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Man of Aran
Man of Aran
Actors: Colman 'Tiger' King, Maggie Dirrane, Michael Dirrane, Pat Mullin, Patch 'Red Beard' Ruadh
Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Genres: Documentary
NR     2003     1hr 16min

Robert J. Flaherty?s award-winning Man of Aran uses stunning location photography and brilliant montage editing to build a forceful drama of life on the Aran Islands. Situated among the frequent and violent storms that sla...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Colman 'Tiger' King, Maggie Dirrane, Michael Dirrane, Pat Mullin, Patch 'Red Beard' Ruadh
Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Creators: Robert J. Flaherty, John Goldman, Michael Balcon
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Homevision
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1934
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1934
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 16min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Paulo Leite | Lisbon, Portugal | 05/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At last! Man of Aran is one of the true greatest documentaries ever made. Like Nanook of the North (Flaherty), Olympia (Riefenstal), The River (Lorentz) and many others, this is a key work in the history of documentary films.Now about the film itself: shot for two and a half years on the irish coast, Man of Aran follows the lives of a group of irish fishermen: their constant struggle for life in a sea full of dangers. The cinematography is simply breathtaking. I simply cannot remember another film that has ever captured the sea with such a poetic feeling of greatness and power. Like most of Flaherty's films, this is a labour of love and devotion.It is incredible that a film like this was made nearly 70 years ago!! It has a technical brillance and a dazzling style that puts it over any other film made at sea. This film shows like no other the unbelievable battle men undertake against the sea. Death, life, storms, winds... and above all, love for the sea.This film is a true documentary experience like no other (talk about the power of the images...).This DVD edition has a fantastic pack of extras. Two documentaries (one about the film, other about Flaherty himself). Photos and lots of great information about this landmark film. The image is very good (considering the age of the film) and the sound is very good. I replaced my VHS copy (it had a poor picture - full of damages). This is a great DVD edition. If you already know the film, this is a great DVD to have and treasure. If you don't know the film yet, give it a try for it is a true gem."
A window into the past of Ireland
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 04/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Man of Aran" may strictly be no documentary, but it is very real. The hard life of the people of the Isle of Aran is portrayed in its full harshness and splendor. Of a sort.

Robert Flaherty, director of acclaimed documentary "Nanook of the North," brings his same authentic eye to this struggle of man against nature, and how people can claw out an existence in even the harshest of climates. His camera makes you believe his story, as does the unaffected dialog and ability of his subjects.

Unfortunately for Flaherty, the daily life struggle of the Aran inhabitants was not raw enough, so he brought their lives about 90 years into the past, into the realm of harpoon shark fishing and suicidal egg hunting near towering cliffs. In order to resurrect this past, he located islanders who remembered the old ways, and knew the skills necessary to achieve his vision. In this way, Flaherty is authentic, using the elder residents to bring their childhood to life again. But it was not modern Aran.

This DVD is fantastic, bringing not only the original docu-drama, as well as several supporting documentaries regarding the making of "Man of Aran," about Flaherty himself, and several interesting dialogs about the film. One could not wish for a more complete package."
A film course on one DVD
Robert D. Harmon | Mill Valley, CA | 07/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Man of Aran (the extra features aside) stands as a landmark film, a beautifully-shot evocation of the desolate west Ireland coast, part documentary, part fiction. These are actors, but the man, woman and boy are placed in timeless places and activities -- the physical labor and danger very real -- whether it's trying to spear a shark the size of their boat, or trying to extract themselves and that boat from an angry sea, or scratching a potato bed from rocky soil and making the soil in the process. Flaherty is as painstaking as these people, showing a very real process of creating a potato bed out of nothing but rock.

It's worth noting that film was still just emerging from the silent era then, and Robert Flaherty apparently filmed a silent film and then masterfully added sound -- there's very little dialogue (other than incidental). The repeated footage of the sea breaking on that cliff-lined coast conveys all of the power and danger of that surf. (The print seems of good quality.) The documentaries on the DVD show just how primitive the cameras and other equipment were -- indeed, the four documentary featurettes tell much about the difficulties and limitations of film production of the day.

The documentaries also put the film in perspective, returning to a much-tamed Aran of a later day. The interviews with former cast members and other islanders can be touching and genuine.

Possibly Robert Flaherty's best film, and the DVD is a worthy vehicle for it."
Man of Aran
John Farr | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"No movie better illustrates the tenuous, symbiotic relationship between brute nature and human endurance than Robert Flaherty's hauntingly gorgeous "Man of Aran." Flaherty, director of the classic "Nanook of the North" and father of the documentary form, shot "Aran," his first sound feature, over the course of two and a half years, casting heroic locals in key roles and training his camera on the rugged, magnificent environment in which they eke out their survival. "Man of Aran" is pure visual poetry, astounding and unforgettable."