An uncommon insight into the less-travelled avenues of Dublin, Director Dave Tynan and co-writer/star Emmet Kirwan take us on a trip that may even catch seasoned travellers off guard.
Set amidst the city’s underground music and rave scene, aspiring DJ Jason (Kirwan) traverses Dublin homes and warehouses with visiting London musicians and acquaintances, current and former, all awaiting his promised chance at a big gig. Unbeknownst to Jason, his brother Daniel (Ian Lloyd Anderson), long affected by substance abuse, has come back into town.
Dublin Oldschool is split between two very different types of sequences; it’s music-filled jaunts, one or more of which will happen at a time, followed by one of Jason’s encounters with Daniel usually on a street outside or near the latest party. Several of these extended exposures to Dublin’s scenes are very colourfully staged and diverse enough to cover a myriad of styles and genres emanating throughout the city.
Filmed largely in and near Dublin’s centre and branches off the likes of O’Connell Street, there’s a supremely naturalistic feel to the varied moments set on the pavement, as there are many of the club scenes. With one of the live-music venues having closed down following filming, a development not uncommon in Dublin nor Sydney, there is a joy to watching this preservation of a particularly lively time and place, the likes of which may or may not continue to proliferate.
The sequences shared by Jason and Daniel are however the best in the film, regardless of a few being shot, together with some of the other street sequences, with somewhat too great an emphasis on a conspicuously un-sturdy cam, or otherwise switching between the pair too heavily. The fewer moments where they are both in frame carry by far the greater impact.
What is so remarkable about their encounters is that most viewers would fairly at the outset, having been exposed to both brothers and familiar with the differences in the pair’s levels of drug abuse, ascribe qualities, states of reason or resolve to one or both. When that dynamic shifts and upends itself, with both viewers and our key figures gradually becoming aware of the actual interplay underlying what are not unexpected fraternal bonds and shows of support, like so much of Dublin Oldschool the reverberations are novelly rewarding.
Dublin Oldschool screens in Australia as part of the Irish Film Festival and will screen at Melbourne’s Kino Cinema on Saturday May 11 at 10PM
See here for our interview with Dublin Oldschool Director Dave Tynan