It’s easy to allow oneself get caught up in what’s popular or a growing trend on a global level. It seems these days there are more and more award ceremonies and the likes forcing our attention towards Hollywood’s best and brightest. As a result it’s always a refreshing and humbling experience to discover true talent in your own back yard.
This week saw the return of the Cork Film Festival, which attracts film buffs from all around the world. Despite my best intentions to immerse myself in this cultural feast I managed to make it to just one film, but I am convinced that there couldn’t have been any better on show than the majestic, ‘Steamin and Dreamin’. This low-budget mocumentary depicts the struggle of Cork city rapper ‘Grandmaster Cash’ in his quest to obtain celebrity status and be recognised worldwide as a Hip-Hop genius. Issues such as inspiration, critical reviews and gang rivalry all come to the fore in this comedic gem.
The film itself was created on the back of the success of a series of youtube videos made as a joke among friends. As often happens though, word got around and these hilarious “raps” were getting more and more hits each day as a genuine fan base evolved. With the Film Festival arriving on queue to provide a possible outlet for the film, the lads decided to go for it and made a feature-length production.
The 89 minutes follow Sociology student Seamus Kelly (Joe Kiely) and his investigative research into Cork Hip-Hop for a College project. Clever writing and editing ensure your splitting your sides laughing one minute and wondering if these guys are for real the next. In ‘Grandmaster Cash’ (Con Doyle) and his rival ‘Dr. Feekinstein’ (Conor Stanley) we are presented with two deluded characters whose perception of reality has clearly been warped by a youth spent listening to Biggie, Pac and the rest. With on the street interviews, guest appearances from Dan Boyle and Tommy Tiernan and the youtube raps themselves all interweaving throughout the film, it stays fresh and witty from start to finish.
‘Steamin and Dreamin’ for me, was a little reminder that you don’t need a paramount production with A-list celebrities to be entertained. True talent is all around us dying to be discovered, it’s up to us to go out and find it.