We are presenting this week Martin McDonagh’s Oscar-winning debut short film Six Shooter, which in 2005 marked the acclaimed Irish playwright’s transition to cinema. Martin McDonagh’s third feature Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri recently won four Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture Drama, and is now nominated for seven Academy Awards.
Six Shooter is a 27-minute comic tragedy in which McDonagh’s trademarks resonate. The film is filled with deadpan humor, twisted and despairing characters, and guns. It also showcases the filmmaker’s considerable screenwriting talent, and his entertaining, cinematic direction.
A man (Brendan Gleeson), whose wife has just died, embarks on an increasingly bizarre and violent train ride through the Irish countryside, where he encounters a strange and possibly psychotic young oddball. Death never lets go in this short story, but McDonagh manages to counterbalance his dark story with comedy and sincere reflections, conjuring a tragedy that gradually becomes less realistic while at the same time more emotionally wrenching.
The short is performed by a powerful cast, led by Brendan Gleeson: “He’s a great actor first and foremost. He brings a humanity to all his roles, even though he’s playing dark and dangerous characters. He helped me so much on the short, he protected and stood up for me and showed me how to do it in lots of ways.” Six Shooter is also the acting debut of Gleeson’s son, Domhnall, playing the vendor on the train.
“All my work shares a kind of balance between black comedy and sad and despairing melancholy.” MARTIN MCDONAGH
Martin McDonagh is an acclaimed Irish and British playwright, screenwriter and director. He started his career in the theater and has been nominated for four Tony Awards for the following plays: The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1998), The Lonesome West (1999), The Pillowman (2005), and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2006). After making Six Shooter, McDonagh’s first feature was In Bruges (2008), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. McDonagh has directed two more features: Seven Psychopaths (2012) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
- Credits for
- SIX SHOOTER
- Brendan Gleeson, Rúaidhrí Conroy, David Wilmot, Aisling O'Sullivan, Gary Lydon & Domhnall Gleeson
- written by
- Martin McDonagh
- produced by
- Kenton Allen, Mia Bays, Mary McCarthy & John McDonnell
- Baz Irvine
- Nicolas Gaster
- production design
- David Munns
- costume design
- Kathy Strachan