Garage juggernaut rolls on
by Naman Ramachandran
After being acclaimed at Cannes (where it won the Cicae Art and Essai cinema prize), Toronto and Athens, Lenny Abrahamson’s remarkable sophomore feature Garage [+see also:
interview: Ed Guiney
interview: Jean-François Deveau
interview: Lenny Abrahamson
film profile] enthralled London Film Festival audiences when it played in the iconic Leicester Square as part of the prestigious Film on the Square selection.
The film follows the life of Josie, a garage attendant in a small Irish town, who is not the brightest of sparks but is honest and hardworking. His lonely and routine life undergoes a seismic shift when a teenager, David, comes to work with him.
Abrahamson follows the same lean, spare style that he employed in his debut feature Adam & Paul. Working with his regular writer Mark O’Halloran, he creates a uniquely still world that owes more to the conventions of European cinema rather than its brasher Hollywood counterpart. After the first cut weighed in at over two-and-a-half hours, the director pared away layer after layer until he arrived at the real film, which is just 85 minutes long.
Says Abrahamson: “I like to work in a really spare visual style. So there is a kind of bareness and simplicity in the way we shoot. If you can keep the style still enough, then the smallest ripples become visible.”
Along with directors like John Crowley (Transmission) and John Carney (Once [+see also:
film profile]), Abrahamson is in the vanguard of the new wave of Irish cinema that has emerged in recent years. He feels that having a national cinema that was hitherto obsessed with documenting the intra-faith troubles in a way freed filmmakers of his generation and allowed them the scope to make universal stories.
Abrahamson is excited about the buzz generated for Garage at the London festival and says that it is good publicity ahead of the film’s spring 2008 UK release. Soda Pictures is handling the distribution.
Garage was released in Ireland on October 5 and will be released in France in January 2008.
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