Man of Aran | British Sea Power

Man of Aran | British Sea PowerRobert Flaherty’s 1934 pseudo-documentary depicting life on the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland was brought to life by British band British Sea Power, who provided a soundtrack to the silent film.

Flaherty’s film was full of drama and adventure and captured the raw beauty of this rugged landscape. There were only a few peaceful moments indoors with the rest shot outdoors, showing the difficulty of life and the ever-present danger of an unforgiving sea.

It was a fascinating glimpse into a lost way of life and a society living in pre-modern conditions. The boy in the film was particularly charming, keeping a crab in his hat and trying to go out on the boats with the men, his eyes bulging at the sight of the shark. The happiness of the man of Aran and his family, despite their daily struggle for survival, was a powerful message.

The aptly named British Sea Power faced the screen rather than the audience and played the 12 tracks using a huge range of instruments and electronic sounds to create atmosphere and communicate tension, emotion and drama. For a first-time listener, their music was accessible and flowed like the sea – wild and powerful one moment and calm and beautiful the next.

My only criticism of the experience was that the band obscured the captioning at the bottom of the screen, meaning I had to crane to see a few words or just be content to sit back and watch the pictures.

I left the Astor Theatre feeling a little more grateful for my life, knowing I wouldn’t have to hunt down a man-eating shark in treacherous seas to get some oil to light my lamp and cart basketfuls of soil across barren, windy cliff tops to make a small garden to grow some potatoes to feed my family.

Perth International Arts Festival 2010 presents
Man Of Aran
British Sea Power

Beck's Music Box - 17 Feb
The Astor Theatre - 18 Feb
Tickets: $37 / $40
Bookings: | BocsTicketing 1800 193 300

Most read reviews

West Side Story

In any field there are the standards, the yardstick by which all others in that arena are measured and in musical theatre – many regard West Side Story as that benchmark.

Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 | James Acaster

You may have seen him on Netflix with his quirky style and very well crafted material. If you come with expectations you won't be disappointed but perhaps a little surprised. Because this time Acaster is a bad ass!

Not Quite White | Vanessa Steinberg

Steinberg opens with a long, graphic diatribe about dating as a 53-year-old serial divorcee with a history of drug use and adversity to working for a living.

Go Solo | Paul McDermott and Gatesy

If you’re a fan of a particular muso or comic, you’ve probably wondered what they’re like at home or with their mates. Tripod and DAAS fans now have that option. At least occasionally.

Wil-Informed | Wil Anderson

Wil is now 45 and it’s time for the middle-aged, white, hetero men to have their say! This threatened species needs to reclaim its position in the world and find its voice.

Most read news

Jane Bodie Wins 2019 Lysicrates Prize for Playwriting

Playwright Jane Bodie has been announced as the winner of the 2019 Lysicrates Prize for her play Tell Me You Love Me.

Ian Potter Southbank Centre opens to students and staff

More than 1000 students and staff have moved into the new state-of-the-art Ian Potter Southbank Centre, home to the new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required