Death of a Superhero

I’m in Dublin for a weekend, primarily to see Rammstein do their first ever concert in Ireland.  This visit coincided with the end of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) and when my better half looked at the listings, she suggested going to the Closing Gala Film in town called “Death of a Superhero“.

The film is about Donald, a 14 years South Dublin boy growing up with all the problems of adolescence.  His parents don’t understand him, he rages against the world.  He has found he has a talent for drawing comics and fills them with sketches featuring his strong, silent hero battling against The Glove, a supervillain with syringes for fingers.  Donald is confused about the opposite sex and is afraid he will die a virgin.

And he will die, because Donald is terminally ill with cancer. He doesn’t have long left and appears to be a on a cycle of destruction.  Skipping school, drawing his artwork on buildings, standing in front of trains.  Exasperated, he is taken to a series of psychologists, until eventually he forms a bond with Dr Adrian King and his true reasons for his anger start to come out.  In the meantime, he meets Shelly, a streetwise spirit at school and the pair begin to fall for each other.

I’ll not go into things too far, as I’m rubbish at revewing films. (Here is one from the Toronto International Film Festival.)  Suffice to say that “Death of a Superhero” is a wonderful, wonderful film.  It mixes the awkwardness of adolescence like the best John Hughes movie, with the down to earth realism of Dublin. The performances are top notch, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Donald is superb (you will recognise him from Love Actually, or the Doctor Who Family of Blood two-parter), Aisling Loftus as Shelly and Andy Serkis for once without CGI as Dr King.  There are moments of absolute hilarity and absolute heartbreak and the film does a superb job of walking the line between tragedy and comedy.  The audience was in floods of tears, alternately at the tragic situation of cancer and the hilarious antics of Donalds idiot brothers, who’ll do anything to get him laid.

“Death of a Superhero” is doing the rounds of film festivals at the moment and hopefully it will pick up a wider distribution deal.  It deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.

A day out in Dublin

OK, so I’m in the middle of Dublin on Saturday and just finished off a bit of lunch outside Dublin Castle. Next thing I know, there is a massive protest/parade passing by. The Spectacle of Hope and Defiance, organised by a lot of community groups in protest at the ongoing cuts to funding and budgets in Dublin.

The parade was led by children from the local community carrying tombstones for all the inner city projects that either had been closed or were threathened with closure.

People followed behind with slogans painted on butterflies or with placards. I think that the youth groups in the march had been working on them as projects.

Then we had a couple of floats – I liked the design of this one.

Ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who built the Celtic Tiger has retired with an annual pension of 152,331. Although to be fair, he did take a cut in it last week. He’ll really miss that 4,200 they lopped off it.

Of course, no protest is complete without drummers.

And a clown making balloon animals

And the bloody Socialist Worker.

Those stuck in the traffic jam didn’t mind.

The Scales of Injustice, complete with Marie Antoinette throwing cake out to those below.

One of the Marie Antoinettes. Cake not pictured.

Of course, the protest covers all of the people in Ireland. So here is a group of bankers on the way to the golf course.

And a banking fat cat, who threw cake at anyone photographing him (he was a good shot).

One of the EU Bondholders, who handed out Euros to the crowd.

The fat cat makes his way past the Bank of Ireland. The Bondholder shouts at him “Darling, look, it is our cash machine! Do you have the ATM card?”, which I thought was pretty funny.

Finally, the back of the parade was brought up by this huge phoenix.

All in all, good fun and quite uplifting to see the turn out and support, not just from the parade itself but the people it was passing by. Pretty much brought Dame Street to a halt, but it was all good natured and friendly. Special mention to the Gardai, who was more interested in keeping traffic moving – if this was the Met, it would have been truncheons, kettling and nicking of cameras. It really brought home just what a bunch of cunts the policing of protest in the UK is.