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Mick Flannery 'Wasteland' by Sinéad McDevitt

Rob Ulitski - 28th Apr 2020

A man comes face-to-face with his shadow for the first time in Sinéad McDevitt's stunning visual for Mick Flannery. 

Devastated from past mistakes, the man - played by Steve Wall - is spiralling out of control. Haunted by memories of a steamy affair with a woman in the backseat of his car, he attempts to walk away from his problems. But he is followed by another version of himself, and things lead to an unexpected and poignant climax. 

Shot in dreary black and white, the mood is very much reflected in the aesthethic, with DoP Ashley Barron contrasting expansive, lonely shots of the landscape with up-close, uncomfortably intimate portraits. 

Sinéad Mcdevitt:

"When I first listened to Wasteland, it hit me in the belly with a wallop. F**k that's powerful. Mick's new song spoke straight to that universal struggle between inner and outer self- inner self calling out for attention whilst the outer self shoves it away.

"I started writing the treatment and as I listened more and more, I was reminded of the older men in my life. The generation who embody that stoic, outer ‘performative’ self – with the inner, softer, more vulnerable self hidden away somewhere. Growing up on the northside of Dublin through the '80s and '90s, I certainly felt – even as a child – the social expectation upon men to act as financial provider/'head of the family' and remain stoic, no matter the circumstances.

"Any open disclosure of mental health struggles, restrictive gender roles or repressed childhood injury would've been alien, maybe even taboo, to the vast majority of men and women– certainly in the 80s. I imagine that suffering in silence with depression or addiction must have felt (and still feels to this day) like an isolated emotional wasteland.

"And so as Mick sang, the story of an everyday man running from his pain through a Tarkovskian landscape played out in my mind. I saw it set in '80s recessionary Ireland; shot in black and white to represent the timeless theme and polarity in conscious versus unconscious. Key film references for the piece included 'Shame' by Steve McQueen and 'Song of Granite' by Pat Collins among others.

"As for casting – we couldn't have asked for a more perfect fit than Steve Wall in the lead role. Star of recent Chet Baker feature 'My Foolish Heart' and upcoming Ridley Scott series 'Raised by Wolves' among many others, Steve is a master of nuanced micro-expression with an incredible dexterity of emotional range. It was a director's dream to work with him on set.

"Wasteland has been an epic labour of love. It was made on a shoestring from beginning to end with an incredibly talented and generous cast, crew and team. My hope for our film is that it might light a spark inside the audience – a little reminder that underneath our self-sabotaging or self-destructive human behaviours lies the simple truth that we're all worthy of love, maybe even the hidden bits the most."

Rob Ulitski - 28th Apr 2020


  • Narrative
  • Rock
  • Folk
  • black and white

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Sinéad McDevitt
Seamus Waters
Production Company
Bold Puppy
1st AD
Jim Corr


Director of Photography
Ashley Barron ACS
Focus Puller
Meagan Spellman
2nd AC
Aoife Quinn
Focus Puller
Jp Quill


Luke Daly


Art Director
Claire Morrissey


Hair & Make-up
Ber Drennan
Anne O'Shea
Iseult Deane


Lead actor
Steve Wall


Kris Rowe
Editing company
Kris Rowe


Angela Cerasi
Grading company
Peachy Keen Colour


Blue Grace Music
Blue Grace Music

Other credits

Sound Designer

Abigail Sie At Song Zu

Additional Photography

Kevin Minogue

Camera Assistant

Donnagh Fitzpatrick

Sound Recordist

Anthony Egan


Kevin Henry, Emmet Gallagher

Special Thanks

Vast Valley, Cine-Electric, Wexford Arts Office

Rob Ulitski - 28th Apr 2020

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