Arts / Culture Writer’s Choice of the Year Eoghan O’Sullivan
For those I love, Olympia Theater, November 17: Long awaited, David Balfe did not disappoint for his first FTIL release in front of a Dublin audience. Partly theatrical, tears flowed as the dance prevailed.
Gemma Dunleavy, Academy, November 6: The local girl did well as this homecoming show was packed with friends and family, who poured out on stage for the tumultuous ‘Up De Flats’.
It Takes a Village, Trabolgan, September 17-19: Withdrawal symptoms from a lack of festivals are very real. Thankfully, the vibes echoed around Trabolgan – aided by the sheer energy of TPM / Mary Wallopers, whether it was a little salon session or a rap pool party.
What is a summer without a festival season? Hopefully 2022 more than makes up for it.
Denise Chaila is as amazing as you might think. We spoke for a few hours on either side of the roughly 70 minutes of recorded conversation. So smart, 2022 is her for the taking.
I have already recommended Thin Places by Kerri ni Dochartaigh, a wonderful mix of genres.
On the fiction side, I thought Rebecca Watson’s Little Scratch was great, Lisa McInerney’s The Rules of Revelation was a fitting ending to her superlative Cork trilogy, and Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World Where Are You lived up to the hype.
Roisin Kiberd’s collection of tech drift essays, The Disconnect, sparked thought. I tried to get ahead of Odysseus’s centenary by finally reading Joyce’s tome – pretty well, to be fair.
The cinema suffered as much as the performing arts this year, and there was a lack of enthusiasm for “big” films.
Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary Get Back, however, looked like a real event. The happiest eight hours you can imagine, you leave feeling like you’re friends with the group. I never really ‘got’ The Beatles before that – and I wonder why exactly they broke up …
My take that I hesitate to reveal to people is that Succession is the most high profile TV show of the decade – and yet I still watch it. The season three finale had the best of the game, Brian Cox in particular.
However, The White Lotus was my favorite show of the year. Staggered, I couldn’t figure out where it was taking us next. Bonus points for not pulling it more than necessary.
The power of podcasting really struck me when one of the stars of the Around the NFL podcast died. A sports podcast, he had also charted the battles against cancer of one of his hosts, Chris Wesselling, over the years: he beat him once, lived to the fullest, found love and became a father. , before the cancer came back last year.
He passed away on the eve of the Super Bowl, so what should have been a recap episode of America’s biggest sporting event became a tribute simply titled “Wes.” I felt like I had lost a good friend.
The toll of the first five months mired in lockdown has had a huge impact on fans and creators alike. Hopefully the current restrictions won’t need to last past mid-January.