Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Night Magical Movie: The Secret of Roan Inish

Happy Monday!

Monday? Happy? Well, it is Monday after all, back to work, the weekend's over, but that doesn't mean we can't still have some fun! So here at The Old Wooden Art Table I'll be having Monday Night Magical Movies to brighten up your day and chase those "blahs" away!

We had a nice weekend, I got some artwork done, happily, and we also had a big family gathering/surprise birthday party for my sweet hubby Dan and his beautiful cousin Stacy who is in town from Virginia! My mother-in-law had a cake made with a photo of the two of them together as little kids! It was such a great surprise. I also got to hang out with my two grown daughters and watch my granddaughter Olivia play with her cousin for the first time, they are only two days apart! What a couple of cuties!

Family is so important, which brings us to my movie pick for my first Monday Night Magical Movie post, The Secret of Roan Inish. This is a movie that played in my studio this week. I often have a movie going on the laptop in there, I love to have one playing while I create. This is a simply beautiful 1994 American independent film that was shot in Ireland, a place I yearn to visit someday. It was written and directed by John Sayles, who later worked on the screenplay for The Spiderwick Chronicles.
It's based on a novel The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry, by Rosalie K. Fry. Roan Inish was filmed from the point of view of little Fiona, (played delightfully by Jeni Courtney) who's widowed father has sent her away from the gloomy city back to live with her grandparents in the fresh air off the coast of Ireland. Their family are fishermen and originally from the small island of Roan Inish which can barely be seen across the water.

The more she pokes around, she learns the mysterious secret of her family, one of her ancestors married a selkie, (played hauntingly by Susan Lynch) a magical creature who can transform from a seal into a beautiful woman. When the family finally left the island, the selkies hearts were broken, so they stole away Fionas baby brother Jimmy in his tiny boat-like cradle never to be seen again, or so they thought. Fiona has spotted the dark haired toddler running around the island picking flowers and having "tea" with seals!
This film just makes your heart happy, and is filled to the brim with beauty. It has wonderful "story" sequences in which Fionas grandfather recounts (Mick Lally) tales and folklore from the past, it's easy to get lost in this beautiful film.

One of my favorite scenes is when Fionas grandmother (Eileen Colgan) warns her grandfather that his stories are just "superstition" then proceeds to preform a smooring the fire ritual invoking Saint Bridget to protect the house and it's inhabitants while they sleep, an old Christianised ritual that harkens back to the old Pagan ways of the Celts!

The soundtrack is steeped in Celtic folk music and is firmly on my "gotta have it" list. I would also love one of those lovely little thatched cottages on Roan Inish while we're listing and wishing, but can I have plumbing and Internet please? Well, at least Internet.


  1. This is one of my favorite movies ever! I want Pj to build a boat/cradle for Olivia...but I'd like actual rockers, not the movement of the ocean!

  2. Oh, yes, not on the ocean, Olivia's so sweet the selkies would want her company for sure! You grew up on this movie, didn't you? :o)

  3. Hello!

    Thank you for following my Freebie Fairy blog; I am now following your blog as well. :)

    Always happy to meet another friend of the fae!

    Roan Inish is one of my favorite movies... so beautiful!

  4. I adore this movie. It captured my heart in such a profound way that I can't quite explain publicly. It's very finely crafted tale.


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