I recently attended the screening of Irish feature film ‘As if I am not There’ at the BAFTA HQ London. Selected for the Oscars as Ireland’s entry for the best foreign language film, this epic Bosnian war drama left the shell shocked audience completely silenced. I felt similar to how I felt after watching Steve Mc Queens ‘Hunger’ upset, uneasy and slightly disturbed. Nonetheless, I also felt inspired and excited that there are artistic film makers are out there, actively telling gritty real life stories. There are so many more stories to be told!
There was a Q&A after with Irish director Juanita Wilson and it was very interesting to hear all about the film making process, first hand from her point of view. She spoke of her initial reading of the book, to funding, to script, to casting, to filming particularly difficult scenes and the practicality of language barriers on set.
The story, told through the eyes of a young girl (Natasa Petrovic) is at times so real that it’s painful to watch. There is little dialogue and Petrovics performance is incredibly faultless, considering she was a drama school student in her first major film role. The film looks at the use of systematic rape as a form of torture. This is a film about horrendous war crimes, it wasn’t a pleasant film to watch, yet it has been imprinted on my brain. A difficult story to tell, it is so incredibly important that it was so beautifully told. It made me think about war and humanity and its lasting affects and it made me cry.. a lot!
Best of luck at the Oscars and congratulations Juanita Wilson and all the cast and crew. The determination and hard work has really paid off and you have an extraordinary piece of film to show for it.
above image of myself and Irish actress Amy-Joyce Hastings at BAFTA HQ London, taken from the Irish Film and Television website.
Portobello Film Festival has been running for 16 years.. During the week was the first I’d heard of it, when a friend suggested we go along to Irish Film night. They had a pop up cinema on Portobello Road and screenings in Westbourne Studios. There was a nice relaxed atmosphere with people coming and going through out the evening. There were some great films and some rubbish one’s too!..
Oscar nominated ‘Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty’ made by Brown Paper Bag films was a highlight!.. It is simply a work of art..WATCH IT NOW! Its just bleeding deadly!.. so funny! I LOVE it.. Check this ridiculously talented bunch out here Jericho directed by Liam Gavin was a moving quirky little film. I liked it, as it was weird, wonderful and moving all at once. Finally , ‘Runners’ set in Dublin directed by Rob and Ronan Burke was really well executed.. It was so gritty and real and I loved how it was shot. There was nothing artificial in this film and I was really impressed by all the performances. Check these guys out here There were many more great Irish Film’s and it was lovely to see the Irish Film Industry in such a healthy, excitingly creative state!.. I do love the Portobello area and felt nothing less than inspired on my bus journey home.. The festival runs form 1-18th of September and best of all it’s absolutely free!
Hello there boys and girls. Apologies for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been way too busy having the craic and haven’t had the time to get organised and post about it!..(bows head in shame) I went home to lovely Ireland and spent a few days at the all Ireland Fleadh, which is a big Irish music festival. It was incredibly good and great to see some of my 25 cousins!.. and thats only on my Dad’s side. The ceoil agus craic was something else! mighty one might say.. so I’m looking forward to Fleadh 2012 in Cavan. For those of you interested in Irish music sessions check out my cousin Ann’s new website here
I also went to Electric picnic (the bestival/glastonbury of Ireland)….. UNREAL BUZZ!… really amazing times!
Anyhoo! I’m back in London and the other day I went to see Pan’s Labrinth in Brompton Cemetery. It was so wonderfully atmospheric and spooky! such a great way to spend an evening, watching a movie surrounded by gravestones.. ha sounds ideal doesn’t it!? our faces lit by the glaring full moon. It was surreal and the perfect film choice for this beautiful eery setting. Pan’s Labyrinth is so well shot and is so mystical, imaginative and terrifying… I kept looking around me to remind myself of where I was.. I love when that happens.
The showing of Pan’s Labrinth was brought to Brompton Cemetery by The Nomad Cinema, which is the Uk’s biggest pop up cinema. For more information or to see what’s on near you click here I highly recommend it!
As an actress, I’ve always been interested in the process of film making and the way in which actors prepare for a role. I therefore particularly love reading interviews/editorials with fellow actors/directors.. Its interesting to hear what they have to say. In Fashion shoots, you can see how they can convey an aura. They really know how to create a mood and atmosphere in front of the camera.. as they have some life experience.. and thats what they basically do for a living. I find they are usually very insightful and their outlook on life and the industry can be enlightening. Film, Fashion and photography all mixed together.. what could be more interesting!
Now, let me make this clear… I absolutely LOVE Vera Farmiga!
‘Down to the bone’ is the film that really inspired me to never stop acting. I accidently ended up watching this film late one christmas night two years ago. It really left a mark on me.. after watching it something in me had changed and there was no going back. It’s a tremendous performance by Farmiga and a moving film that is really worth seeing if you haven’t had the chance.
Oscar nominated Farmiga is an incredibly honest, smart, down to earth, direct and daring actress. I’m so happy to see her directing her first feature film. ‘Higher Ground’ premiered at Sundance and also starred the pregnant Farmiga along with her younger sister Taissa Farmiga, who has a small role. It’s so refreshing to see a stimulating film made about one woman’s journey with one woman’s distinctive voice and outlook. It deals with faith as Farmiga’s character ‘Corrine’ comes to terms with it, in an evangelical community. The film has had a good response from both believer’s and non-believer’s and is definitely worth checking out.
Good woman Vera.. Serious respect!
The above shot’s of Vera Farmiga were taken by Eric Guillemain for Blackbook, for more info click here