Magic Mirror, 2013

2013, 16mm b/w, sound, 75min

Magic Mirror combines a re-staging of the French Surrealist artist Claude Cahun’s black and white photographs with selected extracts from her book Aveux non avenus (1930, Confessions Denied). In Surrealist kaleidoscopic fashion the film creates a weave between image and word, exploring the links between Cahun’s photographs and writing as well as between those of the films of Sarah Pucill, as both artists share similar iconography and concerns.

Cahun’s multi-subjectivity as expressed in both her book and photographs, set the scene for the film, where she dresses and makes her face up in so many different ways, swapping identities between gender, age and the inanimate. Three women masquerade as Cahun’s characters: often it is hard to tell them apart. The splitting of identity appears as a double which persists throughout; as a literal double (through super-imposition), as shadow, imprints in sand, reflections in water, mirror or distorting glass. Likewise the voice is split between differently dressed voices, which sometimes speak at the same time and sometimes in dialogue. Part essay, part film poem, Magic Mirror translates the startling force of Cahun’s poetic language into a choreographed series of Vivantes Tableaux, intermixed with stagings from her writing.

Selected text from Aveux Non Avenus (Confessions Denied), Claude Cahun, 1928. Translated by Rachel Gomme

Direction, Camera and Edit:
Sarah Pucill
Funding Support:
Arts Council of England
Lighting, Second Camera:
Rina Yang
Main Performers:
Andro Andrex, Rowina Lennon, Kate Hart
Sound Mix and Dub:
Konrad Welz
Sound and Edit Assistance:
Fernando Callega Lopez
Jon Opstad
Hair and Make-up:
Amanda Rudkin
Costume and Props:
Lucy Vann, Jessica Cheetham,
Main Voice-over:
Helen McGregor, Rowena Lennon, Clarissa Regan, Marcia Farquhar
Edit, Direction Assistance:
Mairead MacClean

2013   22 April, Premier Screening, Tate Modern, 6.30pm

2013   21 July, Glasgow Film Theatre, 8.20pm

2013   11 August, Norsk Film Institute ‘The Dream That Kicks’ August

2013   7 November, Screening with Q+A Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 6.45pm

2013  13 November, Screening  Cork Film Festival, 11.30am

2013   19 November, Union Theatre, Milwaukee, USA

2013  21 November, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 6pm

2013   7+8 December, Institute of Contemporary Art, London

2014  15 January, Paula Mendersohn Becher Musuem, Bremen, Germany, curated by Christine Ruffert

2014 16 January, London Art Fair Panel screening and discussion on The Muse with Anthony Penrose (Lee Miller’s son) and Sue Steward

2014  3 February, Dance Pavillion, Bournemouth, curated by Selina Robertson

2014   28 February, Edinburgh Filmhouse,

2014 8 April, Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA, USA, curated by Erin Riley-Lopez ‘International Film Series’

2014   9 April, Cinemarges Film Festival, Bordeaux

2014   26 April, La Cinemateque de Toulouse

2014   31 August, Seoul International New Media Film Festival, International Competition

2014  9 November, Pink Screen Film Festival, Brussels

2014  3 December, LUX DVD Launch of Magic Mirror,
JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

2014  10 December, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris

2015   April, Alchemy Film Festival, Hawick, Scotland.

2015  17 April- 14 June  ‘Magic Mirror: Claude Cahun and Sarah Pucill, The Nunnery Gallery, London

2015   July,  St Brelades Church, Jersey, organised by Jersey Heritage and LGBQT LIBERATE community in Jersey

2015   6 October, Screening,  Ecoles des beaux arts de Nantes curated by Marion Chaine

2015   16 October, Birkbeck University, Screening organised by Birkbeck Institute For The Moving Image Seminar Series convened by Muriel Temple

2015   8 October-5 December, staged exhibition of Magic Mirror in ‘Radical Gestures: Uncanny Feminism”, curated by Bae Myung Ji, Coreana Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

2016   30 September, Screening of Magic Mirror and presentation,
Cambridge University, Corpus Christi College, Public Seminar:
Film and the Other Arts, Intermediality, Medium Specificity, Creativity, International Research Network.

2017  28 February, Close Up Cinema, London, Cahun Diptych Screening, 6.30pm Magic Mirror, Q+A with Laura Guy.

2017  6 August White Cube, Auditorium, Bermondsey as part of the exhibition ‘Dreamer’s Awake’.

2017  18 November Photofilm: Sampling the Archive,
GUGA (Center of Architecture, a venue that is in opposition to the hungarian government), in co-operation with the Metropolitcan University, Budapest, Hungary.

IQMF Festival Screening and Discussion with Sudeep Dasgupta + Aynouk Tan, 13 December 2020.

2021 The Museum of Photography, Berlin.  Part of Sampling the Archive Photofilm Event.

2022 Braquage, Paris, curator Sebastien Ronceray

2022 Actoral Festival, Marseille

2022  The Dream That Kicks, curated by Greg Pope, Oslo KunstnernesHus.

2022  The Lexi Cinema, Kensal Rise (London), Part of a trans-led film strand. Programmed by Rebecca Del Tufo, Film selected by Juliet Jacques. Q+A with Juliet Jacques and the filmmaker.  July 2022 date tbc.

2022   National Gallery of Art, Washington, US.  A screening series in conjunction with the exhibition The Double, 12 July – 31 October.

2022 Cinema Cafe des Images, Herouville St-Claire, France

2022 Braquage, Paris, curated by Sebastien Ronceray.

2022  L’Actoral Festival, Toulouse, curated by Sebastien Ronceray.

2023. Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, 13 June.

2021 Mirror Tricks: Magic Objects” by Maxa Zoller, Leaflet with LUX Blu Ray Publication, 2021.

2021 Doubling Images: Troubling Objects” by Laura Guy, Leaflet with LUX Blu Ray Publication, 2021.


2018 “Coming To Life” and Intermediality in the films Confessions to the Mirror (2016) and Magic Mirror(2013) by Sarah Pucill In Experimental Film and Expanded Animation: New Perspectives and Practices.  Ed V Smith,  N Hamlyn, 2018.  Winner 2018-19 Norman McLaren/Evelyn Lambart Award for Best Scholarly Book in Animation.


2016 “Feminisms, Mirrors: Claude Cahun and Sarah Pucill – a dialogue” by Dr M Sprio, MIRAJ Magazine, Issue 4, 2+1, Spring 2016

2015.  Reviewsx2 Magic MIRROR Nunnery galley: Emma Brady,  Francis Morgan on ‘Magic Mirror’ Exhibition 2015, at Nunnery Gallery, London.

2015 June, Art Monthly Magazine, Review of Magic Mirror at The Nunnery Gallery, London, by Mark Harris – Art Monthly June 2015 Page 1 | Art Monthly June 2015 Page 2

2015 April, Magic Mirror Exhibition booklet (Published by the Nunnery Gallery) texts by Liena Vayzman, Sarah Pucill, Louise Downie.

2015 May, Sight and Sound Magazine, Review of ‘Magic Mirror- Claude Cahun and Sarah Pucill’ at The Nunnery Gallery, London, by Frances Morgan

2015 May, Time Out Magazine, Review of ‘Magic Mirror- Claude Cahun and Sarah Pucill’ at the Nunnery Gallery, London

2014 “Between Mirrors”, Helena Reckitt, Lux DVD

2014 “Stepping Aside to Enter”, Sarah Ibrahim, Lux DVD

2014 September 30, Photomonitor Magazine, Interview with Anna McNay

2014 July DIVA Magazine, feature by Anna McNay

2013 Mnemoscape Interview with A Ferrini and E Adami on Magic Mirror Part 2

2013 Mnemoscape Interview with A Ferrini and E Adami on Magic Mirror Part 1

2012Vertigo Magazine Issue 31 Winter In Conversation – At Least I Will Know My Face

September 2021     Into the Mothlight podcast

“Into the Mothlight” Podcast interview with and produced by Jason Moyes on my 16mm films over 3 decades, in light of the the recent publication of the LUX Blu Ray of Confessions to the Mirror.          Published  September 2021


February 2020   Televised documentary in France (ARTE) and Germany (ZDF) “Masquerade and Games – The Female Artists of Surrealism”, Dir Maria Tappeiner.    Televised date: France and Germany 16 February 2020.  By the German public broadcaster ZDF in cooperation with the French/German public broadcaster ARTE.  Directed by Maria Tappeiner.

Extracts from Magic Mirror and Confessions to the Mirror  appear alongside an interview with me in my studio.    The focus is on my work with Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore in Magic Mirror  and Confessions to the Mirror.   Documentary includes  Lee Miller, Leonor Fini, Leonora Carrington,  and Meret Oppenheim.

April 2013 Resonance FM Half Hour Radio Interview with Diana Mavrolean, ‘I’m ready for my Close-up’, on Magic Mirror

July 29,  2013  The Skinny, Review by Helen Wright

August 2013  TenMag, Spannish Fashion and Culture Magazine, Ana Himes
October 2016  BFI Southbank London Film Festival Salon, Interview with Helen de Witt and Ruth Maclennan, speaking about the films Magic Mirror and Confessions To The Mirror