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Neil Jordan


Carole Zucker

Publication Year: 2013

These interviews cover the career to date of Neil Jordan (b. 1950), easily the most renowned filmmaker working in contemporary Irish cinema. Jordan began as a fiction writer, winning the distinguished Guardian Fiction Prize for his very first book of short stories, Night in Tunisia, in 1976. His film debut was made during the peak of the Troubles in Ireland, and he addresses the sectarian violence head-on in his first outing, Angel (1982). This film also marked Jordan's long-time association with the actor Stephen Rea who has appeared in nine of the director's films and is often seen as Jordan's doppelgänger. Angel was awarded the London Evening Standard Most Promising Newcomer Award, the first of many accolades. These include the London Critics Circle Award for Best Film and Best Director for The Company of Wolves (1984), Best Film at the BAFTAs, as well as an Academy Award for Best Screenwriter for The Crying Game (1992), Best Film at the Venice Film Festival for Michael Collins (1996), Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival for The Butcher Boy (1997), and a BAFTA for Best Screenplay for The End of the Affair (1999).

The director continued to publish works of fiction as well as writing the scripts for most of his feature films, and in 2011 he produced a highly regarded novel, Mistaken, set in Jordan's home turf of Dublin and featuring characters who are duplicates of one another as well as mysterious arrivals and departures at the home of the Irish author of Dracula, Bram Stoker. The filmmaker has most recently produced, written, and directed the television series The Borgias (starring Jeremy Irons) and completed his fourteenth feature film, Byzantium, the story of a mother and daughter vampire duo, recalling his earlier work on the Anne Rice novel Interview with the Vampire (1994).

Published by: University Press of Mississippi


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pp. 1-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xxvii

With each successive outing, Neil Jordan—without doubt the most interesting filmmaker to emerge thus far from Ireland—astonishes the viewer with the eclectic, catholic range of his interests. From Angel (1982) to The Borgias (2011), Jordan’s peregrinations through genre often expand or...


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pp. xxix-xxx


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pp. xxxi-xxxix

Conversation with Neil Jordan

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pp. 3-30

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Face to Face with Evil

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pp. 31-39

In spite of the controversy it caused at the Festival of Film and Television in Celtic countries, held in Wexford, with its inane boycotts, walkouts, and similar childish protests by members of the Association of Independent Producers (who ought to have known better), Neil Jordan’s...

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Beauty and the Beasts

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pp. 40-45

Novelist turned film director Neil Jordan describes the metamorphosis of Angela Carter’s eleven-page short story “The Company of Wolves” into a full-length English Gothic horror movie....

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Wolf at the Door

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pp. 46-49

Neil Jordan: I met Steve Woolley when he was keen to distribute Angel after seeing it in Cannes. He told me that Palace wanted to get into production and that he would like to see anything I was thinking of doing. Then Walter Donohue of Channel 4 commissioned a series of...

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Sweetness and Light

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pp. 50-54

When his debut feature Angel was released in 1982, Irish director Neil Jordan found his colors being nailed, by default, to a tentative “British Renaissance,” fuelled by Channel 4’s modest coffers. Angel—cofounded by Channel 4 and the Irish Film Board—saw Jordan bracketed with such...

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Neil Jordan’s Guilty Pleasures

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pp. 55-60

When I was a kid I grew up in a rather strict Catholic household in Dublin. I saw a lot of religious films—that was all I was allowed to see. I was brought along to The Robe, King of Kings, Samson and Delilah. I remember only fragments: Victor Mature demolishing an entire cast with the jawbone...

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Celtic Dreamer

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pp. 61-73

Marina Burke: You have elsewhere described yourself as not a political filmmaker. But don’t you think that the use of Northern Ireland as a background in Angel and The Crying Game is an implicit political statement in itself?

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Interview with Stephen Rea

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pp. 74-77

Neil and I have an almost unspoken relationship, because we know each other very, very well, and he knows what he can get. He knows I’ll do the script; I don’t have any other agenda than to do the script as well as possible. I know all actors say that, but not all of them are entirely...

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Michael Collins: Treaty Makers and Filmmakers

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pp. 78-90

Michael Collins is, or will be, a successful film on at least three levels. Firstly, it is a fine “historical movie” in the sense that it makes historians of us all. It provokes a spontaneous desire to go to the bookshelves to check the facts as they are presented in the film and to investigate...

The Butcher Boy

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pp. 91-95

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In Dreams

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pp. 96-98

With a tag by DreamWorks of “dark psychological thriller,” Neil Jordan’s film stars Annette Bening as Claire Cooper, a woman with nightmares involving the acts of a killer, Vivian (Robert Downey, Jr.). Speaking from Dublin, Jordan said that, despite the title, this film has nothing to do....

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A Look Over Jordan

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pp. 99-104

It’s a peculiar setup to begin with. Over the course of a long day a snake of reviewers, interviewers, critics, columnists, and photographers uncoils itself from the lobby of the Merrion Hotel in Dublin. It eventually passes, in bite sizes, through a suite on an anonymous corridor upstairs...

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The End of the Affair

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pp. 105-110

Neil Jordan arrives on the set of The End of the Affair. “What’ll we do today?” he asks. A crew-member pipes up: “Well, sir, we could do a bit of typing . . . or we could do a bit of shagging. . . . or we could do shagging and then we could do typing. Or we could do them both together, sir . . .”...

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Happy Days

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pp. 111-114

At the launch of the Beckett on Film season in Dublin, Anthony Minghella, Damien O’Donnell, and Neil Jordan spoke with Ted Sheehy about filming Samuel Beckett’s plays....

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To Catch a Thief

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pp. 115-118

Upstairs in the Clarence Hotel, Neil Jordan is singing to himself and leafing nonchalantly through a magazine which has his face on the cover. It could mean either of two things: he’s at ease with himself, or quite the opposite—he is trying to normalize what may be a slightly...

The Screen Writer

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pp. 119-124

Songs of Innocence

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pp. 125-133

Neil Jordan in the New Millennium: 1999–2011

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pp. 134-161

Additional Resources

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pp. 163-167


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pp. 169-176

E-ISBN-13: 9781621039358
E-ISBN-10: 1621039358
Print-ISBN-13: 9781617037450

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2013