For this year’s Bloomsday celebrations, Dublin poet and spoken-word artist Dublin Wade has released a short film in honor of James Joyce and his seminal masterpiece Ulysses - an elegiac performance piece entitled Sea State Martello
Taking its cue from chapter one of Joyce’s novel, also known as the Telemachus episode, the film celebrates both Joyce’s seminal vision and the beauty of the Irish coastline (in particular Dublin Bay) which inspired his writing.
This video tugs at the heartstrings and reminds us all why we love the Irish seaside so much.
Produced by Dublin-based production company Stubborn Monkey Media and directed by award-winning filmmaker Alan Dunne, Sea State Martello also features a haunting soundtrack composed by uilleann piper Brian O’ Brien (of Riverdance and In Tua Nua fame) to accompany Wade’s lyrics.
The film opens with a close-up of Joyce’s death-mask and a direct quotation from Ulysses’ opening chapter:
“Look at the sea. What does it care for offenses?”
It goes on to feature Wade in a variety of settings, including the parapets and interior of the Martello Tower at Sandycove (now the James Joyce Tower & Museum, where Joyce briefly lived before emigrating to Europe, and also the setting for the Telemachus’ chapter), and along the nearby seascape of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Dalkey Islan, and Dublin Bay.
Wade’s poem reflects on the nature of legacies and the Martello’s complex history, from its military origins as a defensive fort to its present-day status as a site of literary and cultural significance.
Take a look at the video below