Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Conn Holohan
American Conference of Irish Studies, NUI Galway
Urban Migrants and Utopian Spaces in Recent Irish Cinema
NUI Galway
Conference Paper
Optional Fields
This paper considers the city as a utopian space in Irish cinema. It argues that in several recent Irish films the city is primarily depicted as a site of movement and exile, with narratives which centre on the search for a homespace within a hostile environment. Taking as its primary texts Adam and Paul (Lenny Abrahamson, 2004) and Kisses (Lance Daly, 2008), this paper argues that the central characters in both attempt to remake the city as a utopian space, an imaginative gesture most vividly captured in the shift from black and white to colour photography which occurs about a third of the way through Kisses, as the two protagonists leave their drab suburban environment for the promise of adventure and escape in the urban centre. This constitutes a significant shift from the traditional construction of the rural as utopian space within Irish national culture. Through detailed textual analysis, this paper discusses the city as a yearned for space, one which is subject to a utopian vision which ultimately fractures under the weight of the migrant experience.
Publication Themes