Reviews - What do customers think about Neil Jordan: Exploring Boundaries (Contemporary Irish Filmmakers) (Contemporary Irish Filmmakers)?
Interesting analysis of Jordan's work Jul 26, 2004
I found this book a most enjoyable read. I started dipping into the chapters on those films of Jordan's which I had seen, and then gradually worked my way back to those early films which I hadn't, and the chapters are constructed so that you can do this. As someone who is not particularly knowledgeable on film theory, I was worried that the book might be inaccessible, but it was very readable, while not dumbing-down for the unenlightened reader! The writing vividly brought back the visual style of scenes I had forgotten in the films I had seen (not an easy thing to do). It also made me curious about the films I hadn't. It suggested meanings for both details and plotlines that hadn't occurred to me, and showed how certain themes and images run through his work. I'm looking forward to going back to his films with these ideas in mind!
The book gives a good sense of the social context for Jordan's films, and compares his work to other films treating similar themes, as well as highlighting references to other films within his work. It is critical at times too, highlighting negative reception of his work by feminist critics, for example. If you like his films, or if you're not sure about them but have seen a few and are interested, this is a thought-provoking book.
Rosaleen May 24, 2004
This is, surprisingly, the first monograph published on noted Irish filmmaker Jordan. While Kevin Rockett has a long history of publications on Irish issues, he and wife Emer simply don't have the tools to deal with the Jordan's films as works of art. If a book is skewed to hardwire an artist's work into an a prioi ideological category (read:politically correct), then this is your cup of tea. If it doesn't matter to you how this reading may distort or simply not address Jordan's formally subtle and thematically transgressive work as a filmmaker, then by all means buy. The Rockett's longest chapter is on the film High Spirits, which was taken out of Jordan's hands and corrupted by a Hollywood studio. They spend a lot of time on the film because it deals with outmoded notions of "Irishness," something which has plagued films made in and about Ireland. And strangely, their shortest chapter is on Michael Collins, one of the films Jordan has made that seriously engages with politics. The Rockett's book is good on production history. This book also seems to have been written in a hurry; the writing is often sloppy and one wishes an editor had stepped in and made an effort to eliminate patches of just plain bad writing.