12 Pages

Mary Ellen Bute's Film Adaptation of Finnegans Wake

In 1958 the award-winning independent filmmaker Mary Ellen Bute saw Passages from Finnegans Wake, Mary Manning's stage adaptation of James Joyce's text. Fascinated by the novel's cinematic metaphors and structure and its musical qualities, although aware of its textual difficulties, Bute determined to create a screen adaptation of Manning's play. In 1965 at the Cannes Film Festival it won a prize for best first feature by a director.