Friday, March 05, 2021

Since 2008, this blog has been my main means of sending out news. For future updates, please visit the 'news' page at

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Aisling O Connell: The Films of Reason - An Occupation

Aisling O Connell: The Films of Reason - An Occupation

February 8th – 15th 2021, The Crypt, St. Luke’s Hall, Cork (online exhibition only)

Curated by Maximilian Le Cain

Presented by LUX Critical Forum Cork & Cork Film Centre

Aisling O Connell will stage a week long occupation of the Crypt at St. Lukes Hall. She will inhabit the space alongside The Films of Reason, her latest body of work.

The Films of Reason exist in paint, film and performance. During the occupation, the artist will put herself and the work ‘on trial’. In the absence of live spectators, the work will be the only audience and the camera the only witness. The exhibition will be immediate and shifting, subjected to various live processes. Ultimately, The Films of Reason will be pushed over the boundaries of exhibition, and this process will result in three new film works, episodes, that will be released online as they are completed.

The Films of Reason came about from O Connell recording her dreams over many years, marrying the imagery with classical, biblical mythology, ancient symbolism and Mircea Eliade’s The Forge and the Crucible. 

The exploration of occupancy, reason and transformation in the work interrogates this imagery and utilises it to channel the concerns of the body and its relationship to its surroundings, its state.  

The body occupied, radicalised. The dependent body, the loyal and the guilty. 

Bodies performing rituals, rites and absurdities, chasing reason and recognition.

External conditions coerce or electrify.

Aisling O Connell is a visual artist based in Cork City who primarily works with film, performance, paint and text. Her studio practice includes research into experimental film and the development of a distinctively personal visual language. She embraces a punk ethos and is deeply connected to the materials she uses. She works to force this materiality out through the medium of film, developing personal symbols, referencing literature, paintings and mythology, and drawing parallels with her experience of contemporary society.  Her recent films include Water or Milk and 121, a collaboration with Maximilian Le Cain that was recently premiered as part of a Triskel Arts Centre online film programme. She is currently completing an MA in Film and Screen Media in UCC. She graduated in 2019 from the Crawford College of Art and Design, with a BA in Fine Art.

LUX Critical Forum Cork is a discussion group for artists, critics and curators who have an investment in the future of the moving image.

Cork Film Centre is an organization focused on developing, promoting and facilitating the art of creative film making and moving image art.

Monday, December 21, 2020

121 Premieres on Triskel Cinema VOD

The world premiere 121, a new film by Aisling O Connell and me is happening on Triskel Christchurch Cinema's VOD platform. During the first lockdown the two artists exchanged footage that they gradually shaped into a mysterious 'call and response' filmmaking exchange. The result is a haunting and immersive collage of personal imagery adrift on tides of obsession. Central to this journey is the idea of ornithomancy, the art of reading omens from the actions of birds.

This short film is available on demand from 21 December 2020 until 3 January 2021.

121 is available to rent for €2.50. The rental period is for 72 hours.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Book Launch – Luminous Void: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society

Book Launch – Luminous Void: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society edited by Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain & Atoosa Pour Hosseini

Special guest speaker: Adrian Martin

Saturday December 12th, 6.30pm

Free but ticketed online event. Tickets available at:

Project Arts Centre presents the online launch of the book Luminous Void: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society, a volume celebrating the twentieth anniversary of what has been acclaimed as “the most active, prolific and intrepid group of experimental filmmakers working in Ireland today” (aemi). The book’s editors, Experimental Film Society (EFS) filmmakers Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain and Atoosa Pour Hosseini, will introduce the event, discussing the publication as well as the wider history of EFS. The centerpiece of the evening will be a talk by world-renowned film critic and Luminous Void contributor Adrian Martin. It will be followed by a screening of EFS films.

2020 marks the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Experimental Film Society, an Irish-based organisation for the production, archiving and distribution of personal, formally radical cinema. Founded by filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi, it is widely recognised as one of the most distinctive and influential voices in international underground film. EFS films conjure an intimate yet alien vision of the world through an exploratory, experiential approach to filmmaking. In blazing a unique and defiant trail through the landscape of contemporary Irish moving image, EFS has become synonymous with a stubbornly independent way of operating in complete freedom at the margins of film culture and the outer limits of cinematic creativity. The artists currently creating under the EFS banner are Rashidi, Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Vicky Langan, Maximilian Le Cain, Michael Higgins, Jann Clavadetscher, Shelly Kamiel and Chris O’Neill.

Luminous Void: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society celebrates the prolific work and achievements of this unlikely group of creative outsiders who banded together to challenge the norms and limitations of filmmaking in Ireland and beyond. Featuring contributions from noted critics and curators from across the globe, it examines the ideas and impulses that animate EFS as well as the practices of many of the filmmakers associated with it. It includes texts by Adrian Martin, Naidin Mai, Matt Packer, Pluck Projects, Sebastian Wiedemann, Sarah Hayden & Paul Hegarty, Azadeh Jafari, Vahid Mortazavi, Zulfikar Filandra and expert EFS scholar Nikola Gocić. These writings provide a guidebook to the imposingly vast ‘luminous void’ of Experimental Film Society cinema.

Adrian Martin is a world-renowned film critic and theorist who has been hailed as “one of the most imaginative and creative of film writers. He has been in love with the cinema for going on 50 years, and his texts often challenge boundaries between criticism, theory and creative writing” (Moving Poems). He is Adjunct Associate Professor in Film Culture and Theory at Monash University. His work has appeared in many magazines, journals and newspapers around the world. He creates audiovisual essays in collaboration with Cristina Álvarez López. His most recent book is Mysteries of Cinema (Amsterdam University Press, 2018). He has contributed audio commentaries to over sixty DVD/Blu-ray releases including for the BFI, Arrow and Masters of Cinema labels. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

PERSONAL GROWTH @ Blue Danube Film Festival

The Langan / Le Cain film Personal Growth is part of the Blue Danube Film Festival experimental programme, where viewers in Hungary and Austria can access it online until November 29th:  

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Langan / Le Cain Night @ TUSK Festival


The wonderful TUSK Festival hosted an online programme of three Langan / Le Cain films last September 30th featuring Personal Growth, Brine Twice Daily and Play Ground. We were thrilled to be part of this event.

EFS @ Kino Armata, Kosovo

Two programmes of Experimental Film Society films will be screening at Kino ARMATA in Pristina, Kosovo on 19th and 20th of November 2020. ARMATA is a public space in Prishtina, Kosovo, that promotes alternative culture and social dialogue. 

PROGRAM ONE: Luminous Void: Docudrama By Rouzbeh Rashidi (2019, 71 Minutes)

Luminous Void: Docudrama is a documentary like no other. Starting with the bizarre practices and fantasies of a group of filmmakers working under the label Experimental Film Society, it spins off into a manifesto of light and sound. This dazzling journey through a view of cinema as cosmic ritual and erotic delirium is also an idiosyncratic celebration of the medium itself. Rouzbeh Rashidi’s ornate visual style unleashes a parade of visionary scenes that redefine movie magic as a fevered hallucination.

PROGRAM TWO: EFS Short Films (65 Minutes)

1_I Wake Up Screaming By Chris O’Neill (2019) / 10mins / Ireland

Chris O’Neill continues his series of found footage inquiries into the haunting power of the cinematic image with I Wake Up Screaming. Images from a little-seen and underrated masterpiece of 1970s genre cinema are twisted and distorted into an unrecognisable new vision. This assault on the senses is heightened by an intense soundtrack from Texas-based rock ‘n’ roller Gabbie Bam Bam.

2_I’m Not a Doctor (2019) By Michael Higgins / 3mins / Ireland

A glimpse in between two frames that ignite under the pressure of a gunpowder spark.

3_Personal Growth (2019) By Vicky Langan / Maximilian Le Cain / 24mins / Ireland

A Super-8 film that conveys the haunting charge of a privately made home movie of great significance to its creators but unsettlingly mysterious to viewers. Its grainy, black and white texture vividly renders the elemental coastal seascapes where it was filmed. Langan & Le Cain appear as a couple who inhabit this wild terrain as if it were a domestic arena.

4_The Underworld (2019) By Jann Clavadetscher / 17mins / Ireland

This hallucinatory trip through the psychedelic recesses of science fiction begins in the flickering bowels of the earth. An explorer played by Cillian Roche undergoes a bizarre mutation in which cinema itself might possibly play a part. Clavadetcsher’s gorgeous 16mm colours and dazzlingly intense editing are underscored by a characteristic lightness of touch.

5_Antler (2018) By Atoosa Pour Hosseini / 15mins / Ireland

Pour Hosseini’s work with Super-8 conjures a mysterious territory that exists between memory, subjective perception and the objective materiality of the filmed image. Antler pushes deeper into this realm, seamlessly combining archival footage of animals and reptiles in their habitats with newly filmed material of the artist and an assistant at work in a botanical garden.

Friday, August 14, 2020

PERSONAL GROWTH @ Still Voices Film Festival


Personal Growth, the latest Langan/Le Cain film, is screening as part of the official selection of the Still Voices Film Festival. It can be streamed for free today, August 14th: