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Black Eyed Dog

Reviewed on videocassette, Boston, Sept. 7, 1999. (In Boston Film Festival.) Running time: 89 MIN.

Reviewed on videocassette, Boston, Sept. 7, 1999. (In Boston Film Festival.) Running time: 89 MIN.

With: Paul Barnett, Dermot Carroll, Lorcan Keating, Clive Worsley, Kevin Kearns, Suzanne Nece, Bernadette McCarthy, Pamela Wylie.

Elements of this muddled drama seem to have been selected at random, with Irish characters in San Francisco locations and a crime melodrama mixed with a story of folk singers looking for their big break. It never quite jells and, though smartly produced, the pic is unlikely to go beyond the fest circuit.

Paul Maguire (Paul Barnett) is the leader of Black Eyed Dog, a musical group that has survived on good notices and extensive loans from his shady brother, Jerry. Paul’s wife Sian (Pamela Wylie) is feeling abandoned, and now Jerry insists Paul commit murder to square the debt. Audience willingness to accept the premise is tested further when it turns out that Jerry is about to launch himself on a political career. The pic meanders as band members face domestic problems and try to come up with money for studio time to record. Viewers are supposed to care whether they make it, but the storyline never quite convinces. The ending seems as forced as everything that’s preceded it. Tech credits are OK , with use of music perhaps the film’s strongest calling card.

Black Eyed Dog


Production: An Aisling Works presentation. Produced by Paul Barnett, Mikel O'Riordan. Directed, written by Richard O'Connell.

Crew: Camera (color), Brian Tramontana; editor, Megan B. Agosto; music, Patrick Francis; set designer, Anne Marie Ryan; sound, Mark Chow; supervising sound editor, John Nutt.

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