We are still in our post-St. Patrick’s Day reverie so the Festive Fans decide to head off to enjoy the Emerald Isle.  Mark is excited to celebrate the locale of his favorite film The Quiet Man and the home to three of his great-grandparents.  He is our resident leprechaun so he gets to present the Irish movie Kisses.  And no, it’s not about that famous blarney stone.  This film follows a young boy and girl who run away from their violent homelife at Christmastime. Although still young, they share a hardness in their eyes and cussing in their mouths, so it is not your typical holiday film.

It begins in black and white. Their lives are rendered in sad, bleak tones, which later turn to color when they escape to Dublin. They encounter musicians, street walkers, con artists and thugs, and yet the mood is still whimsical.  It has a vague hint of Christmas spirit about it — and these young teens deserve a touch of festive Irish magic in their lives, if only for a short time.

We explore some holiday customs like the killing of the wren, the Christmas morning polar swim, and Shloer, a special seasonal drink.  There is also “Women’s Christmas” or “Little Christmas” on the Epiphany, where it’s a girls’ night out with a suggestion of magic in the air.  We debate St. Patrick’s over St. Joseph’s Day.  Plus, we enjoy a song called Christmas the Way I Remember  by the High Kings.  It is part of the new era of folk music, modern but still  reflective and insightful like the traditional ballads.  Mark caps it off his family’s Christmas blessing.  It’s an episode that is all so very Irish.  Sláinte!

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Listen to this episode of Festive Foreign Film Fans podcast
Author: Bob & Mark
Title: Episode 20: Kisses (Ireland)

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