You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Busan: Irish Helmers Discuss Hollywood Dominance at Korea Fest

Directors' panel at Busan puts focus on independent cinema

Five Irish directors invited by Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival to discuss their country’s industry ended up talking about the dominance of the U.S. over the international biz.

The quintet – John Butler (“The Stag”), Lance Daly (“Kisses”), Neil Jordan (“Byzantium”), Brendan Muldowney (“Savages”) and Jim Sheridan (“Brothers”) – mostly agreed that success in the American market has always been a big boost to the local box office.

Sheridan held up Jordan’s 1992 “Crying Game” as a prime example. The film had a hard time finding audiences in Ireland and the U.K., but after Harvey Weinstein promoted it effectively in the U.S., it took root on its home turf.

“It’s a one-town industry,” he added hyperbolically. “If a movie doesn’t go on a U.S. screen, it doesn’t feel like a movie.”

Jordan recalled that John Carney’s 2006 Ireland-set “Once” vanished quickly after its local release, only to become a hit following its success in America.

Yank films exert sway over content as much as over distribution. Fielding a question about the influence of Brit pic “The Full Monty” on his “Stag,” Butler said he was more inspired by such U.S. male-bonding stories as “Swingers,” “Diner” and “Sideways” to find a way to say something about Irish men.

Sheridan noted an odd similarity between the Ireland’s and Korea’s film industries. Both thrive in the shadow of a more powerful neighboring biz (the U.K. and Japan, respectively), and both live in a nation divided between north and south.

As for the future, Sheridan fears that the Hollywood juggernaut is destroying its own independent cinema by focusing on tentpole fare that eschews drama in favor of costly visual effects. Citing sentiments recently expressed by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas at a USC confab, he said most movies being made by the majors today are huge, almost dialog-free investments.

The trend is driving more directors to television. Even though “we still have a vibrant industry in Ireland,” he said, many directors interested in drama are moving to the small screen. (Jordan, for instance, created Showtime’s “The Borgias.”)

He added, “We’re all trying to figure out how we can migrate to TV because that seems to be the place where you can still say something.”

More Biz

  • Lauren HollyAmerican Heart Association Go Red

    Lauren Holly Describes Harvey Weinstein Harassment: 'I Wanted to Flee'

    Five Irish directors invited by Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival to discuss their country’s industry ended up talking about the dominance of the U.S. over the international biz. The quintet – John Butler (“The Stag”), Lance Daly (“Kisses”), Neil Jordan (“Byzantium”), Brendan Muldowney (“Savages”) and Jim Sheridan (“Brothers”) – mostly agreed that success in the […]

  • Harvey Weinstein Sex Addict? Dr. Drew

    Dr. Drew Pinsky on Harvey Weinstein's Rehab: 'The More He Fights It, the Less Well It's Going to Go'

    Five Irish directors invited by Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival to discuss their country’s industry ended up talking about the dominance of the U.S. over the international biz. The quintet – John Butler (“The Stag”), Lance Daly (“Kisses”), Neil Jordan (“Byzantium”), Brendan Muldowney (“Savages”) and Jim Sheridan (“Brothers”) – mostly agreed that success in the […]

  • Oprah Celebrates 'Wisdom of Sundays' With

    Oprah Winfrey Celebrates New Book 'Wisdom of Sundays' With Star-Studded Gospel Brunch

    Five Irish directors invited by Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival to discuss their country’s industry ended up talking about the dominance of the U.S. over the international biz. The quintet – John Butler (“The Stag”), Lance Daly (“Kisses”), Neil Jordan (“Byzantium”), Brendan Muldowney (“Savages”) and Jim Sheridan (“Brothers”) – mostly agreed that success in the […]

  • Korean Talent Agency YG Seeks SE

    Korean Talent Agency YG Seeks Southeast Asia Breakthrough

    Five Irish directors invited by Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival to discuss their country’s industry ended up talking about the dominance of the U.S. over the international biz. The quintet – John Butler (“The Stag”), Lance Daly (“Kisses”), Neil Jordan (“Byzantium”), Brendan Muldowney (“Savages”) and Jim Sheridan (“Brothers”) – mostly agreed that success in the […]

  • WME, IMG Combine Film and TV

    WME, IMG Combine Film and TV Sales Operations Under Endeavor Content Banner

    Five Irish directors invited by Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival to discuss their country’s industry ended up talking about the dominance of the U.S. over the international biz. The quintet – John Butler (“The Stag”), Lance Daly (“Kisses”), Neil Jordan (“Byzantium”), Brendan Muldowney (“Savages”) and Jim Sheridan (“Brothers”) – mostly agreed that success in the […]

  • Roy Price and Lila Feinberg'The Last

    Amazon Exec Roy Price's Fiancée Cancels Wedding After Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Five Irish directors invited by Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival to discuss their country’s industry ended up talking about the dominance of the U.S. over the international biz. The quintet – John Butler (“The Stag”), Lance Daly (“Kisses”), Neil Jordan (“Byzantium”), Brendan Muldowney (“Savages”) and Jim Sheridan (“Brothers”) – mostly agreed that success in the […]

  • Charles Harder

    Harvey Weinstein Splits with Lawyer Handling NYT Lawsuit, Suit Not Yet Filed

    Five Irish directors invited by Korea’s Busan Intl. Film Festival to discuss their country’s industry ended up talking about the dominance of the U.S. over the international biz. The quintet – John Butler (“The Stag”), Lance Daly (“Kisses”), Neil Jordan (“Byzantium”), Brendan Muldowney (“Savages”) and Jim Sheridan (“Brothers”) – mostly agreed that success in the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content