Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade & The Museum of Literature Ireland
Opening up Ulysses to audiences through its opening line
Once again, to mark Bloomsday 2021, we partnered with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) to produce Opening Ulysses, a short film created in collaboration with 40 Irish embassies and consulates worldwide. Ahead of the centenary of the novel’s publication in February 2022, this specially commissioned film invited global audiences to engage with Ulysses through a playful, virtuosic reimagining of its opening line:
“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”
Filming took place in more than 40 locations across six continents, from Alaska to Abuja, Santiago to Seoul, Canberra to Chicago.
Ahead of the centenary of the novel’s publication in February 2022, this specially commissioned film invited global audiences to engage with Ulysses through a playful, virtuosic reimagining of its opening line
Performers include Irish-Nigerian artists Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi and Osaro Azams; actors Phelim Drew (Ireland), Anna Yiagiozi (Cyprus), Saga Sarkola (Finland), Vivien Rujder (Hungary), Anta Aizupe (Latvia), Sofya Lebedeva (Russia), Yiannis Panagopoulos (Greece), Mary Kelly (Germany) and Eon Gray (US); Malawian spoken word performer Phindu Zaie Banda; Hong Kong musician Serrini; writers Ruud Hisgen (Netherlands), Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Colombia) and Gabrielle Carey (Australia); and academics Mika Momoo (Japan), Michelle Alvarenga (Brazil) and Enrico Terrinoni (Italy).
Using the performers’ voices we created a musical track that mirrored the eclectic, unexpected nature of the text. Once the track was complete, we created the visual edit that – as well as showing each of the global performers – was full of match cuts, hyperlapses and archive footage of famous Joycean locations around Dublin.