The Peculiar Sensation of Being Pat Ingoldsby – Film Review
Director: Seamus Murphy
Producer: Tom Burke
Financiers: Screen Ireland, Museum of Literature, Dublin Port
If you live in Dublin, you may know Pat Ingoldsby to see. He used to stand somewhere on Westmoreland street, along with a collection of his poetry books. He had a variety of handwritten humorous signs stuck on the wall behind him, reading something like ‘Real Live Irish Poet’. Occasionally, he ironically offered ‘Free Financial Advice’. He was something of an oddity, a Dublin character. This film tells his story.
The director of this piece is Seamus Murphy, who PJ Harvey fans may remember from his documentary A Dog Called Money. He is also known for his photojournalism in war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Gaza, Lebanon and Peru. This latest film focuses on a man who decided to live his life on his own terms.
Pat was born in Malahide and still lives there to this day. The film tells us some aspects of his life, describing his early years with Polio and his dream of playing football professionally. As an adult, he made it to some level of fame, with his time as a Children’s TV Presenter on his programme Pat’s Chat on RTE. Later, he followed his dream of working as a poet. He sold his self-published books of poetry on the side of the street to people who stumbled upon his work.
The main focus of the documentary is Pat’s poetry. We hear a number of his poems, often read by the poet himself. The text is illustrated by images that relate in some way, although at times there is no clear link between the two. They are often images of happenings on the streets of Dublin captured by the director during the lockdown.
There is mention of the fact that Pat suffered from depression, but as with many other aspects of his life, it is not focused on in any real depth. There are interviews with celebrities who love his work including Imelda May. There are also insights into the man from his family and friends, but the most memorable moments are those where Pat is on screen himself. He’s certainly eccentric and quite an unusual character, but it would be hard not to admire all that he achieved as an outsider poet extraordinaire.
In Dublin they really tell you things – Pat Ingoldsby, Selected Poems 1986 – 2021’