Category: Film

Bird’s eye view of a unique theme

My ignorance of the pigeon world was almost absolute before I saw Million Dollar Pigeons (15A), an unusual documentary about the high-flying world of pigeon fanciers. Gavin Fitzgerald’s film goes all over the world. We see those at the top of the sport in America, South Africa, China and even Thailand. He starts with a…

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Women at the helm in films

Maybe we’ll look back on 2022 as the year of women in films. A documentary on Mother Teresa was recently released, as was one about Lyra McKee, the investigative journalist who was murdered by dissident republicans on Holy Thursday in 2019. Also a documentary on the poet and novelist Doireann Ní Ghriofa and the film…

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When the inimitable Sam Goldwyn was asked once what was wrong with the American film industry he famously replied, “We need some new cliches”. Writer/director Martin McDonagh, in his ambition to be the Irish Quentin Tarantino, has spent the last number of years providing us with his version of these. He’s unpicked stage-Irishry with some…

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Bambi in bovver boots

We’re in America. A singer stands before an audience. She looks like an extra-terrestrial with her shaven head. People start to cheer. Then they boo. She recently refused to sing at a venue if the American National Anthem was played. She’s also torn up a photograph of the Pope on live TV. The camera flashes…

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Slow burning search for a lost childhood

It Is In Us All (15) begins with London-based Hamish (Cosmo Jarvis) travelling to his native Donegal to prepare his deceased aunt’s house for sale. On the way he has a car accident. A boy from the other car is killed. Another one, Evan (Rhys Mannion), survives. Hamish self-treats his injuries like a Buncrana Rambo.…

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Double diet of Austenesque adaptations

It is a truth universally acknowledged that nobody understands a woman better than another one. That’s why it’s a relief that the Jane Austen-themed Mr Malcolm’s List (PG) is both directed by a woman (Emma Holly Jones) and scripted by one – Suzanne Allain from her own (self-published) novel. Partly filmed in Ireland, it comes…

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Forgiveness, revenge, jealousy and retribution

“Jesus forgave those who crucified him.” This is the mantra underlying Francois Ozon’s achingly beautiful Frantz (Alibris). Shot partly in monochrome and partly in colour, it has an air of elegant leisureliness. It tells the story of a Parisian soldier from World War I (Pierre Niney) who’s consumed with guilt after shooting a German in…

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