The premiere of the new documentary took place in Bray, Co Wicklow on December 20 at the Mermaid Theatre. I arrived the day before and spent some time exploring Dublin, but I have to confess I don’t remember much about that first day except a fantastic tour of the Abbey Theatre and a yummy dinner at Crackbird, a new Dublin restaurant…jet lag is a killer!

Fortunately, I met a friend who knows Dublin well and she ensured that I saw everything on my list while I was there–and, being “in the business,” she knows all about film and we had some great conversations. I was lucky to meet her and spend time with her and she was a gracious guide and friend. Go Dublin Go!!

The premiere itself was exciting! Despite the cold and the rain, the theater filled up and everyone was enthusiastic to see the film at last. Alec and Mark, director and producer, did a great job and the reception afterwards was filled with conversations and wine and nibblies. I met my fellow Executive Producer, Philip Reeve, and that was lovely. I started to take pictures but it became apparent the event was too intimate for a lot of picture-taking, so I’ve only got two to share with you. We managed to catch the last train back to Dublin, but just barely!

It was wonderful to see the documentary. So many people associated with Excalibur participated in interviews and offered their memories in front of the camera. Liam Neeson, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne, Nigel Terry, and others associated with the film recalled their experiences making this film. They shared anecdotes and stories and offered insights into what it was like to be on a movie set for the first time. The documentary really shone when director John Boorman was on screen, both in recent interviews and also on the set during the actual filming in 1980 and 1981. Excalibur was obviously an important event in the director’s life and Alec and Mark were successful in capturing Boorman’s passion and intensity–I thought this was the highlight of the documentary, watching the director then and also now, talking about his experience with a wry smile.

BehindTheSword-ProjectsPage-smallThese promotional images are very familiar to readers who have been following the progress of this documentary

The other highlight of the film was, of course, Gabriel. He spoke with real emotion about his work in Excalibur and his memories were moving and also quite humorous. At the end of the film, he was honest and open about what his experience meant to him. He was very touching and the audience responded to his stories.

In the following photos, you will see many aspects of Dublin at Christmas-time. The city is a beautiful, old, elegant, shiny, shabby, new and remarkable place! I loved being there and seeing all of the inspiring and historic sites on my long list. I hope to return someday soon–72 hours is not enough time to do such a significant and lovely city justice.

If you click on the photo in the each gallery, you can enlarge it and see more details. I took some photos on my phone and others with my Canon camera.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! I am so glad I was able to visit Dublin and see the premiere of this lovely documentary. Go Dublin Go!!

day one

day two

day three

10 Comments

  1. This sounds great and the pictures are lovely! Thanks for sharing your experience Stella. :-)
    And LOL about the jet lag!

  2. I hope I ll make it one day to Dublin :-)
    I love to read such a real reports, they show the city and atmosphere of the city usually much better than professional photos in internet. Especially when it comes to the parts connected to GB :-)

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us Stella. The documentary sounds great, and it is such a good thing that it was made. It will be a historical document for the future, I guess.
    It is lovely to see the photos from Ireland. Dublin is such a nice city to visit. I think you managed to see very much on your short stay there Stella.

    I am glad to read that Gabriel’s word about the movie made an deep impression on you Stella. He is certainly a man that knows how to use words to express himself.

  4. Stella, so glad that you could be in Ireland to witness the premiere of this film. Thanks for the awesome photos and report. Congrats on this remarkable film and your important contribution in making it happen.

  5. Thanks for sharing this exciting event Stella.

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  7. Jojanneke

    Hi Stella,

    I’m so happpy that you have enjoyed your stay in Dublin and the events you have described. You have made it 72 well lived hours. All the hotspots in just a few days! Wow.

    :-)
    Jojanneke

  8. Philip Reeve

    It was lovely to meet you, Leah! Glad you enjoyed Dublin, and the film.

  9. I would love to see the documentary Behind The Sword in The Stone.
    I hope that The Indiegogo Team will find a distributor/sales agent for it. In January I got the message that they had not found one yet.

    It is a joy to read what Stella wrote about the film AND about Ireland here.
    In 2009 I was in Dublin, and I loved to be there!

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