The Irish Pub PG
Visiting every corner of Ireland to find some of the more famous public houses, as well as some of the more well regarded hidden gems, The Irish Pub is a love letter to a cornerstone of Irish personality, and one of our nation's most loved past-times. Interviewing a handful of folk who either run or own pubs around the country, the geography within Ireland doesn't stop their being a lot of similarities between them. Each of the pubs seems to have a very similar interior décor, they all regard their regular customers as friends or family, and none of them seem to treat their job as anything quite like a job, instead running the pub as a middle ground between a church and a sitting room.
Director Alex Fegan finds some seriously interesting characters to tell their tales to the camera, as everything from religion, literature, politics and relationships are brought up, poured over, and then it's promptly on to the next subject. There is a lot of mention of the current economic climate, and the unified stance of upholding tradition even in the face of progress.
There is a slight sense that after the thirty minute mark that we've heard everything that this documentary has to say, but much like the drunk guy at the bar who's taken to repeating and embellishing the same story over and over again, it never becomes boring, and at a slim running time, it never outstays its welcome. It's also VERY reminiscent of 2009 Irish documentary His & Hers, right down to the occasional times it becomes ever so slightly too twee for its own good.
However, when one of the pub owners volunteers up yet another hilarious story or witty anecdote, all these issues melt into the background. Yes, it's not a particularly revealing documentary, but not everything needs to be. Sometimes it's just nice to be reminded that there are places nearby where if everybody doesn't know you're name, they're at least willing to learn it. The Irish Pub is as much a celebration of the Irish personality as it is our everlasting love for a few jars.
Review by Rory Cashin | 12:21 | Friday 13th September 2013 | Movie Review
Loved every minute of this very smart film. It says a huge amount without saying anything. Don't let the laughs distract you from the underlying sadness and subtle messaging in this documentary. There is more said when no one is speaking at all - which happens throughout. I highly recommend it.Posted 22:10 | Mon 7th Oct 2013
This is fantastic! I watched this last night - an incredible social and cultural history with some of the most memorable characters you'll ever see on the big screen - tears and laughter and memories and lost memories - heartwarming - this is who we are! GO AND SEE IT IN THE CINEMA where the score and the silence is deeply moving!!!Posted 13:42 | Wed 9th Oct 2013
I absolutely loved this film. Having lived in the UK and US for most of my professional life, you get to feel very nostalgic, sentimental and patriotic about Ireland when you are away from it....much more so than when you are in, I would say! One of our greatest cultural legacies is surely 'The Irish Pub' and its completely unique place in Irish society and in the Irish community. It is a place where the elderly and everyone in the community, particularly in rural areas, can go for company and conversation; where musicians come together - both young and old - to have a big seisi?n and where many Irish people have found great comfort after a hard week's (or day's!) work and can talk through their problems or indeed their fortunes over a drink...or two. This film also firmly roots the Irish pub as a fundamental part of our important history - politically and linguistically - but above all else in terms of our history as a nation of storytellers unparalleled in many ways to any other country in the world. The Irish way to tell a story is always the best....and best told in an old pub where our great history has been preserved. As other reviewers have said, you will laugh out loud and at the same time there will be a tear in your eye watching this film. As one observer noted, the silences in between stories will leave perhaps the most impact. You would be simply mad to miss this.Posted 18:18 | Wed 9th Oct 2013
Simply brilliant. Really loved this very funny, very touching documentary film. Strongly recommend watching it.Posted 20:25 | Wed 9th Oct 2013
Gorgeous film from begging to end. A beautiful portrait of the Irish psyche.Posted 08:21 | Sun 13th Oct 2013
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