Monday, November 16, 2015

You Always Loved Cinema Cyanide

You Always Loved Violence, a new Cinema Cyanide album is out! This one is entirely written and composed by Dean Kavanagh, and produced and designed by Rouzbeh Rashidi. It can be heard here.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

EFS @ Filmbase

 Some exciting news from EFS HQ:

 Experimental Film Society @ Filmbase

Experimental Film Society (EFS) is delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with Filmbase, Dublin. EFS will programme and present a bimonthly series of experimental cinema events at Filmbase consisting of screenings and performances by both EFS members and guest artists. The first of these, taking place on November 27th 2015, not only launches this new series but also marks the 50th EFS event since it first began programming screenings in 2011. To celebrate this double occasion Michael Higgins and Cillian Roche will be bringing the raw power of their pop-up expanded cinema project Open Night Cinema from the post-industrial margins that spawned it to the city centre for one night only. This will be followed by a drinks reception enriched by the experimental sounds of Cork-based DJ duo Glocke & Aaaa (Dave Murphy and frequent EFS collaborator Vicky Langan).

Friday November 27th 6.30pm
Tickets €7 at the door.
Filmbase, Curved Street ,Temple Bar Dublin 2.

JUNK (Michael Higgins/Cillian Roche) (6:30-7:30PM)

Inspired by Dublin's derelict industrial locations, JUNK is an immersive installation that incorporates analogue projection, a live soundscape and physical performance. JUNK will highlight and recreate in an abstract, intensely atmospheric way the recesses of these toxic environments and the characters that feed on them.

JUNK emerges from the Open Night Cinema Project. Set up in June 2015 by performer Cillian Roche and filmmaker Michael Higgins, it is a non-profit 'pop-up' film studio that lives, breathes and sleeps throughout the industrial landscapes of Dublin. It primarily feeds on cinematic events designed with characteristics of expanded cinema, experimental film and live performance. These events utilise the zone outside the projected frame in order to breathe life into the cinematic experience. Throughout the year, it has been host to a range of events that blur the lines between art installation, cinematic exhibition and live performance.

GLOCKE & AAAA DJ SET (8:00-9:30PM)

Vicky Langan and Dave Murphy spin avant junk and weirdo sounds. They are known as the duo that gave Cork Black Sun, its regular weirdo / outer limits music event which brought many renowned makers of strange sounds from around the world to play for the first time in Ireland. The same adventurous sensibility permeates their DJ sets. 

Experimental Film Society is an independent, not-for-profit entity specializing in avant-garde, independent and no/low budget filmmaking. It was founded in 2000 by Rouzbeh Rashidi. It unites works by a group of filmmakers scattered across the globe, whose films are distinguished by an uncompromising devotion to personal, experimental cinema.

Filmbase was founded in 1986 as a members led organization. It has supported thousands of Irish filmmakers over the years through its range of services including quality training at affordable rates, access to film funding award schemes, equipment hire and the publication of, Ireland’s first stop online for all the latest Irish film news, reviews, interviews and exclusives.

More info:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


With his 2010 masterpiece Konvent, Saidin Salkic created what is perhaps cinema’s most intense anatomy of sheer presence. Filming himself in the isolation of his own home, this protracted staring match with the audience becomes a challenge to keep looking, to keep looking deeper and deeper into one man’s solitude, the silent night of a soul in anguish. Do we have the fortitude to see it through with him?

His elegant new film, Manifesto of a Defeated Poet, made in collaboration with John Cumming, again focuses on Salkic’s persona but inverts Konvent in several ways. He now steps out into the world, a stranger, a foreigner, wherever he goes. In order to do so, he abandons the home movie intimacy of the earlier work. Both the way he presents himself and the way the camera regards him and the world have become more formal, more stylized. The ‘foreignness’ of his character is translated into a slightly anachronistic aura, his dramatic black hat and overcoat marking him as the ‘stranger in town’ from any number of 20th century movies. Along with the coat, he has donned the protective covering of a certain iconographic feeling for film history. The clean, poised framing of the shots not only evokes the history of art cinema but sometimes, even more suggestively, silent film: the perennial outsider status of Charlie the Tramp. In the beautiful long take near the start of the film, it’s almost impossible not to think of Chaplin while watching Salkic walking away from the camera up a dusty road, getting smaller and smaller in the frame. The symbolical lyricism of early cinema also inevitably comes to mind in the shots towards the end where Salkic poses dramatically next to cradle rocked by the wind on a wave-lashed beach.

Salkic’s quixotic character remains aloof from the urban edgelands he traverses, aloof from our era of scientific domination, aloof from the capitalist fascism he attacks in several voiceover ruminations. His aloofness from our time is nothing if not critical. Yet it is when he reaches out across this distance from his loneliness that the film becomes magnificent: three scenes which, like Konvent, involve the interaction of his presence with the camera in a sort of mysterious private ritual. Unlike in Konvent, this does not involve an agonized retreat into pure stillness but instead what I can only characterize as ‘dances’. The first and most enigmatic involves no more than the camera focusing on his face and then following a series of hand movements in a hypnotic series of micro-movements; the second presents a series of Paradjanov-style images of his face and body, against a dark background, being drenched in wine that soon comes to evoke blood; and the third involves his interaction with soil and plants, again conveyed through hand gestures: touch and near-touch. All three scenes are long, taking their time to gather us in to a state of near-hypnotic communion with his gestures. They make us conscious of being alive and, as against the despair of much of the film, affirm being alive in all its simplicity and pain. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Post-screening Celebrations for Cloud of Skin Premiere

Jann Clavadetscher, Dean Kavanagh, Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Alan Lambert, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Chris O'Neill, Micheal Higgins and my fluffy pate.

"The chances of anything coming from Mars..." Watching the skies with Alan Lambert.

Two amazing generations of Langans, Sionnach and Vicky.

 Eating again! Anja Mahler, Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Michael Higgins, Donal Foreman, Esperanza Collado.

What a weekend it's been. Thanks, friends!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

CLOUD OF SKIN in Film in Cork

Film in Cork has kindly posted an article previewing this weekend's premiere of Cloud of Skin at the 60th Cork Film Festival.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


With the premiere of Cloud of Skin at Cork Film Festival coming up this Saturday, now's a good time to look back over the wonderful series of posters Rouzbeh Rashidi created for the film over the past year or so.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

PUSHTAR Review in Film Ireland

My review of Alan Lambert's Pushtar can now be read in Film Ireland.