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Martin McDonagh on the Big Screen

Next week UMS welcomes the Druid Theater Company from Galway Ireland to Ann Arbor with their Martin McDonagh– scripted/Garry Hynes-directed play, The Cripple of Inishmaan.  To say I’m excited is about as pointless as debating the delectability of that other magical Irish import Guinness!  It goes without saying.

In advance of the performances, the U-M Residential College Drama Department is screening a few related films that we hope you can check out if you get the chance.  All screenings will take place in the RC Keene Theater located in the East Quadrangle Dormitory and are free and open to the public.

Sunday, March 6, 7pm: Man of Aran

This 1934 documenty film by Robert J. Flaherty follows everyday life on the Aran Islands located off the coast of Ireland, and, at least partially, inspired  The Cripple of Inishmaan which is set (at the time of the documentary’s filming) on the largest of the Aran Islands, Inishmaan.  This screening will be preceded by a short performance from local Celtic music ensemble, Nutshell.

Tuesday, March 8, 7pm: Six Shooter and In Bruges

Although he might be better known as a playwright, Martin McDonagh also wrote and directed two films:  the live action short, Six Shooter (2005, 27 minutes, Rated R, starring Brendan Gleeson, Rúaidhrí Conroy, and David Wilmot), and the full-length feature, In Bruges (2008, 107 minutes, Rated R, starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes).

Six Shooter, his first film, won the 2006 Oscar for best live-action short.  This black comedy follows a man named Donnelly (Brendan Gleeson), whose wife has just died, on an increasingly bizarre train ride in Ireland [in which] he meets a young couple whose infant has also just died, and a nameless young man with a warped sense of humor and an explosive secret (synopsis from the New York Times).

In Bruges, the opening night film of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, is a black comedy crime film starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as hitmen in hiding, with Ralph Fiennes as their gangster boss. The film takes place and was filmed in the Belgian city of Bruges.  Colin Farrell won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for the film, while Martin McDonagh won a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.  You can view the trailer below.