Wednesday, 18 February 2009

In Which I travel to Dublin, meet a Fiend, and see a rather good film

I have been looking forward to going to Dublin, both in order to see Coraline and Amanda palmer’s gig, and in order to meet Louisa, whose kindness in inviting me to visit enabled me to go!

Despite being with RyanAir my flight was on time and relatively painless, and the clouds even parted so that I could see Ireland below us as we descended to land at Dublin. Louisa and I met at the bus stop in Blackrock. A little later, I got introduced to Louisa’s bookshop , which is small but perfectly formed.

Then in the evening, Coraline ! The film was showing as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and was also, of course, the European Premiere, as the film isn’t out here until 8th May, except for this one showing. We got to the cinema very early, to find that they weren’t letting anyone in yet; so we admired the Coraline display and posters and popped out for something to eat. When we came back half an hour later, the doors had opened and the cinema was half full, so we found ourselves sitting about 3 rows from the screen. The rest of the cinema quickly filled up – the event was completely sold out (the first film of the festival to sell out) and

Neil gave a very brief introduction, stressing that everything in the film is handmade, not CGI, and mentioning the micro-knitter in particular. Then we all donned our 3D glasses and sat back to enjoy the film.

* * *

The film is superb. I had been excited but a little sceptical, I wasn’t convinced it could be as good as everyone seemed to think. I was wrong.

It is as good as everyone has said.

Maybe better.

It is also definitely worth seeing in 3D if you possibly can. In the Q&A session which followed the film, Neil commented in the past 3D had been a bit of a gimmick – used to throw things at the audience – as if when talking pictures came in the technology had been used only to SHOUT AT THE AUDIENCE, but that in Coraline the 3D is not used in that way. Things recede, and the 3D is a part of the film – it adds to what you see, rather than being something which you notice and think 'ah yes, that’s the 3D to show they’ve got it’

There were one or two things in the film which I didn’t like – some of the things which were different to the book I could see as necessary and desirable, given the different demands of different formats; the fact that Coraline needed someone to talk to, for instance. I particularly liked the fact that she had not become a ‘nice’ or ‘goody goody’ little girl. It also took me a little while to adjust to the fact that Coraline and her family are now American, rather than English, but I got over it, very early in the film.

At the end of the film I would happily have sat down to watch it a second time, as I was conscious of there being lots of things going on in the background which I wanted to see again.

At the end of the film there was a Q&A with Neil – as well as talking again about the fact that everything in the film was done by hand, without CGI. He also explained that this was only the 3rd time he had watched the film all the way through (not having stayed for the whole of the official Premiere), and that he is still enjoying it, as still seeing new things each time. He also spoke about the ‘Good Omens’ film, selling it to Terry Gilliam for a groat, and then having to e-bay farthings to pay his agent’s fee, and about the meetings which he and Terry Pratchett had with Hollywood

when originally trying to sell it. Neil was asked about the ‘Death’ movie, and directing, and finally was asked (by the JDIFF interviewer) who he would pick to direct a ‘Graveyard Book’ movie, if he had to pick someone at random from the audience, which gave him the opportunity to introduce Neil Jordan who was in the audience. (The two of them were due to have lunch the following day, and there was a brief discussion as to whether the rest of the audience could tag along, but sadly we were not invited…) Amanda Palmer was also present as one of Neil’s guests for the evening, so Neil took the opportunity to introduce her and to remind everyone of their joint signing, singing and reading on Tuesday, before leaving.

Did I mention that we liked the film?


spacedlaw said...

Did you like the film?
Looking forward to the rest of the adventure!

Ticia said...

Great post Marjorie! I'm glad you enjoyed Coraline. I loved it too! I can hardly wait to hear more about your adventures. :-)

Dragonsally said...

Oh god, HOW am I going to last until May?

Phiala said...

What fun! I love Dublin, but it is a bit far to travel for a movie premiere. Someday, after I win the lottery... right?

Jess said...

Nathalie stole my joke. :D

Glad you had fun! But which lovely lady is which? Or is that for us to guess? And what do we win if we're right?