Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Home / About / Archive

September 2016

Weeknotes #788

So I’ve finally got the hang of changing down to the lowest gears on my hybrid, which means I can tackle those steep climbs on the road from Dundalk to Newry. And boy are they steep.


Weeknotes #785-787

It’s been a productive September on the writing front, with seven (and a bit) film reviews under my belt so far. There’s bit of a breather for the next few days, as I don’t have any press shows on my calendar till the end of next week, but I have got a couple of screeners to watch this weekend, for which I’ll have my little notebook ready.


Elsewhere: My Letterboxd review of Awakenings

Reblogged from my Letterboxd list:

Penny Marshall’s film of the late Oliver Sacks’ medical reportage, adapted to the screen by Steven Zaillian, strikes for the most part a careful balance between sentimentality (note with dismay the occasionally oppressive, syrupy score by Randy Newman) and stark, painful honesty, with the kind of bittersweet denouement that simply wouldn’t pass muster in a studio movie today.


Elsewhere: My Letterboxd reviews of Witchfinder General, The Blood on Satan’s Claw and Scott Hall: Living on a Razor’s Edge

Witchfinder General:

This classic of British horror cinema’s golden age still holds up today in great part thanks to its striking visuals, courtesy of cinematographer John Coquillon and young director Michael Reeves, who would die less than a year from its release aged just 25. It’s hard not to ponder what might have become of his career on the strength what was only his third film proper, a revenge tale in a time of division and suspicion among the British people (nothing like the present, why would you even bring that up?) that’s really only let down by the red-paint blood and unenlightened sexual politics that were both typical of its era.


Elsewhere: My Letterboxd review of The Purge: Anarchy

Reblogged from my Letterboxd list:

Within its shameless exploitation skin, The Purge: Anarchy actually has a fair bit to say about the amorality of society’s wealthy, and the manipulation of the underclasses to turn on each other for the profit and, even worse, amusement of the elite. Indeed, the extremes of the dystopia depicted here don’t seem so far-fetched in the wake of Brexit and Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign.


Elsewhere: My Letterboxd reviews of Marathon Man, Fairy Tail: Phoenix Princess and The Invitation

Marathon Man:

Why Marathon Man is only remembered for That Scene I can’t tell you, because the whole thing is so wildly over the top, it’s almost a parody of the paranoid thrillers of its era, from the opening old-fogey car chase to its grand guignol flair, Bond-movie explosions of action and copious hat-doffs to Hitchcock. But if there’s ever a film that essays the absolute futility of torture as a valid information-gathering technique, this is it.


Weeknotes #767-784

Summer went by all too quickly, or not quickly enough, depending on which way I look at it. I’m already missing the long days, as sunset creeps earlier and earlier with each passing evening. But the rotten stuff of life that spoiled days and weeks, I could’ve done without. I’ll trade daylight after seven for the knot in my guts, no question. Let’s see what the rest of September holds.