aka the [defunct] Martin Lawrence Appreciation Society
I once worked as a film critic in Dublin. Between 1997 and 2005. I can’t count how many movies I saw but three-a-week is a baseline number that frequently went up to over ten when factoring in VHS and then DVD copies as well as preview screenings.
I had forgotten many of these films given it’s over twenty years later since seeing them. Many were unmemorable and formulaic and wouldn’t have stayed lodged in the brain ten minutes after I left the magnificent Savoy cinema on O’Connell St.
People learning of this job of mine would gush excitedly about the perceived high points of the job i.e. free films.
I would always tell them the next screening I was going to – or if unable to remember would say The Rugrats Movie 3 – and the start time (usually nine am).
The invitation was offered and no-one ever took me up on the chance to sit in morning darkness within a vast theatre with perhaps ten other critics. No popcorn; not many or any mobile phones; no conversation.
There were many Sandra Bullock movies. Many.
I leapt at the chance to attend screenings in the Irish Film Centre up cobbled Eustace Street in Temple Bar, but all too often was instead summoned out to a schlocky Disney film at the Buena Vista screening room in Fairview – a ramshackle former cinema seemingly made of lollipop sticks and old movie posters covered in gloop. The only saving grace – as with the Savoy – were the great staff at both venues. Decent heads, the lot of ’em.
Many of my reviews were written for the Event Guide edited by Kieran Owens, a jovial and agreeable fellow. It’s gone now just as Joan, the lovely lady in charge of ad revenue, has passed.
I moved onto working for the Irish Daily Star, eventually replanting my critic’s hat back on my head when they launched the Sunday edition.
Hopped up, so to speak, on endless cups of tea, I would inwardly curse the back and arse pain of sitting in uncomfortable cinema seats time after time. A small guy but the leg room paid no respect.
I still remember regularly worrying whether my lock-less old Vespa parked outside the door would survive the attentive inspections of the local knackers.
But such first world complaints are uninteresting precursory piffle when reading these reviews and considering the majesty of Blue Streak, the cinematic scope and vision of Purely Belter (and the genuine power of Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey
And the Sandra Bullock flicks.
It isn’t film – although there’s a lot to be said for the cinematic qualities of rap and hip hop – but this is a short piece on a record shop (and start of a worldwide label), All City.
Both of these films below have been long forgotten about although Behind… lives on no doubt in a monthly showing on Movies 4 Men…