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


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.