Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Rite

In 'The Rite', an elderly priest takes on a doubtful new recruit in the murky world of exorcism. The murky Italian world of exorcism that is, as Rome seems to be a hotbed of potty mouthed teens with non-psychological psychological problems. And with all those wonderful sunsets and beautiful buildings, it's not really that murky.
There's not too much to be said for 'The Rite'. It makes oblique references to 'The Exorcist', as if to differentiate itself, but there's no getting away from the fact that this is Exorcist-lite with Anthony Hopkins standing in for Von Sydow and newcomer Colin O'Donoghue doing Jason Miller's Father Karras. As a horror movie it has some spooky moments, but few scary ones. Even the demons seem fairly mild by comparison with the peasoup spewing varieties of other movies. It goes some way to describing the tenor of this film when I say it has a malevolent mule, though thankfully only briefly.
So nothing original here then. Instead what we get is a pleasant recruitment film for the Catholic Church (not only do they pay your college fees, but you could get a free trip to Rome into the bargain). One shocking moment has a priest strike down a little girl, so all that stuff about the Church and children you can just put that down to demonic possession. I do kind of wonder why cold, but generally genial, Rutger Hauer, the young priest's father, seems to end up in Hell, but then God does move in mysterious ways.
Nothing to offend here, but no great revelation either.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm an Uncle!

For the first time, I am an uncle. Congratulations to Gavin and Kira on the birth of their beautiful daughter Megan last Thursday (19th). And I'm to be godfather!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It Just Seems Wrong

There's a guy down at Stephen's Green now wearing a sandwich board that says, "Ask me for a 5 euro note and you can have one", and, strange to say, he seems to be doing it. I saw him apparently passing out money. Call me paranoid, but on an unusual day such as the Queen's visit, unusual things like that make me uneasy. All right maybe poisonous ink or explosive paper is a bit too James Bond, but I wonder if there is something there to cause chaos when the GardaĆ­ least need it. It just seems wrong. And no, I didn't collect my 5 euro note.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

A Strange Conjunction

A few weeks back we launched an online tool for accessing digital objects of Irish cultural interest, DHO:Discovery. Today we indexed a collection of 1916 photographs. Choosing this collection ("RIA Photographs Collection") in conjunction with "The Balfour Album" makes for a strange but surprisingly aesthetic conjunction. It's interesting to see the peaceful, pastoral scenes rudely interrupted by blown out building shells. Then you notice similarities in the ruins, the lines, the shapes, the perspectives, the underside of a bridge followed by a small cave. Then you think of the cultural overlaps, the Big Houses and poor country kids juxtaposed with the battle against the system in the ruined city. I know I am exaggerating the effect, but still.... Just scroll through, clicking on next. I like the "Cyclopean Masonry"(!) followed by "The D.B.C., eastside of Sackville St, May 17 [1916]", or the big river scene of Liberty Hall and the Custom House followed immediately by a limpet shell mound. This could become a whole new web-born artform: 'Happy Juxtapositions'!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Finally got around to seeing 'Catfish'. They claim it's a true story and a straight documentary. I hope for the sake of everyone involved that it is a fake. A heartbreaking story, if one that shows the highs and lows of human nature.

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