“ The mirror reflects but cannot see, the world is story and mood”
Castle of Gaol exudes poetic textures of private experience enmeshed in social constructions. A hymn to the everyday, its layered, impressionistic style mediates the problematic of human relations forever questioning with a sophisticated left sensibility, suffused with a spiritual ambience and an eye for the transcendental, the playful or terroristic immanence of being.
The viewer is immersed in strands of latent narrative, an historicised immediacy facilitated by cinematic montage and where voiceover toughens with the fibre of philosophical rigour, giving cut and thrust to the numinous, aestheticized tapestry of sound and image.
Some themes or preoccupations:
A romance that may fail to ignite, and a relationship in terminal decline. Soulmateship. Family life. Navigating social spheres of solidarity or the neoliberal turn of material impoverishment, the dark hinterland of private struggles – guilt, choice and loss. The forgetful exuberance of having the craic, the working life that may not coincide with one’s truer self.
Vicky Langan, Brian Hayes Curtin, Eadaoin Dooley and Shane Falvey give deft and nuanced performances accompanied by young Sionnach Langan whose startling presence enriches the film with a genuine and unsentimental wonder. A strong supporting cast flavour the brew so to speak and it is hoped that the 46 mins of your time will be a transportive and provocative cinematic experience.
Contemporary dancer Sara Hernandez endows this piece with a remarkable performance of graceful intensity, the physicality of dance aligned with an actor's instinct. This gives expressive focus to an assemblage of footage suffused with haunting, loss, the hard edges of mystery articulated by Conal Ryan's eerie score. Subconscious impulses are communicated through a montage of experiential densities thematically concerned with language, agency, temporality, presence..... Personal emotion is universalised without compromising the particularity of human experience and its resonance in both urban and rural locales which have a textural quality all of their own. In tracing the spiritual and artistic impulses of embodied creatures such as ourselves, the piece acknowledges and mourns multiple levels of decay continually sparked with an erotic charge and an urgency acutely aware of love and finitude.