Wednesday, 1 April 2009


My review of FIFTY DEAD MEN WALKING, directed by Kari Skogland, and adapted by her from Martin McGartland's memoir, has just been published at Crime Time (here). Although it's loaded with fine performances, not least Jim Sturgess in the lead, it's less a showcase for acting than a portrayal, brilliantly designed and shot, of the human side of what the British euphemistically call 'the troubles', and less a thriller than a study in betrayal. The analogy to John Ford's The Informer was meant seriously, but unlike Ford, who although American made much of his Irishness, Skogland, a Canadian, never romanticises her violent men. I'll be curious to see what the reviews here think; all the pre-film publicity has been about 'Sir' Ben Kingsley.

One other thing I should have mentioned: the music, which emphasizes traditional Irish music, is by Ben Mink, better known for his work with KD Lang, but previous of the late, lamented Canadian group Stringband, one of whose albums I actually subscribed to, to help it get made (it's called 'With Thanks To' as I remember, and my name is among the hundreds on the cover). This is the other benefit of having a Canadian director.

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