Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dean Kavanagh Short Films Online

Dean Kavanagh, director of the magnificent feature A Harbour Town (which received a rapturous reception at its Irish premiere in Cork last week) and Cinema Cyanide compadre, has made his short films available for viewing online here.

It's a great resource for tracing the development of this unique and disconcerting filmmaker. I profiled his work in this article a while back.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Tangled And Far, my most recent collaboration with Vicky Langan, will play twice at the Australian International Experimental Film Festival next month, once in Melbourne and once in Perth:
Perth: 6pm, Sunday 3rd May
Replants, 96 Wray Avenue, Fremantle

Melbourne: 6pm, Sunday 18th May
Goodtime Studios, basement 746 Swanston Street, Melbourne
(hosted by Artist Film Workshop)

Friday, April 04, 2014

DAMP ACCESS: New Work Online

Damp Access, a brand new video of mine, is now available to see here. A sort of oneiric video diary, it gives the impression of having been discovered on an old VHS tape forgotten in someone's basement.

Thanks to Rouzbeh Rashidi for creating the lovely poster.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

2nd Phantoscope Screening: Kavangh's A HARBOUR TOWN

 When Dean Kavanagh completed A Harbour Town last year, I expressed my stunned reaction to seeing it in this post.

I'm now delighted to be programming it in Cork, along with Kavanagh's short Maritime, as part of Triskel Christchurch Cinema's experimental film series Phantoscope on April 10th. Dean will be present at the screening and on hand for a Q&A.

Screening information and tickets can be obtained here.

Here's the official blurb:

Triskel Christchurch Cinema,  Tobin St., Cork
6.15pm, Thursday April 10th
104 mins – Ireland 2013 – Dir: Dean Kavanagh
Starring: Leon Kavanagh, John Curran and Rouzbeh Rashidi

Phantoscope, the Triskel Christchurch experimental film screening series, is delighted to welcome one of Ireland’s most visionary filmmakers, Dean Kavanagh, to introduce his latest feature, A Harbour Town. This journey into the dark visions of a small coastal town might be made of memories of the inhabitants or memories created by the place itself. It blurs the boundaries between banal details of daily life and the weirdness of our unconscious, often tactile perception of them. Kavanagh’s almost wordless films are deeply immersive experiences, heavy on unsettling atmosphere and powerful visual detail. For Jit Phokaew of Limitless Cinema, “Kavanagh is an impressionist filmmaker… [he] can use a camera like a paintbrush. There are very few filmmakers that I know who can do this”.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

EFS Screening @ The Picture Show, New York

Michael Higgins and Rouzbeh Rashidi have curated a programme of Experimental Film Society films for the exciting, recently opened New York venue The Picture Show.

Friday April 18th 7:30pm,
The Picture Show, 226 Green St. Greenpoint, NY, 11222 USA.

Full Film Listing:
1_Incubus (2013) By Atoosa Pour Hosseini / Ireland & Switzerland / 1:30mins (Guest Artist)
2_W.E (2013) By Bahar Samadi / France / 5mins
3_Homo Sapiens Project (168) By Rouzbeh Rashidi / Ireland / 1min
4_Partizan (2012) By Kamyar Kordestani / Iran / 6:30mins
5_Ashes to Ashes (2012) By Hamid Shams Javi / Iran 6:30mins
6_South West of the Lizard (2012) By Jason Marsh / UK / 8mins
7_First Transmission (2014) By Dean Kavanagh / Ireland / 6mins
8_In Advance (2011) By Maximilian Le Cain / Ireland / 6min
9_The Illuminating Gas (2012) By Esperanza Collado / Spain / 7:30mins
10_Funnel Web Family (2013) By Michael Higgins / Ireland / 14mins 

I learnt the existence of EFS in 2009 having stumbled upon a film screening at a small venue in Dublin City, Ireland. This screening included one EFS film (Kavanagh’s POOR EDWARD) and this utterly refreshing experience paved a path for me to experimental cinema where I’ve been ever since and with no plans to leave. Thanks to venues such as The Picture Show and the opportunity to show such a program I hope others may also embark on such a journey.” - Michael Higgins

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Voices in Irish Experimental Cinema

"Irish cinema has never been renowned for harbouring a vibrant underground or experimental film scene. There have been significant exceptions (most importantly, aspects of the Irish “First Wave” of the 1970s), but it’s only in recent years that a body of films has emerged that offer a powerful rebuttal to that perception. While to announce a fully-fledged “movement” would be premature, it is safe to say that the work of Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain, Dean Kavanagh and Michael Higgins represents an important new direction in Irish cinema."

Donal Foreman's new essay 'New Voices in Irish Experimental Cinema' is by far the most extensive and in-depth study to date of the four Irish-based members of Experimental Film Society. It is also an extremely insightful and well-informed one. It can now be read in the online magazine Estudios Irlandeses

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wise Words From Maya Deren

The major obstacle for amateur film-makers is their own sense of inferiority vis-a-vis professional productions. The very classification “amateur” has an apologetic ring. But that very word - from the Latin “amateur” - “lover” means one who does something for the love of the thing rather than for economic reasons or necessity. And this is the meaning from which the amateur film-maker should take his clue. Instead of envying the script and dialogue writers, the trained actors, the elaborate staffs and sets, the enormous production budgets of the professional film, the amateur should make use of the one great advantage which all professionals envy him, namely, freedom - both artistic and physical.

Artistic freedom means that the amateur film-maker is never forced to sacrifice visual drama and beauty to a stream of words, words, words, words, to the relentless activity and explanations of a plot, or to the display of a star or a sponsor’s product; nor is the amateur production expected to return profit on a huge investment by holding the attention of a massive and motley audience for 90 minutes.

Like the amateur still-photographer, the amateur film-maker can devote himself to capturing the poetry and beauty of places and events and, since he is using a motion picture camera, he can explore the vast world of the beauty of movement. Instead of trying to invent a plot that moves, use the movement or wind, or water, children, people, elevators, balls, etc. as a poem might celebrate these. And use your freedom to experiment with visual ideas; your mistakes will not get you fired.

Physical freedom includes time freedom - a freedom from budget imposed deadlines. But above all, the amateur film-maker, with his small, light-weight equipment, has an inconspicuousness (for candid shooting) and a physical mobility which is well the envy of most professionals, burdened as they are by their many-ton monsters, cables and crews. Don’t forget that no tripod has yet been built which is as miraculously versatile in movement as the complex system of supports, joints, muscles, and nerves which is the human body, which, with a bit of practice, makes possible the enormous variety of camera angles and visual action. You have all this, and a brain too, in one neat, compact, mobile package. Cameras do not make films; film-makers make films.

Improve your films not by adding more equipment and personnel but by using what you have to its fullest capacity. The most important part of your equipment is yourself: your mobile body, your imaginative mind, and your freedom to use both. Make sure you do use them.

- Maya Deren