Two More Movie Reviews

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Two more grumpy reviews for No More Workhorse.

All horror movies are allegories. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is a visceral articulation of the racial turmoil of 1960s America. The Shining is a through-a-mirror-darkly reflection on domestic violence. The Fly examines the dehumanising degradation and social opprobrium of the AIDS crisis. The best of them hold a multiplicity of interpretations, intended and unintended readings alike hidden behind door 237, if we can only find the right key. Too often in contemporary cinema, this higher purpose – the cathexis of our fears and traumas – is abandoned in favour of cheap jump scares and ‘fan service’ re-imaginings. Achieving something that wields the mythic cudgel of fear without becoming crushed under the weight of cliché isn’t easy.

The Girl With All the Gifts

All hail West Texas, land of slick rich quick schemes and rural desperation. Rarely has a crime caper placed such emphasis on the decay of the contemporary American West. ‘Three tours in Iraq but no bailout for people like us’, reads a tag in the opening shots of David Mackenzie’s gritty tragedy.  Ben Foster (playing a black sheep Ben Foster type), and a distractingly handsome Chris Pine (playing Josh Brolin from No Country For Old Men) are Hell & High Water: Fiercely affectionate good ol’ bros; authentic American antiheroes who communicate exclusively in brandoesque growls. Everywhere the camera turns, under beautifully expressive plains clouds, ‘Closing Down’ and ‘Debt Relief’ signs war for attention with the ramshackle landscape of White American poverty. This is a land plagued by bush fires, debt and televangelists.

Hell or High Water

No More Workhorse Review

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Generally, I can’t abide criticism. Outside of academia, it serves little function beyond banal consumer recommendation. However, my principles won’t get me free cinema tickets, now will they? Here’s my first wee report for No More Workhorse.

Todd Phillips made a career out of fusing comedy with ‘high concept’ action, raking in a fortune from the Hangover trilogy. Hill transcended gross out comedy to earn an Oscar nomination for his outsized role in Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street. Teller, hazed in a series of frat house comedies, gained attention for his turn in critical darling ‘Whiplash’. So can the Philips succeed in wringing engaging and humorous performances from such promising leads?

Read the rest.

The Wedding Tree

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Download: The Wedding Tree
Subscribe: iTunes, RSS, Soundcloud.

The Wedding Tree is an audacious new radio drama, set in the aftermath of an accident at an Irish nuclear power plant. In the wake of the disaster, fire officer Cian Mitchell is confined to hospital. Tormented by his injuries, Cian finds unlikely comfort in the company of Philips, an elderly English patient. Philips, a retired air force officer, delivers a series of interconnected tales drawing on everything from the golden age of Hollywood to Ireland’s historic mistreatment of women. The play explores mortality, storytelling, and the interconnectedness of all things. This is a tensely paced, meditative piece of radio theatre that plays with the medium, moving from drama to storytelling and back again.

This was my first time working with the incredibly talented, award winning sound designer Brendan Rehill. Brendan’s work captures the power and presence of natural sound to build rich, captivating audio worlds. For this drama he constructed an aural voyage that takes us from the heart of a nuclear reactor to the gizzards of a dying man.

The Wedding Tree was produced by Dead Medium for Newstalk. The programme was written and directed by Gareth Stack, and sound design was by Brendan Rehill.

The cast were: Mitchell – James O’Connor, Philips – William Brady, Surgeon / Mrs Mitchell / Nurse – Aislinn O’Byrne, Rory – Sebastian Connellan.

Theme music and incidental music by Roger Gregg.

‘The Wedding Tree’ was broadcast Saturday 12th August at 8am and 10PM  GMT on Newstalk 106 -108FM.

The programmes was made possible by a grant from the Sound & Vision fund. Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.

BAI CREDIT

Podcasting Workshop – August 13th

a4 podcast workshop

When: Sat 13th Aug,  10-5pm (with 1 hour for lunch)
Where: A4 Sounds, St Joseph’s Parade, Off Upper Dorset St, Dublin 1
Cost: 60 Euro
Book here

I’m running a one day podcast workshop this August in A4 Sounds. This two part workshop will cover everything you need to create, upload and promote your own podcast. We’ll provide an overview of the history of podcasts, and the current state of the podcast market. You will learn about different podcast hosting and distribution options, how to track downloads and what it takes to get a podcast into iTunes ‘New & Noteworthy’ category.

This workshop is suitable for anyone wishing to create a podcast or improve how their podcasts are created or distributed, and requires no special technical expertise.  Whether you already have a podcast you’d like to improve, or are just a keen fan with an idea, this is the workshop for you.

What will the workshop cover

Part one of the day will be an overview of podcasting, covering different ways podcasts are made and distributed, and moving onto all the major monetisation routes – from advertising to Patreon, paid downloads, app purchases and more.

We’ll look at various hosting options and podcast creation pipelines, from self hosting with WordPress or Libsyn, to all in one services like Zencast, Soundcloud, ACast and audioBoom.

Part two will cover the process of creating a podcast, using free and low cost tools. Participants will work together to record, edit and distribute a podcast. They will learn through hands on practice, how to submit to the most popular podcast directories and apps.

The facilitator will be available after the workshop to answer further questions and technical issues that might pop up with your first attempts at making a show.

Materials Required:

Participants to bring along:

  • Previously recorded programmes they wish to podcast
    OR ideas for a show they’d like to create
  • Laptops to follow along with the practical portion of the class

A4 will supply all other necessary equipment & materials.
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