Séamas McSwiney reports from the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris where experimental filmmakers Vicky Langan and Maximilian Le Cain ended their residency with a screening of some of their films.

Experimental filmmakers Vicky Langan and Maximilian Le Cain rounded off a brim-full month as artists in residence at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris with a screening of three of their short films followed by a Q&A. Langan mentioned that she was particularly pleased to see the diversity of the Paris turnout in the capacity audience. This audience ranged from insiders who know the codes for this (anti)discipline to adventurous neophytes up for new sensations. The Centre’s director, Nora Hickey M’Sichili, was also delighted to see the perimeter of her audience profile being pushed out in synch with the cutting edge of the filmmaking. 

Langan and Le Cain’s collaboration, according to their bio, is “built on the fitting match between Langan’s magnetic, troublingly intense presence as a performer and Le Cain’s distinctively jarring, disruptive visual rhythms. In 2017, they received an Arts Council of Ireland award to make Inside, their first feature film, soon to be premiered. Le Cain makes experimental films that explore a personal relationship with cinema as a site of haunting. Langan’s practice operates across several overlapping fields, chiefly performance, sound and film. Her vulnerable, emotionally charged work envelops audiences in an aura of dark intimacy.”

Of the thirteen films the Cork-based duo have made since their collaboration began in 2009, they screened three films in the one-hour programme along with a brief sampling of shots made during their Paris sojourn.

Le Cain adds: “What we shot in Paris is going towards two things: a short tribute film to Dutch experimental filmmaker Frans Zwartjes – a strong influence on us – to be screened at a tribute event for him on Oct 26 in the Guesthouse in Cork; and other images to be used as part of a live performance Vicky and I are developing for the Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, also in October, where we will also have a programme of our films screened as part of an Experimental Film Society programme”.

This hive of activity for such an esoteric filmmaking genre and this new international reach is largely due to the supportive environment of the Experimental Film Society (EFS) in Dublin and in particular its head, Rouzbeh Rashidi, who has engineered multiple Irish participations in this year’s Lausanne event.

Closer to home, in Dublin at Filmbase on Friday, Sept 1st and Saturday, 2nd, the duo will participate in a special event where they and two other filmmakers, Rouzbeh Rashidi and Atoosa Pour Hosseini, will take part in Wilderness Notes featuring premieres of three new films by EFS filmmakers, created in tandem with new compositions by young Irish composers Barry O’Halpin, Seán Ó Dálaigh, and Robert Coleman of the Kirkos Ensemble, which will be performed live. 

Here’s how the Experimental Film Society describes this collaborative event:

“The three films that comprise Wilderness Notes all explore psychic, territorial and technological margins. Isolated characters, all somehow locked into masks or fixed personae, navigate desolate zones between dimensions where a sense of being physically adrift and at risk is mapped onto a corresponding inner state. But they are not only adrift in space, they are equally adrift in time. Making experimental use of several outdated moving image formats, notably Super-8 and VHS,Wilderness Notes summons up ghosts from an abandoned future, taking its cues from the western, the nightmare of nuclear holocaust and the masks of ancient theatre.”

An unmissable opportunity for adventurous audiences in Dublin this weekend.


Séamas McSwiney is an Irish writer-producer based in Paris


Kirkos Ensemble + Experimental Film Society present

Wilderness Notes

19.30, Fri-Sat 01-02.09.2017 :: Filmbase, 2 Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Kirkos Ensemble + Experimental Film Society present Wilderness Notes


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