Memories of poet Austin Clarke to be brought to life at IFI

Culture April 2, 2014, 13:00

The Irish Film Institute (IFI) is to screen ‘Mnemosyne Lay In Dust—Memories Of Austin Clarke’, a film directed by UCC filmmaker Stephen Bean on April 7th and 21st. 

The film short will be screened as part of the annual ‘One City One Book’ initiative from Dublin City Council, which encourages everyone to read a book connected with the capital city during the month of April. Archive at Lunchtime hosted by the IFI offers free screenings of short poetry-related films featuring the work of a glittering array of Irish poets including Brendan Behan, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Austin Clarke, Oscar Wilde and Seamus Heaney. Each screening takes place at 1.10pm.

Under the watchful eye of documentary filmmaker Stephen Bean, Film Unit, Audio Visual Media Services at UCC and producer Mary Breen, the film presents its own unique take on one of poet Austin Clarke’s most gripping offerings. An intensely personal poem, it revolves around Clarke’s experience of insanity and the months he spent in a mental hospital in Dublin as a young man.

Clarke adopts a transparent disguise in the person of Maurice Devane to recount his journey through the streets of Dublin on St Patrick's Day, his incarceration in St Patrick's hospital and the harrowing progress of his illness. The poem ends with his release from hospital, "re-memorised", and his journey back through the same streets.

The video is also available to view below: 

It was positively received at the Cork Film Festival in November 2013, having been named as an official selection of the annual festival.