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BETWEEN THE CANALS

Director: MARK O'CONNOR

85 minutes| Ireland| 2010| Colour| D-Cinema


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While the criminal underbelly of Dublin city has occupied many – arguably too many – Irish filmmakers over the past 15 years, Mark O’Connor’s debut distinguishes itself by largely avoiding genre cliches and creating credible and likable portraits of small-time troublemakers. As with Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets and Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine (both clear influences), the film’s engine is freewheeling male friendship in a deprived urban setting. The three leads keep the loose-limbed plot rolling through entirely convincing dialogue and a chain of often hilarious encounters as they draw more and more heat from less congenial members of Dublin’s drug trade. The film’s energy and pace belie its micro-budget, while the soundtrack is notable for its use of Irish folk music, lending this portrait of an inner city community situated between the (Royal and Grand) canals an uncommonly sympathetic and, in the best sense, local point of view. (Notes by Tony Tracy).

IFI IRISH SHORTS
Short-listed for a 2011 Oscar nomination, Nick Kelly’s IFB-funded Shoe is the tale of a man interrupted as he throws himself from a bridge. 13 minutes, Colour, 2010.

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