The following are on reserve in Magill Library:
Man of Aran (1934). Robert Flaherty's famous documentary dramatizing and heroizing
the Aran Islanders, the first attempt at an anthropological documentation of local culture. Of
course, the way of life he was attempting to document had already disappeared in 1934,
hence the "cast of characters" at the end of the film. Many of the cast had to be taught the
"traditional ways" they depict in the film; look for the brief glimpse of telephone wires.
Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to America (1995). Covers the period
of the Famine in detail through much of the folklore and folksongs where it resides
anecdotally. Mick Maloney, ethnologist and musician, who teaches at Villanova and has
long been the central to Irish music in Philadelphia, sings the very embittered Famine song
about the decimated village of Skibbereen; Kerby Miller, whose work in Irish-American
history, Emigrants and Exiles; Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America (1985) was
the basis of this project, comments.
When Ireland Starved: An Gorta Mór, The Great Famine (1992). Comprehensive
Irish documentary of the Famine from various perspectives; includes what historical
footage is available through photographs, drawings, journals, diaries, etc. Includes Irish
scholars from several different disciplines, history, political science, anthropology, literature,
Recent Popular Films
The Boxer (1997). Daniel Day-Lewis, Emily Watson, dir. Jim Sheridan. Well received film
about a man who, released from prison after 14 years, attempts to separate himself from
terrorist factions, and build a gymnasium for both Protestant and Catholic boys.
The Butcher Boy (1998). Stephen Rea, Sinéad O'Connor, dir. Neil Jordan. Plots the
progressive deterioraton of a young boy "from the lanes," son of an alcoholic father and
suicidally-depressed mother, whose fantasies increasingly revolve around the totemic
Irish figure of the pig. He is visited increasingly by the Blessed Virgin, played by Sinéad
O'Connor, for long colloquies on the various and essentially tragic events of his life.
The Crying Game (1992). Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, dir. Neil Jordan. Perhaps
the film that brought Irish cinema to international attention. Based on a short story by Liam
O'Flaherty, "Guests of the Nation," it has been said of the film that while overtly concerned
with IRA terrorism, it was in fact "The Film That Dare Not Speak Its Name" in its
suppressed narrative of homosexual attraction.
In the Name of the Father (1993). Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Pete
Postlethwaite, dir. Jim Sheridan. Based on the true story of the Guildford Four, wrongly
imprisoned during the terrorist attacks on London in the 1970's, reluctantly freed 15 years
Michael Collins (1996). Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman, dir. Neil Jordan. A
remarkable performance by Liam Neeson as the celebrated soldier and statesman who led
the Irish Republican Army to victory over the British forces, and in subsequent negotiations
to establish the Irish Republic was forced to cede the six Northern counties to the British.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1977). Bosco Hogan, T. P. McKenna, John
Geilgud, dir. Joseph Strick. From Joyce's novel; beautifully filmed in Ireland. John Geilgud
delivers the famous descriptions of hellfire from the pulpit that so terrifies Stephen.
Some Mother's Son (1997). Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flanagan, dir. Terry George. Draws
upon both the peace movements in Northern Ireland led by both Protestant and Catholic
women, as well as upon the protests from the prisoners of H Block in Stormount prison
who "went on the blanket," refusing to wear prison clothing that would identify them as
criminals rather than the political prisoners they saw themselves to be and who chose to
starve to death as a final protest and assault against British repression in Northern Ireland.
Note the use of Irish as a secret language to communicate within the prison.
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