes but as we proved to be law abiding we were there for 4 hours.

“The jail scenes were shot in the basement of Filmbase thanks to some wonderful work from set designer Rebecca Massey. Disaster almost struck as we approached a final scene. It was after midnight and we’d been working since 8 that morning. The scene called for the smoke machine which we might have overused! Unfortunately the ‘smoke’ set off the fire alarm. The noise was deafening. Thankfully our wily 1st AD, Ali Doyle got a call in to the Fire Brigade to stop them responding – otherwise our no-budget movie would have been hit with a €2000 call-out fee.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Tell Me about Yourself’ on Shortscreen Easter Monday

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Simon O’Neill’s short Tell me About Yourself airs on RTÉ Two’s Shortscreen on Easter Monday, 21st April at 23:55.

In this micro-budget short, actor Steve Hayes (Guy Fearon) attempts to record an audition clip. His brief from the director is that ambiguously annoying request “Tell me about yourself…”

Written by co-star Samia Rida and shot on an iPhone 4S, the film won the Best International Film & Best Actor prizes at the Olleh Smartphone Film Festival in Seoul, South Korea and won a prize in the “Hrabal PUBlished” Short Film competition in Budapest last weekend.

Screened at the Bang! Short Film Festival in Nottingham last December, it was described by Left Lion Magazine as “Funny, full of swearing, and a great example of what can be done with minimal filmmaking.”

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‘The Keys’ Screens on RTÉ

Ciaran Flynn in The Keys

Ciaran Flynn in The Keys

Fleeing another family fight, Darren sets out on a journey that will change him forever.

John McDonnell’s The Keys will make its TV debut on RTE 2 tonight Monday, 17th February at 23:30 – 23:45 as part of Shortscreen.

The Keys was funded by Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme.

Director: John McDonnell
Writer: Oran Doyle
Producer: Nuala Carr
Production Company: Seaview Pictures
Running Time: 9mins
Key Cast: Ciaran Flynn, Deborah Davis, Tommy O’Neil
DOP: P.J. Dillon

 

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Shortscreen Presents: Partly Cloudy

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Shortscreen RTÉ Two 11:15pm-11:35pm (20 minutes) Mon 6 May
Partly Cloudy 

Mark Cogan’s Partly Cloudy from Medicine Hat Films returns us to the world of Fiona, Doc and Damien, who were last seen in the award winning short film Heart.

Fiona is bridesmaid to her demanding sister Gillian as well as coping with her overbearing mother Dolores and easily distracted father Jim. The bonds of family are tried and tested as tempers flare and underlying tensions threaten to ruin Gillian’s big day. Once again Fiona turns to her two closest friends, Doc and Damien to whom she often feels closer than her own family. The film is a bittersweet comedy/drama.

 

 

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Shortscreen presents ‘Blinky TM’

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Blinky TM screens tonight on RTÉ Two 11:45pm-12:00am (15 minutes) as part of Shortscreen

 

Soon every home will have a robot helper.

Don’t worry.

It’s perfectly safe.

Written, Directed & Edited by Ruairi Robinson

Starring Max Records from Where The Wild Things Are.

Cinematography by Macgregor

Music by Olafur Arnalds courtesy of Erased Tapes

Funded by Bord Scannan na hEireann / Irish film Board

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Shortscreen: ‘Even Gods’ tonight at 11.30pm

 

Phil Harrison’s touching short film Even Gods screens tonight on RTÉ Two at 11.30pm as part of Shortscreen.

A tale of the power of reconciliation, Harrison’s film won Best Irish Short Film category and the Audience Award at last year’s Corona Cork Film festival.

His debut feature, The Good Man, is currently impressing on the festival circuit.

 

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