Tag Archives: Documentary

Rare screening ‘Looking On’ & ‘Alive Alive O – A Requiem for Dublin’

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Review by Maria Brosnan

Alive TRADERS 1-D.SPEIRSOn 2nd April, two documentaries will be screened back to back as part of the 2017 Five Lamps Arts Festival, Sé Merry Doyle’s first doumentary, Looking On (1982) and Alive Alive O: A Requiem for Dublin (2001). Both deal with what Sé describes as “Dublin’s inner city under threat” and cover the twenty year period from the 1980’s up until the beginnings of the Celtic Tiger.
Alive Alive O documents how Dublin and its inner city communities were reshaped – including the clearance and movement of tenements to places like Tallght and Coolock, the clamp down on street trading which even saw the introduction of the 1985 Illegal Street Trading Act,  and  the closure of markets like the Iveagh on Francis Street.
Sé uses archival footage and photographs as well as primary interviews and original film.  There’s a layering of poetry by Paula Meehan, songs by Frank Harte and first account voices – a coalescence of people and prose that is  reflective of Sé’s film making style.  He creates an important archive of a social and cultural history, but his method and pacing allow us the space and breadth to digest the material, without being bombard with information.
We are taken on a walkabout; we meet the people who are being displaced and dispossessed while an Irish State pursues a (re)development plan that failed to respect, include and consult existing communities and traditional industry.  The disconnect is perfectly exemplified by the literal wall built between Sheriff Street and the Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC), constructing barriers and boundaries.
We see the struggle and the resistance.  There are  confrontations between gardaí and street traders and even imprisonments, organised demonstrations, and strong representation and leadersrship from local TD, Tony Gregory and community activist, Mick Rafferty.  Looking On documents a festival of the same name organised in protest to highlight the issues of the inner city and to celebrate the vitality of the people.
It is over 15 years since Alive Alive O: A Requiem for Dublin was released, and Looking On is almost 35 years old but they were chosen to be part of the festival because of their relevance to now, as a way of looking at the present, and its link with the recent past.  Most viewers will be able to fill in the blanks of the past sixteen years because they have lived through the blanks, a boom and a recession.  Major, hyper, polarities, for any (sixteen year) lifetime.
The resonance hits hard. Despite improvements in infrastructure, increases in foreign investment, a more skilled and diverse population and more liberal cultural attitudes, it’s difficult to delineate progress when you are so aware of the host of current issues – or crises – the country is dealing with – gang wars, drugs, housing, homelessness. Then there is the dark recession that the country has muddled through and the reverberating impact of mass unemployment and austerity measures which will linger for a long time. Not to mind the staple of structural inequality; class, hierarchy and power structures are already written in hearts, minds and institutions – and will always constitute a barrier to working class communities.  The resonance is heavy indeed.
Alive Alive O asks the viewer to consider the function of a city and of a State, and the role of communities and the public.  For me, the film highlights the need to engage a multiplicity of viewpoints, and to ensure that real inclusion, negotiation and compromise form part of the decision making process.  Development – or progress – should be defined as a progression of thought or policy informed by the experience or mistakes of the past.
Sé describes the documentary as a “a kind of moral tale or metaphor. ” He believes that the situation we are in now could have been prevented if things were done differently, and that we are doomed to continue a cycle and make the same mistakes if we do not stop, reflect and make changes.   Sé is keen to make a follow-up documentary chronicling the intervening years and is currently looking for funding.

Loopline You Tube Channel

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Loopline Film has launched a new You Tube Channel to highlight some of fantastic archive films in our 20 year archive. You can watch ‘Dublin Inner City Folklore’ featuring Terry Fagan, a tribute to the poet Louis MacNeice epic poem ‘Autumn Journal’, or catch New York  avant-garde artists, McDermott and McGough exploring old time photographic techniques. We will be adding films on a constant basis so please subscribe and you will receive updates. Here is a taster!

 

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Boston screens ‘Dreaming the Quiet Man’.

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Donny

Fresh on the heels of a Gala screening at the Toronto Irish Film Festival ‘Dreaming the Quiet Man’ gets a New England premier in Boston on the 25th March. The Boston Irish Festival screening is sponsored by the Irish Film Board, IFTA and the John Ford Foundation. The film has now been taken up by the distribution company Element Pictures (THE GUARD) and will get a cinema release later this year. Plans are also afoot to restore the original film and to secure a brand new digital print ready for this years 60th anniversary of the making of ‘The Quiet Man’.

 

‘Dreaming the Quiet Man’ Canadian Premier

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'The Quiet Man'

Great excitement in Toronto for Canadian Premier on Friday 9th March. The folks in Toronto are pulling out all the stops and ‘Dreaming the Quiet Man’ opens the festival with a Gala screening. Sadly the Director of the film Sé Merry Doyle will not be in attendance  as he has a fear of flying but the good news is that his Producer Vanessa Gildea will attend. It is with the great support of the Irish Film Board and BAI that the film is getting such prestigious showing across the globe. We salute them!

The American magazine writes “Dreaming The Quiet Man” is a truly remarkable new film which dissects one of the greatest films in Irish and American (and apparently Canadian!) history – John Ford’s ‘The Quiet Man’. The film premieres at the Toronto Irish Film Festival March 9th, 2012 in the Bell Lightbox Festival Tower and Cultural Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Quiet Man was a film about mythical Irish life and values told through the incredible talents of Irish film maker John Ford. Now, Irishman and actor Gabriel Byrne narrates a film that delves into the films greater collective meaning and how it stands up in modern society”.

 

The film features Mauren O’Hara, Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovicz, Jim Sheridan, John Ford’s cousins,the Feeney’s and Narration is by Gabriel Byrne. The locations of Conemara and Cong, County Mayo, are captured in all their beauty by Oscar nominated cameraman Patrick Jordan.

Maureen O’Hara has taped a special message for the audience attending, what promises to be a wonderful evening.