Irish film festival opens at MoMA

Credit: Irish Film Institute


Starting tonight and continuing through June 3rd, the Museum of Modern Art here in aamchi NY is launching Revisiting The Quiet Man: Ireland on Film, a festival curated by Ireland’s cultural ambassador and fellow New Yorker Gabriel Byrne, with the intention of examining how Irish identity has been presented on film.  (If you caught him on today’s Leonard Lopate show on WNYC, you will have heard him express the same sentiment oft-repeated by Mira Nair (who directed him in Vanity Fair): “If we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will“, though I think the star of HBO’s acclaimed In Treatment would add words to the effect of “…, or someone else will tell them badly.”)

Credit: Imagine Ireland/Jeff Lipsky


The fourteen films from and about Ireland to be shown over the next two weeks have been selected by Byrne to further the discussion of themes such as the immigrant’s sense of home, politics, religion, the role of women and Irish identity, all which the actor and writer observed to be present in the opening film – which he will introduce tonight – The Quiet Man.  Yes, that movie with John Wayne and that “fiery redhead” Maureen O’Hara shot in Ireland that you may have caught on one St. Patrick’s Day or another, as that’s usually when it’s aired in the U.S.

Right after, on Saturday and Sunday (May 21st & 22nd) there will be a screening of Dreaming the Quiet Man, a documentary exploring the legacy of the John Ford film.

Credit: Irish Film Institute


It’s a great line-up, a mix of titles from the past 30 years or so that you may recognize – The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Into the West, In the Name of the Father, The Dead – and older and perhaps lesser known films from before then – The Informer, This Other Eden. 

We’re so fortunate to have a chance to view and discuss them all for the next fortnight.  (I’ve seen and own Into the WestThe Dead and In the Name of the Father, but I would still happily watch them again on the big screen.)

3 thoughts on “Irish film festival opens at MoMA

  1. Wish I could be there for the “Imagine Ireland” screenings of Irish films – particularly “The Quiet Man” and “Dreaming the Quiet Man.” I have edited/published/designed the official Maureen O’Hara website since 1994 and also do archival research for her. My association with her over the years has indeed been an adventure. I really miss her now that she’s retired to Ireland (I’m in Phoenix, AZ) but she’s having a grand time and I know if she was here she’d be front row center at “Imagine Ireland’s” presentation. For current photos and news items about Maureen please Google “Maureen O’Hara Magazine.” At age 90 she’s as beautiful and feisty as ever; a true legend and so proud of her Irish heritage.

    1. Hi June,

      Lovely to hear from you. I’ll be posting more as I attend the different films, so even though you’re not here with us, you can see from Arizona how things are going. From what I saw of Maureen O’Hara in the Dreaming… trailer, she sure does look like she’s going strong, bless her heart. What a life she’s led!

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