Travelling to Cork today reminds me of a film about Antonin Artaud I saw last year at the Portobello Cinema called The Door Ajar. Thanks to Niall McDevitt for bringing this valuable film to London.
*On August 14th 1937 the French poet and theatre director, Antonin Artaud, arrived in Cobh in County Cork, bringing with him a stick which he believed St. Patrick owned. His intention was to return the staff to its rightful owners and, with their help, to rediscover some fundamental truths.
His journey didn’t turn out exactly as planned and, on September 23rd, he was arrested while trying to gain entrance to a religious house on the outskirts of Dublin. Other than these facts, little record remains of his journey, except for a scant outline of his movements provided by two unpaid bills and some postcards sent from Galway.
The Door Ajar examines Artaud’s back-catalogue of poems, letters and essays and uses them to create a possible account of the weeks he spent travelling in Ireland, revealing a fascinating portrait of a man hell-bent on a search for truth and driven by a longing to penetrate to the very core of existence. The unmistakable rigour and style of Paddy Jolley’s art brings Artaud’s journey to life – and his brilliant new film will inspire and enthral fellow filmmakers and audiences alike.
Director: Paddy Jolley
Producer: Edwina Forkin
*Text by Gráinne Humphreys, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival