Culture Journal Ireland

Citizens of Boomtown; A Reminiscence for the rebels of Ireland

Bob Geldof is probably best known today for being responsible for helping to launch the careers of the likes of Chris Evens, Danise Van Outen and his ate wife Paula Yates. Before that however he was single handily responsible for one of the greatest televisual and music phenomena’s of all-time in the form of Live Aid; a concert held at London’s Wembley Stadium in aid of famine victims in Ethiopia which was beamed across the world. Before that however Bob Geldof was the charismatic frontman of one of the biggest bands to come out of Ireland in the 1970’s and 80’s. Citizens of Boomtown, shown recently on RTÉ 2 tells…

Read more

True North: Restoring Ormiston

Ormiston House is a rather ornate highlight on the otherwise ordinary landscape of Belfast. Lying on the outskirts of the East of the city it has a rich and varied history, but lay dormant and derelict for years until it was taken on as a renovation project by one Belfast based couple. Restoring Ormiston was shown as part of the BBC’s True North series this week and told the story of a spectacular building which was nearly lost. Built in 1867 on thirteen acres of land Ormiston House, which in the past had belonged to one of the owners of the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, they neglected…

Read more

Once Upon a Time in Iraq – brilliantly told, absolutely compelling

There was no one at home when the bombs dropped. My family were away on holiday and I was in England visiting friends when the invasion of Iraq began in September 2003. Even though both of us were far from the danger zone there is something strangely ironic that has always struck this particular writer about that time ever since. This is apt in a way because Once Upon A Time in Iraq is mainly about the normal people who had their homes bombed and their families torn apart. Each episode leys out the foundation stone for the purpose behind the series. “The politicians have had their say”, it declares,…

Read more

Marvellous: A truly human story

Marvellous, staring Toby Jones is a truly human story about following your dreams and reaching beyond supposed limitation which ultimately are merely societal. This light hearted drama; screened recently on BBC tells the story of Neil Baldwin, a real-life character who achieves beyond what conventional wisdom perceives him able to do. After leaving his steady butchers job almost literally to run away and join the circus Neil is enjoying life as a clown entertaining people until a dispute with the circus’ manager results in him being left behind. Undaunted by this Neil, after a stint working as a recruiter for Stoke University, is eventually hired by Lou Macari, manager of…

Read more

Viceroy’s House

The central characters; or rather the central characters outside of Lord Mountbatten and his wife; namely Jeet Kumar, (played by Manish Dayal, who has been previously seen in the 100 Step Journey along with Om Puri who also appears in this film) Aalia Noor and her father Ali Rahim )played by Puri) represent the ordinary people in this film. Because the issue of a Hindu being attracted to a Muslim is addressed it is used as a metaphor for the bigger issue of the relationship between the fledgling states. There is a growing tension between these two characters, a result of Aalia’s long lost love returning from war. The metaphor…

Read more

Detroit: A film with grit in it’s teeth

A city on fire riots on the streets, a small girl gets shot by the police simply for looking out of her own living room window. No this is not a retelling of some atrocity in Northern Ireland, these are the opening sequences of Catherine Bigelow’s 2017 civil rights era drama Detroit which gives an account of the events that took place in the city of the same name in the summer of 1967. Scenes from the film are juxtaposed with news reel footage from the time, telling the audience straight away that this story is no fiction giving the film an edgier, more immediate feel, setting the audience right…

Read more

We All Want to be Normal People

It’s taken Culture Journal Ireland a while to get into this one, but with seemingly everyone talking about Normal People, for one reason or another, we felt it was about time we cast our eye across this much hyped phenomenon. Based on the novel by the same name by Sally Rooney and directed by award winning directors Lennie Abrahamson and Hettie McDonald, the series is set in a fictional co. Sligo town and in the latter stages Dublin. The two main characters played by Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal, are key two the whole thing. The two leads are likable and seem like a natural fit on screen. In…

Read more

Darkest Hour, perhaps Gary Oldman’s finest, but not Churchill’s.

Billed as one of Gary Oldman’s greatest performances, for which he was nominated for the best actor in a leading role oscar, this it undoubtedly is. But, shown on the BBC recently as part of their commemoration of VE Day, is it any good or is it just the usual predicted jingo-fest? Well the simple answer is both yes and no. The film sees Britain’s previous prime minister Neville Chamberlain still in power. Many within his own party (if you didn’t know it you could easily predict that it’s the Tories) are against going to war as they believe they’d loose and instead want to come to a settlement with…

Read more

Maze – A sad tale with a disappointing ending

|*If you have not seen this film please be aware that this review contains slight spoilers* Maze, shown on television recently, tells the story of one of the biggest prison breakouts in Europe when in 1983 thirty eight IRA prisoners breakout of a prison which the film takes it’s name from. This is a film which this particular reviewer wanted to like, the premise is interesting, the plot and the synopsis builds the film up as a tense, Hitchcock-esque exploration of two characters in particular. The plot focuses on Larry Marley, played as ably as ever by Love/Hate‘s Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and prison warden Gordon Close, played by Barry Ward, who…

Read more
%%footer%%