Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SNAP - Written & Directed by Carmel Winters

I went to see Snap at the Irish Film Institute last Friday primarily because I had heard so many great reviews about the film and also because the director, acclaimed Irish playwright Carmel Winters was doing a Question and Answer session afterwards.

Before going to the movie I knew the film had a very harrowing story to tell, and one which would be difficult to witness, but a part of me believed, (and as it turned out rightly so) that if lots of great people had so many great things to say about this movie, then it was not one to be missed.

SNAP is a taut, suspense-filled psychological drama about three generations of a family poised it would seem to repeat the mistakes of the past. In this harrowing tale, different cameras tell divergent stories as the documentary style revelations are presented through fragments of memory, recall, and down right 'telling it as it is', specifically in the character of Sharon, played by Aisling O Sullivan (Raw - The Clinic) , who gave an absolutely amazing performance, probably one of the best and at times most sensitive characterisations I have seen in a very long time. 

Aisling is supported by Stephen Moran who again is rather brilliant in the role of Sharon's son, the teenager who sets out on a path that will change everybody's future, a path inextricably linked to the past.  Even the toddler in this movie played by Adam Duggan is tremendous, and if Oscars could be given out by yours truly, I would give each of them one without hesitation.  Alongside these are celebrated Irish actress Eileen Walsh (EDEN, Winner: Best Actress, Tribeca Film Festival 2008), and the wonderful but sadly late Mick Lally, who's last performance was in this film, a performance that personified the man's acting career, being utterly believable, moving, brave, and perfection in the craft of acting.

SNAP is the kind of movie that through its power, encourages you to rethink what you're witnessing, and from the opening track of the song 'You are my Sunshine', I was hooked. There were parts of it that had so many subtle references, that you were constantly trying to fill in the whole story, whether from a flashback with little or no dialogue, an expression on someone's face, a rush of anger, then sadness, or old family movie clips where often, all you got was the sound from the clip, the imagery being something that your imagination filled in itself.

During the question and answer session afterwards, Winters explained, this was something she wanted as part of the movie experience, that in the dark of the cinema, when it was just you and the unfolding story , that as you pieced together all the bits into a cohesive understanding, you too were part of this movie. 

For me, this film reached a point that not many movies are capable of bringing you to, the point where you know that you have been changed by it, and it will remain with you for a very long time afterwards.

When the movie/Q & A ended, Carmel Winters stayed on for a little while afterwards just to chat.  I had a question that I knew would play on my mind for a very long time if I didn't get a clear answer to it, so with Carmel still there, I went over and asked her my question. 

Firstly, just to put in here, Carmel Winters came across as an utterly lovely person, so when she turned to me and said 'What do you think happened?' , I knew she was again connecting me back to my experience of the film, so when I gave my answer as to what I thought might be the actual back story , she said 'absolutely right',and just like when you have finished a great book, I knew I would revisit this movie again.

If you haven't seen this film, go see it now, don't wait for DVD, it won't give you the same connection.  You need to see this movie in a cinema!  So you're been warned, don't miss out on one of the best Irish films of the decade!!

I'll end with a quote from the good lady herself, after she was asked was the film challenging to create, which I think gives us an inkling as to why this film ended up a success of creative ambition, direction, writing, acting, and performances that will change you.

'I love when something cuts right to the bone, right to the edge. I am interested in that place because I think it is rarely done justice to. When people do go to the edge of things it is often done in an exploitative and sensational way, so I love the challenge of actually going to places that very few people do, but actually in real life people find themselves in, wholly alone.'



  1. wow. thanks for the recommend. Sounds like its not to be missed.

  2. Hi Aine, yes it is definately very different to anything that I have seen before, and well worth catching a view.

  3. Sounds good alright Socks, will keep an eye out for it

  4. lovely experience..thanks for sharing.

    Invite you to share your poetry with our poetry potluck today,
    Random poems, poems unrelated to our theme are welcome!

    Hope to see you in.
    Bless your talent.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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