Mattress Men OPENS TODAY

 

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Today is the big day, Mattress Men is finally available for Irish audiences to see after its successful trips to HotDocs in Toronto and to Sheffield DocFest. Its on today and all this week in the Lighthouse, the IFI, The Eye Cinema Galway, movies at Dundrum and in Swords and coming to other cinemas after that. Its also available on demand from Virgin media and from Volta.ie

I’m really hoping people get out and support the film as I’m ridiculously proud to have cut and to be associated with it. I think its really a special film, a unique picture of a Dublin rarely seen and an endearing tale of friendship that’ll make you laugh and make you cry. Colm Quinn, the films director has a unique skill at building a level of trust and empathy which is reflected back in the honesty and openness with which the films subjects Mick and Paul approached their story. It was a privilege to work with Colm on the film, one of the best and most challenging creative working experiences I’ve ever had. Honestly, I hope I’ll get to work on films as good as this again but if I don’t I’ll be happy to know that this film is out there.

Now of course I have a slightly biased opinion on this, I did spend six months cutting the film and have a lot emotional capital invested in its success. Not everyone is going to like it, that is true but thus far the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Lets take a look…

★★★★ The Irish Times

“A very humane story about poverty, ambition and everyday struggle. Mattress Men feels like an essential snapshot of an ignored urban sector. Buy, buy, buy before all the tickets are gone!” – Donald Clarke

★★★★ Entertainment.ie

“A charming and uplifting documentary, this one is a real surprise. Bursting with heart, this touching and funny story will warm the cockles.” – Gavin Burke

★★★★ Scannain.com

“Mattress Men is a terrific and ultimately quite moving film that shows how austerity eats at the soul of people who we don’t generally see on screen. The direction by Quinn is light and the editing brings a fluid story together with both grace and a grin. Highly recommended.” – Jason Coyle

★★★★ Movies.ie

Mattress Men tells the story of the Irish recession and the devastating effect it had and still has on the country but it is hard not to root for the plucky, charming and flawed people at the heart of this film. – Brogen Hayes

Film Ireland

“This story is as human as it gets, Colm Quinn’s film is more than the success story of a salesman turned internet star/national treasure, it’s a warm and familiar story of nationhood and success” – Grace Corry

And heres just a sample of what some people have been saying online about the film

 

So you know get out there and go see the film in your cinema, bring your friends and all that.

Some New Work

I’ve been very quiet here recently, work commitments and how projects have fallen haven’t allowed me to devote the amount of time as I’d like to this blog.

But anyways here is some new work that I’ve been up to.

First up is the promo for Michael Keegan-Dolan’s new dance show Loch na hEala (Swan Lake) which premiers this October. This short film was made by Michael and beautifully shot by Colm Hogan and edited by myself.

 

Secondly I did a short video piece for Nemeton for the AIB GAA The Toughest Club Fuels County campaign with Tipperary Full Forward Michael Quinlavin.

I throughly enjoyed doing both these short pieces.

Sheffield Doc Fest

I’m delighted and honoured to have 2 feature films I cut showing at the prestigious Sheffield Doc Fest this weekend. I’m heading over to the festival and really looking forward to not only seeing the films but to also catch a whole host of other great documentaries. Sheffield is the worlds 3rd biggest documentary festival and only accepts a small number of films so I’m sure to catch some great films.

In advance of the weekend I chatted with IFTN about both films, you can read that interview here

First up is the world premiere of Seán Ó Cualáin’s Crash and Burn on Saturday which tells the story of Tommy Bryne. A racer, a raconteur, thief. The greatest racing car driver you’ve never seen. Here’s a short teaser of what to expect.

On Monday there is the European Premiere of Mattress Men. The film went down a treat last month at hot Docs and I’m looking forward to seeing how it does in Sheffield. The screening will be over with a good hour to spare before the first Ireland game of the Euro’s

CRASH

Mattress Men takes Toronto

Last week, I went over to Toronto for the Hot Docs Film Festival where the film I spent last year cutting ‘Mattress Men’ had its world premiere. Among everything else it also provided me with an opportunity to take a bit of a break and to visit Canada for the first time. The week away was a great success and the film went down an absolute storm.

The week started with Máire and I attending a really fun literary event on Bloor Street near where we were staying while the director Colm Quinn and the producer David Clarke making a somewhat unique appearance on morning television promoting the film.

The film played three times over the course of the festival, each screening was different and memorable in its own right. The first screening took place in the beautiful surroundings of the Hart House Theatre right in the middle of the city’s University. Despite everyone being nervous about attracting a crown on a Tuesday evening at 9:45 we ended up getting a great crowd down and the audience did what they were supposed to, they laughed, they cried and gave the film a great reception after. No matter how confident you are in a film, you never know how it’ll go down until you put in front of an audience and it couldn’t have gone much better.

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The second screening was in the TIFF Lightbox where so much of the festival was based, this screening played to a full house of over 300 people who once again all loved it. The stars of the film were genuinely touched by all the positivity towards them and to the film. There was a que of people after wanting their photo taken with Brian the Mattress Man. This was a screening unlike other I had experienced in my career thus far. Its something I won’t forget in a while.

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The third screening was a bit further out in a really cool district on the Friday night. It was again a full house and we were all a bit more ‘relaxed’ going into the film. It turns out the film is even funnier and more emotional when you’ve had a few jars. I also had the best burger of my life just prior to the screening but thats a different story. Seriously, that burger.

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The rest of the week was taken up with catching some great documentaries, exploring a really great city with Máire and just taking it easy. Heading to Niagara Falls with Mattress Mick and the crew is a memory I will cherish. We had a total blast.

Here’s what some of the reviews of the film looked like.
Toronto Film Scene said…
“Most people will probably go into Mattress Men expecting some hearty laughs based on its premise, and while they’ll get just that, they’ll also probably be surprised by how moving it all is. It’s the most unexpected tearjerker of the festival.”

And here are what some of the public had to say about it.

https://twitter.com/mareemartinez/status/728363897439268864
https://twitter.com/lpincente/status/728375258714128385

Reaction to Trial of The Century

I’ve been away the past week so I haven’t had an opportunity to blog about the fantastic reaction to last weeks screening of the TV3 drama series ‘Trial of the Century’. In fact my flight landed in Toronto just as the second episode finished airing back home in Ireland and I turned on my phone in the airport and saw the overwhelmingly positive reaction to that episode. People responded really well to the series, especially the drama, people were less keen on the third documentary episode but the whole point of the series was to get people talking and I think the series managed to do just that.

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The Irish Times said “The large cast is exceptionally strong – one actor is more convincing than the next – and it’s a tightly filmed, surprisingly tense and beautifully made production, under the direction of  Maurice Sweeney”

The Irish Independent said “Trial of the Century is ambitious, intelligent and provocative…Trial of the Century had a tight, literate script, which manages to make labyrinthine matters comprehensible, and dry legal arguments entertaining. The tension is palpable; you get that tingle that something momentous is about to happen here.”

The Irish Daily Mail said it was the best drama TV3 have done.

Here is just a small taste of the reaction to the series from twitter where it was the top trending item in the country for the 3 nights it aired.

https://twitter.com/Brrrrr12/status/726885930318049282

 

My Poet Dark and Slender

This weekend I’m heading west for the Galway Theatre Festival and in particular to catch Roisin Stack’s new work ‘My Poet Dark and Slender’. If you’re in the Galway area, make sure to check it out but be warned tickets are selling fast. Get yours here

Running at Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre,  My Poet Dark and Slender is based on a story by Padraic O’Conaire, and staged by Mmm Theatre. Set in 1915, it centres on a bored housewife called Eileen who embarks on a brazen affair with a handsome poet. The production features mask, stylised movement, and an original score by Aindrias de Staic.

Roisin chatted with Charlie McBride of the Galway Advertiser earlier this week about the play.

“The story is a memory told from Eileen’s perspective,” explains director Róisín Stack, “and because memories are often patchy and unreliable, we’re taking artistic liberties in how we present her story. We have lights that cast shadows, music that warps out of time, characters played by everyone in the cast, and a lot of stylised movement. It’s not a straight-forward piece of theatre by any means.

“I came across the story in Scoithscealta and was first drawn to it because of its title,” Stack continues. “Then when I read it I was really surprised to find it was quite a passionate story. It has a lot of imagery about the devil, fire, passion, and it is beautifully written with a great twist in it as well. It’s told from the woman’s perspective which is unusual for the time. We’ve used O’Conaire’s story as a springboard, we did a lot of devising and brought in other material; a Dorothy Parker reading, contemporary songs, a re-mixed John McCormack ballad, a speech by Daniel O’Connell, writing from Joan Didion, so we’ve looked beyond the original story in putting together the show.”

The cast for My Poet Dark and Slender includes Daniel Guinnane, Jo Lopez, Lucia Smyth, Muirenn Ní Raghallaigh, and Réidín Ní Thuama, while Conor Kennedy-Burke is movement director. It is at the Mick Lally Theatre from tomorrow up to and including Monday May 2 at 8.30pm.

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Trailer Time

You wait ages for one and then 2 come along at the same time. Yesterday two separate projects that I’ve worked on ‘dropped’ teaser clips for their forthcoming release.

This weekend sees the broadcast of TV3’s 1916 centrepiece ‘Trial of the Century’. I’ve had a tremendous time editing this series over the past couple of months and I’m terribly proud of it. Firstly its an incredibly well written courtroom drama, which is something  I’ve always really wanted to cut and secondly it features some of the premier Irish talent in front of and behind the camera. It was an absolute privilege to work with director Maurice Sweeney and the guys at Loosehorse and Treasure.

The show features some incredible performances, not least Tom Vaughan-Lawlor who is electric as Patrick Pearse. I think people are really going to like it, well I bloody well hope so.

Here’s a trailer the TV3 guys put together for the series.

For more info on the series see its page on my website

 

Also released yesterday was the first short teaser clip from the Mattress Men documentary which we are taking to Toronto next week for HotDocs. I’m unspeakably excited about heading to Canada and seeing this film on the big screen. I’ve yet to see the final graded, mixed film so as you can imagine its something I’m really looking forward to. The lads let this little short clip into the wild yesterday and once again it appeared to ‘break the internet’. People it would seem have quite the appetite for Mattress Mick related news!

 

Again for more on the film see its page on my website.

Its happened to me in the past where you go months without nothing that you’ve worked on seeing the light of day and then all of a sudden a big burst of activity. Which usually means this oft-neglected blog will also gets a bit attention from me. Watch this space…