Jim Carroll

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Guest post – Alan Lambert on the film programme at DEAF 2008

Irish artist and filmmaker Alan Lambert is curating the film and visual programme at DEAF 2008. Here’s his rundown on what you should check out this weekend. I’ve been around for all the DEAF Festivals since it started and over the …

Wed, Oct 22, 2008, 09:01


Irish artist and filmmaker Alan Lambert is curating the film and visual programme at DEAF 2008. Here’s his rundown on what you should check out this weekend.

I’ve been around for all the DEAF Festivals since it started and over the years, my visual contributions have progressed from slide projections at the Guinness Storehouse gigs to full VJ sets in the Sugar Club and Whelan’s. But my involvement in this year’s festival is a bit of an exciting departure.  I invited Solus, the independent film collective that I’m involved with, to put together an experimental film programme for this year. Solus are widely connected to experimental and avant-garde film-making scenes in Europe and America and are trying to open up routes in Asia and Africa.

This year, we hooked up with legendary New York based Lithuanian film-maker Jonas Mekas, who gave us a selection of his 365 films from last year. Mekas is 86 and still made a film every day last year and uploaded it to his site every evening!  So, this is a unique presentation. That happens on Saturday 25th in the Denzille Cinema.

We also invited a group from Nashville called Fugitive Projects who curated a festival of 100 one minute films. They’re mostly filmmakers from international backgrounds working in America and it’s an interesting counterpart to Mekas’ selection, which revolves around the video diary format but is inevitably peppered with Americana – the 100 American films are often as personal as Mekas’ yet simultaneously express that American sense of displacement. These 100 American films can be seen for the duration of the festival in the foyer of the Sebastian Guinness Gallery in Temple Bar.

We’ve also ‘re-purposed’ a few familiar titles. In the mezzanine of the Twisted Pepper, also on Saturday 25th, you’ll see a programme that reads something like this;

Lunar Song (Director: Lana ‘Chide’ Sermon, 1976, 18 mins)

Oh, Black Ethel! (Director: Destiny Law, 1979, 16 mins)

On Serene Occult ( Did The Fink Rot? ) (Director: Vesper B. Singlet. 1977, 20 mins)

Raw Rats (Di:. Reggae Locus, 1977, 12 mins)

If you put these into an anagram generator you’ll find much more familiar titles like Star Wars, Close Encounters, Logan’s Run and The Back Hole. We’ve re-titled this collection of films as Lost Classics and it’s a programme of commercial feature films from the late 1970s re-edited for distribution on Super8, the home movie format before the advent of VHS. These re-edits are fascinating, condensed versions of more familiar stories and imagery, never before seen outside the domestic circuit of the late 70s. In most cases, the films were of average feature film length – 90 to 120 minutes – but are here cut down to between 10 and 20 minutes. These re-cuts were often subtitled as silent films. Here you will see Star Wars, at 12 minutes, subtitled as a silent film. All titles on Super8 with sound, except Raw Rats.

There’s a fair Americana leaning in this year’s Solus curation and next year, we hope to bring in an African/Caribbean flavour. There’s also a nice selection of new Spanish experimental films sourced by Esperanza Collado, the Spanish experimental film-maker and historian/archivist now based in Dublin. You can see those in the Joy Gallery, also on Saturday 25th, and for the run of the festival in the Joinery Gallery, Arbour HIll.

There’s quite a de-centralised set of screening venues, between the Joy, Joinery and Sebastian Guinness Galleries, the Denzille Cinema and Twisted Pepper – you can do a gallery, a cinema and a nightclub in one day! So that’s how my week is panning out, and hopefully you’ll be able to catch some of it.

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