Sunday, March 31, 2019

FILMJAM - Upcoming Course @ The Guesthouse, Cork

A four week course in artists and experimental filmmaking taught by Maximilian Le Cain + Aoife Desmond

The Guesthouse Project Space, 10 Chapel Lane, Shandon, Cork. Mondays 7pm - 9pm, May 6th - 27th

Materialist Film / Fictional Documentary / Performance / Expanded Cinema

Price €120 ( early bird €100 before April 15th). Booking is essential as places are limited. Contact to book.

These four sessions exploring artists and experimental filmmaking are designed to immerse and inspire both experienced artists/filmmakers and beginners alike. Established practitioners Le Cain and Desmond will present contrasting perspectives and insights on each theme to stimulate a discursive mood of creative investigation. Students/peers/participants are expected to be actively engaged through sharing examples of their own work and research. This sharing will build towards the final session where everyone participates in a kaleidoscopic improvised expanded cinema style 'Filmjam'. This short and intense course is designed to both challenge and excite with a combination of critical investigation and playfulness.

MATERIALIST FILM: What is film without subject, without image? How does the structure of a film become the content? How is meaning constructed without narrative? These are some of the questions explored in this introductory session.

FICTIONAL DOCUMENTARY: Crossovers between the real and unreal, the fictional and documentary - in these in-between spaces, facts, truth and the imaginary blur and collide to create new meanings and insights.

PERFORMANCE AND FILM CROSSOVERS: An exploration of body and performance in film between live art, dance, theatre, ritual and cinema. The filmmaker as performer and/or as director. The film acting as documentation and/or as construct.

FILMJAM/EXPANDED CINEMA: The group will create a live experience of film, sound and performance using found and fabricated material. Ideas and examples from expanded cinema will be introduced as precedent and provocation.

Maximilian Le Cain is a Cork-based experimental filmmaker and writer. He often makes films with Vicky Langan and is affiliated with Experimental Film Society.

Aoife Desmond is an interdisciplinary artist who works with film, performance and other media. She also writes, lectures, curates and works collaboratively.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Other Side of the Underneath @ Phantoscope

Jane Arden's The Other Side of the Underneath (1972) is the next film to be presented by Phantoscope, Triskel Christchurch Cinema's quarterly experimental film screening event which I programme. Almost unbelievably, it is the only British feature of the '70s to have a sole female directing credit, and what a film it is! This nightmarishly hallucinatory trip is a searing representation of Arden’s radical feminist and anti-psychiatric beliefs. A compelling, even overwhelming movie, it treads an uncomfortable line between performance and psychodrama while combining visual extravagance with punishing emotional intensity.

Sean Kaye-Smith in VERTIGO magazine discusses its reception:

Based on her own play Holocaust, which was also the name of a feminist theatre group she had formed earlier, the film caused a stir at film festivals, including the London Film Festival, around that time. Its powerful and violent imagery, which explores the mind of a ‘schizophrenic’ woman, led surrealism expert George Melly to call it ‘a most illuminating season in hell’. Arden’s film, not surprisingly, challenges the label ‘schizophrenia’ and suggests that the real issues are in society’s taboos and repressions. David Will, on BBC Radio – quoted in the 1972 London Film Festival programme – was under no doubt as to the film’s importance; he states “Jane Arden’s film The Otherside of Underneath represents a major breakthrough for the British cinema.” He goes on to show his understanding of Arden’s need for a radical aesthetic: “It is certainly not inconceivable that the ideological struggles of women’s liberation will be reflected aesthetically in a rejection of the traditional modes of cinematic expression”. Will found the film “a shattering’ experience”. 

It will screen at 6.15 on Friday, March 29th at Triskel Cinema in Cork. Screening details and tickets available here.   

The trailer New York's Spectacle Theater put together for their screening of it can be seen here.

If you want to find out more about the extraordinary film and theatre career of Jane Arden, this Quietus article by Anthony Nield is a good place to start.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

EFS @ VERTIGO, Tbilisi

Langan/Le Cain's Brine Twice Daily will feature as part of a programme of Experimental Film Society films will screening at VERTIGO arts organisation Tbilisi, Georgia on 12th of April 2019.

“VERTIGO is an arts organization in Tbilisi, Georgia focused on education and cultural activities. Since 2017, the organization has implemented the experimental educational project VERTIGO school. In 2019, VERTIGO school initiated the “un-prefix” program – educational program combining both the fields of experimental film technique and music production for film. “Un-prefix” is implemented through the support of the Georgian Ministry of Education and Culture.” More info HERE / Zakaria Kurdiani st 19, Tbilisi, Georgia, 0102

1_Raquel Times Ten By Chris O’Neill (2017) / 10mins / Ireland

This portrait of actress Raquel Nave is at once a structuralist formal exercise and an emotionally engaging meditation on memory and decay. The deterioration of a VHS image as it is copied and recopied evokes distance and a breakdown of intimacy.

2_ Homo Sapiens Project (161-170) (2013) By Rouzbeh Rashidi / 8mins / Ireland

Rashidi’s Homo Sapiens Project (HSP) is an ongoing series of personal film experiments that range from cryptic film diaries and oneiric sketches to fully polished features. Installments 161-170 link a formally aggressive repurposing of Hollywood reels with an idiosyncratic appreciation of the wonder of science fiction.

3_Olive (2019) By Michael Higgins / 11mins / Greece – Ireland

Although clearly filmed in our time, Olive uses the scratchy beauty of hand-processed celluloid to help evoke a mood of ancient ritual. A group of people gathered in the remote countryside are absorbed into frames that often resemble the hand tinted colours and decaying textures of unrestored early cinema. Cinema is made to haunt the present like a ghostly vision from the past.

4_Brine Twice Daily (2015) By Vicky Langan / Maximilian Le Cain / 20mins / Ireland

Blind Twice Daily is a film that came from the sea, from the depths, and it never truly escapes its salt-encrusted origins. A bizarre romance that is at once an absurd comedy, a horror/adventure B-movie, a cryptic home video and a fading seaside postcard stuffed into

a bottle and cast adrift on the ocean, Brine Twice Daily marks a new departure in the Langan/Le Cain filmmaking partnership.

5_The Underworld (2019) By Jann Clavadetscher / 17mins / Ireland

This hallucinatory trip through the psychedelic recesses of science fiction begins in the flickering bowels of the earth. An explorer played by Cillian Roche undergoes a bizarre mutation in which cinema itself might possibly play a part. Clavadetcsher’s gorgeous 16mm colours and dazzlingly intense editing are underscored by a characteristic lightness of touch.

6_Antler (2018) By Atoosa Pour Hosseini / 15mins / Ireland

Pour Hosseini’s work with Super-8 conjures a mysterious territory that exists between memory, subjective perception and the objective materiality of the filmed image. Antler pushes deeper into this realm, seamlessly combining archival footage of animals and reptiles in their habitats with newly filmed material of the artist and an assistant at work in a botanical garden.

Total running time: 81mins