‘Tis the day of Saint Patrick, that old bastard, and as much as I would love to talk about how he single-handedly attempted to destroy Druidism and the rich heritage of Ireland’s pagan folk like the Great White Missionary he was, this is probably not the place for that.
By Julie Finley
“In Dublin’s Fair City. . . where things cost a lot of money. . . but you can set your eyes on sweet Molly Malone (for free). . . ”
—Sung in the style of the old traditional Irish song, “Cockles & Mussels”
Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is quite a charming place, but it can be expensive. However, if you play your cards right (and do some thorough research), it doesn’t have to be.
By Michelle Patterson
In Bruges, a delightful and surprising film out of Ireland that won critical acclaim in 2008—winning a Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe for Colin Farrell, gaining an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and winning numerous awards in its native country—deserves much credit for being a genuinely black comedy.
When it is funny, it creates guffaws a-plenty and when it is black, it is inky, friends. What is most astonishing is how it manages to allow the proper amount of depth within the characterization. Yet, when one considers that the filmmaker, Martin MacDonagh, is a well-established playwright and has a Best Live Action Short Film Academy Award under his belt for his first foray into film, Six Shooter, it isn’t really that shocking. We’re also reminded that Colin Farrell can act. So, let’s settle into the Top Ten Moments of one brilliant piece of Irish filmmaking.
By Emily Carney
Starting in the late 1980s, Frank Tovey (also known as Fad Gadget, whose music and general adventures were chronicled in a past Popshifter article) departed from avant-garde synth-pop, and started making Irish folk records.
By Lisa Anderson
Dacre Stoker, the great-grandnephew of Dracula author Bram Stoker, has co-written an official sequel, Dracula: The Un-Dead, along with screenwriter Ian Holt. I was fortunate enough to get to meet Dacre at a signing at Sherlock’s Books in Lebanon, TN this past December, and he graciously agreed to follow up with an interview by email.
By Katrina Armstrong
Oliver Cromwell was the tyrant of English history: the great Lord Protector, the rebellious regicidal egoist, and the hero of none. For a murderous, cruel, coup master who died over 350 years ago, he certainly has a stronghold on some of the 20th (and 21st) century’s best-loved musicians.
First, a little background on our man Ollie. A supposed Tudor cousin (think Henry VIII and Elizabeth I), Cromwell became an active and vocal member of the English Parliament, eventually becoming a strong military leader who helped in the overthrow and execution of Charles I. It was during this tumultuous time that Cromwell built the “New Model Army” (a precursor to the modern English Army) which he marched into Ireland to regain control of lands from already warring Catholic anti-monarchists. The toll was huge in terms of Catholic population and land ownership. To these Catholics, Cromwell was a monster; to the English, a pretender. Why has this man carried such weight in the music of artists such as Elvis Costello, Flogging Molly, and even Morrissey?
By Julie Finley
I remember it like it was yesterday. It had to have been the end of 1991 as I was still in tenth grade, and I remember there being snow on the ground. It was probably shortly after Christmas, because I can’t recall having enough money to buy more than one album at a time; even if they were used & in the bargain bin, I still rarely had over $10 on me at any given time. I usually starved myself in high school by not spending at least some of my lunch money just so I could buy whatever music I could, because I had priorities.
By Less Lee Moore
8. He can play creepy.
Let’s get this one out of the way first. If I had a nickel for every time I heard or read the word “creepy” (or worse, “BUT he’s so creepy!”) associated with Cillian Murphy, well, I’d have a hell of a lot of nickels.
Ask people to name some Irish things that they love, and they may come up with a list of things that are obviously Irish, like the band U2 or Guinness beer. I would argue though, that our cultural milieu, especially these days, is heavily inspired by the work of an Irish writer, specifically, Bram Stoker, author of Dracula. Both Dacre Stoker, great-grandnephew of Bram (and co-author of Dracula: the Un-Dead), and Dennis McIntyre, director of the Bram Stoker’s Dracula Organisation, advance this point of view.
Most of Ireland’s cultural presence in Western countries is undeniably depressing. Even such light-hearted fare as Breakfast on Pluto features repression of sexuality by the church, the IRA, terrorism, and attacks on women for having children out of wedlock.