12 Angry Films, 2006

Commissioned by Fire Station Artists Studios and Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Supported by Dublin City Council and Dublin Port Company.

Jesse Jones, 12 Angry Films, 2006. Installation view, Pigeon House, Dublin. Photograph: Hugh McElveen. Courtesy the artist
Jesse Jones, 12 Angry Films, 2006.
Installation view, Pigeon House, Dublin.
Photograph: Hugh McElveen. Courtesy the artist

12 Angry Films was a temporary Drive In cinema that showed films examining class, migration and social justice in Dublin’s Docklands over two nights in Nov 2006.

Located in the dramatic disused industrial setting of Pigeon House, a place formally used for manufacturing was transformed into a temporary Drive-in cinema. The objective of this art project, conceived by visual artist Jesse Jones, was to create a collective social space where films both by and about workers and activists could be shown, generating debate and reflection on globalisation and the changing nature of industrial labour.
Over the two evenings, four feature films were shown in a series of two double-bills, including Peter Lennon’s seminal ‘The Rocky Road to Dublin’ and Naomi Klein’s recent documentary ‘The Take’. The Drive-in also showed a number of collaborative short films made during the course of workshops facilitated by the artist Jesse Jones, at Fire Station Artists’ Studios over the last year.

Jesse Jones, 12 Angry Films, 2006. Installation view, Pigeon House, Dublin. Photograph: Hugh McElveen. Courtesy the artist
Jesse Jones, 12 Angry Films, 2006.
Installation view, Pigeon House, Dublin.
Photograph: Hugh McElveen. Courtesy the artist

This project was the culmination of a process in which Jesse Jones has been working with 28 participants over a 6 month period in the Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin. These participants were contacted through trade unions and activist and community networks and the workshops involved film screenings and discussions as well as scripting, storyboarding and film-making tutorials. Guest speakers to the workshops included film maker Peter Lennon who directed ‘The Rocky Road to Dublin’, Rossport Five member Vincent McGrath and Socialist TD Joe Higgins.

Jesse Jones, 12 Angry Films, 2006. Installation view, Pigeon House, Dublin. Photograph: Hugh McElveen. Courtesy the artist
Jesse Jones, 12 Angry Films, 2006.
Installation view, Pigeon House, Dublin.
Photograph: Hugh McElveen. Courtesy the artist

This intense workshop programme led to the production of a series of short films that explored issues such as migration, trade unionism, and gender, all through intimate stories of experience. In making their films, the artist set the participants three simple rules; firstly the film would be set entirely in a car, it would not be in English and the maximum length would be three minutes. This set of rules provided and aesthetic guideline for the films and also served as restrictions that would open up experimentation. The resulting films were diverse, with languages ranging from Polish to Swahili, they each tell a story of a contemporary Ireland that is in transition, culturally and politically.

Visitors to the Drive in were able tune their car radios to a special frequency which broadcast the soundtrack to the films. Before each screening three half hour radio programme made by the workshop participants and Jesse Jones were also broadcast. These radio programmes deal with issues around workers rights and migrancy and arose out of discussions that came out of the workshops between the participants, the artist and the specially invited guest speakers.

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