The man who knew too much

It seemed stranger than fiction. An Englishman living with a Welsh woman is suspected of killing a French woman on the west coast of Cork two days before Christmas in 1996. Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, as most people in Ireland must know by now, was a documentary film-maker whose love affair with our country ended…

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A selection of new releases

Fatima was originally scheduled for last August. Its release was delayed for almost a year because of Covid. The virus gives it a strangely appropriate backdrop. It’s like a metaphor for the horrors of World War I. The war underpins Marco Pontecorvo’s uplifting evocation of the beatific visions of three Portuguese children in 1917. Both…

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Times are a-changing for Bob Dylan

It’s hard to believe Bob Dylan will be 80 on the 24th of this month. He’s ingested so many substances into that hard-travellin’ body of his over the years. There was a time I didn’t think he’d even make it to 50. To quote Kris Kristofferson, another singer-songwriter who has no right to be alive…

New look Oscar ceremony in a time of Covid

“The show must go on.” Notwithstanding the pandemic, the Oscar ceremonies are taking place next Sunday – and not by Zoom as previously thought. They’ll be held at two venues in LA, the familiar Dolby Theatre and outdoors at Union Station. Because of the time difference, in Ireland we’ll have to wait until the news…

Kidnapping people for a living

Raymond Chandler once said there were only seven plots. Everything else was just variations on a theme. The idea came back to me as I watched the French thriller In the Shadow of Iris (Netflix). It starts interestingly enough with a kidnapping but there are so many convolutions in the storyline afterwards I lost interest…

Family problems in a variety of forms

The Luminaries did nothing for me. If you sewed my eyelids open and strapped me in front of the television I still wouldn’t have been able to watch it. But I enjoyed all six episodes of Behind Her Eyes, Eve Hewson’s latest outing on Netflix. As no doubt you know, she’s Bono’s daughter. It can…