James Joyce on TV

Friday 16th June 2017

B04, 43 Gordon Square

James Joyce belongs to the era of modernism. But how were his life and work narrated and inflected in the post-war world of television? A special event for Bloomsday explores this question with a very rare screening of two vintage BBC television programmes inspired by Joyce.

Monitor: Silence, Exile and Cunning (50mins, 1965)

Joyce in June (45mins approx, 1982, dir. Donald McWhinnie)

Monitor: Silence, Exile and Cunning consists of Anthony Burgess’s apparently whiskey-fuelled reflections on Joyce’s self-imposed exile from Ireland. Burgess's film essay is illustrated by black and white 16mm shots of Dublin, including dead seagulls in the Liffey and some of the authentic Ulysses locations, including the Martello tower Stephen Dedalus lodges in and the dilapidated 7 Eccles Street, home of Leopold and Molly Bloom, shortly before its demolition.

This is contrasted with a 1982 biographical sketch of the young Joyce, Joyce in June, which includes an inventive, and very funny, imagining of the happenings of the Ulysses characters on 17 June 1904, the day after the novel’s action. Filmed on video in studios, the image has an immediacy that speaks very much of early 1980s TV. It features a young Stephen Rea as both Joyce’s brother Stanislaus and Ulysses’ mysterious man in the macintosh. The programme is directed by Donald McWhinnie, one of Samuel Beckett’s favoured directors for screen, radio and stage.

The programme is curated by Michael Garrad of Curzon Cinemas.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion.

Reserve your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/james-joyce-on-tv-tickets-33849094553

Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey.

Image by Tim Sackton, used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence.

Author: CCL

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