Marketing Kisses to Americans

We lived in Ireland for about two years. While there, we had plenty of guests come and visit us. We usually met them at the airport and took a cab into town. The guests and Julie would pile into the back seat, and I’d sit up front with the driver. I’d chat with the driver about football or traffic or whatever.

On more than one occasion, our newly-arrived guests would be baffled by the conversation. They couldn’t understand a single thing the taxi driver was saying. They were inevitably from the north side of Dublin, and had a particularly thick accent. Having lived in the city for a year, our ears had become familiar with the accent, so we could usually have a conversation.

While I was in New York, I watched a couple of movies at the most excellent Angelika Film Center. I saw a trailer for the Irish movie Kisses:

It’s about two kids from the north side of Dublin who run away from home.

Despite the fact that the kids are speaking English, the trailer is subtitled. And, amusingly, the (I assume) American distributor got a word in the trailer wrong. At about the 56-second mark, according to the subtitles, one of the leads says (in response to Stephen Rea, apparently channeling Bob Dylan) “we’re actually running away”. In truth, what she says is “we’re after running away”. ‘After’ here is used to indicate the immediate past, in place of, according to Wikipedia, the usual pluperfect usage.

The movie was released in Ireland about a year and a half ago. I suspect that the film’s distributors are hoping that this movie will be another Once. It’s interesting to compare the original Irish trailer to the North American one:

It feels a little more sinister, doesn’t it? A little rougher around the edges. You can also hear some other dialogue without subtitles.

I was also amused to see an open-air ice rink featured in the movie:

These synthetic ice rinks have popped up around Christmas time in Dublin over the last decade. When we lived in Dublin’s IFC neighbourhood, they laid one directly outside our apartment’s door. When we lived there, Ireland had zero ice arenas, so it was amusing to watch the kids try to figure out this new thing called ‘skating’, and on the less-forgiving fake ice as well.

Film-making is such a marathon. It must be a chore for the director and performers to return to promoting the movie more than two years after finishing it.

1 comment

  1. Funny, I had no idea you lived in Ireland. I lived in Galway for a few years. I miss it there very much, I think about it often.

    My first visit was 1996, backing Europe. I spent the bulk of the beginning of my journey in Ireland, then returned to finish the 3-month trip.

    In 1997 I moved from Toronto to Galway to live there for a year. That’s where I met my wife Heather, from Tennessee (small world)!

    We lived in Eire on and off until 2001, when living out of backpacks was getting old. Got hitched in Memphis and the rest is history.


    They drive me nuts when I see them on English films too. Either you get it or you don’t.

    I’m also shocked that the subtitles usually appear on foreign English films on American versions, but not on the versions I’ve watched in Canada.

    Surely there are more Irish ex-pats (in this case) living in the US than in Canada.

    Regardless, thanks for the film tip! I’m always seeking new Irish films to see.

    I recommend the Butcher Boy and The General (the Irish version!) if you haven’t seen them, both brilliant Irish films.

    Slan go foill,

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