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80 minutes · 2012
Well researched but fairly amateurish in execution, this documentary provides a useful primer on James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses, with various scholars explaining the novel’s major themes, historical references, and autobiographical undercurrents. Unfortunately the movie barely touches on the groundbreaking formal innovations—like Joyce’s amalgams of various literary forms or his experiments with stream-of-consciousness—that made it so influential. Directors Kate Taverna and Alan Adelson clearly love Joyce’s prose, as evidenced by their frequent cutaways to stage actors reading it aloud, yet the passages tend to register as sound bites, barely conveying the epic achievement of the book as a whole.

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