Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Brendan Behan's Dublin (1966)

Brendan Behan's Dublin is a short documentary made a couple of years after the man himself died. It's a slightly surreal endeavour as we have Ray McAnally playing the disembodied voice of Behan, explaining his family history and giving a potted history of the city itself. Much of this commentary seems to have been gleaned from interviews with Behan. The documentary also has short interviews with members of his family, his widow, his mother and father, and there's plenty of beautifully shot footage of contemporary Dublin with the likes of Dublin Zoo and Moore Street getting a look in. It also features a fantastic soundtrack by the Dubliners. Directed by Norman Cohen and scripted by Carolyn Swift. Its only significant flaw to my mind is that in parts the "Behan" narration is lost among diegetic sounds of the footage.

If that hasn't satisfied your hunger for footage of 1960s Dublin, feast your eyes on "See You At The Pillar," a British Pathé tourist film from about the same time.

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