Dora Garcia's gentle 2013 film is a real delicacy, a poised portrait of joy and wisdom arising from a shared obsession.
A group of people have been reading a book together for thirty years. They have been reading it again and again, with each journey from the first to the last page taking eleven years. Once they reach the last word – a very enigmatic “the” – they begin again with the first word, “riverrun.”
This utterly absorbing and fascinating film settles in with the the small but dedicated, erudite group of Joyce devotees who read, cogitate and debate James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake – long considered one of the most difficult texts in the English Language.
The text appears inexhaustible, its interpretation endless, the inconclusive nature of the reading exciting. Dora Garcia’s gentle 2013 film is a real delicacy, a poised portrait of joy and wisdom arising from a shared obsession.
This film is paired with the short film Dear Araucaria (2015)
Dear Araucaria / Matt Houghton / 2015 / 10 mins
A short documentary made in partnership with the Guardian and Pulse Films exploring the life of revered crossword setter John Graham.
Better known by his pseudonym Araucaria, John set the Guardian cryptic crossword for 55 years. In December 2012, crossword number 25,842 appeared in the paper with a series of clues that once solved, revealed a personal message from Araucaria to his puzzle-solving followers.
A puzzle in itself, this short film unpicks crossword number 25,842 to journey into John’s world of clue-making. Shifting between imagination and reality, Dear Araucaria meets the man who has given his life to crosswords and is only now coming to understand the dramatic impact he has had on a community of solvers.