Wednesday, June 27, 2012


gate, N6, Galway
I finally watched Garage on DVD the night before last. I am ashamed that it has taken this long. As Wiki says, Garage 'is a 2007 Irish film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Mark O'Halloran, the same team behind Adam and Paul. It stars Pat ShorttAnne-Marie Duff and Conor J. Ryan. The film tells the story of a lonely petrol station attendant and how he slowly begins to come out of his shell.' I must add that it was edited (beautifully) by my cousin, Isobel Stephenson, who won an IFTA for her work on Love/Hate.

The film is about loneliness and innocence, and the inevitable loss of the latter; about the tragic collision of three different kinds of innocence: that of the central character, Josie (a wide-eyed, child-like man brilliantly played by Pat Shortt), that of the 15-year old boy who befriends him and, to a lesser extent, the innocence and naivety of the trucker who thinks he is doing Josie a favour by giving him a porn video. Of course the video is a ticking bomb that will have to detonate. 

There is plenty of bittersweet comedy in Garage. The film is perfectly cast. It distills a certain kind of midlands Ireland, slightly off the beaten track, the business on its last legs, a backdrop of overgrown lanes, high bramble, fields of deep, grazing silences, an Edenic stillness and lushness. There is even an apple; more than one in fact. To quote Derek Mahon's 'Garage In County Cork': 

Surely a whitewashed suntrap at the back
Gave way to hens, wild thyme, and the first few
Shadowy yards of an overgrown cart track,
Tyres in the branches such as Noah knew –

Yes, surely it did, and does. Innocence collides with innocence and begets knowledge (of a kind). And the tragedy, when it comes, closes without an apparent ripple, as quietly inevitable as the encroaching sunrise, the evening foretold by the film's mute chorus, which in this instance may well be a horse. Ah, the horse! You'll have to see the film to find out what I mean. Look out for the last shot, that final frame: perfect filming, and the editing is pure genius. 

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