Part of Series

Passages from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake Mary Ellen Bute, USA Black and White, 90 minutes, 1965

The Printed Signal


Part of Seeing Sound
Where State Library of Queensland. Brisbane, Australia.
Date Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Visual music pioneer Mary Ellen Bute’s final film was also her first feature  film. James Joyce’s classic story of Irish tavern-keeper who dreams of attending  his own wake is brought to the screen with a sparkling energy which highlights  its maker’s career-long exploration of kinetic abstract animation. Perhaps best  described as a ‘film poem,’ Passages from Finnegans Wake was the first attempt  to ‘cinematize’ the works of James Joyce, featuring the author’s highly original  language spoken by characters and presented as text on screen.


The Printed Signal - WORKS

  • 90 Min
    Passages from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Mary Ellen Bute, USA, Black and White, 90 minutes, 1965

    “Passages is a trove of superimpositions, flashbacks, varied angles, slow  motion, intercutting, rapid motion, stop action, negative images, documentary  footage, and finally sub-titles … It brings in television, the H-bomb, the  twist, interplanetary rockets. Bute believed that Joyce would have…