chapter  5
19 Pages

Irish independents

The small cluster of independent filmmakers who were responsible for the first wave of indigenous films in the 1970s and 1980s was marked by a desire to deconstruct received notions of Irish images and themes as they had appeared on screen up to this point and to confront the issues that were emerging within Irish society as modernisation took increasing hold. Variously, the works of directors such as Cathal Black, Joe Comerford, Pat Murphy, Thaddeus O’Sullivan and Bob Quinn addressed questions of social exclusion, emigration, religion, memory, nationalism and feminism. Collectively, they sought to establish a new Irish cinematic idiom, to break with the dominant and exogenous tradition of romanticism and to look at Ireland from the inside out, rather than vice versa. This they achieved by positioning themselves within an international movement of avant-garde, experimental and low-budget filmmaking practices.