My Favourite Irish and British Cinema

Top 5 British and Irish films.

Understandably it’s increasingly difficult to define national cinema. Is the film’s country of origin based on investment, talent, location of shooting or nationality of the directors themselves? Instead I’ll be basing this list on the events, issues and themes explored by theses films that  attach themselves to both Britain and Ireland.

Bloody Sunday

  Bloody Sunday

Yes, before there was the Bourne series and before we witnessed the intense taking of Captain Phillips there was a film with arguably more impact and significance than both put together. Bloody Sunday depicts the horrifying events of the 1972 Londonderry shootings and stars the brilliant James Nesbitt. The film’s shocking and disturbing final act is forced viewing through Greengrass classic handheld, unsteady camera technique. The film’s tragic true life events are recreated expertly by both Greengrass and the actors which in turn gives the film’s important message an ever lasting impression.

Brief Encounter


Brief Encounter is a beautiful and tragic story of two strangers falling in love but the woman is conflicted over cheating on her husband. The great David Lean will always be remembered for his skill in direction and for his cinematography of his films and Brief Encounter is no exception. The subtle affair is brought to life by Lean’ extraordinary camera work and use of lighting. He manages to involve the audience and make them implicit in their affair.

28 Days Later


Danny Boyle’s first great attempt at big budget, city scale horror. Staring a defining performance by Cillian Murphy, 28 Days Later breathes new life into the stale, reanimated courses of the zombie genre. The infected for one of the first times on-screen are able to sprint towards their targets and really pose a threat, an element Boyle uses to further the jeopardy for our young, partially naked Cillian Murph as he fumbles around London. Now a house hold trait to any modern zombie platform (walking dead being the big exception) Boyle =’s zombie charge has changed the face of horror and its capabilities.

The Wicker Man


What could be more disturbingly horrifying than Boyle’s apocalyptic London, Christopher Lee in a dress is the answer, particularly when he’s doing a jig whilst burning a policeman alive to satisfy the sun god. Heathens and mad men, the Wicker Man is one of the most unsettling exports from the UK not only before of the above mentioned fact but also because it’s set on an island up somewhere in the north where, I’m ashamed to admit, I probably think these things could potentially happen.

This is England


A troubled look at England’s skinhead heritage and the cause and effect on the generation bore witness. Shane Meadow’s is a director that doesn’t shy away from investigating the dark corners of society. This is England is exactly what it says on the tin, the truest depiction of everything we already knew but didn’t want to remember.


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