Instructional Media Center

• March Feature - Luck of the Irish •


The month of March brings the luck of the Irish and in many cases lack thereof.  This list of movies and music includes works from Ireland, about Ireland, or loosely relating to Ireland. "Video" in the call# means VHS tape.  We have VHS players available for checkout in the IMC.  And remember - Is fearr Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla clíste!

Man of Aran - DA990.A8 M37 2003 DVD
Documents the life of a family in a small fishing village in the Aran Islands, Ireland - struggling to win the daily battle against its magnificent opponent, the sea.  Although the film has taken some criticism from historical purists, the dramatic story and cinematography place it among one of the best early works of film docudrama. 

The Informer -  PN1995.9 .W3 I56 2006 DVD
An Irish rebel succumbs to temptation and betrays his friend, a revolutionary leader, for twenty pounds. When later wracked by guilt, he tries to come to terms with his inexplicable action. The film's inventive use of sound and an ambitious music score by Max Steiner encouraged critics to hail it as the first classic of the sound era.

The Crying Game - PN1997 .C79 1999 DVD
A haunting, humorous and shocking romantic thriller about Irish terrorists, their hostage and the hostage's exotic girlfriend.  Director Neil Jordan's film won six academy awards including best picture, best film editing, best actor, best supporting actor, best director and best screenplay.

Hunger - PN1995.9.G74 H854 2009 DVD
In Northern Ireland's Maze prison in 1981, 27-year-old Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands went on a hunger strike to protest the British government's refusal to recognize him and his fellow IRA inmates as political prisoners. A transcendent depiction of what a human being is willing to endure in order to be heard.

Gangs of New York - PN1997 .G354 2002 DVD
In 1846, waves of Irish immigrants poured into the New York neighborhood of Five Points. "Billy the Butcher" (Daniel Day Lewis) bands his fellow "Native Americans" into a gang to take on the Irish gang "The Dead Rabbits" organized by Priest Vallon. After a bloody clash, Vallon is dead and his son (Leonardo Dicaprio) ends up in a brutal reform school and returns to seek vengeance against the man that killed his father.  While not in the same league as Scorseses's top-tier gangster films, there are some notable performances with Daniel Day Lewis leading the way.  Set design and the epic battle scenes are the real show-stoppers here.

The Magdalene Sisters - PN1997.2 .M34 2004 DVD
One of the Catholic Church's most infamous institutions is the focus of this controversial independent feature from director Peter Mullan. Set in 1964, The Magdalene convent is a place where purportedly wayward young women have been sent by their families for reform. The girls are locked up in the institution for questionable "sins" and forced into manual labor. The film takes obvious shots at the hypocrisies of Catholicism but the triumphs and travails are heartfelt and believable.

Far and Away - PN1997 .F37 1998 DVD
A poor but proud Irish tenant farmer (Tom Cruise) accompanies the spoiled and headstrong daughter of a wealthy landlord (Nicole Kidman) to America in a quest for land.  Directed by Ron Howard. The accents are bad, the plot is cliché but the movie is saved by beautiful cinematography - originally released in 70mm format.

The Secret of Roan Inish - PN1997.S43748 2007 DVD
A magical tale of a girl whose search for her missing brother brings an Irish legend to life. Based on the book "Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry" by Rosalie K. Fry.

Beckett on Film - PQ2603.E378 B4 2001 DVD  
A comprehensive cinematic interpretation of Beckett's plays including: Waiting for Godot (Michael Lindsay-Hogg), Not I (Neil Jordan), Rough for theatre I (Kieron J. Walsh), Ohio impromptu (Charles Sturridge), Documentary (Pearse Lehane), Krapp's last tape (Atom Egoyan), What where (Damien O'Donnell), Footfalls (Walter Asmus) Come and go (John Crowley), Act without words I (Karel Reisz), Happy days (Patricia Rozema), Catastrophe (David Mamet), Rough for theatre II (Katie Mitchell), Breath (Damien Hirst), That time (Charles Garrad), Endgame (Conor McPherson), Act without words II (Enda Hughes) A piece of monologue (Robin Lefèvre), Play (Anthony Minghella) Rockaby (Richard Eyre).

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - PR6019.O9 P63 1989 video
Presents the childhood, adolescence, and early manhood of an Irish poet-scholar. Based on the autobiographical novel by James Joyce.

John Cage performs James Joyce - PR6019.O9 Fi6 2005 DVD
Document of a voice performance by John Cage who 'reads', 'vocalizes' and 'whispers' in three different manners his artificial language taken from 'Finnegens Wake' by James Joyce. Cage freely composed the letters according to a chance operation using the I-Ching.

Barry Lyndon - PN1995.9.I74 B377 2001 DVD
The epic rise and fall of a young 18th century Irishman bent on achieving fame and fortune, mainly by marriage.  It's a Kubrick film so be prepared for three hours of minimalist dialog/action combined with some unorthodox camera work.

The Dead - PR6019.O9 D4 1988 video 
Based on the story by James Joyce.  In turn-of-the century Dublin , at a holiday feast vibrant with food and spirit, a young couple at the party, Gretta and Gabriel Conroy, seem to have everything to be grateful for. But that night, a tenor's voice recalls poignant memories, and Gabriel learns of his wife's unforgotten young love.

Explosive Dance
- GV1594 .E94 2000 DVD
World's foremost dancers performing at the Royal Albert Hall, Sept. 15, 1998. Includes performances from Riverdance, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Antonio Márquez & Dancers, the Jiving Lindy Hoppers, the English National Ballet, the Club Salsa Dance Company, the Royal Ballet, Wayne Sleep & Dancers.

A Feast of Irish Set Dancing
- GV1688.I7 F43 1989 video
Set-dances, known abroad as quadrilles or sets of quadrilles, have been part of the living tradition in Ireland for at least four centuries. This video includes three Kerry or polka-type sets, traditional set-dancing at its very best.

The Joy of Sets - GV1688.I7 J6 video
There is no description of this in the catalog or elsewhere but it's Irish dancing so it makes the list.  The VHS tape has a handwritten label and it looks to be less than 30 minutes long.  It has never been checked out.  Someone should watch this.

The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy & The Lash - CD J-45/776
If you're looking for rowdy St. Patrick's Day music, you can't beat The Pogues and the infectious "singing" of one Shane McGowan.

U2 - War - CD J-45/741
As with most bands that have been around forever, U2's fans can be split into two camps, old and new.  For fans of the old, War is their definitive album.  This reissue includes a bonus disc with remixes and live cuts.

Five Irish Fantasies - LP 83/7
The Reed library has a large and underutilized LP collection - located in the east stacks, lower level one.  Side 2 of this particular album is titled Five Irish Fantasies "set to texts by William Butler Yeats and William Heffernan" - The hosting of the Sidhe (2:18) ; The host of the air (5:48) ; The fiddler of Dooney (2:56) ; Ballad of the foxhunter (10:00) ; The song of Caitilin ni Gallachain (7:25). 

Popular Songs and Irish Ballads - M1744.M336 P67 1989
This CD comes to us from the generous gift of Mark Koop '72.  The Koop gift, currently being processed, has added over 8,000 CDs to the Reed collection.  This particular CD is part of the Great Recordings of the Century series.

Traditional Songs of the North of Ireland - M1745.3 .T73 1999   
Ready for a sing-a-long?  Check out this musical score - a collection of traditional songs with lyrics and musical accompaniment. Located in the east stacks, lower level one - not the IMC.