This time on Into the Mothlight Podcast an in-depth interview with the London based artist filmmaker Sarah Pucill. Her films have been shown in galleries and won awards at Festivals internationally. The majority of her films take place within the confinements of domestic space, where the grounded reality of the house itself becomes a portal to a complex and multi layered psychical realm. In her explorations of the animate and inanimate, her work probes a journey between mirror and surface, in which questions of representation are negotiated.
A limited edition Blu-ray release of Sarah’s acclaimed artists’ feature film Confessions to the Mirror has just been released by Lux. In this work she extends the study she began in her previous film Magic Mirror (2013) responding to surrealist artist Claude Cahun’s writing and photographs through tableaux vivants that re-stage her images and words.
In our conversation we discuss both Confessions to the Mirror and Magic Mirror and the process of using the medium of film to bring life and colour to Cahun’s text and images. We also talk about her earlier works, her love for photomontage and the process of animation and her exploration of the interior world in her films.
You can purchase Confessions to the Mirror at the Lux Shop here. Click here to read “A Dialogue with Claude Cahun: Between Writing, Photography and Film in Magic Mirror and Confessions to the Mirror,” a chapter from Sarah's book Cinematic Intermedialities, published by Edinburgh University Press, Ed Marion Schmid and Kim Knowles.
Sarah's recent masterclass on her longer films can be viewed here.
Portrait of Sarah Pucill by Laura Milburn.
Artists and works referenced in the interview.
The Slade - School of Fine Art in London
Filmmakers Jane Parker, Liz Rhodes and Chris Wellsby who had an early impact on Sarah at the Slade.
London Filmmakers Coop - we recommend this book by Mark Webber.
The American Underground filmmaker, occultist and writer Kenneth Anger
The Scottish artist Douglas Gordon who Sarah studied with.
French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s book Poetics of Space.
Briefly mentioned, the British feminist film theorist - Laura Mulvey
Sharon Morris - Professor of Fine Art at the Slade
Lover Other (2006) - the Barbara Hammer documentary on Claude Cahun
The Lizzie Thynne documentary - Playing a Part: The Story of Claude Cahun (2006)
Gen Doy who had mentioned Sarah in a book Claude Cahun: A Sensual Politics of Photography (2007)
The tableau vivant in Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio
Tableau Vivant in Looking for Langston (1989) - by Filmmaker and installation artist, Isaac Julien
Sarah's late partner Sandra Lahire whose Sylvia Plath trilogy of films inspired her to work with an earlier artist.
The Blood of a Poet by Jean Cocteau (1932) and The Maya Derren film Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) that both feature shots where the antagonist looks directly into the mirror.
Experimental film and installation artist Jason Moyes lives and works in rural Scotland and has been exploring the moving image since 2007. His work has been shown in the UK, North America, Europe and Asia. He is a founding member of the Moving Image Makers Collective.
Into the Mothlight is sponsored by The Film and Video Poetry Society.