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Lady Lazarus

Sandra Lahire

UK, 1991
25 minutes, B&W / Colour, opt, 4:3
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: HD Digital File / 16mm Film

Sylvia Plath introduced her ‘Lady Lazarus’ reading by saying: “The speaker is a woman who has a great and terrible gift of being reborn. The only trouble is, she has to die first. She is the phoenix… She is also just a good plain resourceful woman.” In this film Lady Lazarus is a woman irresistibly drawn towards Plath’s voice. She becomes a medium for Sylvia, as in a seance, as the film travels between Massachusetts and Camden, on actual locations of the poet.
Lady Lazarus explores a cinematic alphabet for Plath’s own readings of her poetry and extracts from an interview given just before her death. The film provides an anchor for her macabre humour; a carousel of images in windows; an atmosphere of constant metamorphosis. – S.L.
“Lahire’s Lady Lazarus breathes life into Plath and her poetry. The poet’s ripe voice and the filmmaker’s kaleidoscope of rich images are poignantly combined in this memento mori from one rare talent to another.” – Lizzie Francke, Women Make Movies catalogue ’92.