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

Film review — You Should Have Left

A brilliant idea for a mind-bending chiller that unfortunately leans into the wrong kind of horror, going the sub-Shining route rather than digging deep into the non-Euclidean, spacetime-warping weirdness that could have made it a winner. More…

When I visited Pretoria, which is 1.4km above sea level, I was out of breath from walking to the shops five minutes away. That seems like what would happen with even a mild case of Covid-19 and trust me, it wasn’t good #tweet

Why is this story about Baszler (who is actually good) and not how septuagenarian Vince just plain sucks when it comes to spotting and nurturing talent? > @cagesideseats #tweet

You know my CSS is rusty when I forget IDs get a hash instead of a dot. D’oh is me #tweet

Elderly parents get taken for granted by their adult children > @REDROMINA #tweet

My brain is finally calm enough to enjoy film so today I watched Our Little Sister, and I thought it was great > letterboxd.com #tweet

Just the one thing for me this Bandcamp Day: that Dewa Alit gamelan LP on Oren Ambarchi’s label Black Truffle > @MacDara #tweet

Film review — Our Little Sister

A likely story, you might say if someone told you the plot — a trio of twentysomething sisters discover a younger, teenage half-sibling after their father’s death, and welcome her into their literally ramshackle home and figuratively ramshackle lives — but in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s hands, the realness of this manga adaptation shines through. Bittersweet without that desperation to tug at the heart-strings, and ultimately satisfying in its deliberate end without an ending, on a note of hope for new beginnings. Love it. More…

Film review — Una

Adapting theatre for film takes more than just blocking scenes differently for the camera but keeping the stagey dialogue and projected interactions. In this case, it makes for a poorly rendered film of what’s actually an important story that excoriates patriarchal control. Rooney Mara is good as the titular young woman damaged by childhood abuse, both emboldened by maturity and confused in her predicament. But Ben Mendelsohn essays a real creep in her erstwhile abuser, who more or less picks up where he left off when Una re-enters his sights. They deserved a better vehicle than this. More…

Film review — The Big Lebowski

Rewatched for the first time in years and… I could take it or leave it, now. The episodic nature really highlights how flimsy the story is, and it’s not nearly as funny as it thinks it is. It makes me wonder, did I really like it back in the day, or just go along with consensus? Fuck it. More…

That John Cleese tweet doing the rounds only makes me think that with the Pythons he had a whole team with whom to workshop his jokes (and save him from himself) #tweet

I won’t share the tweet that prompted this, but I’ve seen quite a few recently from news sites exercising poor editorial judgement w/r/t public figures accused of abuse > @MacDara #tweet

Seeing a bunch of Beavis and Butt-Head tweets in my timeline and… yeah, you know we watched it for the video segments, not the actual show, right? #tweet

It’s the weirdest thing, the notion video game companies have of games criticism as PR; it’s not a thing (at least to anywhere close to the same extent) in film criticism, or music > @plentyofalcoves #tweet

Things that have disappeared from the shops around here since lockdown started over three months ago, a thread > @MacDara #tweet

Film review — Fastball

It’s an easy watch for 90-odd minutes, but there’s not much here. Some baseball players don’t understand physics; that’s about it. More…

Film review — Scarface

Almost three hours and only one unmistakably Hitchcockian moment? That’s positively restrained for Brian DePalma! Its politics are kind of fucked (that’s screenwriter Oliver Stone for you) and the brownface is pretty egregious. It’s also quite jarring in its clashing of near Shakespearean drama with ’80 action movie excess. I’ll be damned if I wasn’t engrossed, though. More…

Sparrow mam in the front garden is doing a piss-poor job of teaching her fledgling to fly, I’ve gotta say #tweet

So let me get this straight: public transport is ‘for essential journeys only’ and capacity is severely reduced anyway, but if you have a car you can go where you please? #tweet

Here’s the thing about the Greens: surely most of us knew they were like that after the last time, but we assumed they knew we knew, and would bear that in mind this time. But we were wrong, and we should leave them to the same ignominious fate as Labour #tweet

I see what’s-his-face got suspended. That only took, what, two or three years of relentless transphobic abuse? They’ll kick you off for anything #tweet

This shouldn’t be a controversial opinion, but Rust In Peace and Countdown to Extinction are better than anything Metallica did from the ’90s onward #tweet

Utter disappointment in Irish politics is a near constant for me #tweet

After three months in limbo, I’ve had to cancel my order for Mamaleek’s Come and See LP as there’s no guarantee I’d be getting the first press red vinyl. I don’t have money to burn on stuff I don’t want > @MacDara #tweet

This is a brilliant move by the Galway Film Fleadh; accessibility, not exclusivity > @eibh_collins #tweet

This has some relevance to that ‘scam’ text I got yesterday (also this guy is NTA) > @AITA_reddit #tweet

Dundalk implies the existence of both an Underdundalk and an Overdundalk #tweet

My Liger gaiter arrived today (h/t to @colettearrand for the find) after two weeks from Latvia, which shows how slow the postal system still is even within the EU #tweet

I was just thinking about how underrated Hiro Yamamoto is as a bassist, and I find out he’s in a new instrumental surf trio so we can all still get to hear him play #tweet

Film review — Contact

Never saw this when it came out, nor on countless opportunities to see it on TV since, and… it’s fine? I’m a sucker for sentimentality but I felt strangely distanced from this one. The climax is as underwhelming as everyone says. And I have a feeling it’s up there in Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos’ lists. More…

Almost midnight and there’s still a hint of light in the sky to the north-west. I love this time of year #tweet

Marble League 2020 starts tonight! Who’s your team? I’ve got the Oceanics this time out #tweet

Film review — Da 5 Bloods

The contemporising that Spike Lee couldn’t help himself from including at the end of BlacKKKlansman gets a better airing here, in a film that’s probably a reel too long and is as on-the-nose as you might expect but arrests with its confidence, blending drama and documentary feel in a (ghosts of) war film that never lets you forget what you’re watching. More…

It’s sure been something seeing a few stories I’d heard or assumed (among a lot I hadn’t) being more or less confirmed over the last couple of days #tweet

The remaster of Truly’s Fast Stories… from Kid Coma is available on Bandcamp for just a few days, ahead of a double vinyl reissue later in the year > trulytheband.bandcamp.com #tweet

Film review — 2010

What it lacks in visual poetry compared to its predecessor, it makes up for somewhat in, for lack of a better term, narrative drive; a diverting space yarn, with brilliant practical effects, that’s better than you imagine. More…

Book review — Sing Backwards And Weep, by Mark Lanegan

When I first learned what this story of Mark Lanegan’s early years in music would entail, I couldn’t help but think of Bob Mould’s own autobiography, See A Little Light, and all of its recriminations and petty swipes at his ex-bandmates in Hüsker Dü. But at least I can understand Mould’s bitterness, if not accept or agree with it, because it comes from a place of passion — a band that he and his former musical compadres wanted to be in, music they wanted to make, and then life and its complication sours the milk. More…

Fellow men who think you’re ‘good guys’: think about the signs you might have missed #tweet

Just bought some stuff there on Bandcamp; couple of new things, couple of preorders, and the cause is a righteous one > daily.bandcamp.com #tweet

Here was me thinking repertory cinema’s gonna make a big comeback after lockdown... but they’ll just fill the screens with franchises #tweet

Finished the Lanegan book today. It’s telling that he doesn’t devote even half as much space to kicking his own ass as he does to denigrating Gary Lee Conner for page after repetitive page > @MacDara #tweet

Duolingo’s down! I’d better be getting a free streak freeze out of this, that’s 582 days of hard work I’ve earned #tweet

1 hour and 45 min limit in the pub, you say? How conveeeeenient that’s also the length of a football match plus half-time break #tweet

Talking with Bee about the drive-thru cop Karen and the Shake Shack fakers and she immediately twigs: they think it’s Fight Club’s Project Mayhem #tweet