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BLAKE AND GINSBERG ON ABC-TV’S “DIRECTIONS”

Two films, both produced and directed by Aram Boyajian, were shown 16 and 23 January on ABC-TV’s Directions. Allen Ginsberg sings and reads from Blake’s works in illuminated printing as plates from those works are shown. A facsimile was used in the preparation of the films for shots of Jerusalem only; otherwise the photography is of originals.

The subject of the first film, William Blake: Innocence and Experience, is There is No Natural Religion and the Songs. Ginsberg talks about the influence Blake has had on his own poetry, sings “Ah! Sun-Flower”, and reads several other songs. Besides plates from the Songs, there are shots of Westminster Abbey and of the high-rise building now on the site of Blake’s birthplace. William Blake: Prophet, the second film, includes shots of the cottage at Felpham. Ginsberg talks on camera about the feeling of “going mad” when he heard a voice speaking Blake’s poems, and he sings “The Sick Rose.” He reads as selected pictures from The Book of Urizen, Milton, Jerusalem, the watercolor Job series, and the Dante series are shown.

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