Tag Archives: movies

Irish Film Trivia Round 11


They were the first Filmmaking Father and Daughter to be nominated for an Oscar for the same film, which Irish family are we talking about?

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Which Irish television series was mentioned in the movie Once as how one of the characters learned to speak English?

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In 1961 President Eamon de Valera, who said in his speech: “Never before was there in the hands of men an instrument so powerful to influence the thoughts and actions of the multitude.” What was he talking about?

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The daughter of which Irish front man appeared in This Must be the Place?

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Which 2012 Irish made film begins with the lines “My story can never be told. I write it over and over, wherever we find shelter. I write of what I cannot speak: the truth. I write all I know of it, then I throw that pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it.”?

Guess The Film

He was part of a comedy duo, has appeared in a number of highly successful Irish television comedies and played it straight and tragic in Garage, who are we talking about?

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Which Irish Actor was offered a role as the first Doctor Who (1962)

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Which 2007 Irish television series was a spin-off from “Adam & Paul” (2004)?

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Which Irish actor/writer/producer currently enjoying success and television and movies is quoted as saying “I’ve always been conscious of the fact that there aren’t enough Irish voices on British television compared to the amount of Irish people who live there.”

Guess The Film

For which British sketch show did Graham Linehan begin his comedy writing career?

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Answers

Jim and Kirsten Sheridan were the first filmmaking father and daughter to be nominated for Oscars the same film for In America.

Fair City was mentioned in Once.

Eamon De Valera spoke those word about the opening of RTE on New Year’s Eve of that year.

Eve Hewson, Bono’s daughter was in This Must Be the Place.

Saoirse Ronan speak these words at the beginning of Byzantium. 

Pat Shortt played it straight in Garage.

Cyril Cusack turned down the role as the First Doctor Who.

Prosperity was the television spin off of Adam & Paul (both written by Mark O’Halloran and both directed by Lenny Abrahamson).

Chris O’Dowd said those words about the Irish in the UK

Graham Linehan first wrote for Alas Smith and Jones.

 

Thanks you for reading!

If you enjoyed those here are more rounds…

Irish Film Trivia

Irish Film Trivia Round 2

Irish Film Trivia Round 3

Irish Film Trivia Round 4

Irish Film Trivia Round 5

Irish Film Trivia Round 6

Irish Film Trivia Round 7

Irish Film Trivia Round 8

Irish Film Trivia Round 9

Irish Film Trivia Round 10

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Hollywood Rhapsody at Dublin’s National Concert Hall


Performed by The RTE Concert Orchestra with their New Principal Conductor John Wilson

Tickets courtesy of my generous Mum while all clips are of Conductor John Wilson & his own orchestra, not the RTE Concert orchestra!

I’ll listen to classical pieces on the radio or even on CD but I would rarely be drawn to a full classical recital… unless, of course, it had something to do with the movies.

I was lucky enough to be invited to Hollywood Rhapsody at the National Concert Hall on the first night of John Wilson tenure as Principal Conductor with the RTE Concert Orchestra (though they have performed together many times in the past).

There is something special about watching the orchestra file onto the stage and take their seats. The members chat to each other and their instruments do the same producing a lively jostle of sociable sounding strings, winds, all percussive and discursive.

Conductor John Wilson arrives and the orchestra bursts into one of the most familiar of studio intros written by Alfred Newman for 20th Century Fox. (since 1979 the fanfare’s association with Star Wars is etched into my memory).

The second piece is also from Newman is called “Street Scene” from How To Marry A Millionaire. Apart from the title I have no recollection of the film but when I hear the familiar piece of music I am transported to a black and white suburban America of the 1940s/50s. I check the programme and see that the piece of music was used repeatedly for about two decades. If you have watched a handful of movies from the era you’ll recognise it as well. (even the first few bars).

There is no sign that this is John Wilson’s first night as conductor conductor and RTE Concert Orchestra play like the are old friends that they are.

They break into Bronislau Kaper’s “Confetti” from Forever Darling whose playfulness reminds me of the 1960s television series Bewitched, after a quick IMDB search (after the recital of course) I find that he did not compose that but he did compose more than half a dozen scores with which I am familiar

David Raskin’s “Laura Suite” is again another piece of music that grew more famous than the film from which it originated. Wilson and his Orchestra handle it beautifully.

The unmistakable composition “Suite for Strings” by Bernard Hermann for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho has the entire film flashing before my eyes, the score for the shower scene has the string section jabbing the air like a bunch of the titular Psychos.

For the purpose of Citizen Kane “Salambo’s Aria” was performed badly, we were not so unlucky as Wilson explains, really, it wouldn’t be fair. He and the orchestra accompanied by  Venera Gimadieva‘s beautiful soprano voice through the melancholic taste of opera.

We were then treated to Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s March, Love theme, The Fight, Victory and Epilogue from The Adventures of Robin Hood which moves descriptively through each phase.

Wilson & Co. launched into Jerome Moross’s Main Title from The Big Country which seems to conjour up any western from that time. (Here is it preceded by the aforementioned 20 Century Fox Fanfare).

Before the break Max Steiner’s Suite from Casablanca had me sipping whiskey in Rick’s, shopping in the Bazaar while I nervously waited for my letters of transit.

Wilson apologised for the length of next section, a  Medley of Move songs from the 1950s, it was a time when hits had suddenly become a viable money spinner. So even thought he was right about the length of this section, he was also tight to include them with the scores.

We listened to both Matthew Ford and Anna-Jane Casey‘s renditions of songs from An Affair to Remember, Something’s Gotta Give, Young At Heart, It’s MagicThe Tender Trap, My Foolish Heart, Three Coins in a Fountain, Love is a Many splendoured Thing, The Caddy and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

The only complete stranger to me was the next score by Franz Waxman for A Place in the Sun but after I had experienced the moody and alluring taster it is now firmly on my to-see list.

Wilson, the orchestra and their wonderful sound effects skills brought the audience back to child hood with the plate smashing fun of Scott Bradley’s Tom and Jerry score.

And finally we trudged to the end accompanied by the score by Miklos Roza of Ben Hur’s exhausting trek through the desert, the difference here is that we, the audience arrive, at our destination fulfilled and revitalised.

Thank you John Wilson.

Thank you RTE Concert Orchestra.

Thank you National Concert Hall.

Thank you Mum.

You can see their next film related night here – That’s Entertainment.

Robot & Frank


As you may know I do enjoy the subject of Robots and robotics. My first hero was Steve Austin, “The Six Millon Dollar Man” (not quite a Robot but at 4 years-old I was heading in a direction). I chuckled at the terrible “Holmes & Yoyo” before I knew any better. My heart went out to Marvin in the TV version of “The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy“. For me Data was the star of “Star Trek: The Next Generation“. The more said about “Terminator” (when he was evil) the better.  I rooted for Roy, Leon and Pris as they struggled against their limited life-spans in “Blade Runner“.  Never mind Spielberg’s sentimentality, I loved the interplay between Teddy, David and the other Mecha models from “A.I.” Despite Will Smith’s pain in the ass cop I enjoyed the humanisation of the superior Nexus Robot Sonny from “I, Robot“. I could have done without Robin William’s saccharine drenched performance in “Bicentennial Man”. Sorry if I have skipped your favourite but I need to get to the review.  

Set in the near future Frank (Frank Langella) is a divorced and retired burglar. His son (James Marsden) and daughter (Liv Tyler) notice he is beginning to forget things. Frank’s only out-put are his trips to the local library and his only friend is the librarian (a lovely performance by Susan Sarandon). Afraid for his safety his son brings him a service Robot to look after him. The Robot looks like a cousin of Honda’s Asimo and a possible mini-transformer to their Pilot range.

The treatment of Frank’s dementia is somewhat undeveloped. At first his children’s attitude is one of natural impatience when a parent begins to be forgetful but then as the story’s focus changes these elements become romanticised, as does the involvement of the local rich yuppies and police.

This is because the story really focuses on a short period where the Robot, voiced by Peter Sarsgaard in an excellent measured tone, sets about house-keeping and nursemaiding Frank.

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Unlike my list above, though it can learn, this Robot it is not self-aware. Despite it reminding Frank and the audience of this fact with a little suspension of disbelief I still found myself warming to the mechanical man (even before Frank sees its potential and they set about reigniting his old career). The growth of this companionship is treated with such tenderness that you can almost forgive the lack of attention to other parts of the plot. This is the heart of the story.

Don’t expect Robots to take over but do expect this appliance to make a small difference to Frank’s degenerating world. It is a future fairy tale.

For non-critical Robot lovers and sentimentalists everywhere.

For more on robots and Honda’s Asimo you can read my Isaac Asimov blogpost here.
Check your local Irish Cinema here

RTE Concert Orchestra at Dublin’s National Concert Hall – At The Movies


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I don’t understand Music in the same way as professionals or enthusiasts. I can’t discern the nuances (I found this out at an early age in school when I lost my way trying to follow classical pieces while reading sheet music). But I do love listening to many types of Music and, as many readers of my blog will know, I love the movies.

I would not normally be rushing to an orchestral performance except this week I got a chance to see “At The Movies” with The RTE Concert Orchestra, conducted by Neil Thompson, in Dublin’s National Concert Hall.

They opened with a medley which was neither on the programme nor was it accompanied by any visuals. After the first clutch of notes I knew that I didn’t need the visuals as Dimitri Tomkin’s score to one of my personal favourite movies, “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946), flowed through me and the story of George Bailey play out in my mind.

The intro alone will make you want to sit through the whole movie.

We were then treated to clips from the below classic movies (hover over the images to find the Composers).

I found myself lost in the movie scenes and felt guilty about not noticing the orchestra. I managed to forgive myself because this was partly the point of the night. The fact that I was being sucked into the scenes reflected how well the Orchestra and Conductor were in synch with the individual clips.

The performances were punctuated with small doses of trivia about the composers.

My favourite was about, the aforementioned Dimitri Tiomkin, who gave this speech for the Oscar he won in 1954. As his colleagues, family and friends were waiting for the obligatory thank you part of his speech he wrapped up with…

“Lady and gentlemen, because I working in this town for twenty-five years, I like to make some kind of appreciation to very important factor what make me successful to lots of my colleagues in this town. I’d like to thank Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauss, Richard Strauss, Beethoven, Mozart, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov. Thank you.”

This kind of an evening is a treat for Movie and Music lovers alike.

So if you get one chance to go to any movie related live orchestral performance, no matter how odd it may strike you at first, do give it a chance.

Of course all the clips made me want to watch these classics again.

Keep an eye on both links below as I am sure they will be quavering around the subject of movies again soon.

The National Concert Hall Dublin

The RTE  Concert Orchestra

Yikes!


Seeing as I am now blogging professionally I thought the polite thing to do was to crack open my own blog.

Politeness begins at home and so does blogging… usually.

I am a lover of the arts; in particular books and movies.

Among my favourites are  A Prayer for Owen Meany and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Some months I plow through a few novels and then there are the fallow months where I tend to balance it out by watching tank loads of movies.

Last week was a movie week.

Battle Los Angeles, Limitless, Super 8, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Fog (remake).

Battle Los Angeles was a cheesy Gung Ho litany of war torn Los Angeles under fire from aliens, tense and some very exciting skirmish scenes in a city blown apart by an off world invasion. The actors seemed like terrified well trained marines but in the end it seemed like all the money was poured into the special effects while plot, dialogue and character development were killed off in the first act.

Limitless I did enjoy, a man strangled by writers block  is offered an insight into his own brain and takes it with addictive consequences, the first two thirds were compelling but the ending was a little weak, enjoyable all the same.

Super 8 is J.J. Abram’s (creator of Lost) homage to Producer Steven Speilberg, it has many hallmarks of ET, Close Encounters of a Third Kind and even The Goonies. It’s the old story boy and his friends are making a zombie movie, boy meet girl and alien with a train crash to rival The Fugitive. He tugs at the heart strings but not as much as Speilberg would have.  Still catch it on the big screen if you can.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the best movie I have seen in a while and you’ll know this if you have read any of my facebook posts or tweets of late. A crisp updating of the 1970’s classic series, more moving than Super 8, more exciting than Battle Los Angeles and it has one plotline quite similar to Limitless that is used to better effect, if I go on anymore I’ll just spoil it for you.

The Fog, well  all I can say is I wish I mist it…. see what i did there?

So first blog over and out.

Whatcha think?