Jeridoo Universe reviews one of the top films coming out of the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) this week of September 12, 2022: The Banshees of Inisherin by Irish playwright/ scriptwriter/ director, Martin McDonagh.
In this "Cliff Notes" of films, so you do not have to, we summarize review notes of over thirty established film critics into a concise, consolidated briefing so you can see what makes this film special and worthy of watching.
Having premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 5 and continuing its festival journey at TIFF, this film is a close-up examination of small-town dynamics and the bittersweet but inevitable end to a long friendship. As a rural character farce, the movie begins with a lighthearted humorous touch. However, as it progresses, it becomes darker and more macabre, with haunting echoes of contemporary Irish history lingering off-screen and clouds of Samuel Beckett-like gloom hanging overhead.
As he approaches the end of his life, Colm (Brendan Gleeson) unilaterally and coldly declares that he no longer wants to be friends with his best friend and drinking partner, Pádraic (Colin Farrell). Instead, he wants to create his legacy through a new piece of music that will be performed by others long after he has passed away.
But as a result of Pádraic's persistence in keeping their friendship alive, Colm is forced to issue a startling ultimatum to expose the intensity of his decision: every time Pádraic speaks to him he will cut off one of his own fiddle-playing fingers with a pair of shears. Of course, Pádraic thinks he is joking and gives it one last attempt using tough love, which he believes may have finally put a stop to their conflict. Then, one night, a tiny, bloodied object strikes Pádraic's front door. His journey begin s with him being the nicest guy in town and ends with a darker turn. As events escalate, they learn that the end of a relationship can create a complete disruption in everyone’s perception of life in this world.
This film is set in 1923 during the Irish Civil War between the Irish Free State and the Anti-Treaty IRA, on the fictional scantily populated island of Inisherin off the west coast of Ireland (the real shot locations were Inishmore and Achill Island including Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran islands). As the main shot locations, we encounter the beach, rolling green hills, a lake, pastoral cottage-lined village atop the cliffs and a single local pub (where drinking and chatting are the main pastimes of this island). The framing and lighting of the Irish landscape follow the same emotional journey as the playful warmth, which gradually descends into fruitless pessimism.
The Main Protagonists
The lead Actors worked together in a former film with McDonagh, “In Bruges.” Lifelong friends whose families were torn apart due to the Irish Civil War, Colin Farrell as the happy-go-lucky, childish, kind but not so bright Pádraic Súilleabháin, and Brandon Gleeson as Colm Doherty, the older and more intelligent of the two, a poetic type, a musician and his best friend (or at least drinking companion for life). Their Odd Couple relationship is both funny and complicated.
The most realistic work by Farrell shows emotions like wide-eyed optimism, self-assurance, fear, and bothersome, naively eager attempts to win his friend's love and favor. Pádraic’s feelings are depicted as perplexity, rage, grief, and desperate attempts. From his face to his posture to the way he walks and talks, provide a real anchor of humanity to the film. This is balanced with by the less expressive Colm, who holds his secrets within.
We observe the two men attempting to communicate with one another but failing to truly "hear" one another, leading to troubling outcomes.
While there are no shrieking spirits in this film as the film title would allude, this town’s cast of characters include
Themes of the Film
The depths of friendship, the truths about aging and loneliness, what binds us together and what divides us; the things that enhance our lives and the things that destroy them are all themes of focus in this film. The film compels us to ask these questions: Although we cannot make people like us or feel a connection with us, can we attempt to be genuine so they can find something to join? Why Is a memory of having been a good person more valuable than a legacy of artistic creation? Does a man's grandeur diminish if he loses his decency? If a man loses his decency, does the greatness of his achievement mean anything?
The Writer / Director
Irish Playwright Martin McDonagh, known for his gift for dialogue, writes with comedic precision and a distinct Irish voice, drawing humor from the mundane. He was known for his theater plays (“The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” “The Lieutenant of Inishmore,” et. al.) and his third film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” as well as cult classics, “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths.” This is his fourth feature film with eloquent and dark, witty directorial work.
The film was produced by McDonagh, Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin (Blueprint Pictures) for Searchlight Pictures and Film4.
This film is beautifully shot by Ben Davis, a regular collaborator with McDonagh, with exceptional cinematography, sweeping, breathtaking, textured and well-lit. His use of light spilling into interior space is truly mesmerizing.
Carter Burwell provides fanciful xylophone and harp-centric score adding to the atmosphere of the film.
Summary of The Film Critic Reviews
Critics have described this film as excellent story telling with a “profound message on the meaning of life.” With deep empathy for both sides in a breakup, it is “accessible,” “relatable,” “admirable,” “loving” and “poignant.” At the same time, the actors and director masterfully create a film of existential despair that is “dangerous,” “acerbic,” “darkly amusing” and “heartbreaking.” One critic summed it up as an “all-around enchanting ode to the Irish people.” The director once again demonstrates his dramatist ability in turning a simple incident into a substantial work of art. He also maintains audience engagement at an elevated level with a combination of unexpected turns and pointedly serious moments.
One of our contributors to the Jeridoo Universe blog, James Kellogg is a senior concept artist, occasional independent film actor and international producer and developer of films, series and interactive/metaverse projects. You can find him at imdb.me/jameskellogg.
The Rings of Power (Lord of the Rings), prequel to Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, at a staggering cost of $1 Billion is splitting the fan community.
Hardcore book fans don't like it. Well, the outright hate it. But they must understand that not everything in books works for television, movies, or video games. Sometimes the director or producers must change things to make it work for a different medium. Peter Jackson had to remove a similar Gandalf like character in Hobbit. It would have been clown like.
The Rings of Power is amazing. It truly is. You can see the $60 Million per episode cost. They have built the world's tallest Starcraft (LED) studio. You can see the quality. Some folks watched the first 2 episodes on IMAX. It is breath taking. Sure, the characters are different than in the book and yes, they had to add in the gender and diversity for the Halflings (Hobbits).
But they are taking themselves to an enjoyable time to explain the story and to build up the characters slowly. Many other shows rush. I remind you of Games of Throne's last season. It was a mess; the ending was upsetting. Upsetting enough that HBO is considering redoing the ending.
The Rings of Power is not just a visual must-watch, but the build-up of the story, the character arches and storylines are working. Is it different than the books? Absolutely. But it must be different. You cannot turn any book 1-to-1 into a film or series.
This show works for me. I love it. And I hope that the haters don't succeed. It currently only has 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, but those must be the hardcore book fans and people, who love to be entertained and don't just criticize every change producer, editors and directors are making on favorite shows surely agree with me and love it.
By: Guido Baechler
Jeridoo asked an AI to describe Movie-Making in 20 years. This text is only edited for grammar mistakes.
It's hard to say what the future of movies will look like. But we're pretty sure that it won't involve human involvement. Of course, some people will still be involved—actors and directors are likely safe for a while longer—but other jobs in the film industry could see their positions replaced by computers or algorithms. A computer will write the script, and cinematographers will be replaced with cameras that can adjust their settings on the fly (or don't need humans at all). Directors may no longer exist as we know them today and so on…
A computer will write the script
In 20 years, movie scripts will be written by computer algorithms.
It's not hard to imagine: A writer sits at her desk, opens a new document and starts typing. But this isn't just any old computer—it's an artificial intelligence (AI) system designed to create screenplays by analyzing data from previous films that have been successful. First, the software is trained on hundreds of scripts from blockbusters like The Matrix and Inception, which tell it what elements make up a good story to learn how to write its version of these films' stories. Once it has enough data to work with, the AI uses machine learning techniques such as deep learning neural networks (which are modeled after human brains) or evolutionary computation algorithms (which simulate natural selection) to generate new ideas for movies. These ideas will be based on everything it knows about successful films—even if those ideas don't seem excellent or fitting!
The Cinematographer will be a computer
The future of movie making is bright because of the advent of artificial intelligence. A computer can do much more than just run a script; it can also provide intelligent feedback about all aspects of the film's production, from camera angles and lighting to acting choices. There are even cinematographers who are already beginning to use AI-powered cameras that make their own decisions when they're filming scenes. The result is an improved quality production and faster turnarounds, which means more movies are made yearly!
We'll watch movies, but we won't go to the movies
Our kids and grandchildren can watch movies on their phones, computers, TVs and tablets. But they won't go to the movies.
They'll watch movies at home on a big screen TV or small handheld device. They'll download films from services like iTunes or Amazon Prime Video. They may even be able to stream films from Netflix directly onto their glasses or contact lenses!
AI will replace the director
The director will be replaced by a computer program that can operate at a fraction of the cost and is guaranteed to get the shots you want.
The director is a human being. A director is a creative person. The director is a visionary and leader, but most of all, they are storytellers. Someone who tells stories through film or TV episodes, commercials or other media types like virtual reality games with interactive experiences that make viewers feel like they're part of the world created onscreen—or even inside the body of an actor themselves!
The future of movies looks like less human involvement
In the future, movies will be made by software and then watched on your phone. They will be free and on-demand at all hours of the day.
So, there you have it. The future of movie-making looks like less human involvement and more automation. Once artificial intelligence can write scripts and direct films, there will be no need for us humans anymore. The only question remains whether we'll still want to watch these films in 20 years!
This weekend's event by the Vierwaldstättersee in Weggis, Switzerland, was a long time coming, and Jeridoo Universe AG, in cooperation with Orisono GmbH, couldn't be more proud of last weekend's production.
Our heartfelt thanks to Beau Rivage Hotel in Weggis and Oliver Müller, the manager, and his friendly staff. Our crew and guests felt thoroughly spoiled and taken care of. The Chef de Cuisine, Sebastiano Finocchiaro, spoiled us from the first hour we arrived and even accommodated Eddie Hall's calorie requirements, if you know what we mean. It was a culinary experience we will remember and rave about for years to come.
This planned interview with Eddie Hall - The Beast is profoundly important to the documentary, and cancelling it was not an option for any parties involved. But because of the lockdowns and the travel restrictions, we could not get everybody together and complete Eddie's most crucial interview until this past weekend.
During the Pandemic, supporters faded, investors were scared off, and fans lost hope of seeing the documentary completed. But not Jeridoo Universe's Team, Guido Baechler, or Eddie Hall; they kept believing in the project, story, and importance even through the desperate times of the last two years.
Why is this Emo-Motivationary (Emotional-Motivational Documentary, coined by Jeridoo Universe AG) so important to us? First, suppose you disregard the critical fact that Eddie Hall is an exceptional human and has an admirable work ethic and unique history. In that case, the Emo-Motivationary tells an important story and experience about athletes' mental and emotional health and how they cope with pressure and disappointment.
As mentioned by Eddie multiple times, one of his mental health practices is the Wim Hof Method. Here is the link if you're interested in the video of how Eddie takes a dip in the Vierwaldstättersee in Weggis, as reported by pilatustoday.ch
Never in our lifetime was talking about mental health and depression more critical. It does not matter what kind of mental health we are talking about; mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we feel, our thinking, and even how we act. It also influences how we handle stressful situations and life choices. Our mental health also dramatically influences our physical health.
As Eddie Hall's top mentor, business partner and dear friend, Arnold Schwarzenegger is no stranger to mental health troubles.
In 2018 the BBC reported that the Terminator reached out to a fan with depression. Arnold responded with a kind message and wrote,
We all go through challenges and failure. Sometimes, life is a workout. But the key thing is you get up." He added that it's essential to take one step at a time and not hesitate to reach out and ask for help.
"Taming the Beast - The Emptiness Within" explores Eddie Hall's story and his struggles with depression and mental health and brings to light how famous athletes and celebrities struggle with mental health challenges. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, "Terminator - Dark Fate" actor Gabriel Luna, Katie Taylor, Lightweight boxing champion Dolph Lundgren, and Sylvester Stallone came face to face with mental health issues during their careers.
You can also look forward to an exciting interview with Eddie Hall and the Team of Swiss Raw. The 2021 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, the world’s toughest row, organized by Atlantic Campaigns, was marked with the arrival of the race winners, Swiss Raw, who crossed the finish on January 16. The Swiss crew of Roman Möckli, Ingvar Groza, Jan Hurni, and Samuel Widmer completed the Atlantic crossing in 34 days, 23 hours, and 42 minutes to become the first team from an inland country to win the Atlantic Challenge!
Let's keep the discussion about mental health open and give hope to those who need the help and encouragement to get through tough times and hopelessness.
Please follow Jeridoo Universe's and Eddie Hall's "Taming the Beast - The Emptiness Within" on Facebook, TikTok. We would love your support.
One more event we need to mention. We are very proud to share this exciting news with you; Katie Taylor, who graciously talked with us about struggles, and Amanda Serrano are set to make history in an epic battle for Taylor's undisputed Lightweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York Saturday, April 30, live worldwide on DAZN. Tune in, and let's support these two powerful women. Boxen.247.com
Written by Monika Baechler-Dombay/Jeridoo Universe AG
Photos: Marcel Baechler, photobaechler.ch
Crew Photo: Timothy Ross
I got excited when ‘Picard’ came out, although, admittedly, I have yet seen a single episode. I wanted to re-watch all of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes before I committed.
At the time, I didn't realize how big of a task it was and I am still making my way through the seventh season but it has given me time to reflect on how television shows have changed throughout the years.
Surprisingly, unlike a lot of other sci-fi shows, The Next Generation actually holds up 26 years later. However, the special effects are not amazing, for a television show in the late 80s and early 90s and with a minimal budget, they hold up surprisingly well, although they have been touched up. The sets are also surprisingly detailed and elaborate.
As one might expect for a show that relies heavily on made-up science, there is a significant amount of separation from realism and logic jumps that the viewer has to overcome, but for any Trekkie this is par of the course. It is my summation that Star Trek: The Next Generation is still one of the best television shows ever produced. The show touches on deep issues such as what it means to be human, the importance of a collective history, and how science and technology impact the way that we relate to the world around us.
What a modern audience will find most challenging to accept in this Netflix-binge era is the episodic storytelling; for example, a main character might die in one episode and barely get a mentioned in the next. This is, of course, dictated by the rules of television at the time.
We all knew that robots would one day replace most of our jobs, especially the more menial positions such as cashiers, baristas, and probably even taxi drivers – but we thought that acting in films was, at least, far off. Not so.
Currently, there is a $70 million science fiction film in the works called “b” that stars Erica – only Erica is an android. She is something out of an Isaac Asimov novel, a special kind of movie star who is immune to SARS and COVID, and pretty much any virus that is blown in her direction. She doesn’t take lunch breaks. Doesn’t need to rest and isn’t part of a union.
The only question is… can she act?
It remains to be seen, but it appears Hollywood is determined to find out.
The film is about a scientist who has come up with a program to perfect human DNA, eliminating some genetic diseases, but when it glitches and becomes dangerous the scientist must help Erica, the robot he created, escape the lab.
The producers, Sam Khoze and Anoush Sadegh, along with professors Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa, of the University of Osaka and Telecommunication Research Institute, who built Erica, took on the task of training Erica to act, using Method Acting, popularized by Marlon Brando.
A tough task for even the most experienced acting coach. For starters, Erica has no life experiences. Her creators had to simulate her motions and emotions by controlling the speed of her movements, the pitch of her voice and coaching character development and body language.
When people think of the 90s, Friends is usually the television show that comes to mind. (About every major 90s actor played a guest role.) The series follows the lives of six friends in their 20s and 30s as they go about their lives in Manhattan, somehow affording rent despite their mediocre jobs. The show premiered on NBC in 1994 and spanned ten highly successful seasons and defined a generation.
9. Star Trek the Next Generation
While Captain Kirk and Spock started the Star Trek franchise, it was Jean-Luc Picard and William Riker who cemented The Next Generation as great television. Very few shows have such an interesting array of characters, from Data, the android who wants to be more human, to Wolf, the Klingon security officer to even supporting characters like Q, a god-like character.
The show explores many social issues that are still much at the forefront today such as race, gender identity, and what it means to be human.
The Simpsons has been making people laugh for decades, and it’s astounding that it’s on its 31st season. No one could have predicted this show would have lasted for more than 639 episodes, but this dysfunctional family has definitely earned its place on this list. It paved the way for popular shows like South Park, Family Guy, and Futurama.
Dexter is about a serial killer who lives a double life as a forensic technician for the Miami police department. The catch is he only kills other serial killers. Not only does the show wrestle with good and evil, morality and social acceptance. The showcase successfully blended suspense, action, and intriguing characters. Each season Dexter struggles to become a better person, to live a normal life and fit into society – sentiments we can all share.
The Show About Nothing is great because no other show takes the strange, the weird, and the funny and wrap it all together into one show. It takes everyday subjects and strikes at the heart of them, exposing the truth. No other show combines so many great comedians in one great show and no other show has so many catchphrases that are still in modern lexicon.
There are very few authors who have sold more books than James Patterson – titans like Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare come to mind. He is certainly the worlds best-selling living author.
He has sold more than 350 million books to date and holds the Guinness World Record for most 1# New York Times bestselling titles with 67 and earns around $100 million a year. And he shows no sign of slowing down.
Of all the hardcover fiction sold in North America, Patterson accounts for an astonishing one out of every 26. Altogether, he has produced more than 130 novels. If you flip to the “books by” section in his latest novels, it actually takes up three full pages.
But despite this, Patterson has not had much success translating his books into films.
To compare, there have been 53 Agatha Christie films including Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, Ten Little Indians, and Murder Most Foul, just to name a few.
We look at Stephen King who has had 30 bestselling books – less than half of Patterson – yet there is no doubt that King’s film adaptions reign supreme. The latest IT is the highest-grossing horror film of all time. Misery’s Kathy Bates won an award for Best Actress. The Shawshank Redemption was nominated for 7 Oscars including Best Picture. The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick while was famously snubbed by the Oscars is considered a classic.
Turning to Patterson, his most highly acclaimed and successful adaptations are Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider. Morgan Freeman stars in both these films as Alex Cross. Not too long ago, Paramount Studios tried to revive the Cross series with Tyler Perry, but it performed terribly with Perry earning a Razzie award.
Patterson’s other films haven’t fared much better – 10 in total – and expect for the two Morgan Freeman films, are mostly forgettable.
CBS produced Zoo, based upon on another Patterson book of the same name but was cancelled only after three seasons.
Netflix has been putting out some great documentaries recently and among them is The Last Dance, a 10-part documentary series that explores Michael Jordan’s career, focusing on his last season with the Chicago Bulls.
The documentary series is about the Chicago Bulls during the Air Jordan era, and Jordan’s competitive spirit. Unfortunately, it glosses over one of the more defining moments in Michael Jordan’s career – moments that took Jordan from mere superstar athlete to a man that defined the sport. One of those moments was the release of the 1996 film Space Jam.
The unlikely pairing of Bugs Bunny with Michael Jordan ended up becoming a huge hit. However, the film may not have come to fruition if it wasn’t for the duos' appearance in a Super Bowl commercial.
In 1992, Nike aired an ad for Michael Jordan’s line of Air Jordan sneakers during that year’s Super Bowl that paired Jordan with the most popular creature in the Looney Tunes franchise.
The ad was the brainchild of advertising legend and lifelong cartoon fan Jim Riswold. It proved to be incredibly successful, and inspiring a 1993 follow-up in which Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan re-team to retrieve a load of stolen Air Jordans from Martin Martian. However, it was Jordan’s agent David Falk who had the idea to go the extra mile and take this partnership to Hollywood.
In the film, Michael Jordan finds himself becoming the player-coach of Bugs Bunny and team of cartoon characters after they challenge evil space minions to a basketball game to save themselves from interplanetary enslavement.
Little do they know that their adversaries have stolen the talent of the NBA’s best such as Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing proving to be a challenge even for one of the best players ever to touch a basketball.
Little do they know that their adversaries have stolen the talent of the NBA’s best such as Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing proving to be a challenge even for one of the best players ever to touch a basketball.
Everybody loves a great death scene in a film. Whether it's a hero who dies tragically at the end of the story, or a villain who had it coming, death scenes are memorable. (Just think about all those countless teenagers who died in horror films.)
There are obviously so many memorable deaths, it's hard to pick but we've managed to come up with what we believe are the top 5 death scenes of all time. These are scenes that have become a part of our group lexicon.
The infamous Psycho shower scene single-handedly gave Alfred Hitchcock the highest-grossing film of his career and created a precedent that Game of Thrones would use time and time again by killing off main characters.
In hindsight , it's easy to forget how much of a risk Hitchcock took in creating the scene in the first place. Janet Leigh was an American icon who at that time had already worked with a number of greats including Orson Welles, Errol Flynn and Gary Cooper. Killing her off in such a shocking and brutal way might not have gone well with a lot of audiences at the time.
For years, the scene has been one of the finest examples of what's possible in cinema when editing, shot selection, and a healthy dose of suspense all coalesce together in perfect unity to best serve the story being told.
Bonnie & Clyde
Happily hiding out at the home of an accomplice, the most famous lovers-turned-criminal duo played by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway don't know that they would be killed when the authorities laid a trap for them. They stop to help a man switch a spare tire and were ambushed by unseen cops. The pair share one last look of love before they're positively riddled with machine-gun fire.
It's grisly unsentimental, and a fitting conclusion to the picture that reinvented the crime film and one of the greatest love stories of all time.
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