Elec­tion se­lec­tion

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -


Favourite film? Casablanca or Gone with the Wind. I adore the clas­sics, from a time when when di­a­logue, au­then­tic­ity and solid act­ing were es­sen­tial to sell a film. Favourite album? At the mo­ment I am lis­ten­ing to Damien Dempsey's Seize the Day. Damien has a truly orig­i­nal voice, is a mas­ter­ful lyri­cist, is pow­er­ful live and has an ear for an an­themic killer cho­rus. A true tub-thumper with tunes. Last film you saw? Last week all the McDon­ald fam­ily watched Shrek 1 and 2 on DVD, in one four-hour sit­ting. Bril­liant. It takes a great tal­ent to be able to make a movie that en­ter­tains peo­ple from age four to 104. Last piece of mu­sic you bought? The Bea­tles – Love. A re­mas­tered and remixed 26-song com­pi­la­tion. Loved it. Don­ald Clarke writes: Ah, Casablanca. Af­ter years of mu­tual mis­trust, two old ad­ver­saries even­tu­ally face up to the in­evitable and, upon agree­ing an un­easy com­pro­mise, stroll off to­gether into the mist. “I think this is the be­gin­ning of a beau­ti­ful friend­ship,” one says. But who – Ian or Mary Lou’s boss – gets to be Humphrey Bog­art. Brian Boyd writes: Cyn­ics might ar­gue that the only rea­son you picked the un­de­ni­ably tal­ented Damien Dempsey was be­cause the singer has spo­ken in in­ter­views about do­ing fundrais­ers for his lo­cal Sinn Féin coun­cil­lor. Then again, maybe not. The Bea­tles Love album was un­doubt­edly one of the best re­leases of last year.


Favourite film? Ho­tel Rwanda. It high­lighted the ter­ri­ble atroc­i­ties that took place in that part of the world, and it showed that one man can make a dif­fer­ence. Favourite album? The Great­est Hits of Cat Stevens. He wrote his own mu­sic and that type of mu­sic hits a chord with me (par­don the pun). Last film you saw? Bo­rat. I thought it would be fun­nier. Last piece of mu­sic you bought? The Best of Dance 1997 - it was a sec­ond-hand CD, bought in a sec­ond-hand store. I didn’t re­ally en­joy it. Thought it would be bet­ter. Don­ald Clarke writes: Sen­a­tor McCarthy shows his acute po­lit­i­cal in­stincts by se­lect­ing a film di­rected by an Ir­ish­man – Terry Ge­orge – which, none­the­less, deals with an in­ter­na­tional is­sue of some im­port. Sev­eral bases cov­ered there. Fail­ing to find Bo­rat funny, how­ever, makes him sound more than a lit­tle ec­cen­tric. Brian Boyd writes: Your choice of Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Is­lam) is com­mend­able, though Tea For The Tiller­man is a more co­he­sive album than his great­est hits. Two things about the last album you bought. Never buy an album with the words “best of” in the ti­tle. Never buy a dance album.


Favourite film? The Wind that Shakes the Bar­ley. It’s rel­e­vant to Ire­land and shows what the war of in­de­pen­dence was re­ally like. It’s a re­minder for us all to en­sure that pol­i­tics works. Favourite album? Al­bert Ham­mond’s It Never Rains in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. Rory Gal­lagher’s Live in Europe. Al Hamm is some­one I grew up with and he's a great writer and he was ahead of his time in re­la­tion to is­sues like the en­vi­ron­ment. Rory Gal­lagher was the best gui­tar player in the world as far as I was con­cerned. Last film you saw? I can't re­mem­ber, too busy. If I have time I go to a gig rather than a film. The last one I was at was Dylan in the Point. Last piece of mu­sic you bought? The Book of Light­ning by Mike Scott and The Water­boys. To me it’s top-class. I love the Water­boys and Mike Scott has a very dis­tinc­tive voice. I like the mix of rock and trad. Don­ald Clarke writes: Oh Lord, it's bloody Bar­ley again. When Ken Loach set out to make his film con­cern­ing the War of In­de­pen­dence he can­not have imag­ined that its re­lease, by drag­ging ev­ery TD into the cin­ema, would briefly paral­yse the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the na­tion forged by that con­flict. Brian Boyd writes: “Al Hamm”, as you call him, is an in­spired choice. Nam­ing the gui­tar vir­tu­oso Rory Gal­lagher dates you, but you re­deem your­self by be­ing one of the few peo­ple to have bought a 2007 album. Com­mis­er­a­tions for not buy­ing a bet­ter Water­boys record, though.


Favourite film? Pa­pil­lon. Al­though the cen­tral story in this film is about a man who is wrongly im­pris­oned for 20 years, the real story is one of hope, per­se­ver­ance, friend­ship and most of all the tri­umph of spirit in ex­treme cir­cum­stances. Favourite album? Tim Den­nehy – Be­tween the Moun­tains and the Sea. He has put the en­thralling words of one of Ire­land’s most tal­ented writ­ers (Siger­son Clifford) to his own unique brand of tra­di­tional Ir­ish mu­sic. What was the last film you saw ei­ther on DVD or in the cin­ema? I was lucky enough to be in Cannes when The Wind that Shakes the Bar­ley won the Palm D’Or – re­cently I looked at it again on DVD. I liked the way Ken Loach ap­proached the film. He worked with lo­cal peo­ple and ac­tors and this kept a tremen­dous au­then­tic­ity about it as many of the in­ci­dents in the film are based on truth. Last piece of mu­sic you bought? Tim Den­nehy – Be­tween the Moun­tains and the Sea. It takes me home – so I en­joy it im­mensely. Don­ald Clarke writes: The min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the film in­dus­try re­veals some se­ri­ous co­jones – and risks be­ing punched in the face the next time he walks through Tem­ple Bar – by se­lect­ing as his favourite film a project with no Ir­ish con­nec­tions to speak of. But wait. Dex­trous as ever, he cov­ers his pos­te­rior by men­tion­ing a re­cent view­ing of that film. Brian Boyd writes: John, as Min­is­ter for Arts your de­ci­sion to dou­ble up on your favourite album and the last piece of mu­sic you bought is a tad unimag­i­na­tive, and given that both Tim Den­nehy and Siger­son Clifford are both from Kerry, your choice is bor­der­ing on the parochial.


Favourite film? Casablanca. A ro­man­tic thriller with en­dur­ing lines and In­grid Bergman. Favourite album? As­tral Weeks. Raw en­ergy, Van at his best. Last film you saw? An In­con­ve­nient Truth, in the cin­ema. Thought-pro­vok­ing, if lack­ing in specifics. Last piece of mu­sic you bought? U2’s How to Dis­man­tle an Atomic Bomb. I didn’t even get to hear it yet. Don­ald Clarke writes: Oh Lord, it’s bloody Casablanca again. But Pat’s luke­warm feel­ings to­wards An In­con­ve­nient Truth are more in­ter­est­ing. Is he at­tempt­ing to put dis­tance be­tween him­self and the tree hug­gers? Brian Boyd writes: You can never go wrong with the Van’s mas­ter­piece recorded in just two days, As­tral Weeks. How To Dis­man­tle An Atomic Bomb was re­leased in 2004. That you haven’t lis­tened to it yet sug­gests mu­sic is not a pri­or­ity for you. Pity, you could sing track three on the album (Some­times You Can’t Make It On Your Own) to Enda Kenny.


Favourite film? Casablanca. It’s got ev­ery­thing. Ad­ven­ture, ro­mance and there are great char­ac­ter­i­sa­tions in the film. Favourite album? Help by the Bea­tles. I must say I love the mu­sic of the 1960s, and it’s hard to get a bet­ter col­lec­tion of great songs from the ’60s than on that album. Last film you saw? 300. Good but not great. Last piece of mu­sic you bought? The Pasadena Roof Orches­tra Col­lec­tion, which I thor­oughly en­joy lis­ten­ing to. Don­ald Clarke writes: Once again, for­get Casablanca. The real news here is that the Ham­mer of Ranelagh saw fit to take him­self to 300. Zack Sny­der’s fe­ro­ciously vi­o­lent epic has been ac­cused of be­ing in­de­cently ho­mo­erotic, loose with the facts and right-wing to the point of neo-fas­cism. This does not sound like our Michael. Brian Boyd writes: The only other per­son I know of who ad­mits to lik­ing The Pasadena Roof Orches­tra is the Queen of Eng­land. What this says, I wouldn’t like to spec­u­late. Favourite film? Cal. For the fab­u­lous sound­track of Mark Knopfler and evoca­tive roles played by He­len Mir­ren and John Lynch. Favourite album? Till the Day Fades by Liz Seaver. It’s an im­pres­sive dis­play of tal­ent by a young Sk­er­ries singer/ song­writer, recorded at Troy Horse Stu­dios in Bal­brig­gan. Last film you saw? Amaz­ing Grace, about the cam­paign to abol­ish the transat­lantic slave trade. It was good, as biopics go, and more faith­ful to his­tory than, say the Michael Collins biopic. Last piece of mu­sic you bought? Can You Feel the Illi­noise by Suf­jan Stevens, fol­low­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion from Ire­land's coolest publi­can and Green Party can­di­date for Louth, Mark Dearey. It’s very en­joy­able – washes over me like a mu­si­cal Ra­dox bath af­ter a day (and night) of can­vass­ing. Don­ald Clarke writes: Pat O’Con­nor’s Cal, a mov­ing tale of the trou­bles, will do nicely. But what’s this with Amaz­ing Grace? William Wil­ber­force, the abo­li­tion­ist hero of the pic­ture, comes across as one of the few voices of in­tegrity in a House of Com­mons stuffed with time-servers and idlers. Is Trevor try­ing to tell us some­thing? Brian Boyd writes: I find it dif­fi­cult to be­lieve that Till The Day Fades In is re­ally your favourite album. Seaver is a young Dublin singer-song­writer who spe­cialises in acous­tic folk-pop and is a tal­ent to watch, but se­lect­ing this over Pet Sounds, Sgt Pep­per’s or any other choice from the es­tab­lished mu­si­cal canon, strikes me as a rash and im­petu­ous choice. You seem to have gone for Suf­jan Stevens on the rec­om­men­da­tion of a “cool” politi­cian. That wasn’t a good idea be­cause Stevens’s album is the sec­ond in a se­ries which will see him travel to all 50 United State to record themed al­bums. That’s a lot of car­bon emis­sions.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.