Ricky Gervais recently hosted the Golden Globe awards.  According to what I read in the Irish press, Hollywood was not too excited about what he said about them.  I like Gervais, Hollywood, a different story.  Gervais’ the “Office” was great but “Extras” was f*cking brilliant.  Anyone that has seen the episodes with the Priest and Kate Winslet will no doubt agree.  Do yourself a favor and rent the series and look for those two episodes.

I recently happened onto a film shooting on Portmarnock beach.  It is Glenn Close’s new movie “Albert Nobbs”.  She plays an Englishwoman that disguises herself as a man and works as a butler in order to survive in male-dominated 19th-century Ireland.

I practice … if you look like you belong…they think you belong…as you can see in the picture below, my new best friend (the fisherman) and I are having a serious decision about his lines and how he and Ms. Close will be dinning later that evening in Malahide.  He invited me to join them but under the circumstances, I declined.

I took  pictures  of a few of the extras in the movie and one of them suggested I go to the waters edge to meet a real “character” (my new best friend).

My new best friend

Off I went with no regard to security lines and approached him saying “Ah…you must be one of the stars of the movie”  that’s all it took.  He would have talked to me all day long but a security person chased me away.

Second new best friend

New best friend and extra

There must have been about 20 extras in this scene.  It reminded me of a time long ago.  Steven Spielberg was filming Jaws on Martha’s Vineyard and my friend snuck into a scene with lots of extras.  The scene … the shark is swimming from the back tidal pool through a channel… and all the extras were to start yelling on cue.  At the time we didn’t know who Steven Spielberg was and had no idea who was instructing the extras in their call to action.  Well someone called out and all the extras starting yelling and screaming and my friend yelled out at the top of his lungs “look a shark…look at the fucking shark”…he was soon escorted away from the shooting.

Mr. Spielberg also filmed scenes for “Saving Private Ryan” on this same beach.

Glenn Close and extra

Scene from movie

I asked a person, that looked like they were an important part of the production team, how long this scene will play out in the movie.  He said about 3 to 5 minutes, he added that they had set up on the beach at 8 in the morning and would be working till they lost light.  It is no wonder why films cost so much to make.

Thinking about Irish movies … Sean Thornton and Mary Kate … “The Quite Man” certainly come to mind.  John B. Keane’s “The Field” is relevant even today.  In the movie land is more important that life itself and just recently I overheard a young man talking about his girl friend and adding “her family’s farm has road frontage”… most important, I might add…and quite funny too.

“Waking Ned Devine” is hilarious, if you haven’t seen it rent it.  I enjoyed the “the Commitments” and even Jeannne Garofalo in “Matchmaker”.  Then, of course, the big Stanley Kubrick hit “Barry Lyndon”…ya I know you haven’t  heard of it.  The music score won an academy award (the Chieftains) and part of the movie was filmed at Huntington Castle, of which I write about in “The Watch Quackers of Clonegal”

Huntington Castle

I’m sure you have a list of your own and please feel free to share it in the comments section of this post.

Albert Nobbs is scheduled for release sometime in 2012.

I must run, I hear Glenn calling out…perhaps I will find time to dine with her, after all, we do remember her in “Fatal Attraction”.

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