Friday, June 15, 2012

Bloomsday at the IFI

The time has rolled around again, all stately and plump, for our annual Bloomsday film extravaganza.

Anjelica Huston and Donal McCann in The Dead

James Joyce (himself a cinema manager and programmer) was, famously, intrigued by cinema.  At the Volta (est. 1909) he screened about 100 short films (actualities, news films, comedies and dramas) in the brief period of his stewardship. He was a regular and passionate cinema goer and indeed is known to have explored adaptation of his work for cinema with Sergei Eisenstein and to have been approached by Warner Brothers to buy rights for Ulysses.  His work has since been widely adapted for film and television. 

So it is fitting then that we pay annual tribute through film to the man and to his work.  This year, with a pumped up level of interest generated by the unleashing of much of Joyce’s published work from the constraints of copyright, we decided to extend our usual modest homage from a single cinema slot to two feature films, one newsreel, two documentaries, one promotional film, one humorous short  and one animation.

Archive at Lunchtime: Pitch 'n' Putt With Beckett and Joyce

We have been running our Joycean Archive at Lunchtime series throughout the month to healthy and enthusiastic houses – enthusiastic not only because entrance is free but because the programme is so digestible and varied.  We enjoyed a particularly rewarding moment last Saturday when the audience spontaneously stood and applauded for the filmmaker Ulick O’Connor, producer of Joyce’s Dublin who had joined us for the double bill.  The programme continues three times weekly until the end of the month.

The Dead – the much-admired and, arguably, the most successful adaptation of a Joycean work to date – will run for a week from today.

Passages From James Joyce's Finnegans Wake

On Saturday, June 16th we are delighted to present a bold adaptation by experimental pioneer Mary Ellen Bute of Finnegans Wake. Joyce scholar Nick Miller of Loyola University Maryland will be on hand to help us navigate the Passages.  The print we will screen is one which we acquired some years ago from Vogue McNally, widow of the late film distributor Bertie McNally. With its tell-tale French introductory title we believe it to be the actual copy which screened at Cannes in 1965 when the film was honoured as best debut of the festival.

So whether you’re a true Joycean or you’re a chancer looking for a bluffer’s guide to Ulysses, Finnegans Wake and Dubliners – our film programmes will fit the bill - yes I said yes they will Yes.

Sunniva O’Flynn
IFI Irish Film Programming 

For more information on IFI Bloomsday screenings, please contact our Box Office on 01 679 3477, or visit our website

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