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Sittin' on the dock of the Bray
Back from exile in Brighton, Fionn Regan is making major waves with his filmic observations on life in a seaside town. Peter Murphy joins him for a promenade down memory lane, and suggests that he might just be the Wicklow Dylan.
Peter Murphy, 03 Nov 2006
Without wanting to spin some it-were-all-green-fields-round-here-when-I-were-a-lad riff, such anecdotes do serve to highlight the difference between the pre and post-90s generations. Childhood amusement is now big money for the TV and computer gaming industries. One can’t help but wonder if the spoon-feeding of entertainments stunts the creative instincts of kids who might otherwise have to create their own distractions. Many artists will admit the reason they wanted to create in the first place was because they imagined something that didn’t exist, and the only way they could bring it to fruition was make it themselves.
“Absolutely,” Fionn agrees, “and sometimes it’s a bit of an escape from reality.”
Graphic novel genius Alan Moore has stated that he believes there’s a inversely proportional relationship between imagination and money. Pre CGI and digital trickery, filmakers had to improvise and innovate in order to create alternate realities. When Jean Cocteau wanted to depict a man disappearing into a mirror, he used mercury for glass, shot the scene horizontally, then turned the image on its side. If you can’t just throw money at the problem, you have to think laterally.
“I’ve a song about that as well, climbing through a mirror,” Fionn says. “I completely agree, I think it’s almost scary in a way to think that at some stage I might be in a position to have more money. Because the limitations were there financially, I think it worked to my advantage, it made me really think about each thing I was doing; it had to be concentrated and potent. Everything on the record was done live; I’m not one of those people who can do a guitar and then do a vocal.
“That was another restriction which drives some people mad, engineers and stuff. People had asked recently to use just the music without the vocal for film stuff, and when I went and talked to one of the engineers, he said it couldn’t be done because of the spill. So my aesthetic has saved me from millions of advertisements and what-not! But I’d really love to do something for film, something like The Squid & The Whale. I see the songs like little films that run together.”