Pat Collins’ documentary, Tim Robinson: Connemara 18th Jan 2013
The match between West Cork film maker, Pat Collins and map maker and essayist, the Yorkshire born, Connemara-based (for thirty years or more), Tim Robinson, is surely one made in art heaven.
For many years, Tim Robinson’s precious, hand-made maps of the Aran Islands, Connemara and The Burren have been loved, marvelled at, poured over and, importantly, used by walkers, map-lovers and West-of-Irelandophiles. His poetic, contemplative, zen-like essays on these areas and his explorations of them – in every possible sense – have garnered praise, awards and hosts of fans.
Meanwhile, West Cork’s Pat Collins has been making films, mainly documentaries, (extraordinarily, 25 or so to date!) to an incredibly high standard, pursuing his own zen-like vision and expressing it through the medium of film with an ineffable grace and beauty, a glorious subtlety and a sense of timing and timelessness that acts as a balm on the viewer, while informing and entertaining.
So, it’s no surprise, really, that Pat Collins’ film, Tim Robinson: Connemara is as perfect as a film can be. Eschewing the obvious, the standard box of tricks of the modern documentary maker: the fast-paced edit; the swirls of apparent action; the hackneyed archival footage; the ponderous voice-over; the deliberatively emotive soundtrack; and the sledge hammer approach in general, instead, we have a film that is achingly beautiful, marvellously subtle, endlessly interesting and so calming and contemplative that it demands immediate and repeated re-viewing.
This is our landscape walked into existence – by humans, by Irishmen, by Tim Robinson and by Pat Collins. And by us as we watch. It is the West of Ireland in all its glory and beauty – more than you’ve ever seen. It is a meditation on how landscape is human, that is, needs a human presence in some sense, on some level to be.
The reputation of both these artist is such that, when we proudly announced that Pat Collins would introduce, show and answer questions on the film in Working Artist Studios on Friday, 18th Jan 2013, the interest was so intense that, uniquely, we had to ask people to book in advance! A full house, of all ages attended and were enthralled. We have since been inundated with requests from those who weren’t there to show the film again! Let’s hope so!
The music by Susan Stenger also deserves honourable mention: perfectly pitched to the mood, beauty and subtlety of the film at every point. This is, in all probability, the best film I’ve ever seen. It is perfect. You must see it. Buy it! Now. Click here.