The Storyteller: Past Perfect (2020)

HD video/B&W and Colour/Sound/ 13 mins

With questions, elaboration and asides reminiscent of an exchange found in early traditions of oral/reiterative storytelling, one man bears witness to a series of seemingly unconnected relations and events.

Past Perfect is the second of three philosophical enquiries shot on the margin of land and sea. The screenplay, adapted from James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ and Angela Carter’s ‘Nights at the Circus’, relates to marginalia and markings found in Carter’s own copy of Joyce’s text; casting her epic tale – as well as contemporaneous reviews of it – in a new light. As Walter Benjamin reminds us, the perfect narrative can be revealed sometimes not through endless beginnings, but through ‘layers of a variety of retellings’.

Extract: