Talking Movies

May 1, 2018

Lost & Found wins Best Foreign Film at the Arizona International Film Festival

Irish Writer/Director Liam O Mochain’s third feature film Lost & Found has won the Best Foreign Film Award at the 27th Arizona International Film Festival.

The award was announced on the closing night of the festival on Monday 30th  April 30.  Liam O Mochain (WC, The Book That Wrote Itself) said on hearing the news –  “It is fantastic to have won such a great award at our first international film festival with the film.  Lost & Found received a great reaction from the audience in Arizona.  It is a great festival and a long- standing supporter of indie films, showing 86 films from 22 countries”.  Producer Bernie Grummell added ‘We are delighted at winning at such a prestigious film festival.  It is a credit to all the cast and crew who worked on the film.  We look forward to audiences all over Ireland getting to see Lost & Found when Eclipse Pictures release the film in cinemas this summer’.

The Arizona award follows successful festival screenings at Dingle Film Festival, IndieCork and a sold-out world premiere at the 2017 Galway Film Fleadh where Donald Clarke of the Irish Times called it one of “the best films from this year’s Galway Film Fleadh” and Scott Larson from scottmovies.com said the film was ‘reminiscent of Kevin Smith’s Clerks, touching, funny and thoughtful”. Lost & Found is a feature film with 7 interconnecting stories set in and around a lost & found office of an Irish train station.  All segments are inspired by true stories, share a theme of something lost or found, and characters that come in and out of each other’s lives.  It was filmed over 5 years and completed in May 2017.  O Mochain says “The cast, crew and post team were great to work with. They were very dedicated to the film and kept coming back every year to work on the next segment”

The ensemble cast includes Aoibhín Garrihy (The Fall; Fair City; Dancing with the Stars), Liam Carney (Red Rock; Outlander), Norma Sheahan (Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope; Moone Boy), Sean Flanagan (Foil Arms & Hog), Anthony Morris (Games of Thrones), Seamus Hughes (Jimmy’s Hall; Klondike), Barbara Adair (Derry Girls), Brendan Conroy (Vikings), Tom O Suilleabhain (Maze), Olga Wehrly (The Clinic), Diarmuid Noyes (Borgia), Liam O Mochain (WC), Lynette Callaghan (Cold Feet), Daniel Costelloe (Albert Nobbs), and Donncha Crowley (Fr Ted). The creative team behind ‘Lost & Found’ are writer/director Liam O Mochain, producer Bernie Grummell (WC; The Book That Wrote Itself), DoP Fionn Comerford (Vikings; Roy), production designer David Wilson (Omagh; Some Mother’s Son), sound Niall O’Sullivan (Frank) & Philippe Faujas (Pure Mule), make up & hair Caoimhe Arrigan (Death of a President), editor Ciara Brophy (Oscar nominated The Crush), and composer Richie Buckley (WC; The General).

Lost & Found is O Mochain’s third feature film.  He has made numerous short films, documentaries and tv shows.  His 2007 feature film WC won Best Foreign Film at Las Vegas International Film Festival.  WC also screened at Montreal, Galway, Dublin and the Cairo Int. Film Festival.  Liam’s debut feature film The Book That Wrote Itself had its world premiere at the 1999 Galway Film Fleadh, International premiere at the 1999 Vancouver International Film Festival and went on to screen at many film festivals worldwide. Fortune, his first short film, won best short film at the1998 Worldfest Houston International Film Festival. His short film Covet was longlisted for an Academy Award in 2013.

Lost & Found opens at Irish cinemas in Summer 2018

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August 24, 2017

The Pillowman

Decadent Theatre Company again took over the Gaiety stage with Martin McDonagh’s trademark blend of macabre madness, but set in Mitteleurope rather than the Wesht.

 

Katurian (Diarmuid Noyes) is in deep trouble. Somebody in this unnamed (and semi-mythical) totalitarian state has been acting out particularly horrible short stories by a writer, and he’s the writer so he’s the prime suspect. Abrasive policeman Tupolski (Peter Gowen) and his thuggish underling Ariel (Gary Lydon) have Katurian prisoner in their Spartan barracks. And by Lenin if they have to beat the eyes out of his head and unsettle him with asinine nonsense they are going to make him confess. Unless of course he didn’t do it, but if not him then who; could his brain-damaged brother Michael (Owen Sharpe) really have done such horrible things? Would Tupolski really torture innocent Michael just to make Katurian confess? Why does Katurian write such horrible stories in the first place? And what does horrible parenting have to do with it all?

Owen MacCarthaigh’s deceptively simple set; almost a bare stage with desk, seats, cabinet, and furnace in a circle; spectacularly splits to reveal a house or woodland behind, dependent on which of Katurian’s tales is being silently played out (very broadly) by Jarlath Tivnan, Kate Murray, Peter Shine, Tara Finn, and Rose Makela. Ciaran Bagnall’s lights and Carl Kennedy’s sounds combine to create tableau during the most disturbing of these glimpses into Katurian’s dark imagination, the origin of his creativity. I saw The Pillowman in UCD Dramsoc in 2006 as a spare four-hander, so director Andrew Flynn’s visual extravagance here took me aback. It amuses and horrifies effectively, but also leaves the audience with less work to do. Sharpe’s sometimes camp mannerisms were also in stark contrast to Michael’s defeated stillness back in 2006, akin to Marty Rea’s recent Aston.

Pinter is a strong presence in this play. The first act is comedy of menace as Katurian is bewildered and intimidated by Tupolski’s odd interrogation. The second act is arguably McDonagh’s most soulful material ever, as the two brothers share a cell. The dark and comic invention of Katurian’s reimagining of fairy tales throughout remains astonishing, a highlight being the Pied Piper of Hamlein. And then there’s the third act where McDonagh seems to mash together Pinter and Orton; “I’m sick of everyone blaming their behaviour on someone else. My father was a violent alcoholic. Am I a violent alcoholic? Yes. … But that was entirely my choice”; but then deliver a tour-de-force entirely his own, Tupolski’s short story – which I still remembered chunks of 11 years later. It is outrageously offensive, and sadly it was clear the audience in the Gaiety was self-censoring itself, whereas in Dramsoc we had recognised it was of a part with Tupolski’s character and, having made that recognition, thereafter stopped tut-tutting and let out ears back to fully enjoy the verbal marvel McDonagh was constructing. Cruelty and callousness are part of comedy, perhaps inextricably so; it’s hard to imagine Swift or Waugh without them.

I still prefer some of the notes struck by Andrew Nolan’s Tupolski in 2006, but Noyes’ sincerity, Gowen’s swagger, and Lydon’s hidden decency make for an impressive central trio.

4.5/5

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