Neil Jordan


(Copyright © 1999-2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

6.0 Angel (1982)
6.5 Mona Lisa (1986)
6.9 The Company of Wolves (1984)
6.0 High Spirits (1988)
4.5 We're No Angels (1989)
5.0 The Miracle (1991)
7.0 The Crying Game (1992)
6.9 Interview with the Vampire (1994)
6.5 Michael Collins (1996)
6.9 Butcher Boy (1997)
6.0 The End of the Affair (1999)
6.4 In Dreams (1999)
6.0 The Good Thief (2002)
6.0 Not I (2000)
6.5 Breakfast on Pluto (2005)
5.0 The Brave One (2007)
6.7 Greta (2018)
6.0 Ondine (2009)
6.7 Byzantium (2012)
5.0 Marlowe (2022)
Links:

Neil Jordan (Ireland, 1950) published the short stories of "Night in Tunisia" (1976) and became a filmmaker only after he assisted John Boorman. Jordan debuted with Angel (1982), the horror The Company of Wolves (1984), which was a collaboration with gothic novelist Angela Carter, and the noir Mona Lisa (1986), in which a chauffeur has a love-hate relationship with a prostitute.

The supernatural comedy High Spirits (1988) is not always funny but at least it has an interesting ending.

Peter is the owner of the dilapidated Plunkett castle in Ireland, which he inherited from his aristocratic ancestors. He lives alone with his widowed mother and is assisted by the few people of the nearby village. He is desperate for money and even meditates to kill himself. He gives up when he gets the idea of turning the castle into a tourist attraction: a haunted castle. The villagers set (comically) in motion to create visual effects that will simulate flying ghosts. He publicizes the haunted castle in the USA and gets reservations from a group of US tourists. When they land, they are shuttled to the castle by a villager improvised chaffeur who almost drives the bus into the lake. The tourists show up at the castle all wet and greatly annoyed. The supper is terrible. Peter explains that the painting in the dining room is of his ancestress Mary, who was killed on her wedding night by her jealous husband. The tourists include Jack and his wife Mary, and they reveal that Mary is the daughter of the rich man who owns Peter's debt and is causing the bankruptcy. Then there are a horny single woman and a devout virgin young man who is about to become a priest. And there is a parapsychologist with his family. The parapsychologist quickly determines that there are no ghosts in the castle and the whole thing is a scam. The tricks of the villagers fail to impress the guests and the disappointed guests decide to leave. Peter is ready again to kill himself but he gets drunk with Peter and, while drunk, sees two real ghosts: the beautiful Mary and her husband on their wedding night. And he witnesses the husband murdering Mary. We then see Peter's dead husband chatting with Peter's mom. Peter's mom has always claimed that there were ghosts in the castle but Peter never believed her. Just then the tourists are loading the shuttle bus to depart, Jack witnesses again Mary's murder and this time saves her life. A strong wind erupts and blows up not only the roof of the bus but also the clothes of the tourists. They are forced to return to the castle, where the storm has cut the phone line. Jack meets Mary who is praying to be liberated from the daily murder while at the same time Mary's husband molests Mary who is taking a shower. The ghosts start terrorizing the tourists. Peter himself is shocked to discover that there are indeed ghosts in the castle, and is even confronted by his angry father. Now the parapsychologist believes and fears. The almost-priest and the horny girl are brought together. Jack eventually falls in love with the ghost Mary and brings her back to life while Mary is erotically attracted to Mary's husband. Jack has sex with Mary but the consequence is that Mary turns into a 200-year-old woman. Mary's husband chases Maria until he tricks her into falling from a window, so that now they can be lovers in the afterlife. This breaks the spell and Mary returns to be a young beautiful woman, and a real one, taking Maria's place. The tourists leave, happy to have seen real ghosts, and ready to publicize the castle as a major tourist attraction. Jack remains and, now a widower, proposes to Mary. Peter is saved from bankruptcy and the villagers are happy.

We're No Angels (1989) is a remake of the Michael Curtiz film.

The Miracle (1991)

The Crying Game (1992) is a psychological thriller of unusual depth.

A black English soldier, Jude, is seduced by an attractive girl who turns out to be a member of the IRA. Her friends kidnap the soldier and hold him hostage. They are planning to trade him for a prisoner held by the British. The soldier is taken to the gang's hide-out. The terrorist charged with guarding him, Fergus, treats him cordially (even pulls his dick out of his pants when he needs to pee and can't use his own hands because they are tied up behind his back). The soldier shows a picture of his girl to Fergus. They chat and laugh together. The other terrorists are annoyed by their friendship (the woman is no better than the men). When it comes to killing him, for them it is business as usual. But Fergus is traumatized. He volunteers to carry out the execution. As he walks the prisoner to the woods, the prisoner begs for his life. Fergus can't shoot. The prisoner manages to unties himself and run for his life. Fergus chases him in the woods, ready to shoot, but can't pull the trigger. The soldier behaves like he is playing with him, laughter mixed with begging. As Fergus aims seriously at him, the soldier steps on the asphalt of a road and two British tanks run him over. The British storm the hide-out. Fergus is the only one to escape, and decides to flee to England.
Once in London, he tracks down the soldier's ex-girlfriend, Dil, also black, who runs a hairdresser shop. He gets a hair cut and then follows her to a pub, where she flirts with him in an aggressive, sarcastic manner. Fergus introduces himself as Jimmy, but then leaves the pub when an abusive man grabs the girl. Fergus/Jimmy follows them to their apartment.
Jimmy finds a job as a construction worker. One night he goes back to the pub and finds her singing on stage. Admittedly, the soldier did not have much of a girlfriend, but Jimmy is clearly fascinated. This time Jimmy defends her from the abusive man, probably her pimp. She is happy to dump the pimp, Dave, for him. Initially, Jimmy can't really make love to her, because of his memory of the soldier. In fact, he starts asking her questions about the dead boyfriend. One night, though, he is ready for sex. She strips naked and he sees that she is ... a man. Or, better, a woman turned man. Jimmy runs away from her, but eventually comes to accept her "oddity". He still refuses to have a relationship with "her" but allows her to be friendly to him. Somehow, he still feels that he has to protect "her".
One night a surprise awaits him at home: Jude. She tracked him down. The IRA needs him for a new job. She may also be jealous of the "girl" she's seen him with. She hints Dil may get hurt is he does not obey. Then points a gun at him and kisses him.
One night Jude and her boss grab Jimmy out of the pub and take him to the site where he is supposed to kill a "legitimate target". Dil follows him in a cab. When Jude leaves, she shows up, crying, jealous. She loves him. Jimmy/Fergus is determined to protect her. She keeps calling him "honey" and kissing him any time she gets a chance. He cuts her hair, dresses her like a boy, takes her to another place.
Dil runs back to her place. Jimmy/Fergus finds her/him drunk. She takes a lot of tranquillizer pills. He tells her the truth about the soldier, but she's falling asleep. The following morning, while he is still sleeping, she takes his gun and ties him up in bed. Jude and her boss are waiting for him at the location where he is supposed to carry out the murder. Since he does not show up, the boss carries out the execution and gets killed. Jude flees the scene of the crime and runs to Dil's apartment. Dil is waiting for her and shoots her repeatedly. Then tries to kill Jimmy/Fergus but can't pull the trigger. Then tries to kill herself, but he stops her. The police is downstairs. Jimmy/Fergus begs Dil to flee. S/he does. Fergus stays and grabs the gun: it will have his fingerprints.
Dil goes to visit him to the penitentiary. S/he is still in love with him.

Then came the horror Interview with the Vampire (1994), which is an adaptation of Anne Rice’s material, the biopic Michael Collins (1996), The Butcher Boy (1997), which is an adaptation of Patrick McCabe’s 1992 novel, the thriller In Dreams (1999), an adaptation of Bari Wood's novel "Doll's Eyes" (1993), The End Of The Affair (1999), which is an adaptation of the Graham Greene novel, Not I (2000), which is an adaptation of a Samuel Beckett stage play, The Good Thief (2002), which is a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville's "Bob le Flambeur" (1955), Breakfast on Pluto (2005), an adaptation of Patrick McCabe's 1998 novel, The Brave One (2007), Ondine (2009), the feminist vampire movie Byzantium (2012), the psychodrama Greta (2018), Marlowe (2022), an adaptation of John Banville's novel "The Black-Eyed Blonde" (2014).

He also published books of fiction that won literary awards: "The Past" (1980), "The Dream of a Beast" (1983), "Sunrise with Sea Monster" (1994), "Shade" (2004), "Mistaken" (2011), "The Drowned Detective" (2016), "Carnivalesque" (2017).

He also created the major TV series "The Borgias" (2011-2013) and "Riviera" (2017-2020).