Thursday 14 November 2019

My cultural life: Willie White

Willie White
Willie White
Bus Couple
Katherine Hahn

Willie White is artistic director of Dublin Theatre Festival, the 60th anniversary of which runs from September 28 to October 15. He is originally from Abbeyleix, Co Laois, and studied English at UCD and theatre at Trinity College.

He was a founder member of Loose Canon Theatre Company in the 1990s, before going on to work at RTE for four years, followed by nearly a decade at the helm of Project Arts Centre. He has been artistic director of Dublin Theatre Festival since 2011. He is married to Gilly, whom he met in UCD Dramsoc, and they live with their three children in Phibsboro.

Film: Moonlight


I don't get to the cinema much and when I do it's usually to see movies with our children, where I often snooze or else get given out to by them for checking my phone. I eventually caught up with Moonlight (above) on a long flight, a few months after the Oscars excitement. Even though it was on a small screen with not great sound, I was really taken by it. The images were beautiful, the soundtrack was great and its portrait of a young gay black kid growing into manhood and the people who taunt him, disappoint him and buoy him up, was equally heartbreaking and uplifting.

TV: I Love Dick

Katherine Hahn

I've just started watching this adaptation of Chris Kraus's cult feminist book. Co-created by Jill Soloway, who was responsible for Transparent, it's about a film maker, played by Kathryn Hahn (above), and her academic husband whose lives are, of course, transformed when they meet the rugged and enigmatic Dick in the guise of Kevin Bacon. It's a comic story about insufferable, self-regarding intellectual types, all set in the beautiful desert city of Marfa, Texas.

Book: Conversations with Friends

I loved Sally Rooney's brilliant debut novel; the story of Frances, a young woman who is performing spoken word with her ex-girlfriend Bobbi when a photographer takes a shine to them as subjects for a magazine profile. The photographer is 10 years older, has a nice house in Monkstown, a handsome actor husband and friends with a holiday home in France, to which Frances and Bobbi are invited.

Art: Bus Couple

Bus Couple

This image (above) won photographer Daragh Soden the prestigious Grand Prix at Hyeres International Festival of Fashion and Photography. From his Young Dubliners series of documentary photographs, it shows a young couple sitting at the back on the top deck of a Dublin Bus. The couple shine with that mixture of cool and uncertainty that is the mark of the city's youth in the years after economic calamity.

Music: Having a Coke

Having a Coke with You, a track from David Kitt's electronic music alter ego New Jackson, samples New York writer Frank O'Hara's 1960s poem of the same name. O'Hara writes about how, when it's with a loved one, a simple thing like having a Coke "is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irun, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne".

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