New Irish Cinema

20th May 2009

Variety recently wrote an article on the “coming of age” of Irish cinema, which should be of interest to those working in the industry. Here’s a highlight:

Following in the footsteps of Sheridan and Jordan comes a generation that includes such directors as Lenny Abrahamson, Conor McPherson, John Crowley, Martin McDonagh, John Carney, Kirsten Sheridan, Lance Daly, Paddy Breathnach and Damien O’Donnell, and writers such as Mark O’Rowe, Enda Walsh and Mark O’Halloran.

“We now have a list, whereas we didn’t before,” says Alan Moloney of Parallel Pictures, one of the small band of Dublin-based producers who have worked closely with the Irish Film Board to nurture this rising tide.

Carney’s “Once,” Abrahamson and O’Halloran’s “Adam and Paul” and “Garage,” McDonagh’s “In Bruges,” Daly’s “Kisses” and the Crowley/ O’Rowe collaborations “Intermission” and “Boy A” have redefined expectations about the range and quality of work that Irish talent is capable of delivering.

Carney’s sci-fi comedy “Zonad” and O’Rowe’s latest riff on the Dublin gangster scene “Perrier’s Bounty” are among the most anticipated upcoming Irish movies. There’s also another wave of talent coming, including Margaret Corkery, Ken Wardrop and “Perrier” helmer Ian Fitzgibbon.

It’s easy to forget that for most of the 20th century, Ireland had no film industry at all, just a few determined independent spirits such as Joe Comerford and Cathal Black working in glorious isolation.

The refounding of the Irish Film Board in 1993, along with the introduction of a tax break targeted at film production, provided a turning point. It coincided with the modernization of the Irish economy and culture, and the rise of a cine-literate generation as eager to pick up a camera as a pen.

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