21 September 2008

Moving towards life

From a conversation between Jim Sheridan and Annette Insdorf, included at the back of In America: A Portrait of the Film:
JS: If I think of an idea, I usually try to put it up against the X-ray that is James Joyce. He was the only one with a good father, like Leopold Bloom in Ulysses.

AI: Of course.

JS: A Jewish man walking around Dublin was the only good father figure in Irish literature before 1980! And in Joyce’s stories, the women were always in love with dead people: The Dead is essentially about that estrangement from the husband. And Molly Bloom is about the estrangement from the husband through the dead child. So, there was a kind of refusal by the women to engage on a loving or sexual level because of a death, which I always thought was probably like a psychological dramatization of the famine. So, I just stole a little bit from Joyce, and added the husband in love with the dead child. The attempt was to move the stone from the mouth of the grave, you know. To kind of get out of the death culture.
(I've loved this film since it first came out in 2002, but Sheridan's audio commentary is really wonderful as well--very rich.)

No comments: