Film Screening and Discussion “Maurizio Cinquegrani’s Aran Diary”

 06/19/2024 / 06/19/2024

 13:00pm - 17:00pm
 K101, the Literary Arts Ecology Hall (藝文生態館), Taipei National University of the Arts
Maurizio Cinquegrani (Senior Lecturer in Film Exhibitions, Arts and Media Editor)

Co-hosted event CEFC Taipei & Taipei National University of the Arts:

Speaker: Maurizio Cinquegrani (Senior Lecturer in Film Exhibitions, Arts and Media Editor)

Originally from Venice, Dr Maurizio Cinquegrani moved to England in 2005. He completed a PhD in Film Studies at King’s College London with a thesis on early British cinema and urban space (2010). He also has an MA in Contemporary Cinema Cultures from King’s College London and a BA in Film Studies from the University of Bologna.

In 2011, Maurizio left the role of librarian at the British Museum and began teaching full time at London Metropolitan University, Birkbeck College, and King’s College London. In the same year, he participated in the Camden Town Group in Context research project at Tate Britain with a contribution looking at the relationship between early film practices and the work of Walter Sickert, Malcolm Drummond and other artists.

In 2012, he worked as filmic cartographer at the University of Liverpool in an AHRC-funded research project entitled, ‘Cinematic Geographies of Battersea: Urban Interface & Site-Specific Spatial Knowledge’. In the summer of 2012, he joined Film at the University of Kent, and since then he has been a leading researcher and representative of the University, both regionally and internationally; he has also taught and supervised a variety of students and projects in Film.

Maurizio has held the roles of Head of Film and Media, School Director of Graduate Studies, School Director of Education, Faculty Director of Internationalisation, and Deputy Dean (Student Experience). He also served as visiting lecturer at the Taipei National University of the Arts (Taiwan) and the Poznań University of Technology (Poland). In 2018 he was accepted as Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (2018-2023) on account of his involvement in geography through research and publications.


I have filmed Aran Diary in the spring of 2023 while exploring the Aran Islands of Inishmore (Inis Mór) and Inishmaan (Inis Meáin). During a previous stay in Inishmore in the summer of 2022 I began writing a script combining my own experience of the islands (which started in 1998 during an Interrail trip across Europe), the stories from the Arans I have read or seen in film, and a fictional framework based on a character who would have eventually been named Aloysius (from one of James Joyce’s middle names). Inspired by the essayistic practices of filmmakers like Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, and Patrick Keiller, Aran Diary is the result of this process, and it was shown at The Poetry of Place at Studio Gallery 3 (Canterbury, 2024).

The script is reflection on my time in the Aran Islands and the words of various writers who have visited the islands. The list includes James Joyce (The Dead), John Millington Synge (Riders to the Sea and The Aran Islands), Martin McDonagh (The Cripple of Inishmaan), Tim Robinson (Stones of Aran), Seamus Heaney (Lovers on Aran), Liam O’Flaherty, Arthur Symon, and Máirtín Ó Direáin. My film also looks back at Robert Flaherty’s docudramas Man of Aran and A Night of Storytelling, and it uses these films to reflect on the relationship between fiction, myth, and reality in the extraordinary landscape of the Aran Islands.

Aran Diary was filmed at multiple locations in Inishmore and Inishmaan, including Dun Aengus, the Wormhole, Dun Conor, the Seven Churches, Dun Doocaher, and Kilmurvey Beach. I have used a hand-held camera and avoided any kind of camera movement. These choices are dictated by the fictional framework of the film, a story which sees Aloysius visiting the islands in the process of scouting for locations in view of a fictitious film which will never be completed. My footage is juxtaposed to a voice-over narration read by actor and former Film student at Kent, Felix A. Morgan; I have also created a soundscape based on waves, wind, birds, dolphins, steps, and other sounds I associate with my experience of the islands. The seven segments of the film are introduced by the sound of knitting combined with individual images of the seven knots associated with the Aran textile tradition. The result is a film ultimately concerned with the meaning of place and space, with memory and with the passing of time; these themes emerge from an essayistic engagement with landscape and with the ruins, the stones, and the cliffs of the Aran Islands.

This seminar will be held in English.
Corrado Neri, Director of the CEFC Taipei, will chair the session.