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A long lost George Best art film is being revived later this month

A new Irish score is set to be performed for the first time at the event.

Best won 37 caps for Northern Ireland.
Best won 37 caps for Northern Ireland.

A NEW IRISH SCORE will be performed at the screening of a long-lost George Best art film in Carlow later this month.

The event, which marks the 10th anniversary of the Man United legend’s death, takes place on 25 November at the 300-seater George Bernard Shaw Theatre at VISUAL Carlow at 7.30pm.

Directed by Hellmuth Costard, a 1971 documentary entitled Football as Never Before includes multiple cameras capturing the actions and movement of Best during a match at Old Trafford in 1970 against Coventry City, at the height of the Belfast native’s fame.

The screening will be accompanied by a new score composed and performed by noted musicians, including Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger, who has produced music for five of Werner Herzog’s movies, as well as Irish musicians Matthew Nolan, David Stalling, Sean MacErlaine and Bryan O’Connell.

“VISUAL are thrilled to be co-producing this unique event,” commented Ann Mulrooney, CEO of VISUAL Carlow. “When Matthew approached us about co-producing the project, we knew it would fit so well into the season’s theme of body and space. There’s a magic in focusing on Best’s movements as an athlete at the top of his game, and the live score will really bring that to life for an audience.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Nolan, the man primarily responsible for rescuing the film from obscurity, recently told The Guardian: “As a musician with an interest in film scoring, it struck me then that the film could accommodate an alternative and more creative musical response — or even soundtrack.

“As an idea it’s been percolating for many years now but it was only with the 10th anniversary of his passing coming up this year that I thought it felt right to try and make it a reality. My specific aim here is to offer a celebration of a sporting icon which looks to return Best to that arena where he was peerless. There is something quite pure about Costard’s film and given how the media distorted Best’s image in later years it feels only proper that an attempt is made to get back to the sublimely gifted footballer.”

Tickets for the event cost €18, and the screening will be followed by a talk on the life and influence of George Best, with Colin Coulter (NUIM). More info here.

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Paul Fennessy

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