From Murphy’s "microcosmopolitans" to Castro’s "micro-mensajes": metropolitan, national and ontological dislocations - with screening of Castro and interview with the director

Dowd, Garin ORCID: (2016) From Murphy’s "microcosmopolitans" to Castro’s "micro-mensajes": metropolitan, national and ontological dislocations - with screening of Castro and interview with the director. In: London Beckett Seminar, 9 Dec 2016, London, England. (Unpublished)

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At the very end of the closing credits of Alejo Moguillansky's film Castro (Argentina, 2009) we read 'Algunos episodios del film fueron inspirados libremente en 'Murphy' de Samuel Beckett' [Some scenes in the film were loosely inspired by Murphy by Samuel Beckett]. This almost occluded credit is emblematic of the film's own visibility. Castro has barely had any theatrical screenings in the UK; it is not available on DVD and has only had limited festival screenings in Europe. Aside from the fact it was inspired by Murphy, the film deserves wider recognition among Beckett scholars, as I set out to show. The inhabitants of the 'little world' in Murphy are named 'microcosmopolitans'. Murphy envies them their removal from the corpus of deterrents that is the Big World. In this context, then, the city beyond the walls of the MMM and adjacent to it (the latter being located in a suburb) is the 'macrocosmopolis' as much as it is the metropolis. Rather than a retreat into an architectural and institutional interior which would offer an alternative mode of habitation, and habit, with Murphy envying and to a certain extent mimicking the behavior of the inmates of the asylum, Castro presents that interior externalized on the streets. In this way the film might be said to turn inside-out the novel’s careful construction of space. The little world is externalized in Castro and coexists on the same plane as the metropolis. Under the figure of 'dislocation', I explore a variety of modes of relation between the locations, settings and spatial constructions of the novel and the film respectively, invoking classic conceptualisations of the experience of urban modernity as well as more recent theorisations of the architectural imagination.

This paper was preceded by a screening of Castro, followed by a live interview via Skype between Garin Dowd and the director of Castro Alejo Moguillansky.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: This paper was orginally written for the London Beckett Seminar summer conference of 2016 but the session had to be cancelled
Subjects: Literature > Adaptation studies
Film and television
Depositing User: Garin Dowd
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2018 12:02
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:24

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