Interview: Claire Carré

The Brief

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Claire Carré is a film director, writer, and editor. Her feature film debut, Embers, which follows five amnesiac survivors of a global epidemic, was highly acclaimed by publications including IndieWire and Sight & Sound. Carré was subsequently nominated for a 2015 Gotham Award and a 2017 Independent Spirit Award, and the film itself received a series of Best Feature festival accolades. Carré has also directed and edited fashion shorts for Elle Magazine and Hervé Léger, respectively, and directed music videos for Sia, Death Cab for Cutie, and Titus Andronicus.

Which novel would you recommend?
To the Lighthouse
by Virginia Woolf. Significant events in the lives of the characters happen in ellipses, tiny against the passage of time.

Which film would you recommend?
Sherlock Jr.
, directed by Buster Keaton. Physical comedy meets visionary technical achievement as Buster jumps into the edit of a film within the film.

Which stage work would you recommend?
by James Thiérrée. A one man show without words, expressed through movement and stagecraft. Stunning and memorable.

Which multimedia installation would you recommend?
The Veiling by Bill Viola. I saw this in high school, and the physicalisation of a cross-fade between two moving images has always stuck with me.


The following questions relate to our Perspectives column, in which two writers respond to an artwork that they are experiencing for the first time.

Are video games uniquely positioned to encourage empathy?
Video games are participatory representational systems. To play we must act. By making choices as a character, the player has greater identification with that character than in mediums where characters are merely observed.

Is the reception of all art entangled with personal memories?
Yes, we cannot escape ourselves. We experience art through our personal embodied senses in space and time, and that includes the filter of our memories.

Should critics assess art based on their personal likes and dislikes?
People become critics because they love a medium enough to have strong opinions. I prefer when critics are open about the subjectivity of their analysis and taste.

States of the Arts

The following questions relate to our States of the Arts column, for which each article includes four artworks that share an association with a single nation or territory.

Which Hungarian artwork would you recommend?
Werckmeister Harmonies, a film directed by Béla Tarr. The opening sequence, in which a bunch of drunks act out a total eclipse, is one of my favourite scenes in the history of cinema.

Which Peruvian artwork would you recommend?
Trilce, a book of poetry by César Vallejo. Humanist, revolutionary, raw avant-garde poetry of suffering and striving.

Which Ukrainian artwork would you recommend?
The Tribe, a film directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, entirely in sign language without subtitles. It reveals that we understand body language and facial expressions better than we give ourselves credit for.

The art of discovery

The following questions relate to Silent Frame’s aim to celebrate the art of discovery.

What does discovery mean to you?
Discovery shakes me up, challenges my assumptions, takes me by surprise, inspires me. It's an adventure that expands my mental universe.

What question would you like to ask other Silent Frame interviewees?
Can ideas be owned?

More to discover

Claire Carré: Visit the artist’s website here, and read more about Embers here. Her Twitter handle is @claire_carre.

Today’s recommendations: To the Lighthouse (excerpt), Sherlock Jr. (excerpt), Raoul (trailer), The Veiling (information), Werckmeister Harmonies (trailer), Trilce (excerpt), The Tribe (trailer).

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