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Toy Story 3 director in Galway for screening



Date Published: {J}

by Paul Heaney

Toy Story 3, the latest Pixar animation release, has opened nationwide in Irish cinemas this week after breaking box office records in the US. To promote the film and as part of a special screening for the 2010 Galway Film Fleadh, the film’s director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K Anderson flew into Galway for a series of interviews.

The pair are between them responsible for almost three billion dollars of tickets sold worldwide, with Unkrich’s having worked on the Toy Story trilogy (he was editor on Toy Story and Toy Story 2, and co-directed ‘2’, TS3 is his sole directing debut) and Anderson’s having produced A Bug’s Life, Cars and TS3.

Easily Pixar’s best film, both emotionally and creatively to date, Toy Story 3 has been met with well-deserved critical and commercial success worldwide. Pixar first introduced the CG-animated feature with Toy Story in ’95, creating a blueprint for what animation should be and revolutionizing the industry overnight.

Then, four years later, Pixar soared to even greater heights with Toy Story 2, laying the foundation for subsequent ambition and innovation. Fifteen years after Buzz and Woody first met, the studio bids a bittersweet farewell to Woody and Buzz’s adventures in Toy Story 3 which opened nationwide with a rare start-of-week debut on Monday.


A question that has intrigued me is why, after Pixar’s still unbroken string of creative and commercial successes, animation is still somehow seen as only for kids, or at worst, secondary to live-action films? Unkrich has a readymade answer. “Well, you know, there’s this weird bias, in the United States especially – that animation is just for kids. We’ve done our best over the years to try to break that. I think we’ve made slow progress, but we’ve made progress.

“From the beginning, we tried to make movies for everybody. They’ve never been targeted to kids. I think the moment you try to make something for kids, you are making something really cruddy that even kids don’t want to watch most of the time. These movies are for everybody, and we want everybody to relate to them on different levels.

“There are mature ideas and themes and feelings in this film that I think are going to affect many grownups, but kids are at a different stage in their life. They don’t experience things the same way adults do. They don’t have the same feelings, and they’re going to have a very different experience of the film. Hopefully they’re still entertained, but it’ll be in a very different way from adults,” he says.

Things have not always been smoothly planned at the studio, as the near-calamity with Toy Story 2’s production suddenly unfolded. “With Toy Story 2, it was more a realization that when we were all together, we could do amazing work, because we had to redo that whole film in only nine months. We basically shut down the studio and it was all hands on deck to get the movie made.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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