Monday, November 28, 2011

HEREUNDER Response by Dean Kavanagh

Filmmaker Dean Kavanagh has written the following response to Hereunder:

I watched all of your films that you sent me at night, since you describe yourself as a 'nocturnal', and you work at night. However, everything seems different in the light of day, a sense of renewal, beginning again, or that we have a chance to get away before the night comes back. Nonetheless, there is time to escape, but I like to think of this as time to prepare. I can see from your films (some I have seen in public screenings) that there is an impending sense of doom, at times beautiful or terrifying, and often both.

This film, like many of your films, seems to raise an anxiety in the viewer. I am never sure what to expect, and I always try to see ahead in a certain 'damning' sensation- to try and find a way out, to try and save myself. But I have never found a way out, and certainly have not found any way to deal with Hereunder. There is no escape in the films of Maximilian Le Cain.

The film opens in a very tactile way, a woman rubbing her head and the sound of breathing. The sound of the breathing becomes a comforting factor throughout Hereunder, and then it becomes the most terrifying part.

A particular moment I found very beautiful was the woman's stare (at the 2min mark), and the slow sweeping movement made by the camera. This stood out for me in a film dictated by montage. It reminded me of some of the faces of old women in 'church-going' scenes in works by post-impressionist painters. And this complete rendering of the 'forlorn' and a sense of distance (not only of space but time) reminded me of Tarkovsky, and the faces of the women in the dream sequences of Nostalghia.

But there was a difference. There was a jagged sense of intimacy, perhaps achieved through the format and the choice of expression and composition.

It felt like she was saying "what are you doing here?", and while the audience (the movement) pulls away, I felt like she really wanted us to stay, or wanted me to stay, or someone…whoever it was. Vicky gave the character a real sense of solidity, while in other moments appearing 'phantom-like'.

There is a huge building sensation, and then there was a moment of release. Momentary. The woman is standing in open air, arms wide apart, and for once there is a sense of 'real' distance. Not only did this not last, but it never really existed in the first place. She is surrounded by a massive wall of rusted metal and junk. It looks like it will crush her. Her worries are always with her.

Is there any escape from daily routine, from sounds and lights? Perhaps through sleep? No. The film uses what sounds like a person sleeping as an atmospheric bed for its duration. There is no way to fall asleep and escape this existence.

Perhaps death.

Often for me, absence = death. And this, like most of your films seem to disclose and expose spaces, light and occupation of the spaces. Spaces are filled. Spaces are absent too. The investigation of the lockers for example, some of them had rusted bolts, boxes and paint cans in them. Others didn't have anything. The light filled them and created shadows. They seemed more inviting than the occupied lockers. The lockers that had items in them seemed empty. The woman later opens them and re-investigates, once again, clanging them off of the concrete floor, or tampering with the boxes to make some natural noise. It would seem she wants the items talk of this space, to hear a possible answer by the reverberated sound from the space.

Then there is the sense of absence when the woman is not in the room at all. There is a rack of empty lockers and a hanging light bulb. Moments later, we see her in another room getting changed, or suffering from the cold.

Eventually the room feels empty whether the woman is there or not. Perhaps this 'death' comes while we are alive: in an open space. Below. Above. Whether in a sound or in a conversation, once there is a sense of absence, and no more investigation, things begin to fade. We are dead while we are living sometimes.

The film is highly intimate, thoroughly engaging and at moments disengaging and subjective to the point that even voids criticism. But I felt provoked by the film to give my view. Films like this get people talking because they are silenced for the duration of the work and even for days after.

I thought the film was very poetic, and Vicky's performance was sublime, even when it became eerie. Certainly these were moments 'captured', processed and explored to the full extent of the atmosphere. Hereunder leaves the viewer in a very strange space indeed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

JR @ Mubi Garage

JR: Dream This In Remembrance Of Me has been re-posted at The Experimental Film Society's MUBI Garage page. It's well worth browsing through many of the interesting films presented there...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

LIGHT/SOUND @ Galway Arts Centre

is being featured as part of the group exhibition 'Void:Volume' curated by Sarah Lundy at Galway Arts Centre, November 21st-27th.

Other artists included are: Jennifer Macklem, Roisin O’Sullivan, Shelby Woods, Vanya Lambrecht Ward, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Adrian Duncan, Barbara Knezevic, Lydia Holmes, Méadhbh O' Connor and Sarah Lundy.

Galway Arts Centre
1st Floor, 47 Dominick Street, Galway.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dublin EFS Screening Postponed

Some sad news: The Shebeen Bar in Dublin has been evicted from its premises. One of the consequences of this is the cancellation of the announced Experimental Film Society screening scheduled to take place there tomorrow. The screening will go ahead when a new venue is found. Watch this space...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Hereunder and Desk 13 are playing as part of an Experimental Film Society programme at the CineB Festival in Chile on November 12th:

Full details from the ESF website:

Film Festival CineB, on Saturday 12th November 2011, 15.00 pm, CINE ARTE ALAMEDA, Santiago, CHILE, will be screening the first programme of EFS short films in an international film festival :

Founded and run by Dublin-based Iranian filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi, Experimental Film Society unites works by filmmakers scattered across the globe, whose films are distinguished by an uncompromising, no-budget devotion to personal, experimental cinema. Mainly, but not exclusively, drawn from a diaspora of Iranian artists, Experimental Film Society is responsible for rescuing and preserving many of its members’ films, which otherwise might have been lost forever.

This programme features a selection of works by some of the most prolific Experimental Film Society members: Jann Clavadetscher, Michael Higgins, Kamyar Kordestani, Hamid Shams Javi, Maximilian Le Cain (working in partnership with Vicky Langan), and Rashidi himself.

1_ЧОП (2011) By Jann Clavadetscher / Switzerland 11mins

2_VAT 7 (2007) By Michael Higgins / Ireland 2mins

3_The Petrol Station (2011) By Michael Higgins / Ireland 12mins

4_ The Good Man Has No Shape (2011) By Kamyar Kordestani / Iran 13mins

5_ Something’s Fishy (2011) By Hamid Shams Javi / Iran 16mins

6_Shingle Beach (2008) By Rouzbeh Rashidi / Iran 4mins

7_Nonessential Recall (2010) By Rouzbeh Rashidi / Ireland & Iran 16mins

8_Desk 13 (2011) By Maximilian Le Cain and Vicky Langan / Ireland 8mins

9_Hereunder (2011) By Maximilian Le Cain and Vicky Langan / Ireland 12mins

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Buharov Brothers in Cork

Some amazing news: this year's Corona Cork Film Festival / Cork Film Centre guest filmmakers are The Buharov Brothers!

The partnership of Hungarian filmmakers Ivan & Igor Buharov (Kornél Szilágyi and Nándor Hevesi) has produced some of the most unique and quirkily beautiful experimental cinema to have come out of Europe in the past decade. To watch a Buharov film has been described as “getting lost in someone else’s dream. The directors Igor and Ivan Buharov invite us to see the insides of their brains through various amusing and absurd story-lines.”(Off Screen Film Festival, Brussels) These darkly playful hallucinations come with the aura of having been discovered in someone’s attic, precisely revealing a world perhaps subconsciously suspected but hitherto un-describable.

They usually work without a script, or deviate from it, encouraging the actors to improvise and utilise found footage and free association while often composing and performing the film music themselves. The duo are also founders and members of the avant garde jazz band Pop Ivan and are founding members of a number of collectives including Labor 40 and the Kaos Camping Group.

I've programmed two Buharov screenings, which will both take place early next week. Tuesday's screening will include an audience q&a.


Mon 07 Nov | 4:00pm | Gate Multiplex


2010 | 30mins | Beta | Colour | Subtitled

Slow Mirror

2007 | 84mins | 35mm | Colour | Subtitled


Tue 08 Nov | 6:00pm | Tactic Gallery (as part of the Seeing the Light screening series)

Five short films, to be followed by a discussion with Ivan & Igor Buharov.

For more details:

Friday, November 04, 2011

CONTACT @ London New Wind Festival

Contact will be featured as part of the following programme, with a new live improvised soundtrack:


Catherine Pluygers - Oboes, Adrian Northover - Saxes,
Adam Bohman - Found Objects,
Guest Artists include John Russell - Guitar, and Roland Ramanan - Trumpet

Music includes Lament for Japan for Solo Oboe by Catherine Pluygers,
Text Pieces by Adam Bohman and Instrumental solos
and Improvised Music for Full Ensemble.

Films include 'Lucretia' by Trisha McCrae as well as films by
Helen Petts and Vicky Langan with live accompaniment.

November 7th , Time 7.30
H.M.S. President, Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y OHJ.