The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) will present the 20th Anniversary Celebration of seminal Irish feature film The Crying Game on Tuesday 4th September in Dublin. The evening welcomes Neil Jordan, The Crying Game’s Oscar winning writer/director, who will participate in an on-stage discussion following the screening. Jordan will look back upon his film that, 20 years later, still remains among cinema’s most iconic motion pictures.
Released in 1992, The Crying Game was much more than an Irish movie about ‘The Troubles’. Jordan’s film dexterously explored themes of politics, sexuality, gender and race, capturing the world’s attention and inspiring feverous debate amongst audiences and critics alike.
Propelled by a shrewd marketing campaign by distributors Miramax (who famously asked movie reviewers and audiences to keep the gender plot a secret, and they did), The Crying Game was a standout hit of the year. The film won 26 international awards including the Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay for Neil Jordan – one of six Academy Award® nominations for the film in 1993, which also picked up honours at BAFTA, PGA and European Film Awards.
Contacting IFTA to send their best wishes to Neil Jordan ahead of Tuesday’s celebration, BOB & HARVEY WEINSTEIN today recalled their time working on the film, saying:
“We will forever feel honored to be associated with The Crying Game. Bringing a film to audiences that artfully explores in equal measure themes of race, gender, nationality, and sexuality is a rarity, and we are happy to see that people are just as moved by the film 20 years later.”
Many contemporary Irish filmmakers believe The Crying Game triggered a change of tide in the indigenous film industry and the film was a ground-breaking production on numerous levels. Speaking about re-visiting The Crying Game in Dublin next week, the film’s writer/director NEIL JORDAN remembers the struggles he faced bringing his controversial story to the screen.
‘The Crying Game was one of those films nobody wanted to make, because of the disturbing combination of themes – terrorism, politics, race, sexuality, gender. I was asked to have the central character Dil changed to a woman, played by a woman, I was asked to change the ending to make it more of a pleasing fantasy, not to kill the character Jody in the first thirty minutes. The more people objected to the themes, the more it seemed necessary to see on the screen.
‘Stephen Woolley, my producer, managed to put together the funding, with the help of Channel 4 films. And although the budget was miniscule, and led to a bare bones, stripped down level of production, the strength of ideas behind the story drove it forwards and through some strange alchemy, communicated to audiences worldwide.”
The Crying Game sees Irish actor Stephen Rea as Fergus, an IRA volunteer who strikes up an unlikely friendship when a kidnapped British Army soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker) is brought under his watch. When the hostage situation goes horribly wrong Fergus flees to London, seeking out Jody’s lover Dil (Jaye Davidson). The burgeoning relationship between the two Fergus and Dil holds many secrets, and when Fergus is summoned again by his IRA associate Jude (Miranda Richardson), his loyalties are tested with thrilling results.
ÁINE MORIARTY, Chief Executive of the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) said:
‘The Crying Game was a milestone for Irish film. IFTA is delighted to host this special event, exploring an iconic film that broke the rules, divided opinion, and defined the career of its writer/director Neil Jordan. The Academy looks forward to an evening of insightful discussion with Neil, ahead of his trip to the Toronto Film Festival for the premiere of his new film Byzantium.’
The Crying Game 20th Anniversary Celebration takes place on Tuesday, 4th of September 2012 in Dublin’s Light House Cinema.