A selection of Michael Fortune’s films 30 mins
The Last Storyteller (2002) dir Des Bell 55 mins
JFK in a helicopter, fairies, frogs, picking daffodils and tales of banshees scaring the wits out of children, Michael Fortune’s gatherings of superstitions and snippets of memory weaves a rich tapestry across the generations. Filming vivid individuals in counties Mayo, Offaly, Limerick and Wexford, the four shorts presented here documents an oral tradition, while showing it at its activated best.
Des Bell’s film “The Last Story-Teller” is based on the veteran folklore collector Sean O’hEochaidh who died in January 2002. Sean began work with the Irish Folklore Commission in 1935 and over the next forty years he travelled the highways and byways of his native Donegal with his famous ediphone recording machine, recording the folklore of a disappearing generation of traditional storytellers. Weaving archive footage, dramatization and documentary into a rich narrative of story-teller, the importance of telling, memory and the past, director Des Bell reflects on our oral history culture. This film was selected for the Venice Biennial in 2002.