Sunday, December 22, 2013

Season's Greetings


Close Watch is now signing off until 2014. May your festive season be, at very least, festive.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Michael Higgins' 2013 Top 10

Michael Higgins has been saying nice things about Areas of Sympathy in his favourite films of the year list (click on imge to enlarge):

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Athens Avant-Garde Film Festival Report

My report on the 7th Athens Avant-Garde Film Festival is now online at Senses of Cinema.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Experimental Film Society has invited its members, friends and associates to submit lists of their twelve favourite filmmakers. The resulting lists make for a fascinating browse:

My own contribution:

The only possible way to approach making a list of a dozen favourite directors, with so many dozens equally deserving to be on the same list, is to narrow it down to the ones that inspire me most at this point in my life, the live sources of energy. A sort of self-portrait through cinema. Didn’t quite make it to 12, but 13 isn’t too bad considering.

In alphabetical order:

Michelangelo Antonioni
Carmelo Bene
Marguerite Duras
Philippe Garrel (specifically, the ‘70s and ‘80s films)
Jeff Keen
Jean Rollin
Werner Schroeter
Paul Sharits
Josef von Sternberg
Andrei Tarkovsky
Luchino Visconti
Frans Zwartjes
Andrzej Zulawski

Three brief notes:

Silent cinema is here also, always important to me and increasingly so, breathing through the work of at least half of these filmmakers, those who carry its trace forward.

I have made the decision not to include films by such collaborators and comrades as Esperanza Collado, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Dean Kavanagh and Michael Higgins. The feverish immediacy of the inspiration I get from seeing their splendid works appear is of a different order to that which the more distant figures on the list provide. However, I will mention that Rouzbeh’s HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind is a cinematic talisman for me, a film that expresses a vision of cinema than I share in a way that is far more powerful and eloquent than anything I have ever been able to achieve.

And, although it is a work of commingled authorship, mention must also be made of the cut-up film Ghosts at Number 9, which is a crucial point of reference for me these days.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"As far back as I can remember I've always wanted to be..."???

This is how rumours start...

Monday, December 16, 2013


Saturday, December 14, 2013


Dean Kavanagh, Rouzbeh Rashid and I have given vent to our displeasure over the work of certain contmeporary filmmakers.

Full details here.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Screening at Poetry Book Launch, Saturday 7th

Sarah Hayden's new book of poetry, System Without Issue, is being launched at The Guesthouse, Cork, on Saturday 7th at 7pm.

In addition to the book launch and a reading by Sarah, there will be video by James McCann, poems by Rachel Warriner and James Cummins, and music by Tom Healy. There will also be a screening of collaborative works I've made with Rouzbeh Rashidi (H7HSP160 Regression) and Paul Hegarty (Arkady Feed). And, of course, there will be food...  

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Weird Weird Movies in New York Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Thursday 5th, is the last of three evenings of new Irish underground film programmed by Donal Foreman at Spectacle Theater, New York.

It will start at 7.30 with the world premieres of Dean Kavanagh's History of Water and Michael Higgins's Birds on a Wire, to be followed at 10pm by Weird Weird Movie Kids Do Not Watch The Movie, a collaborative feature by Rouzbeh Rashidi and me. 

Full information here

Monday, December 02, 2013


You read it everywhere these days: the best cinema is coming in the form of TV series. Well, if Dean Kavanagh's doing a series, there must be something to it...

But you still won't see anything quite like Late Hours of the Night on HBO. Too bad for HBO. The five installments of this hypnotic drift through nocturnal semi-hallucination will be released for viewing online throughout December. And if this prospect isn't exciting enough, the sound for the second episode is by Vicky Langan. Essential Christmas viewing.

(And, yes, that is me shambling through the fourth episode...)

Details here.