Flanagan

Thaddeus O'Sullivan

Description

Flanagan was devised and produced when Thaddeus O’Sullivan was a postgraduate student at the Royal College of Art. After an opening image of the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus, we cut to a young man who epitomises the angst-ridden artist in his studio. He has left Ireland for London to create, but is tortured by his inability to complete a painting. His mother’s innocent enquiries in a letter to him heard in voice-over from the start of the film are both an inspiration and a spectral haunting: “I’ve got to finish my mother – my masterpiece”. These scenes are intercut with him digging a hole (a grave?) in a wooded area – a matricidal fantasy – perhaps to provide artistic release from the dilemma with which the film ends: “Mother, show me your face. Why can’t I paint you?” The action contrasts fleeting scenes of before and after in “Brian/Flanagan’s” life. “Flanagan” is the successful artist-as-celebrity: Be-suited, he delivers a to-camera monologue in the back of a limousine as it drives around London as part of a documentary film on the “happening at my place”. Pretentious and self-important, he is accompanied by a vacant-looking woman, heavy with makeup, who says nothing and yawns. At its heart it is a film about art, the nature of creativity and cultural celebrity in early 1970s’ London.’ (Notes by Lance Pettitt. Sourced from http://www.ifi.ie/film/flanagan/ July 31st 2016)

Details
Title

Flanagan

Year

1974

Creator

Thaddeus O'Sullivan

Medium

Moving Image

Form

Short

Genre

Portrait, Parody, Comedy

Subject

Emigration, Art, Creativity, Family, Heritage, Provenance, London

Language

English (eng)

Duration

11 minutes

Original format

Physical: Film: 16mm

Aspect ratio

4:3

Colour

Black and White

Sound

Sound

Rights

to be confirmed

Artist website

N/A

Link to work

No online link available