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, capturing top international prizes (The Crying Game) and an Academy Award (My Left Foot).
In Contemporary Irish Cinema, James MacKillop and contributors take a variety of approaches to the treatment of films and film makers. Some contributors are journalists and critics; others are young scholars well grounded in current cinematic and literary theory.
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 Playboys; among the films that figure into Pamela Dolan's work is An Elephant in the Sacristy.
Anthony Kirby and MacKillop's up-to-date filmography of Irish and Irish-related films is the most extensive yet published.