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Sunday 21 January 2018

Dreamy celebration of great poetic beauty

Gavin Burke

(G, IFI, 72mins)

Directors: Donal O'Ceilleachair, Julius Ziz Stars: John Moriarty


Fans of Terrence Malick really should check out this Irish offering.

The reclusive director of The Thin Red Line and The Tree Of Life seems to be on a never-ending quest to find the perfect marriage of visuals and poetic voiceover, but there are two little-known Irish movies out this year that ape his style: Pat Collins' Silence, and the niceness that is Donal O'Ceilleachair and Julius Ziz's Dreamtime Revisited.

The works of the late poet, writer and philosopher John Moriarty are the focus for this documentary, although 'documentary' is a bit of a stretch as it is more a celebration and exploration of his words. Friends and family might pitch in from time to time, but for the most part it's Moriarty's soothing tones, that take us through excerpts from Dreamtime Ireland, Invoking Ireland and his autobiography Nostos.

Nature and its effect on the senses dominate Moriarty's thoughts here as directors O'Ceilleachair and Ziz come up with visuals to mostly match the words (streams, wooded glens, country roads), or sometimes juxtapose them all together (protests outside the Dail and the Occupy Dame Street movement feature briefly).

It's a strange and sometimes otherworldly experience.

Even at a short 72 minutes, Dreamtime Revisited can get a little samey, but, while those hoping for some insight into the writer's private life will be disappointed, this is still a unique film.

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