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Let them tell it." To inform those audience members who don’t know the oft-told tale of their exploits, Johnny Depp serves as narrator, taking over the role from Di Cillo who provided narration when the documentary was screened at Sundance 2009.
Exclusive premiere On March 19 The Moat Theatre, Naas, will host the exclusive European premiere of the film.Morrison’s poem comes to mind again since Doors fans will find the program not entirely “new/ You've seen this entertainment through and through.” Much of the footage will be very familiar: there’s many clips of the band in concert at different venues, the classic segment of them getting off an airplane in Europe and introducing themselves, and their appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" singing "Light My Fire" with Morrison ignoring the censors.However, the highlight is the new material from the archives, including footage of the band working in the studio.My excitement about the footage, and the fact that I could make a film immediately, with no interference from agents, producers, financiers, made me commit to it with a kind of thrill that was very refreshing to me.” For Di Cillo fans, ardent or casual, Down in Shadowland will reiterate everything that makes him a rewarding artist to explore; his empathetic, humanistic approach to character and milieu, alongside his sharply satirical aesthetic that underscores keen sociological observations. It can be used for mass appeal and it can equally be used to create films that touch the artistic minds and souls of people.Down in Shadowland is really about human beings, about the moments that make us human—fear, joy, solitude, longing for connection, love, loneliness, foolishness. It pulls me into a world that is instantly compelling, engrossing and mysterious, but always 100% real.” Thrilled at Naas showing “I’m thrilled Down in Shadowland will be screened at The Moat Theatre,” Di Cillo admits, “I’m eager to hear how people respond to it. I haven’t been to Ireland in twenty years, when I was in Dublin with Living In Oblivion.Di Cillo’s second feature, Living In Oblivion (1995), remains a signature moment of 90s’ independent filmmaking, starring Steve Buscemi and introducing Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage in his screen debut.
Acclaimed, award-winning films followed, including Box of Moonlight (1996) and Delirious (2006); Di Cillo’s plaudits also brought him to television, directing episodes of The Good Wife and Law & Order.
'When You’re Strange' tells how the quartet met and came together in Los Angeles, their rise to the top of the charts, and Morrison’s struggles dealing with rock-star fame that led to his alcoholism and the end of the band.
The film naturally and fittingly ends with Morrison’s death in Paris, although the past few decades certainly offered plenty of material as the remaining trio and Morrison’s estate carry on The Doors legacy.
“This shadowy underground that’s a mirror image of the bright, glaring world above; and in some ways more truthful and illuminating.
Audiences expecting a traditional documentary narrative may be thrown at first but I’ve learned that once people let go and allow the film to work on them, they slip into a journey that has shape, form and direction.
Kildare film critic Wayne Byrne has just finished writing a book on the career of director Tom Di Cillo, the American director, cinematographer and writer known for films including Johnny Suede and Living in Oblivion.