Saturday March 7
These days were spent at a friend’s house without much writing, just a brief adjustment to a new country. Getting there was not easy. My mode of transportation was a shuttle that stopped within a few blocks of her house. When I arrived at Dublin Airport, there were no signs directing me to the bus line. An airport employee led me outside to a bank of bus quays. But which one? A man seeing my distress helped me navigate my luggage in what he thought was the right direction; eventually, he became confused and walked off shaking his head. I chose one whose sign had the same color as the advertised shuttle, red, and settled in for a long, cold wait. Eventually, I made it to Lucan. A few glasses of wine, dinner, then bed.
Sunday March 8
A full day. As we often do when I visit, we took her dog on a long walk along the cliffs of Donabate which face the Irish Sea. Exquisite as ever.
Then a film at the Lighthouse Cinema, more a cultural meeting place with it’s lounges and bars.
Lighthouse Cinema Dublin
The showing of Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive, a biopic on Madame Curie, was of particular interest: an interview with Satrapi followed the film. Several connections. First, in Paris, at the Irish Cultural Center, I lived across the street from the Curie Institute. Second, I have taught Satrapi’s animated film Persepolis many times as well as the two graphic memoirs on which it is based. I found the film Persepolis disappointing compared to the memoirs which gave a more informed view of life in Iran during and after the 1980 cultural revolution. However, the superb quality of the animation brought the graphics alive as if they were jumping off the page.
Radioactive’s conventionality surprised me. Satrapi is anything but conventional.
It could have been a Hollywood biopic complete with out of focus love scenes cutting to romantic water views. Entertaining but not so interesting. However, the interview did better. Satrapi did better emerging as the outspoken unguarded woman of Persepolis.
In the restroom, for the first time, I took into account the threat of the Corona Virus: I washed my hands for 20 seconds.