Before Neil Jordan (b. 1950) became an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and film director, he earned a living as a short-story writer and a novelist. For “Night in Tunisia,” a collection of short stories originally published in 1976, he won the Guardian Fiction Prize and Somerset Maugham Award.
When he began making films a few years later—first as John Boorman’s creative associate on “Excalibur” (1981)—he was initially inspired by the legacy of his native Ireland. Later he gained acclaim for the Gothic fantasy horror film “The Company of Wolves” (1984), the neo-noir drama “Mona Lisa” (1986), the psychological thriller “The Crying Game” (1992), and the horror film and mainstream hit “Interview With the Vampire” (1994). Since his debut film “Angel” (1982), Mr. Jordan had the distinction of directing four actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Bob Hoskins (“Mona Lisa”), Stephen Rea and Jaye Davidson (both “The Crying Game”), and Julianne Moore (“The End of the Affair,” 1999, based on Graham Greene’s novel, and a remake of the 1955 drama romance directed by Edward Dmytryk).
The long list of actors who appeared in his films over the years reads like a “Who’s Who in Hollywood,” as it includes Angela Lansbury, Michael Caine, Peter O’Toole, Daryl Hannah, Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Demi Moore, John C. Reilly, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Liam Neeson, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Isabelle Huppert, and Academy Award nominee Stephen Rea who made ten films with Mr. Jordan.
“The Crying Game” (1992) earned him an Academy Award for Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen), as well as a nomination as Best Director (Oscar went to Clint Eastwood for “Unforgiven”). His other awards include the Writers Guild of America Award (“The Crying Game”), a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival (“The Butcher Boy,” 1998), a BAFTA (“The End of the Affair,” Best Screenplay) and the Dublin Film Critics Award for “Greta” (2019) as Best Irish Film.
In 2012, he made “Byzantium,” a fantasy horror drama starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton, screened at the 2013 Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, where Mr. Jordan also took the time for a most inspiring masterclass. Even though quite a few years ago, his views and thoughts are still relevant, especially since he focused on filmmaking in general. So here it is, or to use an appropriate film title for once, Here Comes Mr. Jordan.
Mr. Jordan, do you remember when you first noticed genre films as a child?
I saw horror films when I was growing up, and I think my interest in fantasy comes from the fact that I grew up in a rather superstitious and fantastic thriller fantasy-driven culture in Ireland in the 1950s. For some reason, my parents used to tell me a lot of ghost stories and they used to terrify me, so I think it must come from that. I was born in Sligo, on the West Coast of Ireland—we moved to Dublin when I was 6 or 7—but the whole place was full of ruins, it was the very depressed economic climate after the Second World War which they didn’t partake in, but there were enormous castles everywhere that were just in ruins, a lot of folklore about specific places, places that were supposed to be haunted, all that stuff. There was all this strange superstition. It’s still there in some way, I think. It was a very Celtic kind of culture in the 1950s. Now it’s totally changed, it’s totally modernized, and it’s quite different.
You are not only a filmmaker but also a screenwriter and a writer. What was the first thing that you contemplated as something you could actually do?
It was to write. My mother was a painter, and my father was a teacher. The thing that Irish people seemed to do if they didn’t become a teacher, a civil servant, or a bus driver, for example, was to become a writer. That’s what people like James Joyce or W. B. Yates did. It think it was the cheapest thing to do, it’s as simple as that. I mean, there was no great architecture in the country, there was no real grand visual tradition, there was no cinema at all—they didn’t make movies there—so the thing you could do that nobody stopped you from doing was to write. I started to write short stories and various pieces of fiction when I was 16 or 17. Then I went to University where I studied English and history, but there were no real employment opportunities when I came out. I got various part-time jobs, but I always loved writing, and I published a book of stories when I was about 24, so I kept my focus on writing stories.
You have written novels, poetry, and screenplays. Does that help you as a film director?
I think that if you want to direct movies, it’s better to write them as well. The simplest thing to do is write your own script, so you don’t have to hire anyone else to do that. You don’t have to negotiate your way through anybody’s sensibilities. I have always written short stories and novels. When I was writing fiction at the age of about 24, it seemed Ireland was the most written place about in the world: Joyce had written about Dublin, and Yates about the countryside, everybody had written about everything you looked at, but nobody seemed to have photographed it, nobody seemed to have made movies there. That was the reason why I started making films.
Are you more comfortable directing your own scripts or writing your own scripts because you know you will be filming them?
As I just said, it’s better to write your own script, but I also collaborate, like with “The Company of Wolves” , I worked with Angela Carter, and when I did “Interview With the Vampire” , I collaborated with Anne Rice. I also worked with Moira Buffini [“Byzantium,” 2012], so I enjoy the collaborative aspect of filmmaking. But if I’m shooting a script of my own and some problem comes up, I can always rewrite the scene very quickly. Being a writer-director seems to be the natural thing to do—to write and direct the scripts that I write.
The characters in your films may be realistic, but they’re often portrayed in a supernatural, magical, or fairytale world. They’re like everyday people in a magic way. Is that by choice?
That’s what I like about cinema. The way to photograph something can change everything. You can photograph an actor and create an image out of him he wasn’t aware of, you know. You can look at an ordinary landscape like the sea, it may look dry, cold, and miserable, but if you place the camera there in a dramatic situation if you get the composition correctly, and you introduce somebody on that beach walking in a red costume, then it may be an image out of a dream. And that’s why I’ve always been attracted to movies, that’s why I make them. A very strange thing is happening now. You can shoot a movie with your phone now, and the image seems to be degraded in some way which I can’t quite explain. Also, photographing something with a 35mm camera was in fact pretty complicated to do. You have to load the film in the can; there were a lot of technical things to look after like the light, the lens—there was something magic about the whole process which you no longer have with digital photography. We seem to have lost the uniqueness of the image a little bit. I always thought that placing a camera in an environment used to change the environment in some way, there was a kind of magic in that, and with digital images that are everywhere, digital photography seems to have changed this uniqueness somehow. On the other hand, digital photography is a great tool; it’s a different tool, maybe we’re only about to discover the possibilities of the digital era.
If you look at a film like “The Company of Wolves,” it was all realistic, and we were living among the characters, but the story was set in this artificial world, your world. How do you look back to an experience like that?
Well, I was very naive when I started making films. “Angel” [U.S. title “Danny Boy,” 1982] was my first film, it was about a sectarian killing in Northern Ireland, but I shot it without any political context whatsoever—it was about a saxophone player who replaced the attraction that a saxophone has for the attraction of a gun, and I kind of shot it like a musical. I knew very little then, I had never gone to film school, I didn’t have any training, the only real education I got was from John Boorman because I had worked with him as a scriptwriter [“Excalibur,” 1981]. So when I made “The Company of Wolves,” I went into a totally different direction, and people couldn’t really quite understand why; they couldn’t understand the script that I had written with Angela Carter. But I was very lucky to meet this great designer Anton Furst, he understood the possibilities of what I was trying to do, and then my producer Stephen Woolley managed to get enough money to build this extraordinary set at Shepperton Studios. It was very unusual in British cinema because the aesthetic of British cinema was always realistic when you think of the great tradition of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh with their dirty realism, which was great, but there was not this kind of extravagant theatrical sense of image-making tradition. But I love realism as well; a realistic story can be just as magical.
You tend to go back and forth between fantasy films and more realistic films. Does that inspire you in a way?
No, you can see everything on a symbolic level. I mean, I make fantastical movies, but I love great realism as well. Some years ago, I came up with this short sketch of a story, and I asked a writer to have a look at Luchino Visconti’s “Rocco and His Brothers” [1960, originally titled “Rocco e i suoi fratelli”] which nobody has seen. The movie is set in Milan and is about an immigrant family from Sicily who ends up in the slums of Milan; one of the brothers is a boxer, and the other is a criminal. Anyway, I would like to do this, and it seems to express the wasteland in this neurotic ghost story. But they both attract me—I mean, a realistic story can be a metaphor, a crime drama like Paul Muni’s “Scarface” , that’s a metaphor for reality. The ghost story that I’ve written is also a metaphor for reality, you know, the kind of neurotic thing that we all have inside us. To me, they both can be about the realities and experiences that we have.
But even when you dealt with a realistic subject like “Mona Lisa” , did you know from the start that you would leave the audience in this mythological fairytale mood, or did that happen because it’s the way you look at things?
No, I wrote it specifically that way. It’s often my way to say to a writer—I had hired David Leland to write the first draft of the script—to say, ‘No, that’s not what I meant at all. I meant something much more emotional than what you have written there.’ In “Mona Lisa” with these two ex-cons, two lowlifes, they kept talking about a novel by John Franklin Bardin they had read, called “The Deadly Percheron,” a piece of pulp fiction from the 1940s, I just thought, ‘Why not? Why not two guys in a crime story going through this novel they couldn’t understand, and why not build these unrealistic things into it?’ I also wanted it to be like this mythical search that the character, played by Bob Hoskins, imagined he should have. He plays George, the central character, he’s a driver for a black prostitute, he’s quite a racist, but she asks him to help her to find this girl who has been lost, and he imagines he is going to rescue her like a knight in shining armor—things like that. So there is a kind of fairytale metaphor in the movie going on as well. And that’s what I wanted it to be, I didn’t want to make a straightforward crime story.
Two people have been very crucial in your career. One is actor Stephen Rea who appeared in many of your films; the other one is producer Stephen Woolley. How important have they been to you?
I just began making movies with Stephen Rea. He’s a hugely intelligent actor. The first time I saw him was on the stage in Dublin, and I thought he had a quality that didn’t seem to belong on the stage; it belonged on the screen in a way. So I made “Angel” with him, I cast him in “The Company of Wolves” and then he became kind of a collaborator. I started writing certain roles specifically for him. As a director, he can become an alter ego and be someone who can read—in terms of what you’re doing-—and give you a response, sometimes telling you more than you know about what you’re trying to do. And producer Stephen Woolley, he produced twelve of my films, he was incredibly important early on when I made “The Company of Wolves” and “Mona Lisa.” Then I made a movie called “High Spirits”  which was a disaster, and for which I’ve blamed him horribly [laughs]. And when I did “The Crying Game” , he was probably the only person in the world who could manage to finance a film like that. Then we did a big Hollywood film, “Interview With the Vampire” , so we went kind of on a journey together. I think that’s what happens: if you start to make movies, you go on a journey with collaborators. When you get older, you get tired of each other, but then you get back together.
Does it help to collaborate with people you know very well, or is it maybe better to have some professional distance?
It depends on what you want. I think it helps to have a very personal bond with collaborators because they can remind you about what you should be doing because we can all get lost, and we can all get tired. And filmmaking is a very exhausting business, so it’s very helpful to have somebody who says, ‘Look, that’s not good enough, that’s not quite what you used to do. We deserve better from what we’re trying to do here.’ But then, people sometimes have different ambitions, and sometimes you end up thinking, ‘Why am I doing this anyway? Oh right, it’s because you asked me to do it—okay.’ That can get a bit annoying.
What about people who decide to make a movie together simply because they like each other and not because the script is excellent?
That’s probably the wrong reason to make movies—those drunken conversations. And it’s not easy to make films anymore. When I started to make films, it used to be easier, but it’s not easy to make movies these days. You feel you are making something that nobody essentially seems to want, particularly when making independent movies, so there’d better be a reason for them existing. The journey and the effort have become very difficult. And you don’t get paid anymore [laughs].
“Interview With the Vampire” (1994, trailer)
When you went to Hollywood to make “Interview With the Vampire,” you had such an incredible cast. Can you tell something about that?
I had been to Hollywood before when I made a movie called “We’re No Angels”  which I actually rather liked, but it was a big studio thing that I didn’t write myself, and there was a lot of interference in the final cut of the film. That made it much more vulgar than it should have been, but it wasn’t a bad experience. I knew what could happen to you in Hollywood. When I made “The Crying Game” it became a big hit in America, and I was asked to do “Interview With the Vampire.” So I said to [producer] David Geffen, the man who had been trying to make this book for twenty years, ‘Look, I’ll do it if you can guarantee me that I can make it like an independent movie.’ And he said he would. That was extraordinary, considering the circumstances. I think what happened is this: when you have one hit, they trust you in a way, and they leave you alone until you mess up again, then they take your stuff away. But “Interview With a Vampire” was pretty cool. I got to cast Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. When I cast Tom Cruise, everyone got upset with me, including [screenwriter] Anne Rice. She asked me, ‘You cast the biggest star in the world. Why?’ Well, there was a reason. I think he is a very good actor—he was then, and he still is. He had this very controlling quality which I thought would be perfect. And when the movie came out, Anne said, ‘You were right.’ She publicly withdrew her opinion. But the circumstances were unique: we were allowed to make it freely, I was allowed to do exactly what I wanted, Warner Bros. was a real studio, and the men who ran it, were like old-fashioned studio heads. And the movie was a hit, it wasn’t a huge hit, but it was a considerable hit. Internationally it was a big success, and it was a lovely movie. There are faults in the movie, but they are in the book too. The narrative tends to repeat itself through the centuries, stuff like that, and since I just wanted to make the book, I couldn’t change that.
You are not a big vampire fan in the first place, are you?
Well, I used to live close to Bram Stoker’s house, I used to cycle past his house, and I had read “Dracula” [Gothic horror novel published in 1897] many times. I’m just not a big fan of the Hammer kind of rather tongue-in-cheek thing that Tim Burton seems to like, like when he did “Dark Shadows” —I’m sorry, I don’t mean to dis anybody—but I don’t think Vincent Price is the best actor in the world. He’s a good actor, but I’m just not a fan of the stupidity of them. I mean, I love quite a bit of vampire movies, like “Nosferatu” , the one that Werner Herzog made with Klaus Kinski, but I’m just not a mad fan of them. The reason why I did “Vampire” is because I had read Anne’s script first, and then I read the book, and when I read the book, I thought, ‘This is the most extraordinary kind of Gothic novel since “Dracula.”’ And by Gothic, I mean real Gothic, which brings you into a world that is real and unreal, and that brings issues of morality into question. She reinvented everything that has to do with a vampire; she made it sexy, she made it dangerous, she made it believable. And also, she brought a lot of Catholic guilt into the character of Louis [played by Brad Pitt], so I thought it would be very interesting to make a film about this world and these emotions.
And “Byzantium”  is, even more, a vampire movie. What triggered you to make that film?
It was very unexpected. Stephen Woolley sent me the script; I had no idea what it was about. I didn’t know anything about the play it was based on, but when I read it, there were so many elements familiar to me from my movies that I had to explore it further. It was about storytelling, about fantasy worlds, it was about a young girl trying to grow up, it was about a mother and daughter, about an abandoned seaside town. I do think stories like this should be frightening in a way; it could be so real that it could happen to you. I think that’s what horror movies should do, that it could happen in a suburban house in America.
Could you tell something about the locations you used?
When I read the script of “Byzantium,” it was set in a small seaside town, and they walked into a boarding house. In my mind, I could see a realistic contemporary set of locations, and it’s not just the locations, it’s also the ambiance and the feeling of what it’s about. I could see this contrast that was necessary to make the movie: you needed this dirty realism that you would have gotten out of a Mike Leigh film, and then you needed a huge kind of German romanticism feeling that you would have gotten from Werner Herzog when he made those strange films in the 1980s. I felt the movie needed these two things to be a good film. So I began a search around the Southwest Coast of England, and I said to myself, ‘If I don’t find the right location for this film, I won’t make it.’ My location wouldn’t be as grand as Venice, for example, but it needed to be a place that would stay in your memory and create this sense of unease. I found it in England in a place called Hastings; there was this amazing hotel, a pier, a burned house, and an endless promenade underneath the main road. It looked great. And for the eighteenth-century sections, in the script [screenwriter] Moira Buffini had gone to Turkey, but for various reasons—mainly money—we couldn’t go there, and so I said, ‘Why don’t we try the West of Ireland?’ And so we came up with that Western Ireland stuff which I thought was great.
And what about the casting?
The truth is that when I read the script, Gemma Arterton had read it too, because Moira Buffini had also written the script of “Tamara Drewe” , also with Gemma—actually, I thought she was very badly photographed in that movie, but she is an extraordinary actress. I had seen her in “The Disappearance of Alice Creed”  and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” —she was the best one in it, I thought she was the only one the movie should be about. And I knew Saoirse Ronan, I knew her work and I think I had met her once or twice, and I thought she was perfect for the role. So I cast both of them.
How involved are you in the casting process?
Totally. As a director, you have to be. If you cast a film correctly, you’ve got very little to do, and those two principal leads were cast correctly, so I just watched them do what they were doing. So it was the end of my job. I mean, it’s not quite that, but sometimes it feels like that. And if a film is cast wrongly, it can be a disaster, so casting is crucial.
“Byzantium” (2012, trailer)
Over the years, you have worked with several great cinematographers. How do you choose them, and how do you work with them?
Well, I’ve worked with Philippe Rousselot, with Chris Menges, Sean Bobbitt… I think directors of photography are part of the last of the technological processes that people create mystery around. What they do, is actually quite simple, but it demands an enormous amount of artistry, and where the artistry comes from is often hard to say. Someone like Chris Menges is an incredible genius of photography, but he finds it so hard to articulate what he’s looking for. It’s extraordinary sometimes. While Philippe Rousselot is one of the most intelligent people you’ll ever meet in the world, he’s a master of studio films, while Chris Menges responds more to natural light. But I think there are two dangers with cinematographers. One is that they can take over the process because they are the last of the medieval guilds, they have the secret knowledge [laughs], and while you’d think exposure is not that difficult to work out, it’s a true art when you see it working correctly. The other danger is that they can get tired. What’s happening now in photography, I think, is that we’re seeing the end of negative film, the end of the chemical process, and a lot of the great cinematographers are refusing to engage into the digital world. Philippe, for example, will never shoot a film digitally. He won’t. Chris Menges, to his credit, will. He did “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”  with Stephen Daldry, which I thought was far too colorful for Chris—knowing his work. Now I have just been working with this great cameraman Sean Bobbitt [“Byzantium”], he also shot “Hunger”  and “Shame”  with Steve McQueen, and this time is the first time he worked with this digital image-making process. He feels he hasn’t gotten it quite right with this movie, but I think what he has done is extraordinary. It’s graphic. It’s realistic, it’s many things at the same time. I think most cinematographers will take the chances that you take as a director, and they won’t just get tired and old [laughs].
Is it essential that you can work on the set with people who can communicate with you?
No, I don’t think it’s that important, because that’s really the job of the director. I don’t care if the person next to me has Tourette syndrome or has a personality disorder that wouldn’t allow him to look me straight in the eye, as long as they care, as long as they really care about their specific piece of the art. And you really do notice it when people care; there’s a big difference between people who care and those who don’t. We’re talking about image and sound here, about creating an image, aren’t we? We’re not talking about articulation; they didn’t have to go to a French lycée or Oxford.
But you have to feel that you’re thinking on the same level?
Oh absolutely. But to do that, you don’t have to talk, you know. You know what you want to achieve or where you want the camera. Some of the cameramen I’ve worked with have been totally inarticulate people who were not able at all to express what they were able to express with the camera. That’s the reason why they use a camera, I think.
What about the editing? Is that also a part of the writing?
Yes, it is. I have worked with the same editor for twenty years now; his name is Tony Lawson. He worked with Stanley Kubrick [“Barry Lyndon,” 1975] and did a few Sam Peckinpah films [“Straw Dogs,” 1971; “Cross of Iron,” 1977]. He’s not that old; it sounds like he’s very old. He’s just been editing for a long time. He cut all of my movies since “Michael Collins” . I do send him the script before I shoot it, or before I decide to make the film, to ask for his opinion, but sometimes he’s very wrong. An editor tends to read a script obviously with an editorial eye and tries to see the end product through it, so sometimes they can miss what things could become. They always see the finished product, they’re always refining the finished product. But I think an editor actually is the best collaborator a director can have because you spend the most time with him. The shooting will take you six to fourteen weeks perhaps, but you could be editing for six months in the same room with this person. You also have to rely upon him to do the whole post-production process—the sound, grading, and all that sort of stuff.
What about music, or the absence of music?
When I start working on a new movie, I often listen to little bits of music or a score, and sometimes I write references into the script, like that song in “The Crying Game,” I wrote it into the script. But if you look at “Dog Day Afternoon” , there’s not one piece of music in it, from start to finish, and it’s so refreshing to see a movie without music too, oh my God. So sometimes silence can be as interesting as the music.
How do you decide to use a soundtrack or hire a composer to write a score?
You just want somebody you want to collaborate with, and I like a composer who does all of the work himself. That’s something different from composers who use orchestrated music; in that case, you feel you’re not getting the best work. I like a composer who gives me his heart and soul.
Did it take you a long time to have full autonomy on the set?
When I started making films—small European films—it was demanded of you, it was expected of you. When I made “Angel,” it was expected that I would also cut the movie and that it would reflect everything I wanted, just like “The Company of Wolves” or “Mona Lisa.” What I found really difficult, was when I began making bigger films and I had two very bad experiences. One of them was “High Spirits” which was kind of taken out of my hands, and I learned that it’s very difficult to control a movie when you’re not fully in control. If you do a Hollywood movie, that may be the situation you will find yourself in, no matter if you have final cut or not—unless you’re Steven Spielberg. If you spend 70 or 100 million dollars of studio’s money, they will preview it; they will want to make it responsive to the lowest common denominator.
But very few Hollywood directors have final cut, I suppose?
I think it’s a term that’s gone out of use really, it belongs to the 1970s. I don’t think people use it anymore because even if you have it…—I mean, I technically have final cut. ‘Oh, and I did that movie “The Brave One”  and I shared it with [producer] Joel Silver’ [laughs]. Whatever that means. But he was fine; he let me do it. The difficult thing is to learn how to make your own film through a large, expensive system, but at the moment I’m not really interested in making Hollywood movies, because the kind of movies they make I wouldn’t want to make anyway. I wouldn’t want to do an “Avengers” movie. Maybe I should be interested, but I’m not. And to get back to final cut, I don’t think directors ever had it in the great Hollywood period. I don’t know if Raoul Walsh ever had final cut, or John Huston, or Howard Hawks. I mean, directors would shoot their movies and then walk away. Since they only shot what they wanted, it couldn’t be cut in any other way.
How do you overcome any obstacles when you’re making a film?
You just have to get your head clear when you have to work out exactly what you want to do. When you see films that are confused or badly realized, it’s often because the directors didn’t know what to do. In a strange way, the first films of directors often have far more clarity than their subsequent movies, for some strange reason I can never figure out. Maybe when people are younger, they take more chances. I would also say the amount of energy you need to make movies, is the energy of youth, so make movies as much as possible when you’re young. When you get older, people don’t want to employ you anyway [laughs]. Seriously, it’s true. So film embraces youth in a way, you know. I really want to see much more films by young people, and by young people I don’t mean people who are 40 or older. I mean people in their twenties or thirties.
Many established filmmakers are still making films, like Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola…
…Coppola hasn’t made a film in a long time. Brian De Palma hardly makes any films today. A lot of directors who are capable of making films don’t make them anymore. David Lynch hasn’t made a film for a long, long time, he seems to have gotten very disillusioned. I think they have difficulties making their own movies. I know Brian has tremendous difficulties getting his films going. But maybe it’s the kind of art form where younger people push the older people the other way. And people have to believe in cinema, don’t they, to make sure it survives.
Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, Brussels
April 3, 2013
“Greta” (2018, trailer), starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz, is Mr. Jordan’s latest film so far
EXCALIBUR (1981) DIR – PROD John Boorman SCR John Boorman, Rospo Pallenberg (book by Thomas Malory; adaptation by Rospo Pallenberg) CAM Alex Thomson ED John Merritt MUS Trevor Jones CREATIVE ASSOCIATE Neil Jordan CAST Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Paul Geoffrey, Nicol Williamson, Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Corin Redgrave, Charley Boorman
TRAVELLER (1981) DIR – ED Joe Comerford PROD Joe Comerford, Margaret Williams SCR Neil Jordan CAM Thaddeus O’Sullivan MUS Davy Spillane CAST Judy Donovan, Davy Spillane, Alan Devlin, Johnny Choil Mhaidhc, Joe Pilkington, Nora Donovan
ANGEL (1982) DIR – SCR Neil Jordan PROD Barry Blackmore CAM Chris Mendez ED J. Patrick Duffner CAST Veronica Quilligan, Stephen Rea, Alan Devlin, Peter Caffrey, Honor Hefferman, Lise Ann McLaughlin, Ian McElhinney, Derek Lord
THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1984) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Chris Brown SCR Neil Jordan, Angela Carter (story “The Company of Wolves” by Angela Carter) CAM Bryan Loftus ED Rodney Holland MUS George Fenton CAST Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Graham Crowden, Brian Glover, Kathryn Pogson, Stephen Rea, Sarah Patterson
MONA LISA (1986) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley, Patrick Cassavetti SCR Neil Jordan, David Leland CAM Roger Pratt ED Lesley Walker MUS Michael Kamen CAST Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine, Robbie Coltrane, Clarke Peters, Kate Hardie, Zoë Nathenson
HIGH SPIRITS (1988) DIR – SCR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley, David Saunders CAM Alex Thomson ED Michael Bradsell MUS George Fenton CAST Daryl Hannah, Peter O’Toole, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D’Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher, Liam Neeson, Martin Ferrero
THE COURIER (1988) DIR Frank Deasy, Joe Lee PROD Hilary Estey McLoughlin EXEC PROD Neil Jordan, Stephen Woolley, John Hambley, Nik Powell SCR Frank Deasy CAM Gabriel Beristain ED Annette D’Alton CAST Padraig O’loinsigh, Cait O’Riordan, Gabriel Byrne, Ian Bannen, Patrick Bergin, Andrew Connolly, Michelle Houlden, Mary Ryan
WE’RE NO ANGELS (1989) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Art Linson SCR David Mamet (screenplay WE’RE NO ANGELS  by Ranald MacDougall; play by Albert Husson, Sam Spewack, Bella Spewack) CAM Philippe Rousselot ED Joke Van Wijk, Mick Audsley MUS George Fenton CAST Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Demi Moore, Hoyt Axton, Bruno Kirby, Ray McAnally, Wallace Shawn, John C. Reilly
THE MIRACLE (1991) DIR – SCR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley, Redmond Morris CAM Philippe Rousselot ED Joke Van Wijk MUS Anne Dudley CAST Beverly D’Angelo, Donal McCann, Niall Byrne, Lorraine Pilkington, J.G. Devlin, Cathleen Delany, Tom Hickey
THE CRYING GAME (1992) DIR – SCR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley CAM Ian Wilson ED Kant Pan MUS Anne Dudley CAST Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, Forest Whitaker, Jayne Davidson, Adrian Dunbar, Jim Broadbent, Ralph Brown
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE: THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES (1994) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley, David Geffen SCR Anne Rice (also novel) CAM Philippe Rousselot ED Joke Van Wijk, Mick Audsley MUS Elliot Goldenthal CAST Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea, Bellina Logan, Thandle Newton, Lyla Hay Owen
MICHAEL COLLINS (1996) DIR – SCR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley CAM Chris Menges ED Tony Lawson, J. Patrick Duffner MUS Elliot Goldenthal CAST Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart, Alan Rickman, Stephen Rea, Brendan Gleeson, Gerard McSorley, Jean Kennedy Smith
THE BUTCHER BOY (1997) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley, Redmond Morris EXEC PROD Neil Jordan SCR Neil Jordan, Patrick McCabe (novel by Patrick McCabe) CAM Adrian Biddle ED Tony Lawson MUS Elliot Goldenthal CAST Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Eamonn Owens, Alan Boyle, John Kavanaugh, Sean McGinley, Peter Gowen, Andrew Fullerton
IN DREAMS (1999) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley, Charles Burke SCR Neil Jordan, Bruce Robinson (novel by Bari Wood) CAM Darius Khondji ED Tony Lawson MUS Elliot Goldenthal CAST Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr., Katie Sagona, Aidan Quinn, Paul Guilfoyle, Kathleen Langlois, Jennifer Berry, Stephen Rea
THE LAST SEPTEMBER (1999) DIR Elizabeth Warner PROD Yvonne Thunder EXEC PROD Neil Jordan, Stephen Woolley SCR John Banville (novel by Elizabeth Bowen) CAM Slawomir Idziak ED Kate Evans MUS Zbigniew Preisner CAST Michael Gambon, Tom Hickey, Keeley Hawes, David Tennant, Richard Roxburgh, Gary Lydon, Maggie Smith, Lambert Wilson, Jane Birkin, Fiona Shaw
THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1999) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Neil Jordan, Stephen Woolley SCR Neil Jordan (novel by Graham Greene) CAM Roger Pratt ED Tony Lawson MUS Michael Nyman CAST Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore, Stephen Rea, Heather-Jay Jones, James Bolam, Ian Hart
THE GOOD THIEF (2002) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley, John Wells, Seaton McLean SCR Neil Jordan (screenplay BOB LE FAMBEUR  by Jean-Pierre Melville, Auguste Le Breton; story by Jean-Pierre Melville) CAM Chris Menges ED Tony Lawson MUS Elliot Goldenthal CAST Nick Nolte, Ralph Fiennes, Nutsa Kukhianidze, Gérard Darmon, Saïd Taghmaoui, Patricia Kell, Julien Maurel
THE ACTORS (2003) DIR Conor McPherson PROD Neil Jordan, Stephen Woolley, Redmond Morris SCR Conor McPherson (story by Neil Jordan) CAM Seamus McGarvey ED Emer Reynolds MUS Michael Nyman CAST Michael Caine, Dylan Moran, Michael Gambon, Lena Headey, Miranda Richardson, Aisling O’Sullivan, Ben Miller
INTERMISSION (2003) DIR John Crowley PROD Neil Jordan, Stephen Woolley, Alan Moloney SCR Mark O’Rowe CAM Ryszard Lenczewski ED Lucia Zuchetti MUS John Murphy CAST Colin Farrell, Kerry Condon, Cillian Murphy, Kelly MacDonald, Brian F. O’Byrne, David Wilmot, Owen Roe, Colm Meaney
BREAKFAST ON PLUTO (2005) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Neil Jordan, Stephen Woolley, Alan Moloney SCR Neil Jordan, Patrick McCabe (novel by Patrick McCabe) CAM Declan Quinn ED Tony Lawson MUS Anna Jordan CAST Cillian Murphy, Morgan Jones, Eva Birthistle, Liam Neeson, Conor McEvoy, Ruth McCabe
THE BRAVE ONE (2007) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Joel Silver, Susan Downey SCR Bruce A. Taylor, Roderick Taylor, Cynthia Mort (story by Bruce A. Taylor, Roderick Taylor) CAM Philippe Rousselot ED Tony Lawson MUS Dario Marianelli CAST Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Nicky Katt, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen, Ene Oloja, Luis Da Silva Jr.
A FLY WITH ME IN IT (2008) DIR Ian Fitzgibbon PROD Alan Moloney, Mary Callery SCR Mark Doherty CAM Seamus Deasy ED Tony Cranstoun MUS Denis Woods CAST Dylan Moran, Mark Doherty, Keith Allen, Amy Huberman, Aisling O’Sullivan, David O’Doherty, Neil Jordan (Director)
ONDINE (2009) DIR – SCR Neil Jordan PROD Neil Jordan, James Flynn, Ben Browning CAM Christopher Doyle ED Tony Lawson MUS Kjartan Sveinsson CAST Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Stephen Rea, Dervla Kirwan, Alison Barry, Marion O’Dwyer, Tony Curran
BYZANTHIUM (2012) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Stephen Woolley, Sam Englebardt, William D. Johnson, Elizabeth Karlsen, Alan Moloney SCR Moira Buffini (also play) CAM Sean Bobbitt ED Tony Lawson MUS Javier Navarrete CAST Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Barry Cassin, Warren Brown, Thure Lindhardt
GRETA (2018) DIR Neil Jordan PROD Karen Richards, John Penotti EXEC PROD Neil Jordan SCR Neil Jordan, Ray Wright (story by Ray Wright) CAM Seamus McGarvey ED Nick Emerson MUS Javier Navarrete CAST Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Stephen Rea, Jane Perry, Jeff Hiller, Parker Sawyers, Brandon Lee Sears, Arthur Lee
MIRACLES & MISS LANGAN (1979) DIR Pat O’Connor SCR Neil Jordan CAST Deirdre Donnelly, Malcolm Douglas, Godfrey Quigley, James Caffrey, Eithne Lydon