Phantom Rhapsody, 2010

2010, 16mm, b/w, 19min

Distinctive in its stark use of black and white and reminiscent of early silent cinema, this film is composed of a series of theatrical side-show ‘magic’ acts. Three women stage tricks of appearance and disappearance, punctuated by trumpet, cello and drums.Interchanging between the roles of magician, nude and filmmaker, they perform the preparation of an image and the prepared or completed image, drawing on iconic paintings. 16mm camera techniques as well as performance techniques with props – such as cloaks, drapery, curtains, wigs, mirrors, frames, wands and lighting – determine what is visible or absent in the film frame.With its surrealist sensibilities of artifice and reality and insistence on doubling and substitution, Phantom Rhapsody probes the notion of identity as surface that can be worn or shed and which can extend beyond the boundary of the skin, into the light in the room, the set and the props.

Sarah Pucill
Arts Council of England
Camera Assistance:
Lucy Pratt, Vicky Smith
Camera, Text and Edit:
Sarah Pucill
Cecile Chich, Kayla Ente, Lucy Pratt, Sarah Pucill
Sound Design:
Tudor Petre Music
Music Composition:
Lennert Busch
Howard Jacques Peryer
Alice Biddulph