Monday, April 11, 2016

Virtual Chronicles of Faerie


These gorgeous images were created by Mary Pat Lynch aka Aoife Lorefield for the online metaverse Second Life.(The Faerie build was a temporary creation, so no longer there.) She also read from The Hunter's Moon for a blog called the Seanchai Library. The Seanchai is having its eighth anniversary and has set up a number of special readings and events to celebrate. You can check it out here: http://irelandslstory.blogspot.com.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Song for the Hunter's Moon

 

One of those magical moments that gives you goosebumps: I was working away on the screenplay of The Hunter's Moon with  RTE Lyric FM playing in the background when I slowly grew aware of fey exquisite music and two beautiful female voices. Then came the words the Hunter's Moon was bleeding red the night you left our thorny bed. "Blood Moon" is a strange thrilling fairy tale of a song by Irish duo Saint Sister. Have a listen!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Little Bit of Irish History from 1916 to 2016


There it was hanging on the Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey yesterday for the 80,000 anti-austerity marchers - and everyone else in Dublin - to see. A message from the past, from James Connolly, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion in 1916. In many ways it is as relevant today as it was during WWII as Ireland groans under the burden of the German-led European Union's insistence that the Irish people pay for the malfeasance of the Irish and German banks who crashed our economy. An election is coming up next week and nobody knows for certain how it will play out. But one thing is clear. A lot of people in Ireland are totally fed up with the ruling elites of both Ireland and Europe.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Disappointing Don DeLillo


Let's be clear, I adore this writer. I have read just about everything he has written and, until this book, I have never been disappointed. And it's not that this one isn't compelling - I'm still slogging through it - but I am actually SHOCK HORROR bored at times and I have SHOCK HORROR skipped pages. At the same time, there are sections that have had me laughing out loud which has not happened with his other books. Brilliant comedic writing. But in so many passages he seems to be aping Joyce, showing off his brilliance with prose to no meaningful purpose, and wasting my precious reading time. This was written in the 1990s. Was he already that famous that his editor wouldn't touch him? I'm a few weeks with him now when normally I read him in a few days. That says it all.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Don De Lillo, Haruki Murakami and Mary Lawson


Just completed De Lillo's Falling Man. I've been reading this author for years, along with Murakami whose Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage I finished two weeks ago. Both of these authors write in a very similar way about their countries, America and Japan respectively. Their characters are always somewhat psychotic or at least thoroughly alienated and reading these men is like wandering through a strange dream landscape that is mildly disturbing while utterly compelling. One can only wonder what kind of conversations they have. Would love to know. And now for something completely different we have Mary Lawson, a newish Canadian author I've just discovered to my absolute DELIGHT. She started writing in her 50s and doesn't belt them out like the aforementioned men so her enthralled fans just have to wait. Write faster, woman! Only joking. Unbeknownst till too late, I started with the third of her Crow Lake 'trilogy' The Road Ends, But really the books stand alone even though characters wander through the three stories, rather like Kieslowski's Three Colours film trilogy. But oh how I love her writing and her characters and her stories! I was already homesick for Canada with the new Prime Minister Trudeau but Lawson's descriptions of winters in small town Canada made me yearn to return.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Angelina Jolie's By the Sea


I took two nights to watch this, not because I found it difficult or boring but because I wanted to savour it. Very like reading a novel. It's slow and subtle, elegant and beautifully shot. Hemingway would have liked it, I think, the spare dialogue and the intensity of the characters. More European than American, it's the kind of film Charlotte Rampling usually stars in. The American critics have savaged it en masse. They like to run in packs, like ravening wolves, but are rarely right when it comes to something beyond conventional fashion, something different. Something extraordinary. I predict By the Sea will be reassessed in years to come

Monday, December 21, 2015

My Christmas Books and Films


Everyone has their favourites and these are mine: The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (finished two days ago, yes I cried over Tiny Tim as I do annually), Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti (seriously bizarre story but Finn and I read it together every year) and A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas (oh such beautiful writing, but my little blue paper edition has disappeared, who fecked it?!). Meanwhile have watched my favourite Christmas television episode, "All Ye Faithful" of JAG, very clever writing which includes references to various Christmas films, books and songs. I've also managed to watch two favourite Christmas films Love Actually and It's a Wonderful Life (cried here, too). Don't know where I found the time to watch anything as it has been seriously hectic these past few weeks! But the cards are off, the presents wrapped, the plans made. I'm ... dare I say it? ... ready. May I wish you a very Merry Christmas and healthy and happy new year.