Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CONTACT @ Berlin International Director's Lounge 8

Contact, the film in which Vicky Langan and I delve into Super-8 textures, will play in the 8th edition of The Berlin International Directors Lounge. We're in DL Selection VII, which is on Thursday, February 16th at 9pm. We share the programme with, amongst others, the notorious J.X. Williams...

For more details, visit this page and scroll down a bit:

EXPERIMENTAL CONVERSATIONS Update: Abel Ferrara in Conversation with Donal Foreman

Monday, January 30, 2012

Upcoming Rashidi / Le Cain Screening Series in Cork

As part of his upcoming residency at The Guesthouse, Cork, Rouzbeh Rashidi will be presenting three screenings each consisting of one of his features and one of my shorter works:

Thursday 2nd February 2012, 8pm

Ten Minutes Isn't Worth a Dream
(2010) 25min by Maximilian Le Cain
Bipedality (2010) 67min by Rouzbeh Rashidi

Wednesday 8th February 2012, 8pm

Private Report (2009) 36min by Maximilian Le Cain
Cremation of an Ideology (2011) 62min by Rouzbeh Rashidi

Wednesday 15th February 2012, 8pm

... And The Poor Bird Died
(2009) 10min by Maximilian Le Cain
tenebrous city and ill-lighted mortals (2011) 66min by Rouzbeh Rashidi

For more details:


Sunday, January 29, 2012


The above still is of my regular leading man John McCarthy in Scene 4 of The Last of Deductive Frames, which can be seen here:


Vicky Langan on Vimeo

My frequent accomplice Vicky Langan has set up a Vimeo channel to showcase documentation of her extraordinary peformances:


Videos will be added to this channel on a regular basis.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I've just completed The End of the Universe as Red, a follow-up to Dark, Plastic, Reversal. Like that earlier film, it's a minimalist ten-minute Super-8 piece made exclusively for performance on 8mm, with a soundtrack on tape. An immersive experience designed for a small audience in a small, very dark space.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


The invaluable MUBI Daily Briefing round-up of film news has favourably featured the latest issue of Experimental Conversations, especially Fergus Daly's article 'Sidney Lumet: Experimental Filmmaker?'


Experimental Conversations is Cork Film Centre's online journal of experimental film, art cinema and video art, which I edit.

Monday, January 09, 2012


Our ever-dynamic chief Rouzbeh Rashidi has launched an exciting new Experimental Film Society project. It's a feature film called The Last of Deductive Frames, to be made up, exquisite coprse style, of ten-minute segments each made by one of the members of the group. This is the official description:

The Last of Deductive Frames is a collaborative omnibus feature film being made gradually over time by the members of Experimental Film Society. It is a film that starts but never finishes. Each filmmaker will contribute a ten minute section to it. These sections will be assembled in the order in which they are completed. This constantly growing work will initially be for the internet, but will eventually be presented on the big screen. The only strict rule at the outset is that each segment must last exactly ten minutes, although further rules might be added as the film develops. The Last of Deductive Frames is a living cinematic organism designed to forget its creators as it evolves.

The first installment can be seen here.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Esperanza Collado on DARK, PLASTIC, REVERSAL

Esperanza Collado wrote the following very insightful review of my my Super-8 film Dark, Plastic, Reversal. It first appeared in the winter issue of Experimental Conversations.

Last November, coinciding with the 56th Cork Film Festival, a series of three screenings extended the concurrent exhibition 'Seeing the Light' that took place at Cork's Sample Studios/TACTIC Gallery. Curated by Maximilian Le Cain, the show featured contemporary experimental film works by Michael Higgins, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Chris O'Neill and myself, among others.

From what I saw, the screenings didn't attract large audiences, even though some interesting work recently produced in Ireland outside the frame of commercial cinema was shown. And I can clearly recall that the members of the audience all appeared to be artists and filmmakers, including the lively and stimulating presence of Ivan and Igor Buharov, indicating that such an event doesn't seem to draw regular festival-goers. After all, there's not much film festival glamour associated with an event like this. It brought to mind a text Michael Snow wrote in honour of Hollis Frampton in 1984, in which he reminded us that before Warhol gave experimental film 'glamour', for years the underground was ignored and looked down on as poor, grungy and inbred.

But that's not the subject I wanted to write about here...

I wanted to write about Dark, Plastic, Reversal, an ephemeral work Maximilian Le Cain performed at the end of the first screening in Sample Studios. Without announcement and in a rather intimate environment, Le Cain switched on a Super8 projector and a small tape recorder/player. In addition to the phenomenological situation of the spectator in the filmic space of projection, this work also thematized the economy of the technological apparatus in ways that revealed an attempt to see what the fundamentals of cinema are.

The film projected was a meticulous exercise in montage, a sort of terrorist action performed on a strip of celluloid on which a series of images had been previously captured. By inserting long fragments of black leader between very short bursts of images, these images only appeared at regular intervals, wrecked, scratched or hand-painted. This created a strong sensation of rhythm, which harmonized extraordinarily with the steady pulse that came from the tape machine.

The importance of the time element and the possibility of an alternative form to narrative construction were given in Dark, Plastic, Reversal by structuring the duration of a cinematic experience for the spectator. If there was suspense, which of course also exists in experimental film, it was provided by the form in which images had been assembled and, most importantly, by the extremely short spell, between 3 and 10 frames, they remained on the screen, as if imploring in pain to be allowed to escape their surrounding blackness. Their brevity made it almost impossible to discern the original content of the images, but had a strong effect on perception and memory that I wouldn't just associate with persistence of vision, but to more complex processes of cognition.

In fact, one of the most beautiful aspects of Dark, Plastic, Reversal, in its reduction of filmic presentation to elementary determinants like light, screen, pulse, and the cut, is the reversal aspect of it. The black leader fragments presented a film ‘in reverse', or ‘in negative', that it only occurs in the spectator's mind. Perhaps for that reason Le Cain ended this happening handling out to the audience fragments of celluloid torn from the projected film, black leader mostly.

It would be interesting to relate this kind of work to the Lettrist actions of the 1950s and the sort of ‘suicidal cinema' (‘contemplate my word talking about cinema and you will see my film', proclaimed Roland Sabatier) that claimed and requested the dissolution of film into situations in which an understanding of cinema as a collective experience of exchange and participation is prioritised.