Author Archives: Mandy
Movies in Galway
Some sad news was going around this week: the only cinemobile in Ireland is rolling to a stop.
My first visit to the Cinemobile was during the Grace Kelly Film Festival in Newport, back in the autumn of 2012. All seven films of the festival were screened in the Cinemobile; I watched Rear Window and The Swan.
The next summer, when my boyfriend was visiting, I made him attend the Galway Film Fleadh with me. I let him choose a few of the films, and to my everlasting irritation, his choices continuously trumped mine (teenage lesbian werewolves, anyone?). The film we saw in the Cinemobile, which was parked outside the Town Hall Theatre during the entire Fleadh, was The Act of Killing–a batshit documentary about Indonesian death squads.
The Cinemobile started as a Millennium project in 2000 and will cease operation tomorrow, 15 July 2016.
In shut door/open window fashion, I also read an article yesterday that the Galway Picture Palace is finally set to open. Of course, when I moved into my apartment next door, nearly four years ago, I heard it was due to open the following autumn.
But I remember the scaffolding fondly, and it really was a nice stretch of the legs to walk 20 minutes in either direction to the big box cinemas on the outskirts of town.
Galway was designated a UNESCO City of Film almost exactly a year after I left, and I hope this helps with the City of Culture chances.
This is a bit late, but with the European Capital of Culture 2020 announcement coming Friday, I’m once again saturated in the Galway arts scene, even though I’m 4,500 miles away and haven’t been back in three years. So I thought I’d share a post about the time Galway’s street art company, Macnas, visited Austin. It was a really big deal for me, a bit of Galway here at home, but I didn’t properly volunteer with the event and I’m not very proud of the photos so they’ve just kind of languished on my Flickr. Then it occurred to me I could do something more millennial and instagrammy with them. I always intended for this blog to look more like a magazine, something I never really accomplished because images on WordPress are the devil and I’m not a coder, but I do have some training in desktop publishing (mostly InDesign and Photshop) and I need to go ahead and use it before I lose it.
In addition to the Capital of Culture suspense, the Galway Film Fleadh and the International Arts Festival just happened / are happening / will happen soon, and I have another post planned for tomorrow and maybe Friday as well (hoping for good news). Plus, the subscription is up on this domain name again, and no matter how I neglect it, I just seem to let it go…
But here’s Macnas on Sixth Street!
Off the Rails
I almost called this post “Happily Ever After,” but then I thought of a more fitting title. It’s a shame my blogging just went off the rails like that. Some cool things happened during my last few months in Ireland, but I guess with classes finishing and writing the thesis, I didn’t have much time to blog. But it was exactly a year ago that I graduated and left Ireland. Since I’ve got the holiday off from work, I thought it was time to revisit.
My boyfriend came to visit again in the summer, and he spent much of that time babysitting me as I wrote my thesis. He would sit on the couch, I would sit at the kitchen table, and he would make sure I did a full day of writing. It worked, I got an A on my thesis, and graduated with first class honours (yes, “honours” with a “u”).
I got to take part in the Galway Arts Festival SELECTED programme, which was this unbelievable opportunity for young arts professionals to sample the festival’s offerings and get behind-the-scenes access to the people who made it happen. I know why I didn’t blog during that fortnight — it was exhausting. Life changing, but exhausting. I remember telling someone “You can only have your mind blown so many times a day.”
I made a wonderful new friend during the festival (that’s her in the video, which we shot on my balcony), and got to visit her family home in Dingle. We saw Fungie, went sailing, and sat front row center at a Maria Doyle Kennedy show. I also rode a bike for the first time in a decade, and did not crash.
Once the thesis was turned in at the end of August, I started working at Charlie Byrne’s. I don’t even have to say how wonderful that experience was. We were officially voted the Best Bookshop in Ireland by readers of the Irish Times. Someone posted a photo of Cross Street on Facebook-via-Instagram earlier this week, and I almost cried when I realized that, a year ago, walking down that street comprised 25% of my commute to work.
I went to every Sunday night screening for the Galway Film Society, and I watched the entirety of Friday Night Lights.
My mom came back at the end of my stay. She and I visited London, so she got to experience a ferry ride and a hostel, and I really thought she was going to get arrested by a bobby for touching his horse. Back in Ireland, she became a fan of Galway Falafel. She also got to participate in a lock-in at an Irish pub. For graduation, she gave me a dancing frog.
Graduation was on Thanksgiving Day, appropriately enough. After we walked, the ROPES team presented one of those giant cheques to our charity. That evening, we went to Charlie Byrne’s for the launch for our sister MA programme’s journal, Adventure Hat. Then we went gallivanting.
The next day, my mom and I prepared to leave Galway. We had already broken down my apartment and packed pretty much everything, but we had some errands to run in town. As we walked down Shop Street, this wonderful confluence of events happened: I saw some classmates from my MA as well as the sister MA — Claire, Meadhbh, Katy, and Roisin — having tea outside Griffin’s Bakery. As I took their photo, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and turned to see my old friend Krystian, who I met in the fall of 2004 when we first arrived in Galway. Then my mom called to me, and I snapped one more photo of my Charlie Byrne’s co-worker, Olivia, and her boyfriend, Ray. By turning a pivot in one spot on Shop Street, I was able to take three photos filled with people who are special to me, from three different areas of my life, surrounded by the city that brought us together.
That is how Galway told me goodbye… and we all lived happily ever after.
During the entire year I’ve been in Ireland, I have been haunted by this one song. I would hear it over chatter in the pub, walking past shops on the high street, and before curtain at a local theatre production, but I could never catch it at the right time. The people with me would never have heard it, and I could never listen closely enough to pick up the lyrics. I pinned down the phrase “salty air” once, but that wasn’t enough to get any results on Google. An entire year went by, and this song kept teasing me.
A few weeks ago, I went to see About Time, because I am a big fan of movies about time travel. I am so jealous that Rachel McAdams keeps getting to marry time travelers, but as much as I want to hate her, I always end up liking her. I also share her About Time character’s love for Kate Moss. Oh, and I want that character’s job – she is a “reader” for a London publisher.
It didn’t hurt that the movie also stars Bill Nighy and Domhnall Gleeson. So now I have the About Time tennis-on-the-seashore scene and the official soundtrack listing to thank for leading me to:
This is one of those videos that offers little improvement on the music itself, and I actually prefer the longer version of the song, but there it is: “At the River” by Groove Armada. A song from the nineties. No wonder no one knew what I was talking about.
Florence Friendship 5K
Friendship Days is the annual festival in my hometown, and a fairly new tradition is the Friendship 5K, which benefits the public library. It is held at The Vineyard every year, and that early in the morning, the grounds really do resemble Tuscany. I promise.
You can register here: http://www.active.com/running/florence-tx/florence-friendship-5k-2013. Good luck!
FYI: Friday Night Lights
It’s football season in Texas, and I’ve been watching Friday Night Lights to cope with the homesickness.
The plan was to have a burrito and some beer every Friday night until I finished the season, but that didn’t last. I work until 8pm on Fridays, and the first season was so good, I finished it in a matter of days.
I might start Season Four tonight, so expect a recap sometime around the playoffs.
A Redemption Song
It bears repeating…
Beauty’s Where You Find It
I realize it’s already October and the October issue has been on stands for at least, um, two weeks, but the September issue of American Vogue did not arrive in Ireland until… September. Imagine that.
I ponied up €9.65 for the issue, as it contained:
1) an Irish fashion shoot set in County Kerry featuring the guy from Girls with a model not wearing makeup, and
2) an article on Wendy Davis, possible future governor of Texas and protagonist of this summer’s abortion filibuster, and
3) I had a third justification for buying the magazine, but can no longer remember what it was. We’ll assume it was all the sustainable fashion (there was a lot, and this was the first time I pinned while reading a magazine).