I was prompted today to remember a very special anniversary. This day last year, when I pushed LADY BETH out into the world of Indie Publishing! It’s been a truly amazing year, so time to thank every one who bought, borrowed, read, liked, praised, reviewed, awarded, stocked, shared, placed on your bookshelf, sent me photos and recommended it to others. You are THE business and I send you heaps of gratitude!
I am currently working on a new novel, an urban ghost story. More on that soon! I have always been fascinated with the complexities of human nature, specifically the unexplained, the uncanny, the strange and the magical. Real life is often frightening, and can be overwhelming at times. Horror fiction is escapism. We can explore the complex issues of life, death and everything in between – be frightened between the safety of the pages – but still control the level and intensity of that experience. With horror too, often comes humour, which allows us to explore the darker side of humanity with a safety net!
I have seen this film twice now, the second time when I was lucky enough to view it at a screening attended by director Aisling Walsh and actor Ethan Hawke. Based on a true story, the film is a compelling portrait of Canadian folk artist, Maud Lewis, played by the wonderful Sally Hawkins, and focuses on her relationship and subsequent forty-year marriage with Everett, a fisherman, living hand to mouth. A cinematic treat for the senses, Maudie reflects the 1930’s small town mentality, particularly through the prevalent attitudes to her free spirit and her disability, rheumatoid arthritis, a painful condition that grew progressively worse as she aged. The film also charts her path to becoming an accomplished folk artist while never flinching from the hardships endured by Maudie as she shares her life with Everett in their tiny shack. No spoilers here, but there is also a particularly poignant element to Maudie’s story that I guarantee will bring on the tears! An Irish / Canadian co-production, Maudie is a study of the resilience and tenacity of a gifted artist in the face of adversity.
Maudie | 15A | 1 hour 55 mins | 2016
What a beautiful gothic horror film. Directed by Brian O’Malley and written by David Turpin, The Lodgers is set in rural Ireland in 1920, and filmed on location in Loftus Hall, Wexford. In a crumbling mansion filled with secrets, twins Edward and Rachel keep to themselves, cursed by the nightly visitors who keep a tight reign on the brother and sister with a set of rules that have dire consequences upon breaking. Until that is, Rachel encounters a young man from the local village, a wounded war veteran, and she begins to see another life outside of her prison home. The production design on this film is stunning, the story highly original, and the ending, just perfect!
The Lodgers | 1 hr 32 mins | Tailored Films | 2017
Frances McDormand plays a determined mother who rents three billboards to bring attention to the unsolved rape and murder of her daughter. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, this film is searing in the level of violence and diverse characterisation that covers racism, suicide, grief and revenge. And it works, probably due to the perfect casting of McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson et al. And there is comedy, mostly black, that keeps the viewer from going under at the sheer harshness of the subject matter.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri | 15A | 1 hr 55 mins | 2018
What an honour to be included in BooksbyWomen.org recommended reads!
“Lady Beth is a perfectly paced page-turner of a novel which keeps the tension taut at all times. The darker side of Dublin city is perfectly judged, with well-rounded characters filling out the scenes around the titular Beth. Beth herself is a fantastic character moving seamlessly from unassuming office worker to avenging mother with an impressive lack of melodrama. Caroline has a filmic eye and the book swirls with a wonderful noir atmosphere as Beth digs deep into her past in order to build herself a future.” 746books.com
‘Just finished reading Lady Beth. What a fast-moving story, very well researched, written with a lively imagination and I personally would love to see it made into a film. That storyline has Oscar written all over it.’ Mary Malone. Reader
Caroline E Farrell is the author of the novels, Lady Beth and Arkyne, Story of a Vampire. She is also the writer and director of the short film FRAMED and writer and co-producer of IN RIBBONS and ADAM.
Written by Greta Gerwig, this is also her directorial debut, and is, perhaps semi-autobiographical. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird is a delightful coming of age drama, set in 2002, that explores a teenage girl’s challenges at school and home, and in her relationships with friends, boys and quite poignantly – with her mother – played superbly by Laurie Metcalf. Christine insists on being called Lady Bird, and thinks her life will be better once she gets away from her hometown of Sacramento, and to a college that her parents can ill afford. Aspiring for a life on the better side of the tracks, as she sees it, Lady Bird is funny and strong-willed, stumbling along as she reaches out to find her place in the world. Already such an accomplished actress, this is yet another captivating portrayal from Saoirse.
Lady Bird | 15A | 1hr 34 mins | 2017