A new Newstalk documentary explores the props, architecture, and designs behind three Irish films: Ryan's Daughter, Rawhead Rex, and The Van.
'Propped Up' will air on Newstalk 106-108fm on 7:00am Sunday 28 Oct 2018 at 7.am, Repeated at 11am, Bank Holiday Monday 29 Oct, 2018
On a barren clifftop in Dunquin, Co Kerry, an abandoned schoolhouse looks out onto the Blasket Islands and Atlantic Ocean. The walls are crumbling and the roof has caved in. Nowadays, sheep are the only inhabitants. But although it resembles a relic from the late 1800's, this building was constructed in 1969 for an epic movie that transformed the Dingle Peninsula forever.
Design and props in motion pictures are not merely for decorative purpose - their roles are sometimes integral to the story. Across three 15-minute audio portraits, Sunday Times journalist Pavel Barter discovers the hidden narratives behind three Irish films, through the prism of props, architecture, and design.
For Ryan's Daughter (1969), he speaks to West Kerry residents who were involved with the film. He discovers a quality of craftsmanship no longer found in architecture or film-making, and learns why the schoolhouse was not fated a happy ending.
Barter gets under the skin of the monster costume of Rawhead Rex (1986), a horror B-movie, made in Wicklow, from the mind of Clive Barker (Hellraiser). He meets the costume's creators (who also created Max Headroom) to understand the genesis and fallout of their ghastly creature design.
In the last segment of Propped Up - The Van (1996) - he spends time with actor Neilí Conroy (Love/Hate) and production designer Mark Geraghty (Vikings, Ripper Street), to understand how a four-wheeled prop managed to joyride its way into audience's hearts in Roddy Doyle's classic Dublin film.
LISTEN LIVE: Propped Up will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday 28 Oct, 2018 at 7:00am, and repeated 11am, Bank Holiday Monday 29 Oct, 2018
PODCAST: Propped Up
Propped Up was produced and presented by Pavel Barter.
This programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.
Rawhead Rex is now available in remastered Blu-Ray edition from www.arrowfilms.com