A rare chance to see the 2022 thriller ‘Spears’ on the big screen, followed by a Q & A with the film’s director Gerard Lough.
Released in cinemas last year, Spears, is a thriller from Donegal director Gerard Lough. Packed with twists and turns, the plot kicks off when a Private Investigator is sent from Donegal to Florence, Italy to track down a woman who mysteriously vanished there.
Meanwhile in London, a Dissident Republican does an arm’s deal with a new seller he does not trust. In Berlin, a scam artist spends a weekend with a married woman he tries to convince to leave with him. Each of the three men makes a startling discovery which forces them to team up back in Ireland and take revenge on those who have wronged them.
Fittingly, the film’s title is taken from the Emily Bronte quote; “Treachery and violence are spears pointed by both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.” Typical of the Neo Noir genre, the film is a stylish-looking affair with tension and fear in abundance but trust in short supply.
Over half of the film was shot in Donegal, Ireland with the rest of the filming taking place in Florence, Berlin, and London. Locations that should be familiar to Donegal viewers include Rathmullan House, Florence Cafe, Killybegs, and Slieve League. Busy Donegal actor Aidan O’Sullivan (The Quiet Girl) leads an international cast of exciting newcomers. He is quickly becoming a familiar face on the big and small screens as well now that he has had 85 film credits. Lough: “The cast of Spears were the best I have ever worked with. Each of the seven principal actors are potential break-out stars and I have no doubt we are going to be seeing more of them on screen in the years to come. After a preview screening, their performances were one of the most talked about aspects of the film.” Another early talking point has been the film’s music which includes some of the best new Irish and British electronica from artists such as Shaefri, Sleep Thieves, Le Groupe Fantastique, and Exit: Pursued by a Bear, whose song Rabbit with Hat is featured on the trailer. Lough rates the Cork group’s song “as one of the best pieces of electronic music ever released by an Irish band, no two ways about it.” The trailer proved a challenge as it had to give audiences a clear idea of what the film is about while not giving away its biggest plot twist. Lough: “It’s a common complaint of modern trailers that they give away far too much. With this trailer, we have held back the film’s biggest surprises and retained the mystery while still giving an audience the essence of the story. If anyone thought the marketing was a little cryptic on its initial release, that was the reason but I don’t regret it. It was very satisfying watching an audience at the cinema react to the twists the story took. Even the ending, I hope, will come as a surprise too.”
Rave reviews for Spears included Film Ireland;
“Lough has written and directed a film that this reviewer feels will become a cult classic.” wrote June Butler in Film Ireland. She praised the “powerful actors among the cast of Spears” and the music, “the superb soundtrack for Spears is one of many aspects in which this film becomes so watchable.”
Starring Aidan O’Sullivan, Bobby Calloway, Nigel Brennan, Michael Parle, Yalda Shahidi, Rebecca Rose Flynn, and Thomas Sharkey
Directed by Gerard Lough
Running time: 2hrs 5mins