Hi everyone it’s Collie here.
Recently I was preparing for the movie review segment I do on Ocean Fm and I sent a message out to some friends on social media. It was the first week of the lockdown and we had decided to do an Irish movie special. I asked my pals for their favorite Irish movie -but to avoid ‘obvious’ candidates.
One of the things that surprised me the most (other than I have friends with weird tastes) is how many of my US based friends suggested movies like Boondock Saints, Leap Year, The Departed, Matchmaker, and Gangs of New York.
I would never have considered a single one of them as Irish movies.
Admittedly only two of them are actually set in Ireland but it’s not just their settings.
I have no problem with considering In America an Irish movie. In fact, I often include The Favourite(filmed and set in England, by a Greek director) and The Breadwinner (set in Afghanistan) in my Irish movies list.
So, what makes a movie Irish?Much of Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan were filmed in Ireland but nobody thinks of them as Irish. Riverdance burst onto the global scene but its leads were American dancers.
(I promise you if Michael Flatley’s self-financed movie Blackbird ever sees the light of day we’ll definitely do a blog).
I think, much like people, a movie is probably Irish if it wants to be. But I do feel that a while there is a huge shared culture, humor and history, there are also interesting and enjoyable differences in the movies and TV shows appreciated by the Irish and the Irish Americans. Ray Donovan we’re looking at you.
The radio show went very well with many good suggestions. However the idea of all these different opinions on what makes an Irish movie, and more importantly, what makes a good Irish movie, lingered. When discussing with Niamh , she suggested doing a few blog posts about some Irish movies. Some gems you might have missed, some beloved movies to revisit and just for fun, maybe the odd stinker.
So in no particular order here we go.