THE 57th CORONA CORK FILM FESTIVAL,  11 - 18 Nov 2012
Special Mention

"This film has a unique and creative approach, where the demolition of a building and the process of its reconstruction becomes a metaphor for the craft of cinema."


"Belfast provided the setting for the festival’s most audience-dividing film, 'A Removals Job', by artist Nicholas Keogh. Beginning as a seemingly innocuous documentary about a house, the film swiftly changes gear. After one Keatonesque shot, in which a piano crashes into a room occupied by one of the workers only moments before, the film emerges as a performance piece worthy of Pina Bausch. Soon the removers are ripping through the household with a frightening ferocity, wilfully smashing up its contents.

They finish with a return to order that disturbs even more, almost vindicating their primal rage by pedantically organising the resulting carnage into straight stacks and tidy rows.

As they leave the site - now a gaping hole in a run of terraces - the absurd contrasts leave an unsettling chill. The film’s scale and audacity impressed - I can’t wait to see Keogh’s next."

- Dylan Cave


Nicholas Keogh’s new film, 'A Removals Job', commissioned by The MAC, celebrates the camaraderie of a group of workers, the rules of engagement employed in the carrying out of manual work and the unspoken exchanges between the players.

The action takes place at a traditional two-up two-down red-brick Belfast terrace house. The house is cleared of furnishings and white goods with personal effects cast aside without thought of the association of the previous owner.

The movements of the workers is at first erratic, destructive and violent. Only after a profile of each of the characters has been established is some order restored, their movements choreographed off camera.

Slowly the workers start moving in a more efficient manner, working with the weight of objects and their centre of gravity, rather than fighting against them. Collectively, by the end of the job both man and object move together in an intricately and carefully considered manner, the resulting choreography producing a seamless flow of objects, slotting perfectly into the skip reminiscent of the classic 1990's computer game Tetris.