August 8: The Irish Times provides a wonderful report by Michael Harding [which is now behind a paywall] of the first days of the festival, entitled “Getting Ambushed by Brilliant Minds in Kilkenny.” Poetry and lectures abound, but he took the time to view “Stories From Home” (in the morning!) and had this to say:
Then I went to the Set Theatre, where a documentary about Gabriel Byrne was being screened, and even at that hour of the morning the actor’s face was mesmerizing, and I felt he was talking directly to me.
It takes generosity in an actor to refine personal agony into an art as public as theatre, and there are shades of powerful sorrow in Byrne the actor, and Byrne the man; his intense screen presence stayed with me all morning, as I idled about on High Street, Butter Slip and Pudding Lane.
He’s a fine writer, Michael Harding. Read his report and you will feel you are there, in the winding streets, the coffee shops, the lecture hall–“in a city of ordered civility.”
And be sure to read the Kilkenny Festival Blog! They are capturing so many of the activities, including Robert Fisk giving this year’s Hubert Butler Lecture. This really is the next best thing to being there.
UPDATED August 5: The Irish Times [this article is now behind a paywall] provides a reminder about Gabriel Byrne Film Day on August 7 AND refers readers to Byrneholics.com for more information! Now if the writer had not used the word “hysteria,” we would be most pleased…
Keep up with the Festival at the official blog, with Ken and John. You can follow them on Twitter and Facebook, too–info is at the blog.
Put on your traveling shoes–another festival is on the way and it is a bit of a trek from the USA, though more easily accessible if you are in the UK/Europe.
The Kilkenny Arts Festival runs August 6 – 15 and includes an extensive array of art, music, theater, literature and–music to our ears–film! The festival offers a full day of Gabriel Byrne programming on August 7:
Introduced by Colm Tóibín, this special event celebrates the career of one of Ireland’s biggest stars and features screenings of some of Byrne’s most acclaimed roles.
On the roster:
- Stories From Home
- Into The West
- Lunch (not a Gabriel Byrne film, but a good chance to grab a bite and talk about his movies!)
- Miller’s Crossing
- In Treatment (2 episodes)
Here is a chance to see Stories From Home, the documentary about Gabriel Byrne, followed by two of his best films plus a glimpse of his exciting work in In Treatment–all in one day. A Byrne Fest, to be sure. It is also pretty thrilling that the proceedings will be introduced by Colm Tóibín, author of The Master and Brooklyn and the Literature Program Curator at this year’s festival. Ah, to be there!
The Irish Independent has more information and recommendations. This Irish Times article [article is now behind a paywall] explains the unique launch for this year’s festival–all singing, apparently! And, if you plan to visit, check out the Festival’s page about Kilkenny.
Mr. Tóibín would have been right at home in Miller’s Crossing, yes?