Four stories, four short-films

Four stories, four short-films

As part of the course Interactive Media/Project in our Masters programme in Interactive Media, students are required make video productions. This year, we decided to start from existing stories and we were kindly given permission by Bock The Robber to use some of his stories.

For the screening, Bourke’s Bar in Limerick City agreed to host the event and we also exhibited and sold some of the photographs the students had made during the course.
All proceeds collected were in aid of the Irish Cancer Society’s Action Breast Cancer.

The original stories, on Bock the Robber’s site, were:

Paul Tarpey was our Master of Ceremonies of the evening. Here’s his introduction to the event:
Faction  a filmic translation
Here we experience 4 films that interpret the stories of a 20th century author who is a well known physical and other presence in Limerick and beyond. By other, we mean a 21st century nagging virtual presence who combines forceful news reporting with creative storytelling. But he is as yet not a published storyteller in a traditional sense. Perhaps his tales were meant for a different platform.

Bock the Robber. His very name conjours up both response and meaning adapted as it is from the name of a mythical Limerick bogeyman. Faction is an extension of the process where the character has posted fiction alongside news items on In this collaborative film showcase with the University of Limerick’s Interactive media students, we now focus on Bock as an expansive worker who’s identity now begins to take the form of a flickering live presence.

The drafts for these films tonight are rooted in real life. There is the short physical tale of Munster – Gloucester, a tense retelling of the famous rugby game focused on Bock’s shoulders but voiced by his son. This take on a well known event is balanced with the debauched memories of the band Blind Gun Dog’s festival escapades. Broader interpretations feature also. Scary fantasy appears in the draft of Him and claustiphobia and desperation meet us in the intense draft of Whiskey. Same author – different weights.

These are 4 expressions grounded in a 20th century reflection of life as it was lived by the author and his friends. The tales are stylistically imagined by Bock and we view their finished state now as a collaborative hand over.

After he has channeled his stories – containing in them more than a hint of a filmic imagination – the interactive media film makers began to shape the work within their own sense of 21st century realness. This translation is the crux as experience and cultural knowledge are exchanged and mediated from one generation of creatives to the next.

We often trade reflective experience using the language of film. Many of our life fragments are positioned in retelling like that bit in Easy Rider. This collaborative experience has collectively created the final draft for these films. They have illustrated and drawn out the familiar in the 21st century styles of documentary and horror that has lurked in the 20th century tales of Bock.

The students have certainly displayed a familiarity and confidence with these styles in their interpretations. They have now put digital flesh on Bock’s virtual bones.

Paul Tarpey
Here’s the small-screen version of the excellent work the students produced:

Blind Gun Dog
Munster v Gloucester
[vimeo w=400&h=225]
[vimeo w=400&h=225]