A Double Bill of New Underground Film at the London Horse Hospital
Experimental Film Society (Dublin) in association with Drifting Clouds Cinema Group (London) presents a double bill of new underground film by actor-auteur James Devereaux and experimental filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi at The Horse Hospital, London on 31st May 2014. The filmmakers will be at present to introduce the films and do a Q&A afterwards.
6.30 PM, 73mins, 2014, UK
Shot in black and white, Noirish Project is a bleak, absurd, melancholy slice of neo-realism masquerading as film noir. The film follows Jimmy and Billy, a couple of lowlifes, as they try to reclaim some lost pearls. Noirish Project is an elliptical, poetic film, made in response to a boredom with prevailing film aesthetics, it seeks to open a new chapter in British cinema.”
HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind
8.00 PM, 120mins, 2013, Ireland/UK/Iran/Oman
HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind is a new feature film by one of Ireland’s most radical and acclaimed experimental filmmakers, Rouzbeh Rashidi. It follows the visions and travails of a tormented loner who appears hounded by a mysterious pursuer. Creating an intensely hypnotic audio-visual dream realm that is as uncannily beautiful as it is unsettling, Rashidi summons and sustains the atmosphere of dread of a horror film, but without the expected narrative trappings. HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind was supported by The Arts Council of Ireland.
James Devereaux is a stage and screen actor. He is also the founder of Drifting Clouds Cinema Group and the author of The Great Acting Blog, a daily blog focussing the technical and ethical aspects of being an actor.
Rouzbeh Rashidi is an Iranian independent filmmaker. He has been making films since 2000, working completely apart from any mainstream conceptions of filmmaking. He strives to escape the stereotypes of conventional storytelling and instead roots his cinematic style in a poetic interaction of image and sound. He generally eschews scriptwriting, seeing the process of making moving images as exploration rather than illustration. His work is also deeply engaged with film history.
Rashidi & Devereaux have been collaborating since 2010 as ‘Rashidi-Devereaux Cinema’, making six feature films together as well as a number of shorts as part of Rashidi’s ongoing ‘Homo Sapiens Project’ film series.
The Horse Hospital
Experimental Film Society
Experimental Film Society in association with Chester Beatty Library presents the screening of experimental feature film HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind by Rouzbeh Rashidi on Sunday 6th April 2pm in Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2. The filmmaker will be at present to introduce the film and do a Q&A afterwards.
“HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind is a new feature film by one of Ireland’s most radical and acclaimed experimental filmmakers, Rouzbeh Rashidi. It follows the visions and travails of a tormented loner who appears hounded by a mysterious pursuer. Creating an intensely hypnotic audio-visual dream realm that is as uncannily beautiful as it is unsettling, Rashidi summons and sustains the atmosphere of dread of a horror film, but without the expected narrative trappings. HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind was supported by The Arts Council of Ireland.”
HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind will play at the Ausland, Berlin on 27th March 2014. There will be a Q&A afterwards. AUSLAND (Territory for experimental music, performance and art) Lychener Str. 60 10437 Berlin.
HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind will play at The Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (DUCTAC) as part of Luma – Art in Film Programme:
DUCTAC’s Gallery of Light will play host to a broad selection of art films and films made by artists this March and April. The ‘Luma – Art In Film’ exhibition will feature artistically and historically important films from the 1900s to the present day. The films will be playing continuously in the gallery throughout the exhibition’s run, and the programme features groundbreaking work from the likes of Man Ray, Fritz Lang, Hans Richter, Jan Svankmajer, Georges Méliès, Luis Bunuel and more alongside Iranian film-maker Rouzbeh Rashidi’s 2013 piece ‘HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind’. The exhibition will run from March 14th – 25th and then from April 9th – 15th to complement The Gulf Film Festival at DUCTAC.
More info HERE & HERE
Full Film Listing:
- Isidore Isou ‘Traité de Bave et d’Eternité’ (1951) 1 hour 52 mins
- Jan Lenica ‘Labirynt’ (1962) 14 mins 14 secs
- Jan Svankmajer ‘Death Of Stalinism In Bohemia’ (1990) 2 mins 9 secs
- Lutz Mommartz ‘400m IFF’ (1969) 13 mins 35 secs
- Noriaki Yuasa ‘Daikaiju Gamera’ (1965) 1 hour 18 mins
- Fritz Lang ‘M’ (1931) 1 hour 50 secs
- Rouzbeh Rashidi ‘HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind’ (2013) 2 hours
- Marios Lefteriotis ‘Requiem For Humanity’ (1970) 11 mins 50 secs
- Sergei Paradjanov ‘The Colour of Pomegranates’ (1968) 1 hour 12 mins
- Alexander Korda ‘Rembrandt’ (1936) 1 hour 24 mins
- René Clair & Francis Picabia ‘Entr’acte’ (1924) 20 mins
- Fernand Léger & Dudley Murphy ‘Le Ballet Mecanique’ (1924) 14 mins
- Robert Wiene ‘Das Kabinett des Doktor Kaligari’ (1919) 1 hour 11 mins
- Hans Richter ‘Filmstudie’ (1926) 3 mins 30 secs
- Maya Deren ‘At Land’ (1944) 14 mins 44 secs
- Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali ‘Un Chien Andalou’ (1929) 16 mins 25 secs
- Georges Méliès ‘Le Voyage Dans la Lun’ (1902) 11 mins 48 secs
- Hans Richter ‘Rhythmus 21’ (1921) 2 mins 10 secs
- Hans Richter & Viking Eggeling ‘La Symphonie Diagonale’ (1921) 7 mins
- Man Ray ‘Le Retour à la Raison’ (1923) 2 mins 10 secs
- Man Ray ‘Emak Bakia’ (1926) 17 mins
- Hans Richter ‘Vormittagsspuk’ (1928) 6 mins 23 secs
Two experimental films will be screened at Thammasat University Thailand, Ta Prachan Campus, on Sunday, February 23, 2014. These two films are a part of the film program FILMVIRUS DOUBLE BILL, in which Wiwat “Filmsick” Lertwiwatwongsa invited his cinephile friends to choose favorite films to screen.
HSP: THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM THE TERRORS OF THE MIND (2013, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Ireland, 120min) will be screened at 12.30hrs.
BIRTH OF THE SEANÉMA (2004, Sasithorn Ariyavicha, Thailand, 70min, black and white, silent) will be screened at 14.45hrs.
NEW IRISH UNDERGROUND FILM
Irish cinema has never been renowned for harboring a vibrant underground or experimental film scene. There have been significant exceptions (most importantly, aspects of the Irish “First Wave” of the 1970s), but it’s only in recent years that a body of films has emerged that offer a powerful rebuttal to that perception. While to announce a fully-fledged “movement” would be premature, it is safe to say that the work of the four filmmakers featured in this series – Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain, Dean Kavanagh and Michael Higgins – represent an important new direction in Irish cinema. Working with minimal and usually non-existent budgets, primarily on video, with zero crew and casts typically drawn from friends and family, all four filmmakers have been developing at a prolific rate over the past few years. Between them, they have produced 32 features since 2008 – though it must be admitted Rashidi, who in 2012 alone directed 9 features and 76 short films, has been the most insanely fertile contributor. All the filmmakers are members of the Experimental Film Society, an international organization founded by Rashidi aiming “to produce and promote films by its members” who are “distinguished by an uncompromising, no-budget devotion to personal, experimental cinema.” As this series will make clear, they have also been known to appear in each other’s films, and even collaborate on film projects together from time to time. (Strangely enough, Rashidi, Le Cain and Kavanagh have even released three albums of sound art together, under the collective moniker “Cinema Cyanide”.)
For the most part, the films operate in an uncanny space between experimental and narrative film. On the one hand, generally eschewing plot and any conventional notion of “eventfulness” in favor of the immediate sensuousness of images and sounds and their juxtaposition – on the other hand, using performers, locations, lighting and sound design to evoke affects and atmospheres more readily associated with genre cinema, especially the horror film. Le Cain, also an accomplished critic, once wrote about David Lynch that he “frees the paranoia of noir from the straightjacket of narrative … [drowning] the plot in a great tidal wave of emotion”, and one can identify a similar impulse at work across many of these films. Le Cain adds that “the most unsettling aspect of [Lynch’s work] is that the fear seems to come from a source that is deeper than the plot indicates.” It’s this deeper level that these filmmakers mostly concern themselves with. As the title of our opening film, There is No Escape from the Terrors of the Mind (2013), makes explicit, the unease evoked is existential rather than circumstantial: it’s much more about the nature of perception, memory and consciousness than anything that can be resolved, or even expressed, through action or dialogue. Usually forsaking plot entirely to tackle these depths head-on, the films mostly seem to reside in a strange, subterranean world free of the typical “narrative” trappings of our daily life. Jobs, money, the State, even social interaction, are rarely visible. Instead, there are bodies and there are spaces, there are sensations and there are memories, and there is the coming-into-being and intermingling of each of these through processes of perception (and cinema).
When language is foregrounded in these worlds – for example, in Higgins’ Birds on a Wire (2011) or Rashidi’s Bipedality (2010) – it is usually fragile and woefully insufficient. Le Cain has described Bipedality one of Rashidi’s last films to feature extensive dialogues, as a study of “how inadequate language is to communicate feeling, or to grapple with the mysteries of existing in any given moment in relation to another person or simply to the world that surrounds one”, a world that is, in contrast, “almost overwhelmingly vivid and sensuous.” It’s our primal and problematic relationship to the world in this sense, that each of these filmmakers focus on in different ways: not the world before the Word (in the sense of Brakhage’s “untutored eye”) so much as a world beneath the Word, a subterranean field of sensations that is always available to us but which we can rarely share or articulate in social or verbal terms.
Although it’s worth thinking through the question of whether this aesthetic direction is ultimately limited by its rejection of social or political contingencies and distrust of verbal expression, Le Cain’s thoughts on Rashidi make an opposing case that could apply to all four filmmakers: “He is not interested in cinema as a record or replication of communication, but in what cinema can itself best communicate through sound and image. … He is concerned with the intensely private experiences of perception that perhaps cinema alone has the tools to communicate adequately.” Or put another way, we could pick up the idea of filmmakers Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni from their recent film In Search of Uiq (2013) that, “In our universe, we are tuned to the frequency that corresponds to the reality of capitalism … An infinite number of parallel realities coexist with us in the same room, although we cannot tune into them.” At their best, Rashidi, Le Cain, Kavanagh and Higgins have found ways to tune into some of those other frequencies, and now invite us to join them.
Programmed by Donal Foreman, with special thanks to the Experimental Film Society.
For more information please visit Spectacle Theater: HERE & HERE
Spectacle is located at 124 South 3rd Street, Brooklyn, New York, between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street.
See the TRAILER of the whole programme HERE
Thursday, November 7
7.30pm HSP: THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM THE TERRORS OF THE MIND (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 120mins, 2013)
“HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind consists of three medium length instalments of an ongoing film project by Rashidi, Homo Sapiens Project. These instalments, when watched back-to-back, will function as a single film structured in episodes. A mysterious loner, perhaps a poet, journeys through a series of uncanny surrealistic landscapes with an unclear purpose. His adventure is divided into three sections. The main theme of this experiment is to compare the eerier qualities of different landscapes and interpose the characters within them, elaborating the project’s ongoing preoccupation with extracting sinister moods from ordinary settings. In a way, these can be seen as experimental horror films in which an atmosphere of dread is evoked and sustained without the expected narrative trappings.” –Rouzbeh Rashidi
For the rest of the programme please visit HERE
HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind will play at the Hunters Moon Festival on Sunday 27th October 1:30 pm at The Dock Arts Centre 7 Euro at The Door, Carrick on Shannon, County Leitrim. There will be a Q&A afterwards.
More info HERE
Black Sun Cinema presents
HSP: THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM THE TERRORS OF THE MIND
Triskel Christchurch Cinema
Wednesday 9 October, 6.30 pm
There is no escape… From one side of the globe to the other, there is no escaping the faces, the visions, the ever-watchful camera. There is no escaping the mask, there is no escaping the resonating echoes of images and sounds that cross each other over time. There is no escaping the cinema. There is no escaping the terrors of the mind…
Black Sun Cinema, in partnership with Triskel Christchurch Cinema, is proud to present the Irish premiere of HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind, a new feature film by one of Ireland’s most radical and acclaimed experimental filmmakers, Rouzbeh Rashidi.
Taking its title from Edgar Allen Poe, Terrors follows the visions and travails of a tormented loner who appears hounded by a mysterious pursuer. Creating an intensely hypnotic audio-visual dream realm that is as uncannily beautiful as it is unsettling, Rashidi summons and sustains the atmosphere of dread of a horror film, but without the expected narrative trappings.
“Rouzbeh Rashidi’s latest film […] is a stunning work of art and cinematography… This film truly invades your dreams and plays fruitfully with popular iconography, and is haunting and mindblowing in the truthful sense, and stretches the borders and limits of western and eastern imagery as well as those of cinema… Cinephiles’ hearts must melt now. To non film buffs and all the others I say watch this film wherever you can see it.” (Mario Mentrup, Der Weisse Hei Ist Gut)
HSP: THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM THE TERRORS OF THE MIND has been selected to screen at the 2013 South Texas Underground Film Festival (STUFF2013), October 3rd – 6th.
The film is scheduled to screen on Saturday October 5 10:00AM American Bank Center’s Harbor View Room.
HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind has been selected for this year’s edition of flEXiff CINEWEST. The festival’s main program will be held at The Newington Armory precinct Theatre for projections and ‘Tunnels’ for installations during September 20-22, 2013.
The film is scheduled to screen on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd. Call the festival at 0402 707010 for the exact time of the screenings.
Senses of Cinema Online Journal “2013 World Poll” is out. Rouzbeh Rashidi’s “HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind (2013) can be found in Jit Phokaew and Maximilian Le Cain‘s lists:
Michael Higgins on HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind: "A terrifying attack with a spoon on one’s fovea."
More info HERE
"Rouzbeh Rashidi’s new feature film There Is No Escape From The Terrors of The Mind, in which I play a small role, is now completed.
I’ve followed Rouzbeh’s work closely over the years; I greatly admire many of his films and have written about them more than once. Even in view of all this, Terrors has absolutely floored me. I have no doubt this is his masterpiece to date, the film that brings all the considerable promise of his work so far to full fruition. I’m still too overwhelmed by the experience of watching it to say much more, except that it unquestionably elevates Rouzbeh to the foremost rank of cinematic poets.”
Originally published HERE