• picture palace

    Here’s a photo I took on Saturday in Galway of the newly-constructed Picture Palace in the city centre. It’s a three-screen art cinema, that will also have a café, bar, film/art book and dvd shop, and an online film archive facility. This has been a long, much-anticipated project, and is the perfect fit for a bohemian city that has a university and a technical institute that both teach a variety of film courses. Of course, as a film buff I’m delighted at the prospect of getting a better variety of screenings of foreign and indie films in Galway. I don’t know when the cinema will open this year, but I…

  • troll hunter

    On Friday I went to the showing of the Norwegian monster movie TrollHunter (Trolljegeren, 2010), as part of the Galway Film Fleadh. It’s written by André Øvredal and Håvard S. Johansen, and directed by Øvredal. This film follows a well-worn path of supposedly being the raw footage from a documentary that three college students were shooting – all of this is explained up front in stark lettering before the film starts. I must confess to releasing a sigh upon reading this, as this is a particular trope of horror films that can grate upon my nerves. However, TrollHunter is a fine of example of how you can pull off this…

  • sunset, then the lesbian aliens

    I snapped this image late this evening down by the River Corrib in Galway city. The Film Fleadh kicked off tonight, so I passed a long line of people, some dressed up smartly, waiting to get into the Rowing Club. That’s the official after-movie venue for the Fleadh, and it has a lovely section at the back that overlooks the River. It’s a splendid spot to quaff a few drinks and take cinema if the weather is good. Those were the film buffs who’d been in to see the opening film, Parked (written by Ciaran Creagh and directed by Darragh Byrne). I was on my way to watch a black…

  • women in horror recognition month 2011

    Women in Horror Recognition Month 2011

    February this year saw the inaugural Women in Horror Recognition Month, which was an initiative started by Hannah Nuerotica out of frustration because of a perceived lack of women working in the horror industry (literature, cinema, television, comics, etc.). Of course, there are a lot of women working in the industry, but there has been a historic visibility problem: women haven’t always enjoyed equal critical attention or promotion as their male colleagues. Hannah started Women in Horror Recognition Month so that women writers, directors, actors, etc. would get a visibility boost at least for the month of February. It was an excellent idea and via the blog and Facebook page…

  • Galway Junior Film Fleadh 2010

    Last year I was one of the judges for the Galway Junior Film Fleadh pitching competition, and it was a brilliant experience. First off I was delighted that all four of the finalists were girls, and each of them had a great story idea. I was also impressed with how they dealt with having to be on stage and pitch their story to the jury and the audience. That’s a daunting prospect no matter your age! This year’s Junior Film Fleadh will take place from the 3 – 6 of November, and once again it’s running the script competition. Here are the details: The Junior Galway Film Fleadh, in association…

  • FrightFest 2008 Roundup

    Another year, another FrightFest. Here are a number of horror movie clichés I could do without in the future: A blood-covered girl being chased in the woods as a hook to start a film A woman being captured, locked up, and tortured Stating at the beginning “Based on actual events” Yuppies being menaced by psycho assailants Creepy mirror scenes that aren’t scary enough Comedy horror flicks that have more gore and rubbery intestines than story or funny lines Oh gosh, the bad guys are kids! The countryside is occupied only by crazies – even if you escape, you can be guaranteed you’ll fall back into their clutches just as you…

  • is it too much to ask for plot and characters with the chest bursting?

    Last night I watched Aliens vs Predator – Requiem, or AVPR as it’s also known, and reckon the Alien/Predator franchise has hit its movie nadir. I will admit a fondness for the original AVP. It’s formulaic, but it featured a strong likeable central heroine, Alexa Woods, (Sanaa Lathan), a clear story, and it delivered a couple of cool smack-downs: my personal favourite is when the Predator swings the Alien around like a discus athlete and knocks chunks out of the temple wall with the Alien’s head. Unfortunately, AVP contained too few moments like that. I wanted a bit more of Aliens and Predators knocking the crap out of each other.…

  • interludes and elder gods

    The holiday season is such a distraction. It’s nice to meet up with friends and family, exchange gifts, share a meal, and over-indulge a little, but there’s a limit to my ability to dodge my internal taskmistress. She’s strict, and has no tolerance for excuses. Yet, even though I haven’t written much in the last week I’m currently growing a bunch of stories in my mind. The Novel Idea is simmering. A new short story is taking shape. It’s weird, set in a strange place, and the main character is flitting in and out of my periphery imagination all the time. I’m hesitant to write anything down. It feels too…

  • recent laughs

    I’m going to lighten the tone in this post because I’ve a tendency to write serious blog entries. That’s partly because I use this journal to tease out writing-related issues that are on my mind. Today I’ll examine two comedies I saw in recent weeks that I really enjoyed. First off I’ll state that I have huge respect for comedy writers because it is a difficult art. There is something miraculous about making people laugh. It’s a gift. It doesn’t hurt that comedy sells, as I pointed out lately. I’ve been making a conscious effort to add more comedy titles to my DVD collection, because I tend to gravitate towards…

  • inspiration

    There were a number of programmes on TV during the run-up to the death of 2005 that detailed lists of movies that people rated very highly. Around Halloween I assembled a list of horror films I admired. Today I’m delineating the non-genre (not sf/fantasy/horror/action/thriller) films that burn brightly in my imagination. When I mull over the choices there are many criteria I could use, such as excellent acting, innovative direction, and intelligent writing. In this case I have chosen films that left an undeniable emotional impact upon me after watching them. Of course it’s deeply personal. After viewing each of these films I came away with the thought “This is…