Friday, January 31, 2020

SCORPION'S STONE on VOD


My 2018 feature Scorpion’s Stone is now available for streaming on the Experimental Film Society video on-demand platform.

Scorpion’s Stone – a film that was never there… Four years in the making, this is my most ambitious and challenging work to date. A mysterious underworld is evoked through the aura of obscure abandoned tapes and fictionalized video diaries to reveal the traces of a full-blown B-movie serial. Sounds and images that might mean everything or nothing hover between life and death, as do the characters that drift through them. Over its six-hour running time, Scorpion’s Stone makes use of multiple rhythms and visual textures to repeatedly evoke and dissolve narrative traces. The result is a unique meditation on the haunting malleability of forgotten sounds and images.

Read Nikola Gocić’s insightful Scorpion’s Stone review, here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

EFS @ Kampus Hybernska


Two Experimental Film Society short films, Homo Sapiens Project (161-170) (2013) by Rouzbeh Rashidi and Brine Twice Daily (2015) by Vicky Langan / Maximilian Le Cain, will be screening as part of the HYB4 Film series programme curated by Matias A. Donoso at Kampus Hybernska, Prague on Monday, 10 February 2020.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Peter Whitehead Double Bill @ Phantoscope


Delighted to announce that Phantoscope, Triskel Christchurch Cinema’s quarterly experimental film programme, is presenting an evening entirely dedicated to legendary maverick documentary maker Peter Whitehead. One of the most provocative and distinctive voices in British cinema, Whitehead is best remembered as a unique chronicler of ‘60s Swinging London and, in his monumental The Fall (1969), New York. He was a filmmaker whose work, in the words of Richard Roud, attempted “to come to grips with today, both in terms of its content as well as of its form.” 

On the evening of Thursday January 23rd, Triskel will screen The Fall and Tonite Let's All Make Love in London (1967). This double bill is Phantoscope’s tribute to Whitehead, who passed away last June. We are delighted that Alissa Clarke, co-curator of the Peter Whitehead Archive at De Montfort University, will join us for a discussion of Whitehead’s work at the event.        

Considered by Whitehead to be his most important film and recently hailed by The Guardian as “his masterpiece”, The Fall is an extremely personal statement on violence, revolution and the turbulence of late ’60s America that remains a remarkable document of its times. This experimental documentary moves from an intense exploration of the nature of the image in coming to grips with contemporary reality to take its place on the frontlines of the 1968 student occupation of Columbia University and its violent outcome.

Tonite Let's All Make Love in London is an exuberant exploration of the explosion of English pop culture in the days of ‘Swinging London’ features such luminaries as Mick Jagger, Julie Christie, Michael Caine and Pink Floyd. A self-described ‘Pop Concerto for Film’, its main theme is the notion of pop as the cultural expression of the excitement then occurring in the city. Although widely perceived as an iconic celebration of the time, it is not without a critical edge in its look at the construction of myths around the era.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

WHALE SKULL Online


Whale Skull, my new feature, premieres today on VOD! It can be streamed for €2 or purchased for €5.

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/whaleskull

A celebration of 20 years of Experimental Film Society, Whale Skull sifts the fragments of an imploded cinematic landscape in the search for clues to move forward. Shifting back and forth through flashbacks of impending cataclysm and its eerie aftermath, this broiling collage mixes viscerally playful bargain basement sci-fi with a lyrical consideration of personal experimental cinema.

This film includes contributions from other EFS filmmakers as a celebration of this group's collaborative spirit. Short Super-8 sequences by Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Vicky Langan, Michael Higgins and Jann Clavadetscher are included along with additional material by Rouzbeh Rashidi.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

2010-2019 Top Ten Films


The following is a list of films that were moments of revelation when extremely important aspects of what contemporary cinema should be doing snapped into crystal sharp focus. Each film does something very different but collectively they form a diagram of why cinema can still be considered alive and essential in the 21st century.

1)   No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman)
2)   Welcome to New York (Abel Ferrara)
3)   Trailers (Rouzbeh Rashidi)
4)   Adieu au langage (Jean-Luc Godard)
5)   The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles) & The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)
6)   90  años sin dormir (Juan Carlos Gallardo)
7)   Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel)
8)   Refrains Happen Like Revolutions in a Song (John Torres)
9)   Ballet aquatique (Raul Ruiz)
10) Sleep Has Her House (Scott Barley)

Special mention #1: All Andrew Kötting’s movies from this decade for demonstrating film as an art of living in a way that is, to me at least, uniquely energising and life-affirming.

Special mention #2: Carmelo Bene. Forget everything else, most of all that he died in 2002 and even then hadn’t made a film since 1973: Bene is the filmmaker we need most today. His handful of masterpieces remain unlike anything else in cinema. They have a matchless ability to shatter every aspect of filmic representation and surf the ensuing chaos with breathtaking energy and sophistication. They are devices perfectly geared to dealing with the contradictions of the 21st century, combining as they do huge contemporary relevance and its opposite. And this specific combination is explosive on a level that nothing I can think of being made today is.

Monday, December 16, 2019

WHALE SKULL








2020 is the 20th anniversary of Experimental Film Society (EFS) and a year of celebration will kick off on January 1st with the premiere on VOD of my latest feature, Whale Skull.

Set in the near future, Whale Skull sifts the fragments of an imploded cinematic landscape in the search for clues to move forward. Shifting back and forth through flashbacks of impending cataclysm and its eerie aftermath, this broiling collage mixes viscerally playful bargain basement sci-fi with a lyrical consideration of personal experimental cinema.

This film includes contributions from other EFS filmmakers as a celebration of this group's collaborative spirit. Short Super-8 sequences by Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Vicky Langan, Michael Higgins and Jann Clavadetscher are included along with additional material by Rouzbeh Rashidi.

Whale Skull can now be pre-ordered here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/whaleskull

Monday, December 09, 2019

A Response to Personal Growth by Sarah Hayden & Paul Hegarty


Personal Growth, the latest film by Langan/Le Cain, is currently on exhibition at Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co.Cork until December 20th.

A treasured part of this exhibition is the superb text that Sarah Hayden and Paul Hegarty wrote in response to the film. Copies of this are available at Sirius or it can be read online at EFS Publications.