Director Grant Gee follows up his Joy Division documentary with a film about cult writer W G Sebald. Sebald's influential novel The Rings of Saturn is the subject of Patience (After Sebald). It looks at the life and work of the writer by retracing the journey at the heart of one his most celebrated books, in which Sebald embarks on a walk, spanning several days, along Suffolk's coastline.
The film features Sebald enthusiasts including poet Andrew Motion, writer Iain Sinclair and visual artist Tacita Dean, who had walked the Rings of Saturn route. "I thought, 'why don't I do that and use that as a way of talking about landscape and about Sebald and about literature?'" says Gee. The director spent eight days documenting his journey, and the resulting footage formed the basis of his film.
"What was really surprising was the kind of intensity with which people could talk about this book," the director comments. "It involves the reader in a way that very few books do, you feel you've inhabited it for a while, which is kind of what the film is about. What is it like to inhabit a book? In what way can a book be like a place?"
'Patience (After Sebald)' is touring the UK until 26 March. For more information: www.nbcq.co.uk/films