After a hectic weekend at the Fleadh, time for sleep

Niall McCann


Niall McCann

After a hectic weekend at the Fleadh, time for sleep

There's no way we are going to make it on time...

I told you we should have left earlier.

Whose the one driving here?

God that rain's heavy, just take it handy will ya...

I think I'm going to be sick...

Do you want me to pull over?

Can we stop for McDonalds?

I really think I'm going to be sick...

It's Sunday the 10th of July 2016, somewhere around five o'clock in the day, I'm sitting in the front passenger seat feeling a little rough around the edges and more than a little sorry for myself.

We are coming from the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh, where on Friday night my new film Lost In France had its Irish premiere in the cinemobile outside the Town Halll.

We are now trying to make it back to Dublin in time to see the US band Wilco in the Iveagh Gardens.

Unless this car can fly it's looking unlikely we will make it, but Sharon who is driving puts her size threes to the floor and powers us on ahead.

The Friday before when I was introducing the film to the captive audience (literally captive as I made sure the doors were locked) I told them that I hoped they liked the film and that a lot of love went into the making of it and that it's kind of about love but then isn't everything when you think about it?

I also dedicate the screening to the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami who passed away last week.

I tell the (still captive) audience that he is the reason I make films, he and the promise of lots of sex, drugs and money, but I'm still waiting on those things.

For those of you reading this who want to investigate this great director's work further you should start with the Koker Trilogy or the Palm D'or winning Taste of Cherry. Jean Luc Godard. a favourite of this column. once said after seeing one of his pictures:

'The cinema starts with DW Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami.'

He will be sorely missed.

So thankfully the screening for Lost In France goes down well and we've managed to have a sold out screening with a very responsive audience, which is all you can really ask for.

I'm joined for the Q and A after the film by Alex Kapranos, Stuart Braithwaite, Emma Pollock and Paul Savage, the stars of the film and I must say you couldn't hope for a nicer bunch of people and it has been an utter pleasure working with them on the film. Though I am often guilty here of the odd moan about the inherent difficulties a life in film can bring when it's good it's absolute magic.

Film Fleadh

While in Galway I managed to catch a few other films which were screening at the Fleadh.

As usual I tried to focus on Irish films as we have really started to come into our own as a nation of filmmakers over the past few years and this year's Fleadh was another example of the continuing success Irish productions are having on both a creative and commercial level.

The festivals top prize was awarded to two new Irish comedies.

Louth Girl

Darren Thornton's A Date for Mad Mary, which focuses on a Louth girl (from Drogs in fact, but don't hold that against the film) wonderfully played by Seana Kerslake who has just been released from prison, it's a pretty special film.

The other winner of the main prize was Paul Foott's The Young Offenders, about two tracksuit wearing layabouts from Cork who go off in search of a missing bale of cocaine that's been lost when a load of the stuff washed up on the Irish coast some years ago.

Foott's film is hilarious bar one or two missteps such as an ill conceived cameo by PJ Gallagher, who calls himself a comedian but that doesn't make it so.

I could call myself an alien, it doesn't mean I am one.

It's refreshing to see these sorts of humorous films coming out of Ireland, as we were getting a name for ourselves for making a certain type of bleak drama. We've always been better at laughter.

So somehow Sharon gets us to Dublin in time for the gig, stomachs in our mouths.

We even make it with sometime to spare and so bravely try to drink a pint.

We are not quitters.

Despite the rain Wilco deliver the sort of sets they always do, a run through of different highlights from a wonderful career and the crowd lap it up.

These guys sometimes get called Dad rock but I don't recall Dad rock ever being as trilling, subversive, fun and beautiful as these songs. Wilco don't let you down, they just leave you wanting more. It's the perfect end to an exhausting but terrific weekend.

Now to sleep for a week.....