At a time when national cinemas in France and Japan have been marginalized on world screens, movies from and about Ireland have attracted huge audiences and captured top international prizes (The Crying Game), including an Academy Award (My Left Foot).
In Contemporary Irish Cinema, James MacKillop takes a variety of approaches in the treatment of films and film makers. Essayists, like Harlan Kennedy, John Hill, Martin McLoon, and Brian Mcilroy, represent leading journalists and critics; other contributors include young scholars well grounded in current cinematic and literary theory.
The authors probe cinema’s rewriting of Irish history, from the controversial Michael Collins and In the Name of the Father to playwright Stewart Parker’s overlooked miniseries on Ulster sectarianism, Lost Belongings. Jim Loter brings the writings of Martin Heidegger to bear on Cathal Black’s dark comedy, Pigs. Attitudes toward the institutional church are revealed in Pamela Dolan’s analysis of Playboys.
James MacKillop, professor of English at Onondaga Community College (Syracuse, New York), is a former president of the American Conference for Irish Studies. He has published six books, among them Fionn mac Cumhaill and Irish Literature: A Reader (with Maureen O'Rourke Murphy) for Syracuse University Press.