Experimental

This selection features films defined, sometimes loosely, as experimental – films characterised by attempts to redefine the proscribed limits and potentials of cinema. The work of early pioneers and remarkable, unique talents such as Samuel Beckett is represented as is the work of contemporary experimental film makers such as Maximillian Cain, Rouzbeh Rashidi and Jesse Jones. The bulk of the work listed here features in the Absences and (Im)possibilities programme - commissioned by IFI International and curated by Experimental Film Club – which attempts to trace a tradition of Irish experimental film-making. The full programme is listed here with this essay offering more information on the history of Experimental Film-making here. Also featured here are a series of films by independent filmmaker Joe Comerford, who has worked from painting into narrative, to develop a form of film language he describes as action/abstraction. His experimental work features in this category (with other less overtly experimental work featuring in the First Wave and Features categories). An essay by Eugene Finn, providing insights into Comerford’s work, along with listings of five of the experimental films, can be found here.

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04:59:00

Michael Higgins, 6 minutes, 2013

04:59 features Maximilian Le Cain, Karen Power and the work of Gorging Limpet. Inspired by cinema and visual narrative, Michael’s work involves a range of both digital and analogue technologies, and concerns people’s perception of time and reality. In following an initial…

A Pint of Plain

Thaddeus O'Sullivan, Derrick O'Connor, 30 minutes, 1975

This second of O’Sullivan’s extant films was his graduation piece for his Master’s degree. Taking its title from a parodic ballad by Flann O’Brien about the supposed comfort to be found in drink, A Pint of Plain was filmed on…

American Dreams #3 : Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness

Moira Tierney , 5 minutes , 2002

Based in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2001, Moira Tierney caught the aftermath of September 11th on 16mm film and subsequently set it to the poem ‘Ozymandias’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley and the music of Charlemagne Palestine. For much of the film…

Beckett’s Film

Alan Schneider , 20 minutes , 1965

In 1969 Samuel Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in recognition of his development of a circular form of reasoning that implies entrapment in circumstances of one’s own design. Film, directed by Alan Schneider in New York and…

By Accident

Norris Davidson, 20 minutes, 1930

By Accident, a film by Norris Davidson, is one of few independent films produced in the early years of the Irish state, and one of the first films to emerge from the group Irish Amateur Films. Only an estimated one…

Declarations 25

Donal Foreman, 2 minutes, 2010

From 2009, Donal Foreman completed 25 short films using personal video footage shot over the previous five years, uploading one on the Internet every two weeks. This final film in the series consists of the disjointed image and sound of…

Emtigon

Joe Comerford, 10mins, 1971

Joe Comerford’s first film involves a process that informs all of his other work.  The combination of “elements of narrative with abstraction”. A pitch-black Beckett-like vaudeville of impotence and aggression, Emtigon tragicomically details a homeless old man’s covert intrusion on a…

Experimental Conversations

Fergus Daly, 98 minutes, 2007

Featuring a host of well-known filmmakers and critics including Nicole Brenez, Philippe Grandrieux and FJ Ossang (in France) and Irish contributors Maeve Connolly, Grace Weir, Clare Langan, Gerard Byrne, Vivienne Dick, and Maximilian Le Cain, Experimental Conversations draws links between…

Film from the Sea

Alan Lambert, 5 minutes, 1999-2011

Film from the Sea is a strip of 35mm cine-film found on a beach in Valencia, Spain. Corrosion has allowed only little photographic emulsion to survive, although two uniformed figures (possibly Spanish Revolution soldiers) in heated discussion can be perceived.…
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