film

Eoghan Mac Gi­olla Bhríde, star of Si­lence, talks to Tara Brady, p4

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FRONTPAGE -

TIRED OF THE ex­plo­sive ex­ploits of su­per­heroes? Bored with mono­lithic tent­pole re­leases? There is an­other way. This week­end, Si­lence will de­scend on se­lected cine­mas. The lat­est film from vet­eran doc­u­men­tar­ian Pat Collins fol­lows a young sound en­gi­neer, re­turn­ing to Ire­land af­ter a 15-year ab­sence, as he seeks out the coun­try’s qui­etest land­scapes. Our hero’s Lud­dite-friendly mis­sion to es­cape all man­made sound takes him to Inish­bofin, Gal­ty­more, the Bur­ren, Con­nemara, Bal­ly­croy and Tory Is­land.

The cinema, in turn, is trans­formed into a con­tem­pla­tive, oth­er­worldly space.

“It’s pared back,” nods Eoghan Mac Gi­olla Bhríde, Si­lence’s star and co-writer.

“The themes that are ex­plored are sub­tle things like loss, our at­trac­tion to land­scape, rec­on­cil­ing with the past, and lan­guage. Too much drama would have pushed those out to the edges. It’s like a med­i­ta­tion. Walk into the film and you have space. The di­a­logue is sparse. You’re not bom­barded with what Hol­ly­wood might throw at you. Pat was very coura­geous in what he did.”

In com­mon with his di­rec­tor – Pat Collins edited Film West and pro­grammed the Gal­way Film Fleadh be­fore mov­ing into the doc­u­men­tary sec­tor – Eoghan Mac Gi­olla Bhríde is a poly­math. Born in Gaoth Dob­hair, Done­gal, Mac Gi­olla Bhríde worked as a civil en­gi­neer for 10 years be­fore plump­ing for the road less trav­elled. The son of writer, ed­u­ca­tor and sean-nós singer Nel­lie Nic Gi­olla Bhríde and the brother of Corn Uí Ri­ada sean-nós cham­pion Do­minic Mac Gi­olla Bhríde, Eoghan had a yen for the arts long be­fore he made the jump.

“I had al­ways been writ­ing and work­ing on short sto­ries, but be­ing a civil en­gi­neer as well, it just wasn’t work­ing out,” he says. “It’s hard com­ing in from a 12-hour shift and start­ing work on some­thing else. I just didn’t have the headspace. I had to bite the bul­let. So I bought a ticket to Mex­ico and spent a year in Cen­tral Amer­ica writ­ing.”

Was the sean-nós an influence on his work?

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