As we wrote some while back, Offaly actor Ger McCormack is having his short film Dead Beat showing in the Short Film section of the Galway Film Fleadh. So, in the spirit of camaraderie, as a film lover, and for the interest of the readers of The Eye, I popped on down!
Short Film – Curtains Up!
“Buttered Up” lands butter side down
A nine short film set was opened by “Buttered Up”, an odd film that must have been inspired by a bad LSD trip. Or was a submininal advert for Kerrygold.
Somewhere between a fetish being acted out, to some twist on birth in reverse, Im sure it makes sense to someone, somewhere.
But not to me.
As one bystander put it: “Its one of those films made to make you feel you don’t know film if you don’t understand it” Slip away from this one!
A moral tale, when a good night out is a bad night out!
As bad as “Buttered Up” was, each next short film was opposingly as good, including “Go Home”. This short film finished the set using the similar psychedelic take as “Buttered Up” this time from a drunken partygoers perspective.
The girl sees her life going around and around and getting nowhere. Something a lot can relate do, giving rise to the saying “sometimes smiles hide the bitterest tears”.
With a Trainspottingesque narrative, it was both gripping and entertaining, and indeed, should anyone heed it, educational! If there was an award for make up, this would win hands down! Do see this!
The Day Before the Twalfth
Seasonal for the marching season that is in it “The 11th” is set in the North of Ireland, in a loyalist area, where a man who fled the area returns.
He goes to the local pub to meet a lost love, after first meeting his mother. Prior to that he runs into a young lad who does him for a pound, but they become friends, both being feared and outsiders.
Worth watching, end ends in a sinister mood which could be expanded on if this was extended to a feature film. Well worth a watch.
Still up North, Troubles from the Other Side
The second entry from the North of Ireland was “Troubles”, set among the nationalist community. Thankfully it wasn’t the “IRA and struggle” flick I was expecting.
It had more to do with telling us “its good to talk”, which is a timely message among people with minds as troubled today as any time in our past.
Of course, everyone is awkward about talking about feelings. They find it hard to deal with each other when it comes to mental health. As maybe their own is frail enough.
Real troubles: the North West Frontier
Anyone with a family history in the British Army will know the North West Frontier Province. From the Waziristan area, to the infamous Khyber Pass, stories are still told today of the Pashtun.
However, its not just the Federal Tribal Areas that are in trouble today, with areas right down the west of Pakistan suffering. The conflict has taken over 50000 lives since 2002.
That’s nearly thirteen times what was lost in the North of Ireland, and in less time. Most of us know the story of Malala Yousafzai the girls who was shot for going to school.
Set against this background was the standout film for me “Sisters in Arms”, where a female police commando unit fail to stop a Taliban attack, and the crack sniper has to mercy kill a woman who is being executed in one of the most horrific ways imaginable.
There is no way to do this clip credit in a few paragraphs, without giving away the story. The tragedy that its based on fact is painful too realize.
This is a must see.
The Pain of Parting in the West of Old
The current crisis of the rights to collect seaweed came to mind at the opening of “The American Wake”, where the girl gets an invite to America to work.
I was expecting the usual “Quiet Man” take on the subject, but instead we were enthralled by the tragic way the girl finds it hard to cope. She is rescued by her father when she cannot take any more.
The trophe sometimes used too often in film of “walking into the water” to euphemise suicide was used here, but there was a bittersweet happy ending. She is seen at the end of the short film returning with her own son and his kid, looking wistfully at the ruin of the family home.
A well shot film, the only blooper being that the lead actress had blond highlights set against very dark eyebrows, a hairstyle that would not have been current at the time of the film! Get to see it if you can.
Death, pain, guilt, and walking into water again
“Rapacious” is a short film that trails the final hours of a man living in the woods. He is evidently troubled. His wild meanderings bring him to and through the ruin of Moore Hall. In the basement of the castle, he has a vision. He follows this vision to the lakeside, eventually, as she turns we see she has taken a beating, hence his guilt.
As with the merrow traditon, the aisling / vision tempts him to his doom, as he follows her to the waters, and his death.
Death, end of life, when is life worth living?
An old practically blind woman fumbles through the familiar drawers of her home. To the viewer of the short film “Just Molly and Me” she is but foostering. But blind people navigate that way, remembering the touch of all things in their place.
The doorbell rings, and a youth is outside, and looks up to no good.
A unsettling scene unfolds where she catches him robbing her. They talk, she admits not wanting to live.
A must see for how elder abuse happens, the depths addition drives people to, and the whole topic of euthanasia and end of life issues. Have the tissues at the ready if you get teary eyed easily.
“Dead Beat” beats the drum for black comedy
The old band gets together. One cant make it. As usual. But he has a replacement, and the bands last gig is in the same old haunt!
Most of us were part of a band and can relate. Or had pals who were.
The quirkiest part of this short film, was how the start of the film comes full circle at the end, with a small prequel clip. A very nice touch. Ger McCormacks acting is spot on.
The Fleadh Goes On!
I hope to catch a few more events at the Fleadh over the programme. There was a great buzz at the Town Hall Theater, and a few were getting interviewed and all. To spite my good looks, I managed to avoid getting on the wrong end of the camera lens!