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

May 9, 2010

Saving Superman – Some Suggestions

Christopher Nolan has been formally entrusted with ‘mentoring’ a new Superman film for Warner Bros (before 2012 in order to avoid nightmarish legal complications). This means he’ll be inundated with inane ‘The Dark Man of Steel’ scripts, witless nonsense featuring a fight with a giant spider in the third act (yes, Jon Peters, we’ve all seen Kevin Smith’s routine about your idée fixe), and disastrous attempts to follow on faithfully from Superman fighting a giant island in the third act… So, here are some suggestions for angles that might help make the original superhero soar again.

Clark Kent is the base of reality on top of which you build the fantasy of Superman, creating what Richard Donner carefully described as verisimilitude rather than realism. Why not really go to town with world of the Daily Planet so that it comes off as a bustling amalgam of His Girl Friday and All the President’s Men? Clark’s ability as a journalist has propelled him into the world’s leading newspaper – he doesn’t have to bring down the President but have you ever seen him do anything at that office besides fall over the furniture? It would be nice to see Clark file some copy… It would also be refreshing to see Lois Lane engaged in investigative journalism rather than just being in peril – how typical that she won her Pulitzer in Singer’s film for an Op-Ed piece. Jeph Loeb and Darywn Cooke write Lois terrifically because in their stories it’s her overpowering hunger for nailing a scoop that always gets into her danger: Lois is a ‘newspaperman’, she lives for breaking news and will do anything to get it first – she’s not a particularly nice person but she’s charismatic, tough as nails and you’d always want her on your team rather than playing against you.

Writing Lois as nastier than recent anodyne versions of her also helps solve the ‘problem’ of Superman’s uncomplicated morality about which essays of unsympathetic comparisons to Batman and Wolverine have been written. Lois sneered at Superman’s motto ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’ in 1978 but he reclaimed the phrase for righteousness – it didn’t have to mean Watergate in that film, and it doesn’t have to mean the War on Terror now. The meaner you make Lois, the harder it becomes for Superman to melt her cynicism, and the better the film will be as a result in selling audiences on his Boy Scout ethics. Superman was released after the disaster of the Nixon years, surely any new film would tap into a similar shift in the zeitgeist of American self-perception?

As for the other side of the Supercoin enough with the shady land deals of Lex Luthor already! We don’t need a new rendering of Superman’s origin myth but it would be nice to re-imagine his first encounter with Lex Luthor to cinematically introduce Lex not as a dodgy estate agent but as a billionaire bent on world domination. What makes Lex the best nemesis for Superman is his challenge to Superman’s code. Superman could snap this puny human’s neck in a fraction of a second except he would never do that. Equally Lex would never be sloppy enough to leave any incriminating evidence of his wrongdoing. It would be nice to see Superman’s immense and growing frustration from being unable to expose or punish a white-collar criminal who he knows to be corrupt and depraved while the world only sees and sympathises with a noted philanthropist being unjustly victimised by an alien with the powers of a god. This is to say nothing of the potential for dramatic conflict if Lex Luthor was to run for President testing Superman’s code to the limit as the greater good would be imperilled by his moral insistence on bringing Lex to legal justice. As for sequel villains, Singer was unwilling to stray from the Donner template of General Zod, but if the preposterous Smallville was able to pull off a fine Brainiac when Steven S DeKnight wrote the part for James Marsters in T-1000 mode as the Kryptonian A.I., surely a similarly styled Brainiac can work as a filmic villain too?

All anyone talks about when it comes to re-launching Superman are the problems – from the blandness of Superman, to the weakness of Lois, to the dramatic inertia of invulnerability, and the scarcity of traditional super-villains with universal name recognition compared to Batman’s extensive Rogues’ Gallery. Would it not then make sense to hire comics writers who deal with these problems on a monthly basis? Mark Millar alleged two years ago that he had an outline for a re-booting trilogy. Ask him for that outline! Hire Jeph Loeb to do a draft of a script. Beg Darwyn Cooke to write a treatment. Contact Paul Dini, Grant Morrison and Mark Waid. Round up all these guys and stick them in a writers’ room in the Warner back-lot. Hell, even see if Alan Moore could stop filing law-suits for long enough to contribute some ideas.

Superman is tricky to pull off cinematically but if the thought of writing

INT. DAILY PLANET-DAY Clark moves towards the window and opens his shirt.

doesn’t make the hair stand up on the back of the necks of some of these writers then and only then will the possibilities of re-launching Superman have been dwarfed by the difficulties.

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