V E Day 2020 All Souls are Mine

QUB Victory Memorial
The Cross put on the Memorial at 11.00am 8 May 2020
All Souls Belfast
V E Day
Friday May 8 2020
The East Window

The day Victory in Europe 75 years after peace was obtained the days of remembering continued.

Here we are in 2020 with a sense of connection and humanity has had its say in the face of a virulent disease. We can prepare for making a stronger peace by realising the world we share for a short period of time as the Creator has given us. The strength of kinship and the selflessness of the National Health Service Carers and the Care Homes Carers along with the family’s and isolated who are facing up to their mortality whenever it shall be brought as it is to all, we give collective thanks for the treasures life has given and the hope that stays within us through every moment the Creator has given us. Amen

Look after yourself and care for the vulnerable. Be safe Be at Peace

John Graham

8 May 2020

Belfast

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Jimmy’s Hall : A Film Review.

imageAt the crossroads of sllence.
The film begins with footage of America and its 1920’s.
It finishes its titles then begins as a film of some sorts with instant lamenting of two men on a trap behind a piebald pony that has seen better days.
The kaliedescope which sound brought forward is imagined by Jimmy who is one of the pair returning, sure was there never a story without someone leaving or returning along these twentieth century tales.
The two wind their way back to Jimmy’s mothers place where, it is a mystery where or if there were any others in the family, a farm once was tended.
Back in this Leitrim Jimmy is soon recalling the earlier days of the twenties when he was forced to flee after creating the hall of the title.
In it Pearse and Connelly were memorialised and it sat was ever so innocent and new to an Ireland defining its modernity by all expressive means but primarily around its lore and love of music.
Where the folklore of escapism had only little meaning in the midst of everyday hardship, these influences were possibly of a senseless trivial nature in the real live everyday patterns of survival undergone at the crossroads Ireland.

This apparently was first a play and I feel it should have stayed that way.
The cinematographer has nothing to work on, the exclamation mark expressions are sometimes ham mish while other performances are subtle. The script is not subtle and is politics for beginners, the desparate hold of state and Church is a well known fact and has been for decades, the Wall Street Crash, – LOOK LOOK SEE Loach almost exclaims Just like NOW SEE.
Isn’t is so prophetic!! Ugh?
It is as vapour rolling off a BMW sunroof in the post-tiger car park of Dublin Airport. Far much more was and is important, this shallow tale is but a tiny view on the oppression. It is insular and mediocre.
The police, the priests, their lackies are all bug eyed monsters but plainly in most cases Irishmen, including the Door smashing Northern prod cop on a mission from God, or the Tabernacle Church. Found a monster lets condem him to living somewhere else. No muscular take on how an Irishman could stoop so low against his fellow Irishman, and do they still exist, Well of course.
They want Jimmy sent somewhere less favourable than this state run for the British and landed gentry with the sanctimonious approval of the Church of Ireland (under the tutilage of the Crown supplicants) and their fellow veiled bigots The Roman hierarchy with the country, Ireland at its heart. Never mind the poor or the sacrifices made in the name of this peculiar God, the peculiar God that has them lording it over everyone, has them taking riches for the purpose of the Church, from collecting tithes, condemning people in the Lords name, visiting approbrium on them, played with apoplectic illusion by Jim Norton as Father Sheridan.
Despite all the tales from the Churches very few films, The Magdalane Laundries, Philomena actually rip into the coursing veins of Ireland’s conscience. There was of course the extraordinary Mea Maxima Culpa film by Alex Gibney, a Northern film production giving documentary homage to the current religious fortitude held for people of this earth. Since then a change has come about but things that could change immediately show no signs of actually occurring.
Jimmy’s Hall by comparison is puerile, seeking to acclaim one individual fighting against the state apparatus with a ‘penny whistle’ while the war dead of the wars fought barely get a mention. Such contradictory pale drivel is unlocked as cod politics without even showing the hatred of the others except through, ( it gets a 12years a slave erudition scene) stereotypes and cod Irishness. In the cringing scenes of ‘Jazz’ demonstrations pointed up real Irish life then A few authors down the ages must have missed the trick. At the beginning of the eighties there were around three and a half million in Ireland of which one million at least were living below the poverty line. This country was one Britain and Europe continued to ignore until the cute ones got in, Fianna Fael were not out of Government until the crash happened since independence yet the sowed the seeds of Religious wanton vileness and pure greed as mimicry. The iRish no longer being Irish but being these cod-Americans Jimmy seen back in the ’29 crash.
Barry Ward as Jimmy Gralton does his dampest, likewise Oonagh, Simone Kirby as his former sweetheart have put in splendid performances adding some emotion to the tardis that is Jimmys Hall. We’re was the war? In the dance halls of morality. Well it was in the workplace and in the new cities of young industry North and South.

Conclusion
##2
This film fits into the begorrah nonsense narrative so loved by the Ireland’s Own reader in the off shore island of Britain, to the East and favoured by those directors contemplating there own separateness, less an island but a border of class difference reminiscent of their own background. Why it was made I will never know, why no one realised the subject of this bitterness has been performed in much better plays and books and covered by so many academic studies only the absent minded will have no recollection of the things Ireland has been through and a bit more alarming than this charade of escapism.

John Graham

27 May 2014

Belfast

The Sea : A Film Review

imageThe Sea by John Banville, for which he has written this screenplay film adaptation is a novel which one does not immediately see as being of a visual narrative.
In reading the book the overwhelming compassion and intimate description of feelings and minds, conjuring tricksteresque beautifully and flowingly prose, we are caught in wave after wave of thought and little dialogue.

The joins for film are the dialogue in the book so the viewer of the film need assume these portraits of the cinema and have revealed to them certain traits and habits common in mankind, which here is of the Irish variety.
It is constructed by John Banville as thoroughly as possible as a form of abridged storytelling with acknowledged differences yet incomparable to the excellence, as is inevitably the case with such a stylized novel, the written form. You can of course return to both time and time again.
Fate and time.
It is always possible to identify anyway with the fates, which Sebastian Barry recently related, “…..suddenly you see that everyone has been half drowned by the tsunami of things that happen.”
The sight of Ciaran Hinds in the very first frames, in a heavy coat in the waves and beached, breathing relates as much as this immediately.
The Sea. The title appears.
Our island selves
John Banville in the book describes the contradictions we all come across. He uses Acts in reference, but disdains of God “…creation..belief…an impiety”, unvenerative of the deity but holding onto spirit. A perfectly Irish view given the three Gods worshiped, the trinity and the order of things having only one pure God. No film has that ability of communication.
He would find in the Bible the shaping of the meanings he seeks also.

Where seaside holidays in the southern coastal resorts from in the northern side of Dublin, Laytown, (Neil Jordan’s origin) Ballbriggan, and to the southern retreats, beyond the vast Wicklow mountains – a terrain not for the fainthearted, Waterford , Tramore, Wexford beyond, provided beaches and as of the time in which the story is set around, the post war years of the world kind, a climate which was, well an Irish summer of easy going enjoyment with no cultural sentiment, though the illusion of the John Hinde postcard is one way of seeing it.
Character and Plot
Escapism was easy then and did not involve exotic parties, vast airports, for that matter small ones or distant oceans and ethnic guidance. Despite the hidden nature of the smaller places on our coastline and the state collusion there was little to see as an obstacle to happiness. So the urban well heeled and not so well heeled escaped or tried to.
Cairan Hinds is the art historian Max Morden torn back to reconcile his memory and his unadjusted feelings for losses that have happened in and since those sunny days.
His memory circles not around his own family, the father who leaves the village at the shore, (in the book Ballyless) to work in Ballymore and returning each night. His mother makes little appearance in the film and Max is an only child.
Of his seaside experiences he has a great deal to formulate for himself and it is thus he becomes entangled with fellow holiday makers from the big house behind his shack, the twins. Chloe and the mute Myles. Chloe does a lot of talking and the protecting for the both of them and has adopted, contrary to the desires and wishes of the easily infatuated Max, an allure of being a little madam. She and Myles have a mother, Connie Grace, Natascha McElhone who is radiant beautiful and host to a sensuous nature which for the most part is satiated by her pleasure seeking husband Carlos Grace, Rufus Sewell and they had as chaperone for the erratically tempered Myles, the aide de camp Rose whose age was on the cusp of adulthood.

The book is chapterless and has simply two parts though both carry references to each part, then and now.

Max Morden has the tragedy of loss himself to overcome and his relationship with his wife Anna played quietly and with compassion by Sinead Cusack is a formidable pairing of souls.
When this return to the house which the Grace family occupied, as opposed to the chalet, shack or ‘hut’ as Max described his holiday nest, there is a kaleidoscope of filmic playback and nudges in the developing backstory and foreground apparentness of the change which always results from association with the sea. The hardened memories which attach wildly and refuse to let go of the inhabited psyche. Along with the infinite joy that the mind recollects of times at or near the sea, there are disproportionate pains also in the recovery made in places revisited. Those feelings more so on a island such as ours and insular, maybe provincial, parochial as the interplay – the literal interplay – of different classes this film and book conveys; the separate local and blow ins, holiday makers who alight in your own playground. The local people feature as asides. The colonials are represented by the Grace family in the first part.

Max eschews the local kids and sets himself apart though not as a loner but of wanting something greater.
He wants and lusts a lot over Mrs Grace who he adores and young Max played by gives an easy comfortable performance as a boy on a quest.
He has a suitor maybe in Chloe, played by Missy Kavanagh ,the little madam who herself is a simultaneous protective twin acting out one part her life and looking out for the confounding, except to her, Myles, whose part is also at ease and convincing. Diecast as the voiceless twin he struggles without malice but frustration. The children as directed act out confidently and with subtlety.

The cast is equal to the task of portraying the philosophical, psychological traits of each character and when older Max returns to the house he had never boarded in, he meets the sanguine landlady, Miss Vavasour, played by the cheekbones of Charlotte Rampling. Something of a repetitive smoker who enjoys and quietly endures her own conpany. She understands the relapse to achohol which the return of Max brings about in him and his daughter of whom he is both proud and in need of have both got his best interests in sight.
Mind and Material
It is good to see a remarkable book, it is one of the previous decades best books as a period stretched drama. The direction of Stephen Brown is unobtrusive and the screenplay enabled by John Banville is the track along the which films direction takes us.
By taking on such a book, one which has intense feeling and much of it under the surface the director and actors have to draw out the undercurrent of; and this is again worth recalling that phrase of Sebastian Barry’s used above with which as a fellow writer John Banville will have no problem in endorsing, using alongside his narrative I would think – “…..suddenly you see that everyone has been half drowned by the tsunami of things that happen.”
It is plain Max Morden as most other characters, indeed ourselves, can occupy that place John Banville places him and it is a measure of both Irish authors they are plainly on the same astute page. The share the art, the gift of story telling I distinctly different ways but as a lineage of literature.

The music is as is my taste has it, clawing in parts and in final credits is only retrievable as it has been present throughout. Familiarity. Not a real problem but less is more.
Of product placement none I could report on, though Smithwick’s beer, now where is that brewed?

***3 stars

This is a strange brew as a film, a Miss Vavasour herbal tea of a film, with the figure of Ciaran Hinds, odd fleck of grey, with and without beard, furrowed face quite dominant and his rendering of the character is, as necessitated, expressive of the underlying emotions and he kind of lends melancholia to the part. There is little in the way of youthful exuberance and it is rather deliberate in pacing out the story and somewhat vague in parts unlike the book which has not (see below) been a book at the end of time. Rather it is in its title The Sea at times sunlit under an orange ochre sun or dark and revengeful taking in and taking out our memories.
It is well worth seeing and it does well being familiar with the book before or after to see the all round impressive nature of the work in both forms.

At QFT Friday 18 April to Thursday 1 May

John Graham

Belfast

16 April 2014

Footnote
I recently asked John Banville at a book launch, if he foresaw any changes developing in the novel form; he had been talking about his new Raymond Chandler novel, which took him last summer into a new genre and perhaps fixed form storytelling that might in the authorship have told him certain limits of the novel as a media for our communicating ideas and examining or finding meaning in life.
He responded by saying that it had not made itself apparent, he was immersed in his subject alone, that for his part since Madame Bovary and Ulysees the novel had possibly reached its apogee (my word) that it has revealed as much as it can, that so many great writers have preceded the current times and only by continuing to write; – there remains a veracious appetite which will never die it seems for novels and this way of storytelling, – will there be any discovery or advance not yet apparent in the novel.
Without doubt John Banville is one of the top one Irish writers working today. The Sea is but a small element of the writing and in it he asks himself in the first person as Ciaran, if he has the correct word for conveying a message.
It need not be judged (as a question needing answered) as his art is to impart to the reader an essence of a story. The novel form comes across with characters who sometimes cannot articulate in speech or gesture their meanings. They are perhaps plain stupid or constrained by background, situation and education. The gift of the writer is on those occasions, without pandering to explain everything to us in excruciating detail, is to play the role of the person, (my interpretation) with inner thoughts and reactions minimal and fleeting. In The Sea when Banville asks if it is the right word as Cairan, he goes on with a symphony of words (no a composer could not adorn the film with music as substitute) and he puts into Ciaran’s life a concoction of emotions to bide him in this time. It is not replicated on film.
Irish writers from short story writers, where the necessity is greatly condensed, have this gift as part of their own immersion in the Irish formation of the novel in their reading and writing.
We live in hope that a mutation of the seed will change our direction of thought but can settle for the great variations which exist and are added to in continuum.
It is a lineage of writing that John Banville is on which is how he found himself describing it when vexed by his adherence and duty to his art.
End.

Seamus Heaney : Other Places

Part Colin Davidson portraitPublic Poetry Reading Ulster Hall April 10 2014
Part of the Seamus Heaney :A conference and commemoration.

My introduction.
Prayer as the Christian faith has it from the scriptures, is a private communication. A conversation alone with God.
Poetry it is said, and said once more here, as Prayer with the paper proximity and choice of seclusion acts of lone conversation with another’s words.

As human beings we do not conform to ideals but need the shape of others to resonate and collide with to approximate our truth.
Nothing we know is absolute, yet humanity abides and continues in our souls. Other Places are also other people, ourselves alone together.
The gathering on this occasion was homage to a Master and the only way it can be described here is in poetry which the item below attempts.

Other places

The Ulster Hall it’s theatre stalls
collapsible like a boxing ring
fill with people awaiting recited poems
published ripe as nectarine pipped and clean

The pastel walls spot residual damp
Almost hidden behind freshest paint
Focus instead onto the hall wide stage
command the organs pipes gold and gilt

The ear of the replenished soul is cupped
the evening is upon us air is gathered in
The favoured literati remember the sagacity
chosen decks of words joined here spill forth

Virgil yes, remembered, Plato yes,
a festival of learning each other’s speech
No language mutating hard thought, eased
the mind is mine enough to sculpt a poem

My current taste of Stevie Smith has gained
through thinking of Seamus Heaney recognising
‘A memorable voice’, envious of Palmer’s Green?
Seneca scored ‘How do you see?’ 1972 then.

Now girded we recoil ‘we shall kill everybody’
‘It will be too much for us… we shall..’ Seamus
knew the quicksand of a life and poems of the ear
Warmth drew on his breath ‘Be good to one another’

The poets try their damnedest to reflect
to profoundly, simultaneously move on
To catch this latent energy of now
excellence needed summoned every word

Universe, a train, tea ripples in a cup
Dublin, Malahide, Montana, Missouri
Dundee, Derry, no three counties
Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire

But the world as seen from Lanacashire,
Lanarkshire, Gloustershire, Middlesex
.. Oft ‘Rockall, Finisterre’ a field a radio,
A Church locked up grave silent under sky

Where have we been? we haven’t seen
the half of it before our eyes, sat down to tea
With furrowed brow aghast at the obscene TV
Bodies churned up with wild flower gutted

Home is near this place, divided
It’s in this world at least, our body’s
reside one place at a time, Home
That place we know, we’ve seen and been.

Seamus filled our hearts our heads
with things we knew lay beyond our walls
Two fields were plenty enough, a fence
to start a war or plough thus eat.

Suffering from wielded power
Opposition brooked, hunched carries on
paying by blood a fast a pilgrim
hatred, all sins now gathered in

Seamus left us half afraid, for
the other half we return, to
stations next to words, who
Since you think, mind, ever placed

Black cubes, huge sound boxes hang
from the hall roof amidst the plasterwork
Ornate and sparse words ejected, contact
The flesh and bones in regular lines, the rows

Giving your senses reason for endeavour
immaculate organs in decay seek another
body another’s skin to hold, meniscus thin
That water of us we live within

From the trenches, written, ‘Dearest War
Remember me,’ Dead of Hampstead Heath
The airey Christ takes care of them, peace
be upon us, render us relief, hear his song.

Under the bridge, the water flows, taking
your angst reflection downstream, with
the leaves, the twig you snapped, the Kingfisher
Soars, slickly through our canopy, this earth

John Graham

April 11 2014

Belfast

Kingfisher
That Kingfisher amongst the awesome beauty this world provides can make our hearts soar and think as G.M. Hopkins wrote :
‘Each mortal thing does one thing and the same;
from ‘As Kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame’
The division of presence of things. Into this we know our own diversity, what the Hopkin’s folk call self-nature. From the inward poet; G.M.H. Bespoke of his own nature, that he seeks and obtains just cause within to act out his being as influenced by the divine spirit. Christ ‘plays in a thousand places’.

In For my brother – Missing in action 1943.

For in the wreckage of your April Christ lies slain,
And Christ weeps in the ruins of my spring:
The money of Whose tears shall fall
Into your weak and friendless hand,
And you buy back to your own land:

The silence of Whose tears shall fall
Like bells upon your alien tomb.
Here them and come: they call you home.

Thomas Merton

A Clear Midnight
THIS is my hour O soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes
thou loves best.
Night, sleep, death and the stars.

Walt Whitman

The themes we encountered and which I have gone beyond for my own exercise take in the Seamus Heaney effect of most Northern Irish people who read his work. It is our narrative and has been the worlds progress to hear this voice. This commemoration comes within a void. The spring void.
The Easter resurrection so vivid in a spiritual life. Our being challenged by thoughts of others and our own actions. So has it been, this re-encounter with the work of Seamus Heaney, appearing as a miraculous body of work building on the work gone by and kept for future generations to which he generously opened consciousness buried within.
Even now or because it is such an additional wealth for us to carry forward, the themes he covered were of people and places and also of death and I cannot but wonder how Stevie Smith felt of the close to home troubles and 1972 violence as she struggled with her Christian beliefs. How marked upon her Seamus Heaney’s work was and how incendiary most poetry can be, either in the private act of reading or as prayer.

John Graham

Calvary : A Film Review

Easter reflectionDirector and Writer john Michael McDonagh. Score Patrick Cassidy, Cinematographer Larry Smith, Production Design Mark Geraghty. 100 mins.
The hill on which sacrifice is made.

But first a poem by anon.

The first Irish poem ( allegedly!)

I am the wind which breathes upon the sea,
I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the murmur of the billows –
I am the ox of the seven combats,
I am the vulture upon the rocks,
I am the beam of the sun,
I am the fairest of plants,
I am the wild boar in vapour,
I am the salmon in the water,
I am a lake in the plain,
I am a world of knowledge,
I am the point of the lance of battle,
I am the God who created the fire in the head
.
(ed. P. Murray)

It is soon to be Easter and time for reflections on the sacrifice of Gods only son on earth. This is the Earth we live on, set between heaven and earth is Jesus. Our own view is contained physically. Until we climb higher.
The Plateau of Benbulben features a great deal as a slab of biblical proportions overshadowing the tables of Sligo, small tables which we gather round, in the towns and villages beneath.

This film is another from the brother John of the McDonagh brothers and follows his The Guard also starring Brendan Glesson.

The mortal life foresaken after Jesus has revealed for mankind the powers of God, has found disciples and put forward values for them to show, to attain, teaching us to respond to evil and drive it out. His death was necessary to affirm the truth. We now the seven deadly sins, what sin is.
In this film the earth is expressed by the sea’s edge and horizon fixed in our relation to it. The sins by the journey taken in one week by the Priest among the people he leads or claims missionary over.

We occupy that place where our soul resides between the earth and the outside. As individuals the earth provides us with its time immemorial constants. This film casts its gaze upon the sea as a metaphor for life lived under the force of Gods design. The characters of the village behave in all manner of ways with each other and those that attend Father James’s Church, maybe go to confess their sins. The village in which it is set has pop culture symbols and characters of modern Ireland none of which have anything beyond stereotyping. The players are walking on fault lines in the script which is untidy. The framing jars at the very beginning after a confession when a stud is questioned about his affairs by the mainstay Father James. Odd angles enter, then leave? It settles into relative normality though the village street, something there yet absent provides no sane backdrop.
Some scenes are best forgotten but in the midst of them irritatingly the story rises on quite a few occasions only to drop the ball with incredulous words. Maybe that betokens the nature of us and the intention is to show our absurd responses to things.
Father James biggest problem becomes an act yet to occur which involves his death.
Naturally hurt at this possible outcome he consults his Bishop. Sure why wouldn’t he and then sets off after the absurd dialogue on Gods work. Don’t call the guards.
Father James faces among his parishioners no small difficulty of leadership which as a decent man in his chosen task he need now also contemplate his own demise. That radical, the truth, has on its tail repentance, the sinner has left the building, the vengeance is seen as himself, institutional good, emphasize his goodness for it shall therefore be inexplicable,representing God in confronting ungodliness. Brendan Glessons character is not seen in his Church except to show it as a sort of temporary form, that of a timber barn unlike the bells, smoke and mirror kind associated with the accepted religion. Very puritan. Very Scandinavian.
In the working of this tale of mystery; Father James it seems knows the affected, the filmmaker relies on Irish flavoured bitter humour and a screwed up parish to recall the grotesque, the embedded hatred kept in a seemingly logical and local narrative of which Father James is unsullied and innocent.
That placement of contempt of the Church seems to loom large as though everyone is affected, has been effected by it. As in the North; the vehicle being there the ‘troubles’ there is a communal bereavement, a causal change in the mindset of good and evil. All through the visceral loss of sense in Godliness. Brendan lashes out in a great scene on such a confrontation, his own faith challenged. The villagers make up their own religion in the void.

Of the person whose aim is to create another vile sin a week on Sunday he has an uncomfortable relationship as is the case on most points of the compass. None have any reverence towards him. A mere mortal though a good one. Willing and able to help with clearly the soundness in mind – judgement is a trammeled word – to administer in the doubts that this earthly conscious offers proverbially.

Performances from the uncommitted (atheist) Dr Harte, Aiden Gilen, Dylan Moran, Michael Fitzgerald Wealthy Man, Fiona, daugher of James, the beautiful red haired Kelly Reilly over from her exile and escaping to the ‘lost’ father; a key and solid piece of consistent convincing acting and the venerable Chris O’Dowd, imperious to the fact real life exists and a show is not life, stripey butchers apron, very fetching, his is a character in who you despair, at least I did because his manner was unconvincing except latterly.

In contrast the film is imperious when a scene of confrontation by a driver and his daughter represents the most vivid effect of how far we have come, that this is embedded in the everyday. The man represents most the condition alongside Fiona whose authorize connection with her dad is placed alongside her harmful loneliness. This splintering of the film in my mind at once decisive then a second later irregular. Many a slip between hand and mouth does mar the story. Perhaps it is the chattering of the seven deadly sins that mark it.

Brendan Glesson carries the central theme of forgiveness forward as a human being. It is as the Holy man he need minister to the mere mortals needs. He is Father James Lavelle, the incumbent here in the Yeats territory of Sligo. Yeats believing in eugenics at the same time advancing his own symmetry of poetry into floored and literary history. Clearly the air is affecting.
Brendan Glesson of course, given his honed gift of acting and his knowledge of the writer, directors aim gives full endeavour, thrusts centre frame in a for the most part restrained perfected act of role playing. In uniform the glory is not his, like forgiveness it’s Gods. He acts the part and if only.
The film, as its import takes us into the life’s of those in this place, in the course of the week, teases us to point to the portentous guilty sinner.
They are all sinners as us, with degrees of imperfection. This is seen to best effect in the father daughter relationship. There the writing is not a let down but superior and sustained in telling each’s story. Proper storytelling.

The sadness, grief, cruelty, anger and hurt here is Father James’s burden.
The past he cannot resolve except to use religion which his flock reject.
Whereas God gives to each of us a share of the burden of mankind; each taking as much as he can cope with, here the burden is cast out among the stereotypes. Each exemplifies Gods meaning. Each is a discovery for the viewer to relate too. Each of us will be affected by different elements making this film a highlight of cinematic achievements that Ireland lays claim to very occasionally. It follows on from recent themes of Irish cinema with Philomena having been the most recent comparator.
The sweep of the West of Ireland gives us Gods creation. That sea and land sometimes taken for granted and man demystifies with bungalows, estates, supermarkets and edge of town DIY stores. Reached by shiny motors.
Holy Motors. Now there’s a film way beyond this collection of humanity.
It has an episodic linearity which is spectacular.

Ireland’s character is visible with the ever present question – How could we have allowed this to happen? and this plaque is/was more than a burden but an altogether mortal execution without remorse. This is the whole nature of the film which only occasionally but very dramatically is realised here.

In the North similar practices took place yet the deflection the church chose to provide; as after the famine, as in civil war, was to seek restitution and forgiveness in the Holy Orders. What hope existed vanished in their sinful hands. They came thick and fast and clung as an overburden, way beyond the simple Christian message of loving thy neighbour. Vengeance is mine sayeth The Lord. Not yours or the Priests. James Lavelle knows his enemy is not the murderer but the sacrifice made missing for the perpetrator not having God in his life. He cannot offer anything to assuage the harm and carries the guilt through the week.

On these Sligo beaches where many a famine victim perished and were turned into the dust and sand of the beach, the continuum of earths reminder of the cycle of life speaks daily. Wave after wave of consciousness is brought about by recalling our history and this film while being a small element; pretends no greater part than to construct a story for us to contemplate.
We are beginning our return to Calvary and to forever face the self.

Conclusion
I don’t accept there is this degree of hypocrisy or anywhere near it, nor the extent of cynicism depicted in the Irish psyche as this film engenderers even with its black comedy stic on the seven deadly sins.
Ode to the Christian Brothers it is not but it creates a surreal picture of the life Ireland occupies as if it goes on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and sees there the divisions that still exist and the myth perpetuated of the promised land -returning with eyes wide shut. Has it the substance (topic) abuse (Eg hard-knock Irishness doled out by Dorries) a Tory with a six figure advance heart ache turns on like a dose of piles?
No we have not reached the ‘bottom’ in platitudes in Ireland or with this film being merely in the doldrums which Irish society is awakening to. For too long have the stories seemed unreal and this perpetuates that excursion. This film goes someway into trying to place self discovery on film.
As fanciful as Noah is as a biblical epic story, so the people were led onto the land, out of the hands of the Philistines, reality becomes fiction?
Partially only. No one reads reports except the Press and we have a miraculous remaining belief in mammon. Forgetting Mat. 6: 24 No one cannot serve God and riches.
Digs and dugouts are plentiful as are the (off screen) entaglements.
The bashful Publican is forgiven his bashfulness (cut to the washbasin and the show a bruise not the act, but wait, but the gory is explained how? Drama.
It lacks as despatch a homily a bit more precise than the derivative ending.

*** 3 stars

Screening
QFT Friday 11April to Thursday 24 April 2014

John Graham

Belfast

Wednesday 10th April 2014

A supplementary passage on Easter and sacrifice.

In this Film Calvary is a journey taken to uncover in the hills around Sligo the truth. A passage of forgiveness. An itinerary of reaching for the truth. Conquering the flesh against evil and replacing the belief in mortal life with a spiritual one.
Like the pain accompanying childbirth the new life overcomes the torment.
Such a blessing is reason enough to reconcile Gods healing of your spirit which is capable of being damaged as is the soul by wayward acts and dislocation in lives. The hill is the place of sacrifice. Thomas asked how will we know the path we are to follow, where will you go? What happens after death. Simply Jesus tells Thomas “I cannot show you what the will be; my teaching is the path, the truth and the life.” To the folk of the world this is all they are left with but it remains part of our daily lives.
The faiths divide up and segregate people (place chosen religion here) and further prophets emerge and are given the hope of human response that they alone are the true renewal of God. We need to live by the same God, the one that separates you from the world and worldly things. Those things of hate we are set to overcome through belief in the creation. The meaningful discovery that all life comes from the true God, that you only exist through knowledge within. The sacrifice is the meaningful act. That Jesus has gone, returning to God, leaving behind the living world, returning to God asking for us to be saved from evil through the knowledge he has shown.
That reality we are not born of ourselves but through Gods placement of us. We come from a time beyond the creation of the earth, True life exists outside of us in that time were love was born.
On Calvary the promise of the return is foremost. As Jesus invited everyone to the Lords table where there were to be no shortages of the things we need to live, the food, the shelter, the love within us so we cherish the word, his word. In his own death he asks, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthami?”. My God, My God to what have you abandoned me?. “Drink” was his request, and given vinegar, said “It is done! Father, I offer my spirit into your hands.”

Golgotha is the name given to the hill outside Jerusalem we know as Calvary.
The story of Jesus being revised and rewritten so many times still tells much the same story of this event. In his life he left behind manifestations and proclamations of true goodness with the knowledge if we accept God evil need not exist. Therefore he is asking us to unite with the one immortal being, the creator from who we gain the spirit to love. This Easter time we are offered to take the symbols of the Lords table in communion. No one is turned away. There is no credal obstacle to faith. That faith where only God exists and that we are part of, that spirit living through Christ his son until we are returned to our Father and thy Kingdom come. The return is the return of the spirit to all in the Kingdom of God.
Life itself comes from knowledge of a model proclaimed by Jesus as the basis of everything? The return is – Let his power be manifest among the people.