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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With each successive outing, Neil Jordan—without doubt the most inter-esting 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 efface the boundaries between categories. Jordan is deeply idiosyncratic, ...
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...1950 Born February 25, 1950, County Sligo, of mother, Angela (a 1956 Family moves to Dublin. Jordan attends St. Paul’s College, 1982 Directs first film, Angel, and begins association with actor, 1988–89 Travels to United States to direct High Spirits and We’re No 1991 Returns to Dublin to film The Miracle with paramour Beverly ...
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Conversation with Neil Jordan
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From Personal Visions: Conversations with Contemporary Film Directors (Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 2000), 217–54. Interview conducted in 1997. Reprinted by Mario Falsetto: Can you talk about your background, and growing up Neil Jordan: I was born near Sligo [Ireland], in a little town called Rosses Point. My father was a teacher. When I was about six, we moved to Dub-...
Face to Face with Evil
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From Film Directions 5, no. 18 (December 1, 1982): 3–5, 16. Reprinted by permission 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 Indepen-dent Producers (who ought to have known better), Neil Jordan’s Angel ...
Beauty and the Beasts
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From Time Out (September 13–19, 1984): 18–21. Reprinted by permission of Neil Novelist turned film director Neil Jordan describes the metamorphosis of Angela Carter’s eleven-page short story “The Company of Wolves” “At night, the eyes of wolves shine like candle flames, yellowish, reddish, but that is because the pupils of their eyes fatten on darkness and catch the light ...
Wolf at the Door
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From Monthly Film Bulletin, September 1984, 264–65, published by the British Film Neil Jordan: I met Steve Woolley when he was keen to distribute An-gel 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 ...
Sweetness and Light
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From City Limits, May 31–June 7, 1990, 16–17. Reprinted by permission of the author.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 ...
Neil Jordan’s Guilty Pleasures
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From Film Comment 28, no. 6 (November 1992): 36–39. Reprinted by permission of When I was a kid I grew up in a rather strict Catholic household in Dub-lin. 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 jaw-...
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Marina Burke: You have elsewhere described yourself as not a politi-cal 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 state-Neil Jordan: Yes it is, of course. I haven’t anything particularly po-litical to say, and I haven’t any particular political solution even in my ...
Interview with Stephen Rea
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Extract from an interview originally published in In the Company of Actors: Reflection on the Craft of Acting (London: A & C Black, 1999), 113–14, 115. Reprinted by 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 ...
Michael Collins: Treaty Makers and Filmmakers
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From Film West 26 (Autumn 1996): 10–16. Reprinted by permission of the author.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 ...
The Butcher Boy
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From Film Ireland 63 (February/March 1998): 14–15. Reprinted by permission of the Ted Sheehy: Are you sad they couldn’t show The Butcher Boy here?Neil Jordan: Well, yeah, but you know these festivals have their rules so TS: Can I compliment you on it, I think it’s the best thing you’ve done.TS: I noticed you seemed to be very nervous in Galway at the premiere ...
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From Cinefantastique 31, no. 1 (February 1, 1999): 8–9. Reprinted by permission of the 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 ...
A Look Over Jordan
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From Film Ireland 74 (February/March 2000): 16–18. Reprinted by permission of the It’s a peculiar setup to begin with. Over the course of a long day a snake of reviewers, interviewers, critics, columnists, and photographers un-coils itself from the lobby of the Merrion Hotel in Dublin. It eventually passes, in bite sizes, through a suite on an anonymous corridor upstairs ...
The End of the Affair
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Neil Jordan arrives on the set of The End of the Affair. “What’ll we do to-day?” 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 . . .”He laughs. The film is about to go on release and he is telling the story ...
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From Film Ireland 79 (February/March, 2001): 14–15. Reprinted by permission of the At the launch of the Beckett on Film season in Dublin, Anthony Ming-hella, Damien O’Donnell, and Neil Jordan spoke with Ted Sheehy about Ted Sheehy: Is it just that it’s Beckett’s work or can you conceive of yourselves otherwise wanting to make short films that are formally ...
To Catch a Thief
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From RTÉ Guide, February 21, 2003, 28–29. Reprinted by permission.Upstairs in the Clarence Hotel, Neil Jordan is singing to himself and leaf-ing 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 discomfiting ...
The Screen Writer
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TB: Going by Angel, which slyly references Le Samourai, you seem to be a big Jean-Pierre Melville fan. Didn’t that make it difficult remaking Bob NJ: Yeah, I do like Melville. Definitely. It wasn’t as daunting as you’d think though, because the original film was so tiny. Really small. There’s almost nothing there. So I was asked to do this, and I agreed, or at least ...
Songs of Innocence
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From Film Ireland 108 (January 2006): 12–15. Reprinted by permission of the author.Lir Mac Cárthaigh: Breakfast on Pluto, from the source novel to the Neil Jordan: Totally an Irish project, almost totally. In terms of financ-ing it’s Pathe, and it’s what Alan Moloney could put together.NJ: No, not at all. I had a deal with DreamWorks; I kept buying books ...
Neil Jordan in the New Millennium: 1999–2011
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Neil Jordan: What happened was Steven Spielberg sent me that script, and they had just set up DreamWorks. I’d done a movie with David Gef-fen, and they were very anxious that I do a film for them, and they sent me a script by Bruce Robinson which was called Blue Vision, and it was about somebody sharing dreams with a killer. They asked me to consider ...
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Giles, Jane. The Crying Game. London: British Film Institute, 1997.Jordan, Neil. Dream of a Beast. London: Chatto and Windus, 1983.———. Michael Collins: Screenplay and Film Diary. New York: Plume Books, Jordan, Neil, and David Leland. Mona Lisa. London: Faber and Faber, Pramaggiore, Maria. Contemporary Film Directors: Neil Jordan. Urbana & ...
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Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Conversations with Filmmakers Series