This study provides the first major monograph examination of filmic representations of Gaelic games, charting these representations from the earliest years of the twentieth century
Gaelic games have repeatedly provided filmmakers and producers with a resonant motif through which they have represented `perceived' aspects of Irish identity, `perceived' as this representation has been neither straightforward nor unproblematic: in international productions in particular, Gaelic games have provided on occasion a short hand for regressive stereotypes associated with Irish people, including their alleged propensity for violence. For indigenous producers, on the other hand, Gaelic games afforded distinctive Irish cultural practices and as such were employed to promote and affirm the Irish nation, particularly as an indigenous film culture began to develop in the aftermath of World War II. As we enter the late twentieth century, a critical turn is evident within indigenous productions featuring Gaelic games though the dominant stereotypes of the past continue to appear.
This study provides the first major monograph examination of filmic representations of Gaelic games, charting these representations from the earliest years of the twentieth century, including silent films such as Knocknagow (1918) to more recent productions Michael Collins (1996) and The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006). Among the areas examined are newsreel depictions of Gaelic games; Hollywood's fascination with hurling in the mid-20th century (including in the work of Oscar-winning director John Ford), which led to a range of productions featuring the sport culminating with the Oscar-nominated short Three Kisses (Paramount, 1955); the importance of the depictions of Gaelic games to the emergence of a distinctive Irish film culture post WWII; and the role of Gaelic games in contemporary cinema.
Sean Crosson is the Vice-Dean (Research, Reputation and Impact) of the College of Arts, Social Sciences an