Spring has sprung once again! The sun is back up in the sky, the flowers are bursting out, and the world is turning green. Well, the Northern Hemisphere is, anyway. wink
With Spring, comes News!
Irish Arts Center Building Update
Gabriel has been a staunch supporter and a vocal advocate for this new home for the Irish Arts Center in New York City. The building project is approximately one-third of the way completed. Here Gabriel goes on a recent tour of the building site with Aidan Connolly, Executive Director of the IAC.
Thanks to Gabriel Byrne, Pauline Turley, IAC Vice Chair, and Aidan for sharing this video!
And be sure to read more about this important and exciting project: Almost Home at the IAC website.
War of the Worlds
Principal filming is complete and now the fun part–the waiting–begins!
To whet your appetite just a bit while we wait patiently for this new series to premiere later this year, here is a little excerpt from a lovely interview Gabriel’s co-star, the amazing Elizabeth McGovern, gave while visiting Boston:
On War of the Worlds
Q: Coming soon, you and Gabriel Byrne are doing a new ‘War of the Worlds.’ Are you warring with Gabriel in one world and he’s in another?
EM: We’re in the same world. It’s an interesting relationship, a marriage that’s broken up. It’s an invasion of aliens that throws them back together. What I very much love about this story is that it focuses on the people. The aliens are not seen very much. What’s interesting to us is that the world has changed seismically from this alien invasion. We’re an upper middle class divorced couple and there’s an equalizing across the social strata. A refugee from Africa is living with us. The writer takes this premise and says, ‘Let’s see what happens if there’s this great equalization.’ Half of it is in France as well, so half of it is in French as well.Boston Herald Interview April 11, 2019
Check out this very brief video of filming on location, too! Thanks to Ra for the heads up!
Screencaps from the brief video, courtesy of Verónica, whom we thank! heart
The Barrow Way
Over the years, Gabriel Byrne has been a consistent defender of the Barrow Way, a long-distance walking trail through pristine countryside that follows the River Barrow, crossing Kildare, Laois and Carlow counties in Ireland. Recently, he and those who stand with him received some very good news!
A controversial new tourist attraction opposed by a host of Irish personalities, including actor Gabriel Byrne, has been turned down by An Bord Pleanala. The planning watchdog has refused permission for Waterways Ireland to turn the 115km-long Barrow Blueway into a hardcore multi-use leisure track. A bitter row has raged for several years between Waterways Ireland and people living beside the Barrow river as it snakes through Kildare, Laois and Carlow counties…Herald.ie April 12, 2019
Waterways Ireland has yet to comment on the decision. Byrne, known for his roles in Hereditary and Lies We Tell, and who lived in the area for several years, was overjoyed at the news.Herald.ie April 12, 2019
“I think to damage what has been there for several hundred years, to damage the banks and disrupt the species would be something that anyone who cares about the environment wouldn’t want to see.
“It is a part of the country I absolutely adore.
“I think Waterways Ireland do tremendous work, but my fears were that this new surface would have a detrimental effect on the environment.
“It has an incredibly complex eco-system with flora, fauna and wildlife.”
One of the aspects of Gabriel’s activism that I really appreciate is that he is open to the new, but also cognizant of the importance of preserving the past. On the one hand, he’s out there stumping for funding for a brand new building for Irish culture in New York City (and building anything new in NYC is not an easy task!), and on the other, he is consistently vocal about preserving the special places that might be in danger of disappearing, like the Elizabeth Street Garden in New York City and the Barrow Way in Ireland. This ability, I think, helps make him an outstanding ambassador for the arts in general, for Irish culture in America, and for Ireland, his home country.
Streaming and DVD News
Iconic Arts is a unique provider of theater and musical DVDs and CDs: “an internationally acclaimed non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Arts, and specifically that of live artistic performances.”
One of their many offerings is the 2008 Live From Lincoln Center version of Camelot, starring Gabriel Byrne and Marin Mazzie.
[Note from Stella:
In August 2020, the DVD was available for purchase, but is not longer part of their catalogue and in December 2020, the website had closed completely.]
An L. A. Minute
Existential Crisis is a new resource for streaming independent films. And they are now offering Gabriel’s new film!
[Note from Stella, August 10, 2020: the website is no longer available on the Internet]
For more information about An L. A. Minute, check out these Byrneholics articles.
Here’s a brief look at this evocative 3-part BBC series, based on the books by Benjamin Black, AKA John Banville, that hit our screens in 2014:
I, Anna and Just A Sigh
New streaming service OVID focuses on political and social issue films and documentaries, with a strong emphasis on films by and about women, but they are also providing narrative and art-house films as well.
Two of their current narrative offerings are two of our favorite Gabriel Byrne movies:
I, Anna with Charlotte Rampling and Eddie Marsan, directed by Barnaby Southcombe, released in 2012
Just A Sigh with Emmanuelle Devos, directed by Jerome Bonnell, shot in Paris during the Fête de la Musique and shown in theaters in 2013.
Read more about OVID and its partners and check out some of their other titles, including Blind, Eskil Vogt’s first film. You will recall Eskil as the writing partner of Joachim Trier–they worked together on Louder Than Bombs.
And, of course, both of these films are available for streaming and purchase in other ways, but I love finding new resources like OVID. They are working hard to get independent and exciting content out to the world (or in this case, North America) and I am all in for that!
It’s that time again! Gabriel’s birthday is May 12 and celebration planning is underway. Stay tuned for more details as we hash them out, here and on Facebook! heart