What Richard Did By James Joyce: Film Analysis

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Joyce wrote the poem Gas from a Burner soon after making what would be his final trip to Ireland, having had problems with the publication of Dubliners (University at Buffalo Libraries, 2015). The quote reflects Joyce’s ability to love Dublin, not in a glazed, superficial way but in a way that understands and recognises its positive and negative aspects.

This essay will attempt to examine the representation of Dublin in two recent Irish films: Adam and Paul, and What Richard Did by director Lenny Abrahamson. Eschewing the typical depictions of Dublin and Ireland seen in many postcards, advertisements and other visual media, these films over a stark and uncompromising view of Dublin. In doing so he creates an honest interpretation of the city avoiding sentimentality, which the American writer James Baldwin describes as “the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion” and is “the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel...the mask of cruelty” (Berlant,1955, p.33). We see two
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As the nature of Dublin changed and grew into a modern, urban city many filmmakers attempted to leave behind the rural and backward image previously associated with Ireland (McLoone, 2007). What resulted were films in that depicted a liberal, metropolitan, hedonistic and attractive depiction of Dublin. Examples of this are About Adam (2000), Goldfish Memory (2003) and Intermission (2003). In an attempt to abandon the strict Catholic values of the old Ireland, these films veer towards a cool and hip representation that are light in tone and deliberately irreverent in their humour (McLoone, 2007). Although glamorous, these depictions of Dublin are superficial and false. The novelist and Dublin native Roddy Doyle (2004) summed it up nicely when he commented that "we have sold the myth of Dublin as a sexy place incredibly well; because it 's a dreary little dump most of the
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