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Watch: Confess The Night, a new short by Dublin director and writer Dave Tynan

Confess The Night (1)

Featuring music by Dublin duo Simon Cullen & Sorca McGrath AKA Ships, Confess The Night is a brief yet perfectly engrossing two-minute short by Dublin director and writer Dave Tynan. A piece that is, according to its creator, “not exactly a short film but not exactly a music video either”, it is imbued with a curious somnambulist subtlety that has proven a lure in his previous efforts. Watch the film and see our brief Q+A with Tynan – in which he discusses his latest work, his early beginnings and career to date – below.

Hi Dave. Can you give us some background into how you first got into filmmaking?

I went to the National Film School after school. I wasn’t one of those kids who’d made loads of short films beforehand – the first one I made was to get in. Those four years started me off.

Your 2013 short film Just Saying got quite a bit of attention. How was it to be received in that way and how do you feel it altered the trajectory of your career since?

Without that film I wouldn’t have a career. So it didn’t alter the trajectory so much as it was the trajectory.

Your film The Cherishing was a one-off short reflecting the 1916 anniversary. How did you originally navigate the sheer heft of history there to arrive at your own angle there?

We were trying to do something that looked at The Rising from a different angle. One in three people in Dublin lived in the tenements in some of the worst slums in Europe. They experienced a very different Rising than the Volunteers did. It’s about the women and children in those tenements. Hopefully we’ll play more festivals and when it’s broadcast more people can see it, we’re very proud of it. Trailer is below.

Your new film, Confess The Night, was made for the French Academy of Arts and Techniques of Cinema. How did that come about?

The French Academy run a tour for directors of their favourite short films called Nuits En Or. I was eligible as Rockmount won an IFTA. Before going on the tour (literally the maddest and best time of my life) they asked each director to make a short film. The brief was fairly open – a two minute short with The Night as the theme. We’d to move quite fast – the time between receiving the brief and delivering the finished film was a few weeks. I’d wanted to work with Ships more – they’re a brilliant group that deserve more attention. I’d also wanted to shoot around the Chinatown area of Parnell Street for a while, I felt I hadn’t seen it on screen much. So I went looking for an idea that could combine those things.

There’s certain parallels with Confess The Night and Just Saying – the night, the city, Dublin specifically. What draws you to those, in particular? Somnambulist melancholia seems to be a theme.

I grew up in town and I just like cities. Dublin at night is fascinating to me. Those two films being at night seems key to them, couldn’t imagine them otherwise. Plus there’s something about night time. We can see less. There’s more mystery, danger and romance in the dark. Night seems to mean more.

In regards to the new film in particular, what did you aim to project with the narrative – itself essentially a silent film?

I guess it’s a funny hybrid, not exactly a short film but not exactly a music video either. I had read this old myth about soul cages – lobster pots that captured the souls of fishermen who drowned at sea. So it was inspired by that, but moving that onto Parnell Street at night.

Ships provide the soundtrack to Confess The Night, which works extremely well. How important was it to have music that befitted the piece so well?

I love the nocturnal atmosphere that Ships’ music has. So while it wasn’t conceived with the exact track in mind, knowing it was Ships and it would be their sound was crucial to it.

What projects are you currently undertaking and how does the rest of the year look for you?

We’re trying to make longer form work. Don’t know what the rest of the year holds. I’ve my first short story out next week in the summer issue of the Stinging Fly so that’s exciting, trying new things. The basic goal’s always the same – keep working.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.