Maximilian Le Cain is a filmmaker and critic based in the city of Cork, Ireland. He's written for many magazines including Senses of Cinema, Film Ireland and Rouge. He is also the editor of the online magazine devoted to experimental cinema Experimental Conversations.
Most of my editing work is done at night. These videos I make are nocturnal.
My culture is cinema, including experimental film. There is cinema and what is called ‘reality’. There is the body, mine in this instance, and then there is the night. There are limits, failures and overwhelming sensations. Sound, image, silence: oblivion. It is at the obscure intersection of all these that I jot down my audio-visual sketches. Perhaps a bid to reconcile these elements? More likely, simply a place to exist with accuracy. Movement on the cusp of exhaustion and decay, creation in a time when every film has been made. But the energy persists and the images keep moving, moving in darkness, ceaselessly linking the body and the night in a multitude of shifting rhythms.
Maximilian Le Cain: Beyond the Cretinous World of Images An Essay by Esperanza Collado
Imagine a cinema possessed by the aesthetics of interruption. A cinema that makes space stutter, light gaseous and time circular, turning the monologue of the actress into a maze of words multiplied in an abyss. Imagine a cinema of cuts, plastic and hypnotic, where the interstices of sense prefigure the outer surface of all images: a cinema that advances the ‘impower’ of thought in its most schizophrenic dimension. Imagine, at last, a cinema that fails to represent, because its images and sounds have been subjected to the laws of entropy. Welcome to Maximilian Le Cain’s land, a land where an irrepressible and pulsating substance unfolds, itself in sufficient arrogance to aim at a luminous crack.
Through his film and video making, Le Cain puts us before a world that is incomplete: a fragmented space, a disjointed speech, a flickering flux. And it is pleasing to find such a world, printed in its incompleteness as it were, because cinema -which does not need a language in order to articulate itself- will put us in contact with those pieces of experience, unfinished puzzles that cinema joins perpetually. This could surely resemble the eclectic structure of dreams, although it is actually thought’s genuine work. Max’s works are therefore ‘thinking space’, where the specificity of cinema -the vibration of light- is the hidden birth of thought.
If there is a distinguishing element of tension in Le Cain’s films and videos, very often accompanied by an overtone of suspense, terror or violence, it is caused by the impossibility to syncretise two planes of immanence, two parallel dimensions. The visual and sonic intermittency that characterizes these works are the symptoms proper of such a crash. Thus this aesthetics of interruption functions as a vehicle or catalyst for externalising pulses, anxieties, desires. Cinema becomes a sentient contraption that works as a sort of fail-safe device, kicking in when the system created between the filmmaker and his camera practice fails in attempting a harmonious encounter with a given space or experience.
Beyond creating a cretinous amalgamate of images, Le Cain deconstructs them, sublimating the quasi-corporeal presence of TV static, the pointillism created by re-photographing found-footage on a television monitor, or the pulsation of an intervallic screen where corpuscles of matter may emerge. These are some of the features of his latest works, where cinema is emphasized as a material system, rather than a recording medium.
(An)Other Irish Cinema is the work of three resolutely independent filmmakers based in Ireland who have built up prolific filmographies over the past decade in complete creative freedom, taking full advantage of the liberty for experimentation that low-and-no budget production offers. Although the visions audiences discover in the films of Donal Foreman, Rouzbeh Rashidi and Maximilian Le Cain are very different, they are linked by the use of exploratory, non-script-based approaches to filmmaking and by a keen awareness of the cinema histories that have explored the medium's possibilities far beyond the accepted rules of the multiplex.
Foreman, Rashidi and Le Cain formed ‘(An) Other Irish Cinema’ as a platform for joint screenings, to showcase their work and, in so doing, to propose the possibility of an/other filmmaking culture in Ireland.