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Poet: Irving Layton Observed

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Canadian poet Irving Layton has always masked himself in controversy. Here, in front of the camera, he unexpectedly agrees to be unmasked. In sharp, evocative images, the private Layton responds to the world of experience from Montréal to Greece. The camera captures him in the very process of transforming such moments into poetry. The 1981 Nobel nominee not only reads and explicates his own writings, but also speaks incisively about Canadian literature itself, defining it metaphorically as a "double hook" that combines "beauty and terror." It is the singular achievement of this film to actually show such art emerging as Layton transforms incidents of his life into words that may last. The poet is truly observed.

1986, 52 min 03 s

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Golden Gate Awards Competition & International Film Festival
March 25 1987 to April 4 2087, San Francisco, USA