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My cultural life: Edwina Casey

 

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Edwina Casey

Edwina Casey

"Madonna" by Edvard Munch

"Madonna" by Edvard Munch

Maverick Sabre from Wexford

Maverick Sabre from Wexford

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Edwina Casey

Edwina Casey recently won the Bingham Ray New Talent Award at the Galway Film Fleadh 2020 in association with Magnolia Pictures (USA). She studied directing at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, then earned her stripes working in opera before moving into screen. She is a 35mm enthusiast and says: "I spent most of lockdown taking pictures from my balcony - like a paranoid James Stewart in Rear Window." Her debut feature film is slated to shoot in early 2021, but in the meantime, her short film Algorithm will screen online at the Cork International Film Festival from November 5.

Music: Maverick Sabre's When I Wake Up

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Maverick Sabre from Wexford

Maverick Sabre from Wexford

Maverick Sabre from Wexford

 

I'm currently writing a crime film and I have found listening to local artists such as Pat Lagoon, Denise Chaila and Kojaque very inspiring. It feels like Irish hip-hop is going through a cultural moment, which is impressive considering no one can gig any more. It's been exciting to watch so many diverse artists come out of Limerick and Dublin over the past year and cross over into the mainstream, but my favourite artist of all time would be Maverick Sabre. His last album When I Wake Up proved that he is truly a unique Irish talent.

Film: The Story of Film by Mark Cousins

I moved into film after my dad died. It was a difficult time and this 15-hour documentary was my film education during it. Charting the history of innovation in cinema, the series is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It is said Cousins dedicated five years of his life, travelling every corner of the globe to meet film-makers and talk to them about their work. I was grateful for it at the time and I find myself constantly going back to it.

Point Break by Kathryn Bigelow

I know I'm breaking the rules mentioning a second film but I recently got my hands on a DVD copy of this classic and it's safe to say it still holds up. Yes, it's about surfers. Yes, they are also bank robbers. More importantly, however, it is a showcase of a brilliant director in the making. Bigelow later became the first female to win an Oscar for best director. I like to think this film had a hand in that. It's difficult to know what the future holds with film but I try to stay creative and use the time wisely. Keeping her as my idol helps.

Book: A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace

I received this book of essays by the late Foster Wallace from a writer friend of mine, having never read Foster Wallace before. Topics vary from David Lynch peeing on the set of Lost Highway to the writer's experience on a Caribbean cruise ship, which serves as the book's title. I found the most memorable essay to be about professional tennis player Michael Joyce, who devoted himself to the sport even though he never reached the top 10. It's a great essay on heroic dedication to craft irrespective of the outcome.

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Design: Taka Architects

This small Dublin-based practice is run by sister and brother-in-law Alice Casey (full disclosure, she's my sister) and Cian Deegan. Last year they won the international Emerging Architecture award, which technically makes them "architectural stars of tomorrow". Sibling rivalry aside, they have taught me about pushing the boundary in design, and I love the Eastern influence in their work. Hopefully, when I make my fortune, they will build me a house that will make Kevin McCloud go weak at the knees.

Art: Madonna by Edvard Munch

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"Madonna" by Edvard Munch

"Madonna" by Edvard Munch

"Madonna" by Edvard Munch

 

A couple of years ago I was on a directing job at the Norwegian National Ballet & Opera in Oslo. After rehearsals, I would sometimes visit the National Gallery, which has an incredible collection of Munch originals, including his famed work, The Scream. My favourite, however, is his portrait of an unnamed woman whom he painted several times over.

I keep a poster of her in my living room. I don't know why. I just love her.


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