Kinnitty's 'Silent Journeys' Documentary Screening at Offline Film Fest

Rex Ingram Silent Journeys

Following months of collaboration and one amazing day in Kinnitty last August, the people of Kinnitty and theatre maker Ciarán Taylor will come together once more to premiere a documentary of their project “Silent Journeys” which will be screened as part of Offline Film Festival on Saturday Oct 10th at 5pm in Birr Theatre and Arts Centre.

“Silent Journeys” is the second of a three part public art project by Offaly County Council called “Secrets of Offaly” which seeks to expose remarkable hidden stories and their origins in the county. One such story involved chronicling the work of silent film director Rex Ingram who spent much of his adolescence in Kinnitty, before moving to Hollywood and producing films such as “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

By working together to play with Ingram’s legacy the village bonded in a new way. Commenting on the process of realising the project a local woman said: ‘from those few acorns grew the massive oak tree that will stand so tall in people’s hearts, minds and memories-it brought the community together in a special way.’

The documentary features black and white ‘silent’ scenes captured on the day, when the audience were brought on a location tour led by director Ciarán Taylor in character as a silent movie director setting up scenes and calling ‘action’. The Silent Journey went through significant locations in the picturesque village and along the road to the castle, allowing the audience take in the views while placing a layer of dramatic stories on the landscape. Scenes were out of sequence as in film making, so everyone had to try to piece the stories back together, with the aid of the written titles displayed at each location. When the four horsemen of Kinnitty arrived to participate, an eeriness enveloped the village, ably assisted by the mist and rain for additional atmosphere. Familiar places now have a whole new set of associations from the day the exotic characters of Ingram’s imagination came back to town.

Director-deviser Ciarán Taylor says: 'It's been a great fun community effort with over forty people involved in pulling off the live shoot of key moments from Rex Ingram's greatest film. His imagination was fired by local characters returned from the Americas, and by locations around the village including the Kinnitty Pyramid. This project playfully places the exotic locations of his imagination back in the village where he grew up - the local pub becomes a seedy Buenos Ares port tavern, and the castle drawing room a Paris ballroom.'

The screening will feature a talk by Dr. Ruth Barton author of ‘Rex Ingram, Visionary Director of the Silent Screen’. The film will be screened for free, as part of Offline Film Festival on Saturday 10th October at 5pm in Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, booking is required, call 057 9122911. For more information about the “Secrets of Offaly” initiative visit offaly.ie/arts or the Offaly Arts Facebook page.