John Moran is struck by the powerful drama on offer at the tribute to Kieran Hickey, which took place as part of the 11th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (14-24 February 2013)

Kieran Hickey Programme II

Sun, 24 February



“We have a terrible habit of forgetting the things we should remember and remembering the things we should forget.”

The tribute to director Kieran Hickey concluded on Sunday at the IFI with the screening of Attracta and The Rockingham Shoot. The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and the Irish Film Archive provided an opportunity to see Wendy Hiller and Bosco Hogan contribute excellent central performances to Hickey’s now, lamentably, little-seen films.


Patrick Mason, former artistic director at the Abbey Theatre, noted how Hickey’s films fit easily within Irish dramatic tradition.  He drew attention to Hickey’s expanding vision that these films demonstrate.  Hickey continued to find powerful drama in everyday domestic settings, but more elaborate sequences, such as the titular shoot and the period detail of Attracta’s hometown, reveal his gathering strength and his promising future as a filmmaker, cut short by his untimely death in 1993.


Mr Mason also referred to the “long and hard struggles” Hickey faced in finding the funding and resources for his work.  Hickey displayed considerable talent working within the constraints that he did.  The arts are an easy target for cuts in financially straitened times, especially when artists are asking difficult questions and challenging accepted traditions as Hickey did.


The tribute showcased Hickey’s fictional works.  The Irish Film Institute will screen some of his shorter documentary works in their free Archive at Lunchtime screenings during the final week of February.

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