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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Cinema and the Celtic Tiger (Ruth Barton)

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Ruth Barton

Cinema and the Celtic Tiger

The Celtic Tiger years witnessed radical changes in Irish cinema. Not all of these can be ascribed to the new financial climate and there’s a danger of categorising all cultural production under one heading where multiple factors are at play. ‘Celtic Tiger cinema’ is thus more a soubriquet than a watertight classification. Filmmaking in this period responded to a number of influences, including the Peace Process and with it the waning of the National Question as a narrative driver, and the loss of influence of the Catholic Church, neither of which can be seen to be contingent on the new economic order. Digital technologies, meanwhile, paved the way for cheaper, faster shooting and editing. When considering film production, it is also important to remember that a lengthy period can lapse between a film’s conception and its release, so that the earlier films that appeared in the Celtic Tiger years (Neil Jordan’s The Butcher Boy of 1997, for instance), responded more to concerns around rurality, national identity, and the weight of history than did the films of the early 2000s that originated in the Celtic Tiger period. I am thus focusing here on films of the early 2000s onwards.

The first films that appeared after the turn of the century responded very directly to a new metropolitan culture. About Adam (Gerard Stembridge, 2001) and Goldfish Memory (Elizabeth Gill, 2003) are contemporary urban romantic comedies that gleefully threw off...

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