Sunday 17 November 2019

A question of culture: Paul Callanan

Paul Callanan
Paul Callanan

Paul Callanan, Curator Cork French Film, provides this week's answers

Favourite film? Blade Runner, for its blend of science fiction and film-noir, and its questions about humanity and technology.

Favourite director? Jacques Audiard is one of the most exciting directors working today: a powerful blend of the French auteur with the entertainment values of Hollywood.

Last film you saw and loved? I watched The Umbrellas of Cherbourg again the other day, as we are having a retrospective of Jacques Demy at this year's festival.

Last film you saw and hated? Gravity was a big letdown. A very disappointing script undermined all the promise of the fantastic imagery.

BEST film festival memory? Meeting Mathieu Amalric at a party in Cannes just after he had won Best Director for On Tour – and discovering that he used to live in Bantry in west Cork and worked on my friend's farm.

The best stage production you've ever seen? Enda Walsh's The Walworth Farce by Druid Theatre was an incredible, frenetic tale of an Irish family living in a squalid flat in London.

Favourite band? The raw sound of The Velvet Underground was a defining musical influence in my youth that still lingers on.

Best concert/gig you've ever seen? Kraftwerk in Berlin – seeing the pioneers of electronic music when they reformed was a truly awesome experience.

Last book you read and loved? The Teachings of Don Juan: Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda, a young anthropologist who becomes an apprentice to a Mexican medicine-man.

Favourite TV show? I've just finished watching Breaking Bad; it's not the best TV show I've ever seen but I certainly was hooked.

Favourite radio presenter? John Peel, for always discovering great new music and changing the nature of broadcasting.

Favourite city/country? My wife and I first lived together in Berlin. The city holds a special place in our hearts.

Favourite food/restaurant? Rasa in Stoke Newington, London – my local vegetarian restaurant serves sumptuous South Indian food from Kerala.

THE 25TH CORK FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL RUNS FROM MARCH 2 – 9. SEE WWW.CORKFRENCHFILMFESTIVAL.COM

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