Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

Short Films from the 2001 Irish Reels Film & Video Festival…

The Birthday is a good old-fashioned wallow in Irish guilt and sentimentality. More than one hanky is needed for this 12-minute tale of a well-meaning son, an unreliable tractor, and a relentless sea tide. (Seen 9 March 2001)

Buskers provides some topicality in that it deals with the tension caused in Ireland by the arrival of new immigrants, such as Romanians. It borders on the cute and sentimental, but it is hard not to be one over by young Packo’s desire to be the next Bono or this film’s message that cooperation is better than conflict. (Seen 10 March 2001)

Essie’s Last Stand tells a somewhat familiar tale, the one about the old codger who refuses to move to make way for the new high-rise. But this 20-minute documentary has a twist in that Essie Keeling’s fight against developers wasn’t purely selfish but for her friends and a higher principle. Good on ya, Essie! (Seen 8 March 2001)

Finbar Lebowitz recounts a simple tale of unrequited love, whose message is essentially: accept who and what you are. Aside from charming performances, this short’s main attractions are a rare glimpse of Ireland’s Jewish community and an appearance by Ronnie Drew (of The Dubliners) as the Orthodox Jewish owner of a Dublin bookstore. (Seen 31 March 2001)

Headwrecker is in the grand tradition of Franz Kafka and the Terry Gilliam film Brazil. Anyone who has ever worked for the government or a large corporation will empathize with the hero, played by Frankie Mccafferty (Donal on Ballykissangel), who has one of the greatest screen faces of all time. (Seen 27 January 2001)

The Nook purports to be about the last day of a tiny shop in a seaside Dublin neighborhood, but it’s really about the wild-haired shop owner Martin Lysaght who is an interesting and complex fellow indeed. (Seen 8 March 2001)

Therapy is the perfect 15-minute film for people who don’t like a lot of dialog but do like a lot of throbbing techno-music (which was composed especially for the film). Essentially, this piece answers the musical question: why do people go to discos? (Seen 3 February 2001)