Saturday, December 20, 2014

Close Watch Signing Off

A Happy Christmas to all who read these lines!

Close Watch is signing off now until 2015.

This is a creative time at Close Watch HQ. A new, still as yet untitled collaboration with Vicky Langan that we have been shooting piecemeal since Summer is now almost edited. It stars both of us, along with Java the Cat, and promises to be a playful, bizarre piece of work, and quite a departure for us in tone and content. I've also submitted material to be used in the next few installments of Rouzbeh Rashidi's Homo Sapiens Project, which will be made as collaborations between Rouzbeh, Dean Kavanagh and myself.

And, of course, there's the feature Cloud of Skin. Additional shooting will be completed in early January and editing will be the main task of the first half of next year.

There are also several exciting screenings and events lined up for early 2015 which I'm involved in either as filmmaker or programmer. Watch this space!

To take a moment to digest, I was asked for a list of favourite new films of 2014. From the smattering of new releases I saw, I came up with a top ten listed in order of preference. I didn't get to any festivals this year, so these films either played in my local cinemas or were shown to me by the filmmakers.

Return of Suspicion (Dean Kavanagh)
Polar Nights (Dean Kavanagh)
Welcome to New York (Abel Ferrara)
Hypothesis/Conditions/Poetics (a trilogy by Rouzbeh Rashidi)
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg)
Mutual Admiration Society (James Devereaux/Rouzbeh Rashidi)
Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
There (James Fotopoulos)
The Homesman (Tommy Lee Jones)
Bastards (Claire Denis)

Since making the list, I caught up with Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida, which should be added to it. Perhaps in eighth place. I should also mention two extraordinary TV series that I devoured whole: Hannibal and Boardwalk Empire. And a couple of marvelous Irish short films: Vivienne Dick's The Irreducible Difference of the Other and Michael Higgins' Murder

And, of course, this Youtube clip:

Finally, I'd like to sign off with a word of sincere thanks to Rouzbeh Rashdi. His indefatigable work at the head of Experimental Film Society has transformed that entity into an effective distribution mechanism to the considerable and steadily increasing benefit of all members. And the moral support of his friendship is beyond valuation.


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