Terry McMahon

Director Terry McMahon dedicates Woodstock win to Right2Water protesters

Later today, December 10th, Ireland could see one of the largest public protests as people take to the streets for the Right2Water campaign. As an act of solidarity with that campaign award-winning Irish director Terry McMahon dedicated his film Patrick’s Day‘s recent Grand Jury Prize win at the Woodstock Film Festival to those campaigners.

Here, presented without comment, is that dedication:


[quote]When movie goddess Melissa Leo’s mischievous mouth moved towards the microphone to announce the “Maverick” Grand Jury Prize winner of the 15th Woodstock Film Festival she faked a dodgy brogue accent and introduced the winning film as “fuckin’ Patrick’s Day.” Rather than being offended the audience cheered because they knew Miss Leo was making a tongue-in-cheek reference to the foul-mouthed writer-director of Patrick’s Day. My name is Terry McMahon and I am that inappropriately christened “maverick” foul mouth. To anybody with delicate sensibilities who was there on the night, I apologise. When I’m nervous I succumb to a kind of cultural Tourette’s. It’s called being Irish. Or, in less polite circles, being a bastard.

A metaphor for the shattered psyche of a nation, Patrick’s Day is a difficult film. Maverick awards, critical acclaim and powerful audience reaction means nothing to the people who market movies. Whether or not the concept can generate cash is all that matters to them, so, before movies are even seen, many deemed difficult are “concept rejected.” In Hollywood circles these people are called marketers or, in Bill Hicks’s circle, evil scumbags.

We already know reality hurts too much to spend time interrogating the human condition, whatever the hell that is, yet we fight to make movies because we believe there is power in projecting light onto a screen. We believe there is alchemy in that dark cathedral of cinema. We believe catharsis can save us from ourselves. In civilised circles it’s called being a dreamer. Or, in less polite circles, a fucking idiot.

Strutting with the swagger of this newfound maverick status last week, I wrote the two greatest words in the English language. ‘The End.’ Looking at those words on that final page of that new screenplay I sat back to enjoy the post coital tickle the muse reserves for these rare moments of completion. But it didn’t happen. Seems Ireland has beaten magic out of me and replaced it with fear. In literary circles it’s called being a writer. Or, in less polite circles, a starving whore.

Two days before the upcoming Irish cinema release of Patrick’s Day in February, I will be in court trying to stop corrupt banks repossessing my house. The magnificent mother of my three children is due to give birth to our fourth child in June, and, two days later, I don’t know if I’ll be carrying our new born back to a home, a shelter or a street corner. If this sounds like ridiculous melodrama, it’s because it is. Our culture has been crippled by a breed of filth known in experienced circles as pig-dog skunk-fucks. Or, in less polite circles, politicians.

Yet, I don’t despair. Well, I do, but to hell with that. Something is happening in Ireland, something that is confounding the controlling classes. People are demanding their rights and they are doing it through incredibly effective peaceful protest. The courage to fight through despair defines our humanity and, for the first time in too long, the good guys are winning. In media circles it’s called terrorising the establishment. Or, in less polite circles, being proud once again to be Irish.

That incredible night at Woodstock I wanted to dedicate our “fuckin’ Patrick’s Day” maverick award but I got swallowed up by the temporary Tourette’s, so, let’s make the humble dedication here; to you protestors, the real makers of magic, the true mavericks, you aren’t just helping the world remember the profound power of peaceful protest, you are changing the course of a nation, and all dreamers are in your debt. Thank you.[/quote]Terry McMahon