Gloucester Street – Lenny Abrahamson Filmmaker Playlist
Our inaugural playlist, curated by director Lenny Abrahamson – renowned for his multi-Academy Award nominated Room (2015) and acclaimed independent films like Adam & Paul (2004), Garage (2007), What Richard Did (2012) and Frank (2014) – visits the Irish Film Institute to select his top picks of materials preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive from the IFI Archive Player.
The films he has selected—from early stop-motion playfulness in Clock Tower Animation (1910s) to homemade sci-fi/horror by cinema-enthusiasts the Spence twins – span decades and counties, but all demonstrate a fascination and experimentation with film and story-telling that informs his unique way of seeing the world.Gloucester Street (which became Seán McDermott Street in 1933) is alive with activity: children play and grapple for the camera’s attention; teachers play school yard games with students and women reluctantly pose for camera. Moments in time are captured in a heavily-populated, inner-city Dublin neighbourhood. The tenement dwellings here were later demolished after Dublin Corporation purchased them in 1941. Father Jack Delaney (1906-1980) was ordained in 1930 at the age of 24 and served as a parish priest in Dublin in the 1930s and 1940s. He served mainly around Seán McDermott Street (then Gloucester Street), Rutland Street and Gardiner Street. His films offer a fascinating glimpse of life at the time in inner-city Dublin and include scenes of trips with parishioners, tenement life, school children at play, religious processions, and residents of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Convent (which housed a Magdalene Laundry).