Irish adaptations on screen

FILM FESTIVAL

Delhiites got a taste of Ireland with five-day film festival titled ‘Irish Film Festival of India’ that was organised for the first time in the City at India Habitat Centre.

Reel life : A scene from the movie Circle of Friends.

The festival was based on the theme of ‘The Writing Irish’ and aimed to showcase different aspects of the country’s culture through its cinema. It was also an effort to celebrate Irish writers.

 Festival director Marc-Ivan O’Gorman said, “I have been living in India for almost a decade now and have been to a number of Indian households where I was pleased to see books written by Irish authors. This made me select films which are screen adaptations of Irish literature.”

The festival screened films like Blood Coloured Moon, The Dead, Circle of friends, Dancing at Lughnasa, Ballroom of Romance, Krapp’s Last Trap and The Butcher Boy.

The festival opened with screening of a thriller Blood Coloured Moon which is set in rural Ireland. On a Good Friday night in 1967 when a stranger arrives on an isolated pub and tries to persuade the woman of the house to run away with him by reciting a poem while the lady’s husband loads a shotgun to shoot him.

The festival also screened The Dead – a movie about a dinner at the house of two spinster musician sisters and their niece that was attended by friends and family. Among the visiting attendees are the sisters’ nephew Gabriel Conroy and his wife Gretta. The evening brings up melancholy memories for Gretta and her first love when she was a girl in rural Galway.

This was followed by films based on author Maeve Binchy’s Circle of Friends and Partick McCabe’s The Butcher Boy, which were quite a hit.

Circle of Friends is a classic set in 1950s Ireland. The story focusses on Benny Hogan and her best friend, Eve Malone as they enter University College in Dublin. Here Benny and Eve reunite with their childhood friend, Nan Mahon. They also encounter the handsome and charming Jack Foley, with whom Benny quickly falls in love.

The Butcher Boy is a 1997 film directed by Neil Jordan starring Stephen Ray and Eamonn Owens. The movie based on the Booker shortlisted novel is a tragicomic drama about Francis Brady, a 12-year-old boy, who becomes a problem child due to his dysfunctional family, and displays uncontrollable brutality when he grows up. This unique film won the ‘Silver Bear’ for best director at the ‘Berlin Film Festival’.

A movie buff, Rajarshi Dey said, “It is a good idea to screen movies that reflect the culture of a country. The choice of films was good but I think the storyline was not too strong and that is a problem with not only Irish films but films all over the world.”

Vijay Gupta, another spectator and a lawyer by profession said, “After watching the movies, I feel that Indian films are better.”

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