Poetry in motion at IFI to celebrate Dublin: One City, One Book

Rich programme of films with a poetic theme

A scene from Words Upon the Windowpane

A scene from Words Upon the Windowpane


This year’s Dublin: One City, One Book choice If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song has inspired the Irish Film Institute to programme a rich series of films about Dublin poets and poetry as part of a special bumper edition of the IFI’s free Archive at Lunchtime strand and a special From the Vaults screening of Words Upon the Window Pane .

Sunniva O’Flynn, head of Irish film programming, said, “ If Ever You Go is a tremendously exciting compendium which, quite literally, creates accessible new routes for appreciation of Dublin through poetry and song. Our film strand adds texture to that journey by drawing on a rich seam of material tracing Irish filmmakers’ varied responses to their literary heritage.”

April’s From the Vaults screening is an elegant period piece, Words Upon the Window Pane (April 9th, 6.30pm), based on a one-act play by WB Yeats. Set during a series of seances in Dublin in 1928, the spirit of Jonathan Swift (Jim Sheridan) and the two women who loved him too passionately act out the torment of their tragic triangle. The superb cast includes Bríd Brennan, Orla Brady, Ian Richardson, Geraldine Chaplin, Geraldine James, John Lynch, Gerard McSorley and Hugh O’Connor.

During the week on Mondays and Wednesdays, Archive at Lunchtime offers a chance to see Brendan Behan interviewed in Meet the Quare Fellow ; a short film exploration of Austin Clarke’s 1966 intensely personal poem Mnemosyne Lay in Dust ; a German animation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant which was recently uncovered in the IFI Irish Film Archive; the fine recent special edition of TG4’s arts show Imeall: A tribute to Seamus Heaney (introduced by Theo Dorgan); and a Venice Film Festival award-winning short, See you at the Pillar , from 1968 that illuminates the literary character of Dublin city.

Saturdays Archive at Lunchtime screenings won’t be the usual double-bill, but instead offers the chance to explore the city’s poetic rhythm in more depth with full-length documentaries. On April 5th, Sé Merry Doyle will introduce his award-winning Patrick Kavanagh – No Man’s Fool , a rich visual journey exposing the contradiction that existed between Kavanagh’s public persona and his poetry. On April 26th, Doyle will present another selection from his work that journeys deep into the psyche of Dublin street traders, Alive Alive O – A Requiem for Dublin , a documentary which features the poetry of Paula Meehan.

Poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill lays her extraordinary life bare in memorable fashion in Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill – Taibhsí i mBéal na Gaoithe by renowned documentarian Pat Collins (Silence, Tim Robinson: Connemara ) on April 12th. Director Alan Gilsenan will introduce his intimate and enthralling account of the childhood and youth of one of Ireland’s best loved poets, Paul Durcan – Dark School on April 19th.

Tickets for Archive at Lunchtime screenings are free and available in person at the IFI box office, by phone on 01 679 3477 or by email at boxoffice@irishfilm.ie