George Morrison (documentary maker)

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George Edward Morrison
Born 1922
Tramore, Co. Waterford
Nationality Irish
Years active 1934—present
Notable work Mise Eire, Saoirse?, Lorg na gCloch, The Poetry of Vision

George Edward Morrison[1] (born 1922) is an Irish director of film documentaries. His works include Mise Éire and Saoirse?.

Morrison was born in Tramore, Co. Waterford.[2] His mother was an actress at Dublin's Gate Theatre, while his father worked as a neurological anaesthetist.[2] Morrison studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin but dropped out in order to pursue his ambition to work in films.[2]

Early in his career he assisted director Hilton Edwards in two of the latter's films: From Time to Time and Hamlet of Elsinore.[2]

For Mise Éire, Morrison painstakingly assembled historical footage of the events surrounding the 1916 Rising from archives across Europe. The result, released by Gael Linn to great acclaim at the 1959 Cork Film Festival, was the first feature-length Irish language film.[2] Morrison later revealed that he was paid £375 for his work on Mise Éire and received no further royalties.[3] The film was permitted to be screened only in the Irish language, which reduced its audience outside Ireland. The sequel, Saoirse?, was not as popular with the Irish public, perhaps due to its focus on the Irish Civil War, a subject that remained divisive for many years after peace was established.[2]

In 2007, Morrison released Dublin Day, his documentary on James Joyce's Ulysses.[2] In September 2008, Morrison was the subject of a film documentary entitled Waiting for the Light, which received its première in Dublin.[3] In February 2009, he received the Industry Lifetime Contribution Award at the annual Irish Film and Television Awards ceremony held in Dublin.[4]

Morrison was elected to Aosdána in 2005. In March 2017, the title of Saoi of Aosdána was bestowed upon him by President Higgins.[5]

Morrison married the late Theodora FitzGibbon on 17 September 1960.[1] He currently lives in Shankill, County Dublin.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Coogan, Tim Pat; Morrison, George (1998). The Irish Civil War. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Paul Levy, ‘FitzGibbon , Theodora (1916–1991)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2011 [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g The Irish Times, "Reel hero of Irish history", January 4, 2008
  3. ^ a b Irish Independent, "Forgotten man of Irish cinema celebrated in film", September 25, 2008
  4. ^ The Irish Times, "'Hunger' and 'The Tudors' sweep Iftas", February 15, 2009
  5. ^ The Irish Times, "Film-maker George Morrison bestowed title of Saoi of Aosdána", 9 March 2017