Australian fiction writer Gerald Murnane is tipped to win this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. There’s no better time to watch Philip Tyndall’s little-seen 1989 film about Murnane, Words And Silk: The Imaginary and Real Worlds of Gerald Murnane, which will screen at MIFF in celebration of its 30th anniversary.
Before the renewal of interest in Melbourne-born writer Gerald Murnane that followed a 2018 feature article in The New York Times which dubbed him “the greatest living English-language writer most people have never heard of”, as well as his winning the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Border Districts, filmmaker Philip Tyndall (Someone Looks At Something, MIFF 1987) created this inventive hybrid film. Divided into two parts, the first details Murnane’s ‘Imaginary’ world, using abstract images, shapes and textures. In contrast, the second section stays in the ‘Real’ world, where Murnane speaks directly to the camera in a more formal way.
Words And Silk: The Imaginary and Real Worlds of Gerald Murnane is at its heart about Murnane's love of writing and horse racing, built around an interwoven mosaic of still imagery, archival footage, dramatic re-creations and talking head, reflecting the film's fine line between fact and fiction. The result is a poetic, vital study of arguably Australia’s greatest living fiction writer – more compelling today than he ever was. Words And Silk: The Imaginary and Real Worlds of Gerald Murnane is a unique and empathetic portrait of the artist and his creative process. Don’t miss this very rare opportunity to see it on the big screen.
“Words And Silk: The Imaginary and Real World of Gerald Murnane, in its own relentless progression from frame to frame, word to word, and image to image, joins forces with Murnane’s struggle to express and master the void – and it is a spellbinding spectacle.” – Adrian Martin