arch of triumph

ARCH OF TRIUMPH. 1985. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

arch of triumph

ARCH OF TRIUMPH. 1985. DIRECTED BY WARIS HUSSEIN. STARRING ANTHONY HOPKINS, LESLEY-ANNE DOWN, FRANK FINLAY AND DONALD PLEASENCE. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This film is so sad. It makes me cry every time I watch it. Based on the book of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, author of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, it’s set in Paris in 1939. The minute you see the year come up on the bottom of the screen, you’ll know exactly what historical events loomed large at the time and that Europe was on the brink of a massive upheaval.

A young-ish and handsome Anthony Hopkins plays Ravic, an Austrian doctor who has spent time in a concentration camp for helping Jews to escape from the Nazis. The always beautiful Lesley-Anne Down is Joan Madou, a messed-up woman who’s at the end of her rope when she meets Ravic. In the parlance of the day, they have a love affair. It is sad, bittersweet, sexual and ultimately doomed.

They struggle on as best they can through Ravic’s deportation and Joan’s complex relationships with other men. Just when it looks like they’re really going to get it together properly, Ravic makes an unforgivable mistake. He puts a chance to get revenge against the Nazi who tortured him ahead of his relationship with Joan and the chance of true happiness with her. Is she waiting patiently for him when he returns from his self-imposed mission? She might be, but with a twist…

As well as the two leads, who are brilliant together, there are a couple of excellent supporting performances in the film. Donald Pleasence is superb as the evil Nazi Haake, though naturally all I could think of when I saw him in his Nazi uniform was:

‘Why, Doctor Loomis, whyyyyyyyy…?’

Frank Finlay too is terrific as the burly hotel doorman who time and again proves himself to be a true friend of Ravic’s. If you have even one true friend in life, I reckon you’re doing okay. Oh Lord, just thinking about the two of them looking out for each other during such turbulent times is causing the tears to start up again.

I’m off to find the tissues. While I’m gone, you go and find this film and watch it. If your tear ducts need a good washing-out, this’ll do the job nicely. Even if you don’t think they do, it’s always as well to stay on top of these things…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

hannibal rising

HANNIBAL RISING. 2007. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

hannibal rising

hannibal rising

HANNIBAL RISING. 2007. DIRECTED BY PETER WEBBER. STARRING GASPARD ULLIEL, GONG LI AND RHYS IFANS. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This grim but excellent horror film is the fifth in the Hannibal Lecter franchise and serves as a prequel to RED DRAGON, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and HANNIBAL, all superbly scary offerings themselves.

It literally documents the rise of cold-blooded psychopath Hannibal Lecter. It tells us about the factors that conspire to make him what he is when he bursts onto our screens in a full-blown burst of liver-and-fava-bean-eating, Chianti-swilling cannibalistic evil.

What it comes down to is this, and it ain’t pretty. Hannibal’s origins are to be found in the war-torn Lithuania of the Hitler years, where it seems that the terrified locals have as much to fear from their own soldiers as they do from the Germans.

Hannibal’s parents are killed in an explosion, leaving the eight-year-old Hannibal as the sole guardian of his little sister, Mischa. Not for long, however. Mischa, as unbelievable and as gruesome as it seems, is killed and eaten- yep, eaten- by a small band of six former Lithuanian soldiers, now Nazi collaborators, who are desperate for food. Tsk, tsk. It’s still no excuse, though.

This grotesque act of cannibalism is witnessed by Hannibal in all its sinewy, tendony glory. Eeuw. Needless to say, it traumatises him for life. When he’s all grown-up, and ridiculously handsome in an intense, broody, cheekboney kind of way, his only aim in life is to hunt down the men who ate his sister and dish out large, creamy helpings of piping-hot vengeance that they’ll choke on and boy, do they choke…

This is basically a revenge movie, albeit a superior, beautifully-shot one. Hannibal tracks down all six men and, when he eventually catches up with them, it’s a case of comeuppances all round in some pretty horrible and bloody ways. Rhys Ifans does a great job of portraying Vladis Grutas, leader of the little group of cannibals and now a sex-trafficker, who has a giant M- for Mischa- carved across his chest by a revenge-crazed Hannibal.

Hannibal is so consumed with his need for vengeance that he even misses out on the chance for love with his beautiful widowed aunt, the Lady Murasaki, because he just can’t call a halt to his self-imposed mission. Mind you, that’s a bit… well, a bit incestuous anyway, isn’t it, doing it with your late brother’s missus…?

And, can I just say, when I was growing up, none of my aunties looked like the drop-dead gorgeous Lady Murasaki…? My aunties all wore cardigans and had constant trouble with their waterworks.

So, is revenge ever actually worth it? Are you any better off because of it? And when you’ve achieved it, just what the heck are you supposed to do then? I’m reminded of Inigo Montoya, brilliantly played by Mandy Patinkin in THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987).

When he finally manages to slay the man who killed his father, Inigo turns to Cary Elwes and says: ‘You know, I have been in the revenge business for so long that, now that it is all over, I’m buggered if I know what I’m supposed to do next!’ or words to that effect. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

hannibal 1

HANNIBAL. 2001. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

hannibal 1

HANNIBAL. 2001. DIRECTED BY RIDLEY SCOTT. STARRING ANTHONY HOPKINS, JULIANNE MOORE AND RAY LIOTTA. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1990) is a terrific, almost faultless horror film, but on reflection I actually think I like the sequel, HANNIBAL, even more. Julianne Moore takes on the role of FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling, originally played by Jodie Foster. She might lack some of Foster’s vulnerability but I think she’s even more watchable than her predecessor.

Okey-dokey, plot-wise, ten years have passed since notorious killer Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lecter escaped from custody. You’ll remember that his insights into the behaviour of psychopathic serial killer ‘Buffalo Bill,’ so-called because he skinned his victims, were sought by the FBI in the first film. Clarice Starling was the agent who liaised with him and she’s never forgotten the way the deadly but desperately charismatic murderer got under her skin.

Nothing much has changed between the two of them in the interim. Lecter has popped up this time in Florence, Italy, a city which of course would suit the cultured Lecter down to the ground. He’s always been a man of sophisticated tastes. Good cheeses and fine wines, the opera, beautiful paintings, fabulous architecture, sculptures and books… Sigh. He’s in his flippin’ element.

These days, he’s a much wanted man as well. He’s being hunted down left, right and centre by different individuals who all have varying reasons for wanting to catch up with the little rascal: a hefty reward, revenge of the highest order, and plain old-fashioned justice. That last one is Clarice, by the way. She’s the only one whose motives for seeking out Lecter are even halfway pure.

Several scenes stand out. The fates of both Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi (‘Bowels in or out…?’) of the Italian police and poor old Mr. Potato-Head, oops, sorry, Mason Verger, don’t really bear thinking about, they’re so gruesome.

And it’s honestly hard to know which is worse, what Hannibal originally did to Mason to warrant being his hunted down in the first place or what ultimately happens to Mason as a result of his own quest for bloody vengeance. Two wrongs don’t make a right, do they? They certainly don’t seem to in this case.

Clarice gets closer to Hannibal in this film than she ever did in the original. So close, in fact, that he’s able to strip her of her serviceable jeans and top and dress her in something that highlights her beautiful slim figure and accentuates her femininity, and all without a peep of protest out of the stroppy Starling. Hmmm. How does he manage that…?

He gets close enough, too, to cook for her and wait on her at what has to be the most bizarre dinner party of all time. Naturally, I can’t tell you what makes it so strange, but I can tell you that you’ve literally never seen Ray Liotta give such an open-minded performance…

So, do any of Hannibal Lecter’s enemies get the better of him? Don’t bet on it, that’s all I’ll say. Anthony Hopkins is once more superb as the psychopath who can be curiously courteous and considerate as well as scarily homicidal. It all depends on whom he’s dealing with, I suppose.

Julianne Moore is a worthy successor to Jodie Foster and, as sequels go, this one’s a cracker. One of the rare enough examples, in fact, of a sequel being as good as, if not better than, the original. Don’t let another day go by without watching (or rewatching!) it. You’d better do it. I’ll send Hannibal Lecter after you if you don’t, and if you catch him between meals, he’s liable to get awfully cranky…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

hannibal

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. 1990. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

hannibal

DIRECTED BY JONATHAN DEMME. STARRING ANTHONY HOPKINS, JODIE FOSTER AND TED LEVINE. BASED ON THE BOOK BY THOMAS HARRIS. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a grisly little beauty of a horror film, which incidentally garnered a whopping five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture, when it was released back in the early ‘Nineties.

The plot is a gruesome one indeed. A psychopath nicknamed Buffalo Bill is abducting well-rounded, curvy young ladies in the midwest of America and, erm, shooting them and skinning them before he dumps them. It’s not very pleasant, is it?

Figuring that it takes one violent psychopath to know another violent psychopath, the FBI in their infinite wisdom send Agent Clarice Starling, a dedicated but still green-around-the-edges young rookie operative, on a very special mission. And what, pray tell, might this mission be…?

Well, folks, she’s got to go and talk to incarcerated criminal Hannibal The Cannibal Lecter, superbly played by Anthony Hopkins, to see if he can give her any insights into the sick and twisted mind of a nut-job like Buffalo Bill. Does she get more than she bargained for? You can bet your sweet butt she does…

Former psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter is handsome, cultured, intensely charismatic, educated and as deadly as a rattlesnake disturbed prematurely from its nap. His special interests are biting peoples’ faces off, playing mind-games and indulging in a little light cannibalism. He’d make any lucky girl a terrific boyfriend, right…?

Lecter worms his way right into Clarice’s brain within literally seconds of meeting her. He’s more than a little interested in her and she has to keep reminding him that a Senator’s daughter is the latest victim to be abducted and that, if Buffalo Bill’s previous form holds true, they’ve only got three days at the most in which to save her…

Jodie Foster does a brilliant job as Clarice Starling, but it’s Anthony Hopkins as Lecter who steals the show for me. He plays the ice-cold and calculating monster Lecter to a T. Ted Levine also gives an unforgettable performance as the mentally unstable, transgender-wannabe serial killer who collects rare moths and is a dab hand with a Singer. (That’s a sewing machine, in case you didn’t know!)

Buffalo’s Bill’s dismal, uncared-for home is a sort of cross between the Bates Motel and the Gein family farmhouse. This is apt since serial murderer Ed Gein, the inspiration for Robert Bloch’s Norman Bates in PSYCHO, is one of three real-life psychopaths on whom the human-skin-wearing screwball Jaime Gumb (Buffalo Bill) is modelled. The other two, by the way, are Ted Bundy and Gary Michael Heidnik. Just in case you wanted to know.

Jaime Gumb’s basement is grim, dank and absolutely terrifying. The scenes in which it features give the viewer a real sense of what it must feel like to be at a serial killer’s mercy.

‘It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again…’

Of course, with regard to those climactic scenes in the basement, if it had been real-life, little Clarice Starling would have had her rookie butt fired for running around alone and unauthorised in the suspect’s murder-basement like a headless chicken, endangering both her own life and the life of the kidnapped girl. But, hey, it’s a film, and you’ve got to allow for some leeway and some suspension of disbelief, right…? Right.

I’m off now to re-watch the sequel, Hannibal, and the prequel, Hannibal Rising, both of which make for gripping viewing. I’m a bit peckish, too, now I come to think about it. Can someone please pass the fava beans? They go down great with a nice Chianti…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

saw

SAW. 2004. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

saw

SAW. 2004. DIRECTED BY JAMES WAN. STARRING CARY ELWES, LEIGH WHANNELL, TOBIN BELL, DANNY GLOVER AND KEN LEUNG. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

I wasn’t crazy about this film. Yes, yes, I know it’s one of the biggest horror movie franchises to come out of the ‘Noughties. Yes, and that it spawned a load of gory, blood-and-gutsy copycat films as well. I just don’t ‘dig’ the whole concept of the film, and if you’ll all hold off on loading up your shotguns for a minute, I’ll tell you why…

What is the concept, anyway? Most people probably know by now, but for the benefit of those who don’t, it’s as follows. A couple of guys, strangers to each other as far as we know, wake up in a dump of an old toilet to find themselves chained to the pipes. On the floor between them is a corpse lying in a pool of blood, clutching a revolver and a tape recorder in his cold dead hands.

Long story short, one of the guys, Adam, a photographer, learns that if he doesn’t find some way to escape the bathroom, then the bathroom will be his tomb. The other guy, Lawrence, a fancy doctor, learns that if he doesn’t kill the other guy, then his wife and daughter will be killed instead.

And how are the two lads supposed to free themselves in order to carry out these gruesome tasks, by the way? Why, they’re meant to saw through their feet, of course, with the thoughtfully-provided, titular ‘saws.’ So then it basically just comes down to how much each of the men want, or need, as in the case of the doctor whose family is at risk, to live…

Yes, I’m sure it’s a clever, fancy-pants concept and all that, but it’s just one big long game at the end of the day, isn’t it? Everyone in the film is engaged in playing one big long stupid pointless game of someone else’s devising.

Someone, I might add, who clearly has way too much time on his/her hands and, to be perfectly honest, by the time we see any actual ‘sawing,’ I was so bored I didn’t really care about how the two lead characters ended up. Or any of the rest of them, for that matter.

I liked Lawrence only because he’s played by the cute-as-a-button Cary THE PRINCESS BRIDE Elwes. I liked Detective Sing because he’s played by Ken Leung who turns up three years later in my favourite TV show of all time, THE SOPRANOS, in which he played a mental patient banged up alongside Uncle Junior. These two actors, Elwes and Leung, are pretty much the only good things about the film for me.

And, you know what? Not to give away the ending or anything, but you’d think a man dying of cancer would have a million better things to do with his time than… Well, okay, I won’t go there. But seriously, what a snooze-fest. And to think it has about eight sequels! The mind boggles…

I don’t much care for computer games, or jigsaws (snigger), so maybe that’s why I don’t like this film. Like I said, it’s one big long pointless game. I know that many people will disagree with me and that’s fine. But please don’t kill me for what I said. I have a family…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

Featured Image -- 2403

THE DEVIANTS- A NOVEL BY SANDRA HARRIS- IS FREE, FREE, FREE FROM AMAZON FROM 16TH UNTIL 20TH MARCH!!!

Originally posted on sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris:

THE BLOG RE-WRITTEN
Max, a bored and unhappy middle-aged man, meets a younger woman, Juliet, by chance in a bookshop. Instantly attracted to each other, they begin an affair. Juliet quickly realises that Max is not like most other men sexually. Lonely, and craving the affection she has been denied throughout her life, she allows herself to become Max’s sexual plaything- and punchbag- in exchange for his love. Max takes full advantage of Juliet’s friendless state and coerces her into doing things that leave her feeling degraded and violated. Afraid of losing Max, Juliet is unable to say no to his demands and so the game continues until the situation blows up in their faces and both Max and Juliet have no choice but to face the consequences of their fucked-up love.

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war of the buttons

WAR OF THE BUTTONS. 1994. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

war of the buttons

WAR OF THE BUTTONS. 1994. DIRECTED BY JOHN ROBERTS. STARRING GREGG FITZGERALD, JOHN COFFEY, COLM MEANEY AND JIM BARTLEY. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a terrific Irish drama/adventure film set in County Cork in the 1960’s. Two rival gangs of kids, mostly boys but with a smattering of girls too, spend their days vying for supremacy in the sand dunes, fields and forests of their native Ballydowse and Carrickdowse. You could technically classify it as a kids’ film but adults would definitely appreciate the wit and humour and the whole nostalgia thing it has going on too.

Leader of the Ballys is Fergus, a plucky and spirited young fella from a poor family who gets a hard time at home from his nasty, foul-tempered stepfather. His little gang of Ballys adore him, though, and would follow him into Hell itself if he asked them.

The most he usually requests of them, however, is that they strip down to their birthday suits to ambush the horrified Carricks in Murphy’s Dunes. Nothing so drastic as bearding Lucifer in his den, I can assure you. That’s just one of the many clashes between the two rival gangs, and perhaps the funniest.

The Carricks are led by Jerome, nicknamed Geronimo after the great Indian chief. Geronimo comes from a better-off family than Fergus. In fact, the Carricks in general are better-off than the Ballys and consider themselves a cut above their rivals, who bristle mightily at any suggestion that they’re not as good as their bitter enemies.

The film follows the lads as they fight each other every opportunity they get, which is most afternoons after school if they’re not in detention. The little rapscallions use belts, shoelaces and the titular buttons as the spoils of war. They get into hilarious scrapes involving eggs, raffle tickets, postmen, interesting swear words and tractors. They get in trouble at school and at home and even discover that girls are people too, which is kind of sweet and touching to see.

Their daily conflicts teach them loyalty, leadership, courage, compassion and how to work as a team. They also teach them how to set a rabbit’s broken leg and collect wild mushrooms to sell. The kids already knew how to just have a good laugh and, above all, play good old-fashioned games in the beautiful outdoors.

That’s one of the main things that strikes the viewer about this film. There isn’t an i-Pod, i-Pad, i-Phone, smartphone or laptop in evidence and the kids are all the better for it. They play outdoors from morning till night, when they’re not in school, that is, and they use their i-Nitiatives, i-Maginations and i-Ngenuity every day.

Yes folks, these are three new i-words that the kids of today could maybe do with becoming acquainted with. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound judgemental, but if you want to see kids playing, really playing, like they’re meant to, and like they did before the age of technology came whooshing in, then watch this film. It’ll do your heart good to see it.

Colm Meaney does an achingly funny star turn as Geronimo’s plain-speaking Da. There’s a great musical score by Rachel Portman and the scenery is to die for. The picturesque woods, bridges, streams and fields of County Cork have never looked so good. The ending is a cracker too, when a pair of previously sworn enemies discover that they actually have the capacity to be lifelong friends.

The film is on Irish television every Saint Patrick’s Day without fail, along with THE QUIET MAN (1952), FLIGHT OF THE DOVES (1971) and DARBY 0’GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE (1959). I generally watch the four of them in rotation. Two one year and the other two the next. This year (2015), it was the turn of WAR OF THE BUTTONS and THE QUIET MAN. I look forward to seeing them both again in 2017.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor