Director Alan Gilsenan recently launched “The Historical Dictionary of Irish Cinema” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020), an important new book by Tony Tracy (Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway) & Roddy Flynn (DCU) at the The Irish Film Institute is Ireland’s national cultural institution for film. It provides audiences throughout Ireland with access to the finest independent, ... More.
“The Historical Dictionary of Irish Cinema” represents a milestone in Irish film studies and is likely to become a key reference text for scholars and students. At over 600 pages it aims to offer the most comprehensive critical overview of Irish cinema from its beginnings to today; a span that stretches from the films of the New York Kalem company made in Killarney during the 1910’s and Ireland’s first cinema opened by James Joyce to the success of contemporary company such as Element Pictures is run by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with offices in Dublin and London, working across production, distribution, and exhibition. Element Pictu... More (whose achievements include Room, The Favourite; PALAS and Light House cinemas), the recent rebranding of the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. as Screen Ireland and the blossoming of studio based international productions such as The Tudors and The Vikings. With over 500 separate entries on personalities, policies, and films, the dictionary offers an overview of the key creatives and government initiatives that have shaped our indigenous industry as well as offering critically informed commentary and connections by two of Ireland’s leading film scholars.
At the launch, Gilsenan praised the unrivalled scope of the book and, describing its critical commentary as comprehensive, creative and generous, and admitted it had even helped him think about his own work as within the ‘second wave’ of Irish cinema identified by the authors. He further added that it belonged in all libraries where anyone with an interest in Irish cinema history would find much of interest and value.