The highs and lows of being in love. A teenage girl is left by her cello-playing boyfriend and her world temporarily falls apart.
Claire Climbs Everest was a commission from Alastair Cook of Filmpoem, to make a poetry film for one of The Poetry Society's commended poems in the National Poetry Competition 2016. I was given the poem blind, so that I interpreted it on my own, without talking to Sam Harvey, the poet.
I set out to work to a loosely applied, more traditional, three-act structure in this poetry film, rather than a dream-like or conceptual narrative. As the ex-boyfriend in the poem was a cellist I selected different types of cello music to reflect the emotional structure. I did not want to begin with Claire as already abandoned by her boyfriend but catch her still 'in' love – in a Chagall-esque scenario that I had wanted to use for some time, and was realised by the talented multimedia editor Howard Vause. I also managed to use crosses as both symbolising love and error –another theme I had wanted to transfer from my print series to incorporate in poetry films. Love and error keep slipping and sliding and the cross bears a different meaning depending on your point of view. These interplay with Sam’s mountain motif, running parallel or occasionally combining.
I am very grateful to Alastair for pairing us up; it was an exciting way to stretch my filmmaking capabilities. I am also indebted to Sam for such a subtle and finely crafted poem on such a raw subject, and I have aimed that the drama onscreen counterpoints the content, tone and pace of his voice.
Poet: Sam Harvey
Director, cinematographer, creative concept: Sarah Tremlett
Editor: Howard Vause
Claire: Georgina Rees
Cello-playing boyfriend: Sam Warner
Inspiring Cello Baszzz
Cello music in Gregorian style The Montana Cellist
Post-War Peder B Helland
Claire's dress: Hatti
With thanks to tube busker