The Tenacious Songstress Returns with a Video Premiere Heralding Irish Wedding Customs
The disappearing nuptial traditions of rural Ireland take center stage in this new video from Sinéad O’Connor, the first she has appeared in for 10 years. Created for forthcoming single “4th and Vine” from last year’s album How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?, the lyrical short is directed by Belfast-born filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson, who translated the catchy wedding song into a nostalgic look at O’Connor’s motherland. “John Reynolds and Justin Adams had written the backing track and when they played it to me I immediately got images in my head of a girl jumping along the road to her wedding delighted with herself,” says O’Connor. “It was just such a happy, jolly track.” While there are familiar Hibernian visuals such as a colored pony and trap, a typical pub music session and drizzle over a cattle-filled field, Ferguson also revived some archaic rituals such as breaking bread over the bride’s head for the shoot, which took place in Castletown Geoghegan, Co. Westmeath. “I had already heard about some of the rituals but researching further I found many more, most of which we couldn’t fit in,” explains Ferguson, who has made films for brands such as Richard Nicoll and Chloé as well as for pop starlets including Lady Gaga. “I also remembered images from the 1960s documentary Rocky Road to Dublin which included black and white scenes of traditional music sessions filmed in a very unobtrusive way.” We caught up with the outspoken and often controversial icon about her own superstitions and what love songs continue to tug at her heartstrings.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen at a wedding?
I don’t really do weddings or funerals very much to be honest but me and my son enjoy watching The Jerry Springer Show, where the very overweight jilted girlfriend would launch herself onto the wedding cake at the reception where the fella has gone off and married someone else. Those would be the funniest wedding scenarios that I’ve ever seen.
What are your favorite love songs?
I love “Tell It Like It Is.” It's a brilliant Aaron Neville song which is just gorgeous. And my favorite song on earth is “I Love You Porgy”—I think that’s probably the best love song ever. It’s from a musical called Porgy and Bess but Ella Fitzgerald did the album and Nina Simone also recorded it. Then there’s a fantastic Curtis Mayfield song called “Fool for You.” To my mind those are the three best love songs.
Do you have any superstitions or traditions that you follow?
Other than prayer, no. I do a lot of prayer around singing and gigs. I do feel if I go through a certain prayer routine before and during the show in my mind then I’m able to do a better job.
Reflections On the Emerald Isle Landscapes That Inspire Authentic Donegal Weave
Filmmakers Jamie Delaney and Keith Nally’s beautiful short, made in collaboration with heritage enthusiast and Acne Paper Editor Charlotte Rey, profile one of the last surviving weaving mills, Molloy & Sons. Based in the windswept County Donegal, Ireland, current father and son duo Sean and Kieran Molloy have a pedigree dating back over six generations and weave premium tweed from the famous Donegal yarn. “I think that with old crafts which are indigenous to areas like this, it’s really hard to divorce them from their landscape,” says Delaney. Over the course of three days’ filming, Delaney and Rey captured the family’s impressive artisanal skill and dedication to a dwindling industry. Amidst the bleak but beautiful scenery surrounding the mill, the textile masters explained how their authentic Donegal weaves were inspired by the muted tones and flecks of color in the local heather, bracken and wild flowers. “Tweed is part of the cultural DNA in a sense; it’s been there for generations and it’s a pillar of a fabric industry that is now disappearing,” says Rey. “What should really be shining through is the love and the passion of these people.”
A New Film Explores The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of the Introspective Musician
The dreams, existential questions and in-flight sleeping habits of reclusive Swedish-Argentine singer-songwriter José González are made public in new documentary The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José González, which NOWNESS previews today. Directors Mikel Cee Karlsson and Fredrik Egerstrand interspersed child-like animations with three years of edited footage of the indie folk musician at home, in the studio and on tour throughout the world, to unravel the creative process behind his 2007 sophomore album In Our Nature. “Being fond of someone’s music isn’t enough for me to make a film about that person,” says Karlsson, who got to know González while directing his music video "Killing for Love." "José tries to make sense of his own environment and existence; He’s always asking questions and that’s what got me interested.” To inhabit his perspective, the directors armed the musician with a recorder for documenting his thoughts as well as a camera: today’s clip features one of two scenes shot by González himself, in which he politely engages an opinionated analysis from a gig attendee who has infiltrated the backstage environs. “More often than not, the music documentary has this certain formula—unless you’re a super-fan, it’s not compelling,” says Stacy Horne, the producer of San Francisco’s Noise Pop festival, who will host the US premiere of the feature next week. “With this film, it’s a portrait of how an artist creates. And his music is an added bonus.”