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ANGEL

Ireland, 1982 (MIFF 1983)

Director: Neil Jordan

A metaphysical thriller with a protagonist who plays the saxophone like at angel and takes vengeance like an archangel - Danny is a member of a visiting show band in an Irish country dance hall called Dreamland. He is fascinated by a mute girl, Annie, and is with her later when he witnesses the band's manager (who has earlier argued over protection money), being shot dead by three gunmen.

Annie, too, is shot in the course of the events, and in the subsequent explosion at the dance hail, Danny suffers concussion. After recovering in a hospital, he hunts down the gunmen one by one, refusing to cooperate with the two detectives who try to get information from him. Danny discovers that his own band is paying protection money and sets out to trace and destroy the whole scheme.

Angel depicts details of contemporary Ireland convincingly - the showband scene, the studies in small-town life - and yet is less a film about life in Ireland than a parable of evil and a timeless tragedy.

See also...

THE BUTCHER BOY

Ireland, 1997
Based on Patrick McCabe's contemporary literary masterpiece, The Butcher Boy tells the story of 12 year-old Francie Brady, a boy whose near-fantasy world adventures with his best friend Joe differ ma… More »

THE CLASS TRIP

France, 1998
Nicholas is an exceptionally nervous young boy with an overactive imagination. He's also nursing no small amount of paranoia. Claude Miller's The Class Trip (winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes 1998) … More »

Negative Space

UK, 1999
In 1971, film critic Manny Farber published a book called Negative Space, in which he wrote: "One of the finest moments in 1940s film is no longer than a blink: Bogart, as he crosses the street from … More »

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