County of Production
Some Say Chance
Michael Farrell, Dean Kavanagh
Maureen O'Hara (Actor), Rita FitzSimons (Actor)
The film tells the story of a young girl who is sent to a boarding school in Wicklow, she believes that her mother is dead, a lie spun by her father who is away working in Australia. Unbeknownst to the girl, her mother is indeed alive and well trawling the London pubs as a heartbroken, penniless prostitute by the name of 'Irish Moll'.
Some Say Chance was originally created by novelist-turned-filmmaker Michael Farrell in various locations around Wicklow in 1934 on 16mm film and features Maureen FitzSimons (later O'Hara) in her first on-screen role. A version of the film is said to have screened in a Dublin cinema that same year but no complete copy of the film is known to be in existence. The surviving material, which comprised some edited reels and several cans of rushes, was given to the documentary filmmaker Colm Ó Laoghaire who subsequently entrusted them to the IFI Irish Film Archive.
In an effort to reconstruct the film, the IFI Irish Film Archive invited Dean Kavanagh to create a new version of the film using the high quality scans. Using private letters held at the National Library of Ireland and Farrell’s in-camera editing as a guide, Kavanagh set out to construct a narrative from the surviving elements of the film. He uses the technique of rhythm to generate structure and explores the texture of 16mm film by using scans of the original leader to separate scenes.
This restoration of Some Say Chance highlights key aspects of early Irish cinema and is one of the earliest examples of independent filmmaking in Ireland.
IFI Irish Film Archive, 2018
Digital Cinema Package (DCP)