Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brogues in Shorts (Short Shorts)

J: No one reads this.

M: [laughs] It's true. Would this be a good time for our contest? Now that we know it's probably not legal...

J: Do we have the goods?

M: We can get the goods. And we will. For one faithful follower.

J: No adultery, y'all! Anyway... in this post we'll be covering two live-action short films nominated for an Academy Award. Yes, they happen to both be from Ireland. One from Ireland proper, the other Northern Ireland. Meredith, let's start with Pentecost.

M: Let's do!

J: Brief synopsis?

M: Despite his best efforts, a young Irish boy is shunned from altar boy duties due to an unfortunate swinging accident involving the, er... what is that thing?

J: The incense burner?

M: There we go.

J: And what happens next?

M: His strict father forbids the poor boy from indulging in football of any kind, most specifically his beloved Liverpool, until he redeems himself in the eyes of God and the church.

J: Personally, my favorite part about this 11-minute short is the comparison between religion and sports. The references are both obvious and hilarious.

M: Quite right!

J: I'd recommend this to anyone who was ever Catholic. Or a sports fan. Or both.

M: Go Reds! (Liverpool)

J: Ahh. Yes, it's a cute one. The next short film is called The Shore, and it's a heartwarming tale about two friends on either sides of the pond (both from Northern Ireland originally) who have lost touch due to the Troubles, as well as a miscommunication regarding a certain lady friend.

M: This lucky film happened to take home Mr. Oscar and fittingly so, as it's a nice little film.

J: I liked it too, particularly the céilidh at the end! Well, I didn't like the mussels. Those are gross. But the drinking and singing and laughing, that all sounded marvelous to me.

M: [shudders at recollection of mussel slurping]

J: I also really liked how funny this one was, even heartbreakingly funny at times. We both felt a bit cheated at the end, as though the film could have gone on quite a bit longer.

M: Quite right!

J: The conclusion, I suppose, is that we still want to go to Ireland already and absorb the culture a bit more in person. That will just have to wait. In the meantime, there is more brogue to be had!

M: In conclusion, I would say that having never seen Oscar-nominated short films before, I was pleasantly surprised and exceedingly entertained. Much gratitude to our special friend who lent us the DVDs!

J: Also, come to the Oscar party next year! It's a hoot!

M: Quite right!

J: And stay tuned for a very excited BWAB contest announcement! That's all, folks!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Downton Brogue

What a happy bunch. Oh, don't you look lovely!
J: This is going to be so tame in comparison. [skips to kitchen for "just a half a cup more..."]

M: And we're back! In this post will expound upon the first episode of the hit series Downton Abbey. Yes, that's Downton. Not 'downtown.'

J:  I'm entranced...

M: You're much better at the typing than I am. I guess no one can tell who's typing. Moving on...Jenna, what first drew you to watch Downton Abbey?

J:  Oh god, everybody and their mother. And plus, I'm enamored of all things British and witty. And I knew it was only a matter of time until I was completely sucked in.

M:  Brilliant. For those of us who've not yet had the Downton experience, how would you describe this fair show?

J:  Fairly. Um, it's a thorough and vastly entertaining portrayal of life in the British countryside at a manor. Is it a manor?

M:  An 'abbey'?

J:  It's an abbey? I don't know. Whatever... Everyone from the kitchen maid to Lord Grantham is given equal screen time, and the dialogue will not disappoint the most fervent lovers of dry British humor.

M:  Would you say it's like reading a book?

J:  Depends on the book...If you mean it makes you feel educated and enlightened, then yes. Just read the article.

Back hallway brogue-ing.
M:  How did you find the brogue-ing in Downton Abbey?

J:  Fascinating. The subtle yet discernible differences between the servants' brogue and the family's brogue and even the American mother's quasi-brogue are wonderful to listen to. I ended a sentence with a preposition. That's a big no-no.

M:  I won't tell...Anything else you care to add regarding this invigorating new drama?

The jewelry. I die. 
J:  Only that I'm obsessed with the jewelry and the clothes perhaps as much as the accents. If I could roll in the custom jewelry I would. Literally. I'll also say that if you have any inkling of appreciation for British humor, Jane Austen, or fine period pieces, then you absolutely must check out Downton Abbey. And if your girlfriend makes you watch, it's OK to enjoy it. Not that I support gender stereotypes. Because I don't.

M:  Quite right.  Well, there you have it folks. Two posts. One night. That. Just. Happened. Until next time...

A Brogue Retreat

M: And then I thought, maybe I've had enough wine...

J: Welcome back to Blog with a Brogue! It's been some time, but we're full of it tonight! Thanks for that, Meredith. We have two very special posts coming.

M: I thought you were going to say guests and I got excited... who's coming?! Ha ha ha brilliant... I like chianti. It's good. Are you still typing all of this? Weren't you supposed to ask me a question?

J: Ahem. [ominous clicking] So tell me Meredith, ah, about our first film tonight, Retreat starring the esteemed Cillian Murphy.

M: I'm trying to remember how I found out about this movie... I have no idea!

J: [ominous clicking] Regardless...

M: Well first of all, we had to rent it from Blockbuster online, which was an especially frustrating experience. And then we had to watch the movie, which was also fairly frustrating.

J: Not that I don't agree, but do tell... in what way?

M: Hmm... how to avoid a spoiler... I'm trying to figure out how to say enough without saying too much. It was the sort of movie where you find yourself uselessly yelling at the characters to act in a certain manner, and they just continue to disappoint.

J: Can you give us a brief synopsis?

M: Well, I can try. At the start of the movie, we meet the first of our three main characters, who carry the entire film. They're on their way to a remote island in what appears to be an attempt to recreate a past vacation or honeymoon - happier times for sure. But the entire plan goes awry when a bloody stranger appears at their door.

J: And did Cillian pull it off?

M: Hmm. Um. My initial reaction is to say, "Yes!" However, it's difficult to separate my dislike of his character from his acting performance.

J: Would you recommend this movie to anyone in particular?

M: I'd recommend it to everyone! [pause] No. I've no idea. I'll at least say that while it was not my favorite film experience, it's not what you expect. It wasn't predictable. At the very least, it's an interesting and thought-provoking story. Also, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who happens to be asthmatic.

J: Quite right. Well, there you have it. Retreat, with Cillian Murphy, Thandie Newton, and some bloody stranger. (EDIT:  Turns out the 'bloody stranger' was Billy Elliot. Nbd.) It's not important. (EDIT:  But it's kinda cool...) In a moment, we'll bring you our impressions of Season 1, Episode 1 of the Masterpiece Classic series that's sweeping the nation, Downton Abbey.

M: And the floors [heads to kitchen for more wine].

J: That's all folks!