Utopian and dystopian urban visions of Northern Ireland.

This archive-based project is a playful, in-depth look at how modernist architecture and urban design was presented in media through the 1950s to the 1980s in Northern Ireland.   Belfast Film Festival have commissioned musicians Blue Whale and Gross Net to provide live soundtracks to Utopian (High Rise) and Dystopian (Low Rise) archive films.



Founded in 2014, Gross Net is the project of Belfast-based artist Philip Quinn, guitarist of the now defunct Girls Names. Departing from the techno-driven sound of 2017’s Northern Irish Music Prize nominated ‘Quantitative Easing,’ new album ‘Gross Net Means Gross Net’ bridges dark electronics, avant-garde experimentation, and black humor.

That album title, based on a remark made by former British Prime Minister Theresa May, “Brexit Means Brexit”, is just that – whatever Quinn sanctions the project to be. What that is is often shaken by political upheaval and the consequences of present-day capitalism.

‘never ceases to be compelling and vital. It is thrilling to hear the guitarist from one of the most underrated Irish guitar bands of recent times reinvent himself so effectively and brilliantly.’  The Irish Times



Blue Whale are a jazz punk quartet from Belfast, Ireland. Their aim has always been to veer away from the trappings of the traditional guitar-centric four-piece and in doing this have experimented heavily with unconventional scales and time signatures. Their cadenced, angular and atonal compositions tread  tne lines between dance and discord, chaos and intricacy. Their sound has been compared to the likes of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Television, Swans, Sonic Youth and Slint.

Their highly anticipated debut album Process, described by The Quietus as a ‘cunning triumph’.

“Irish album of the year” The Thin Air “Disipline-era King Crimson on speed, punctuated by explosions of punkish anarchy. Potent stuff.” All About Jazz


We have obtained all our archive materials from the BBC and UTV archives, as well as from independent filmmakers Archie Reid and Terence McDonald.  We want to give a special thanks to all the people who have helped us from these sources for their invaluable help.

This events is 18+. Bar Facilities Available.

This project is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network as part of Changing Times: Shifting Ground.