Paul McFadden - Thankful for small mercies

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The things we do for art! This week the Foyle Bridge has been closed to overnight traffic to facilitate filming of a new movie, ‘Limbo’, which is described by producer Brendan Byrne as “a cool, multi-story narrative…like ‘Crash’ meets ‘Pulp Fiction’.” The project is being supported by Northern Ireland Screen, the Irish Film Board and BBC Northern Ireland. Derry City Council staff have been busy doing their bit, too, putting up Christmas lights to create the New Year atmosphere which is a theme of the film. Our Mayor, Colum Eastwood, says the Council was more than happy to assist as the film would raise the city’s profile.

It kind of takes the biscuit, though, that the movie – which is written by Derry-born Lisa McGee – is largely being shot in Belfast. According to the producer, Lisa wrote the story with Derry in mind: “It has always been in her imagination that it’s set here.” Which begs the question: “Why isn’t the whole movie being filmed here?”

No doubt the producers will put forward reasons justifying their decision to use Belfast as well as Derry as a location. There’s a marked lack of Hollywood smiles among the population here, and to my knowledge cinematographical concerns have never been a priority for our town planners.

It has come to a sorry pass, though, when Derry is no longer even good enough to play itself in a movie! In art, as in life I suppose, we must make do with crumbs. Half a loaf is better than no bread.

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