Sunday, August 17, 2014

Raúl Quintanilla Alvarado

For everyone who wasn't at last night's screening of El Burro Jorobado in Cork last night, here are two amazing features by Raúl Quintanilla Alvarado. Check 'em out!

The Stolen Camera:

El Burro Jorobado:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Kavanagh/Rashidi/Le Cain Interview

Rouzbeh Rashdi: I think Experimental Film Society films are very much universal and can be understood by any creature including extra-terrestrial life. As far as I am concerned, regarding my own work and some EFS fellow filmmakers like Max Le Cain and Dean Kavanagh, we could well be on Mars...

 Read the full interview by Sam Fitzpatrick here!

(Photo by Dean Kavanagh)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How Little We Know...

Friday, August 08, 2014

CLOUD OF SKIN Funding Campaign Successful

This morning, the Cloud of Skin Indiegogo campaign finished with funding at 107%. A big thank you to all funders for your wonderful support.

Shooting will commence this winter. We aim to deliver the finished film in summer 2015. Updates will be posted on this blog and you can also keep track on the production via Twitter and Tumblr.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

3rd Phantoscope Screening: Raúl Quintanilla Alvarado's EL BURRO JOROBADO

Phantoscope is Triskel Christchurch Cinema's quarterly experimental film event, which I programme. For the next screening, I'm proud and delighted to introduce the work of Raúl Quintanilla Alvarado, a remarkable young Mexican independent filmmaker, to Irish screens.

Working on the lowest of budgets in his home town of Monterrey, he has produced a dizzyingly prolific body of short films, often blurring the lines between personal documentary and fiction. His haunting, elusive and deeply personal feature El Burro Jorobado (The Hunched Donkey, 2009) reflects on this process. After his mother’s death, a young man, essentially the director playing himself, edits the family’s home videos to bring back her image. As he delves into the occult he begins to reveal the paradoxical magic of memories and cinema.

El Burro Joroabdo is personal not just in subject matter but, almost more importantly, in form. The understated elegance of its visual style, moving seamlessly and often mysteriously between home videos and scenes shot specifically for the film, combined with a sense of being witness to images and acts that have a private significance that the audience can sense without perhaps fully grasping, ensure that El Burro Jorobado really gets under the skin. It has several big surprises in store as it unfolds but these are more than just plot twists- they are also quietly astonishing reflections on its own nature. If, at times, it seems poised to follow a familiar route into horror film territory, it ultimately emerges as a profound and profoundly human reflection on how filmmaking interacts with daily life, one that is on par with Abbas Kiarostami's Close Up (1990) or Through the Olive Trees (1994).  

Raúl Quintanilla Alvarado is a major new talent in contemporary art cinema. Keep an eye on him!

El Burro Jorobado
Saturday August 16th, 9pm
Triskel Christchurch Cinema,
Tobin St., Cork

Full screening details:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

CLOUD OF SKIN: One Week Left For Indiegogo Campaign

There is just one week to go on the Indiegogo funding campaign for my upcoming feature film Cloud of Skin. We have so far raised 71% of our target. A huge thank you to all who have contributed either through helping finance the project or just by getting the word out there.

If you're not aware of this project, please take a minute to visit the campaign page where you will find full details of this long-cherished film project:

The teaser trailer is here:

And you can also follow us on Twitter:

Cloud of Skin
is an Experimental Film Society/Close Watch production.

Here are the first stills from Cloud of Skin, featuring Siannon O’Neill and Dean Kavanagh. They are taken from preliminary scenes shot earlier this year.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Reactions have been coming in to my recently completed short Night Regulation (view here). As usual, Dean Kavanagh was particularly startling and eloquent in his kind response, which I have published below.

(PS: For the record, I found New York generally charming, having encountered many nice people and much fine food on my recent visit there. Any 'apocalypse' is, as usual, entirely my own...)

It was as, you said, your 'New York film'- but it is a history piece too. I felt so compressed watching it, as if drifting through the NY of olde, seeing the pavements, the structures through the gritty, sulphuric black & white, moments of illness (extreme colour). I found it very interesting that, at least in my mind, the use of colour here wasn't a signal or anything (in the same way it wasn't in Damp Access), it wasn't a climax in any way- that was what was so upsetting, it arrived after an extreme fully manifested 'moment'- sometimes of pure gloom and revealed something new- as if one were hearing the sound of flies popping, crackling and dying, followed by being shown the carcasses with the glow of an electric blue light, the smouldering bodies revealed through smoke in an illness of colour. It affected me a lot.

Completely apocalyptic, the drone of the warning sirens, the 'everything must go' sales, the rotten streets. Life only seen through into the shadows (Vicky entering the apartment complex or the camera gliding through the dark into the LED space with the voices of people, then out the other side- such a wonderful homage to Zulawski perhaps?). It seems life has hidden itself from the streets, it is ashamed, and the camera like a war-reporter takes to the asphalt to see what is left. And what is there left? New York seems lost, just utterly wasted away, an elephant graveyard; the bodies of old starlets like Gena Rowlands, or that girl from Permanent Vacation reduced to concrete statues, not like old Greek statues (the daughter of Zeus, or Venus De Milo etc) but like the bodies found after Hiroshima or Pompeii. It felt as if your presence there was like that of a ghost, walking through the streets, revealing the places perhaps where all the great films were made (that shot of Vicky with sunglasses near the bins was a like a note to Ferrara). The smoke and then the sounds of the water and the traffic and the occasional distorted and slowed few seconds repeat of a police siren, as if the past was reaching the present or vice versa.

When the darkness falls, and the lights come out, that's when things got very scary. Parts of the city light up, like old nests- traffic ratcheting its way in dark, grey swarms towards the dying hive. What was most striking was that the film was even darker in the daylight scenes... It really felt like New York at the end of the 1970's (the long shot of the bridge and buildings with boat and skyline). Beautiful.

What was so worrying was the solar panels reaching out blocking the old buildings, as if the drowning creature was trying anything for one last breath. And finally the last scene, with you in the bathtub and that humming sound, just complete claustrophobia, not from the small room, the tub, city itself or the atmosphere, but the history or what little of it is left.