Article by Cathal Eustace
The greatest privilege and curse of our generation is constant access to the largest amount of art and knowledge ever available to humanity. The Library of Alexandria was one of the largest libraries of the ancient world yet only held 64 gigabytes of information in its bookshelves. Meanwhile, the internet is estimated to contain an ever-expanding 1.2 million terabytes of information, all of which we can access via a chunk of metal and plastic that we keep in our back pocket. Overwhelming, right? The never-ending stream of data coursing through your phone, the 500 hours of footage uploaded to YouTube since you started reading this review; the volume of knowledge and art being made available to us right now is too immense to comprehend.
So why waste time sifting through oceans of stale memes, clickbait, and Instagram poetry in search of art when The Film Scene has curated a staggeringly beautiful collection with their debut issue of The Film Zine. The Zine showcases visual art, poetry, performances, documentaries, and short films from multiple artists around the country. Its presentation feels smooth and seamless; I can’t express the joy you’ll feel scrolling through the beautiful patterns of The Zine which act as a serene backdrop to the array of art on display. The Zine acts as a portal to another world – one inaccessible to us – where our memories of the year gone past were not marred by 2 million deaths.
Enter this alternate reality and listen to Killian Kirwan’s formidable rendition of We are Dublin, with footage of the city cast in a neon glow as the poet brandishes before your ears mighty memories of Hibernian nightlife. Masquerade as an audience member amongst friends, feel the estrangement of the fourth wall disappear as you sit down with Keegan Andrulis in Arianna Owens’ Ripple. Enjoy the discourse, stories, jokes, and nuances of real human conversation that you have been denied the past year in Cáit Murphy’s She Talks in The Afternoon.
Sometimes, The Zine’s escapism manifests itself in piquant depictions of the past – another world inaccessible to us. This yearning for a time gone by is vividly expressed in Laura Hutchinson’s “The Femme Fatale”: a stunning collection of artfully-curated photographs, and in Aoife Raeside’s quietly melancholic The Last Dance.
The Zine does not feel arrogant; it does not bypass the world we have been forced to live in as it chooses to selectively remind us of the sorrow of isolated life. These reminders are dispersed throughout The Zine, one example of which can be found hidden amongst the first collection of portraits: in Ella Sloane’s “Masked Creativity,” another in the poignant “Grangegorman” by Pádraig Ó Gríofa/Gwaukee.
The Zine offers companionship and solace at a time where we all need it most. What was supposed to be one of our most invaluable, formative years has been robbed from us all. Nothing can change the past. Nothing can reverse the grief our generation will suffer, but let it be soothed by the wonderful display of imagination, kinship and love that you can find in The Film Zine.
You can access The Film Zine at thefilmscene.ie/the-film-zine-issue-1