Art’s Life - Sean Kelly

What I do: I’m the manager of the Corona Cork Film Festival, which is happening right now.

Favourite café: House Café in Cork Opera House serves really strong coffee, so that gets my vote.

Current listening: When I’m working round the clock with the festival, country music helps me relax, so it’s Waylon Jennings for now. I just bought the new Bat for Lashes album, The Haunted Man, but haven’t even had time to open it yet, so I suppose that doesn’t count.

The last gig I attended: Terry Reid in the Crane Lane. I didn’t even think he toured anymore. Legend has it that Jimmy Page asked him to front Led Zeppelin and he turned him down. Really, he’s the best musician you’ve never heard of — and he’s on Youtube.

The last book I read: I’ve just finished The Island of the Day Before, by Umberto Eco. It’s the only novel of his that I didn’t like. I’m currently reading Antony Beevor’s account of the second world war. In size and weight, it more resembles a concrete block than a book, but I’m enjoying it just the same.

My last trip to the theatre: Woman and Scarecrow, by Marina Carr. I have to be honest and say the script was weak.

The last exhibition I attended: Sean Keating in the Crawford. The TV interview from the ’60s is still a classic. You have to admire such vehemence in a man in his 80s.

My favourite film: Hmm, too many to pick just one. It’s a five–way tie between Pyscho, The Searchers, Dances with Wolves, The Dead of Night and The Devil and Daniel Webster. Oh, and anything with the Marx Brothers, or Bogie or Downfall or ...

My favourite writer/artist/musician: Easy. Dylan Thomas. I read his poems for the first time as a teenager and my life has never been the same.

My favourite work of art: Michelangelo’s Last Judgement. I don’t mind obvious choices. Shakespeare is the greatest writer the English language has produced. Why? Because he obviously is.

My favourite venue: Cork Opera House on the opening night of the Corona Cork Film Festival. Honestly.

The writer/artist/musician I would most like to meet: Seeing as we’re in the realms of fantasy, I’m going to say Oscar Wilde. What sane person wouldn’t want to spend an evening with Oscar?

Bio: When the Corona Cork Film Festival isn’t taking up all my time, I live in Douglas with by beautiful wife, Aine. Aside from that, my favourite things in life are poetry, steak, music and history books. Just about in that order.

* The Corona Cork Film Festival runs until Sunday and will screen over 300 Irish and international feature films, world cinema, documentaries and short films from all over the world. Tickets for all screenings are available on www.corkfilmfest.org and from the festival box office on Opera Lane (021-4274301).

Interview by Marc O’Sullivan

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