Arts and Culture

James Arthur O'Connor at the National Gallery

  • 13 November 1985
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Even distinguished talents, if they aim at fame or fortune, must not expect to find them in Ireland - the country is too poor, and if it were not poor, there are too few connoisseurs in it to appreciate the merit of a living artist." One of the bright young Irish hopefuls to make the pilgrimage abroad prescribed by this nineteenth century commentator was James Arthur O'Connnor, born in 1792 in Dublin.

Poetry and politics: A conversation between Seamus Heany and Joseph Brodsky

Seamus Heany was born in County Derry in 1939, and published his first poems while working in Belfast in the early sixties. Since then he has published six major collections of poetry, including Death of a Naturalist, North and Station Island. He now divides his time between Dublin and Harvard where he directs a writing workshop in the spring of each year.

Edvard Munch at The National Gallery

  • 1 October 1985
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It is a truism of art history and critiicism to say that Edvard Munch's best work was done prior to his severe mental breakdown in 1908. Before that there are the claustrophobic visions of tortured emotional life, destructive passions, anxiety, arguuments, fights and the notorious inciident involving a gun which led to the artist losing part of a finger. After the pivotal six month stay in a Copenhagen clinic during the winter of 1908-9, all is changed. There is an apparent withdrawal from a volatile closeness to life, a recourse to peaceful, passive retirement, all passion spent.

A portrait of the actress as Mother Ireland

  • 1 October 1985
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Siobhan McKenna, the grande dame of the Irish theatre, has just returned to the Dublin stage in "Arsenic And Old Lace". She is, at 62, a living symbol of Romantic Ireland.  By Fintan O'Toole

Michael Dwyer previews the Dublin Film Festival

  • 31 August 1985
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Irish film critics spend half their working days watching movies and the other half complaining about what they have had to endure. With good reason - financial considerations aside, most of the movies released here were not worth making in the first place. For every Witness or Blood Simple, to name the only outstanding releases of the last four months, there are a dozen dumb sequels and another dozen or more inane, scrappily assemmbled teen sex comedies.

Ahoy There

The Major-General in The Pirates of Penzance listed among his accomplishments the ability to "whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense, Pinafore", and if there is any justice most Dublin theatre-goers will soon be able to make the same boast. As all of the newspapers have clearly affirrmed, Art 0 Briairi's production is a palpable hit. It is spirited, inventive, stylish, colourful, and it pulsates with intelligent energy.

A Peak at the Past

Steve MacDonogh, author and publisher of Brandon Books, was recuperating from pneumonia in March 1981 when he set out to climb Mount Brandon in search of the Iron Age fort which he suspected was up there somewhere. So it wasn't just the exciteement of the archaeology buff which took his breath away when he broke into a stumbling run on sighting a wall MacDonogh has just written A Visittor's Guide To The Dingle Peninsula (Brandon, £3.50), an aid to the enjoyment of one of the most beautiful and stimulating areas of the country.

U2 - Just Beginning

U2 have always maintained that because they were friends before they formed a band and because they formed a band before they could play their instruments and because they started writing their own material because they were so bad at playing other peoples -that, somehow, it's a combination of these factors which essentially has moulded the dynamic thrust and unique passion of U2's increasingly experimental sound.

U2 - a sort of homecoming

On June 29 Dublin band U2 will play to an expected audience of 55,000 in Croke Park. This will be the biggest audience before which they've played as a headlining act. The weekend before this concert they played to an estimated 50,000 at Milton Keynes in Britain.