Japanese Irish festival in Tokyo

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Audio Visual Theatre - Ookayama

The Study of World Civilization center in Ookayama/Tokyo campus organized a week-long celebration of Irish culture this week.  It’s ending tomorrow with multiple renditions of “Danny Boy” and “I Tell your Ma” so make sure you get along to that if you can!  I checked out the the Irish short movie evening today.  I expected a small Irish crowd to show but it ended up being about 200+ Japanese people and me!  I was the only Irish person there seemingly!  I like to think I represented Ireland in Tokyo this evening.

7 films were screened and were all subtitled in Japanese:

Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly’s History of Ireland [Director: Cathal Gaffney, Running Time: 5.07]

An American tourist walks into a Dublin bar after getting lost and finds out the real history of Ireland.  A five minute history lesson covering the Vikings, Normans, The Famine and the 1916 rising.  It was a Wallace and Gromit style animation which looked excellent on the big screen.

Joyriders [Director: Rebecca Daly, Running Time : 15.45]

Two troubled teenage girls living in a run down estate spend their days stealing cars and driving them where ever they like.  They both eventually decide to leave home for good making it as far a Dalky of all places (I think) where the Gardai eventually finds one of them.  The other escapes back to the city and continues to cause havoc by setting off car alarms.  The music in this was exceptional.  This apparently won an IFTA in 2007 and I am not that surprised.

Marion Agus An Banphrionsa [Director: Melanie Clark Pullen, Running Time: 8.41]

This is a simple story about a small girl determined to meet the princess of  Monaco.  She does….  This film was in Irish so English and Japanese subtitles were shown.  The small girl is an excellent actress and possibly the stand out from all the films shown.  The video is in the link.

New Boy [Director: Stephen Green, Writer: Roddy Doyle, Running Time: 11.02]

This was my favourite.  Some excellent young actors and lots of Irish cursing!  I miss it..  I found this very amusing especially being surrounded by 200 or so other Japanese people that don’t really get it.   A 9 year old black African immigrant named Joseph starts his first day at a Dublin school.  He encounters a mixed receptions.  Some bully him, some stand up for him but it ends with them all just laughing at the stressed out mess of a teacher which brings all the students together.

Pilgrim [Director: Matthew Darragh, Running Time: 3.43]

An animated short that could have been made in any country.  Not exactly Irish but the animation was great.  A story about a Fridge braving the desert heat striving to stay alive and to find that all important power supply.  This won best director prize at the Kerry Film Festival in 2006.

The Faeries of Blackheath Woods [Director: Ciaran Foy, Running Time: 4.08]

A curious girls leaves her family picnic and follows a fairy into the Blackheath Woods.  The fairy eventually lures her into a darkened woods where an army of angry fairies torment her and abuse her.  She never returns.

The White Dress [Director: Patrick Jordan, Running Time: 3.57]

A young girl living in a rough suburb of Dublin decided to make her holy communion without asking her parents.  She tries on her best dress and steals a white ribbon from her local pharmacy for he hair.  She receives holy communion and returns home to find her alcoholic father getting sick in the bedroom.  The video is in the link.

After the screening there was a lengthy Q+A session with Andrew Fitzimons (Irish poet) and Jospeph Woods (Irish author).

More information on the festival is here.

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~ by redegg on June 15, 2009.

2 Responses to “Japanese Irish festival in Tokyo”

  1. Just stumbled across this but thought I’d randomly say wow…This actually sounds pretty deadly. Fair play reprezentin!

  2. Aw thanks! It was pretty cool actually. A little disgusted at the Irish over here for not really caring. Sums them up really! Anything that involves a little bit of effort – not interested!

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