“Six Lives,” a Virginia Woolf cinepoem by Sarah Riggs, revolves around six writers, six texts by Virginia Woolf and six seaside landscapes. I couldn’t embed the film in this post, but you can view it on the director’s website.
I first conceived of Six Lives after reading Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse five summers in a row, and living in New York, France, and Morocco in communities of writers, artists and translators. Woolf ‘s essay “The Cinema” offers a critique of cinema as a potentially superficial medium, and I wanted to achieve the depth of her work, and of poetic thinking, precisely in the cinematic medium. We gathered a cluster of six writers, in various combinations, over a period of several years, in six locations, each time with a different Woolf text in question. What gets charted is a movement from abstract thinking and the division of the body into parts, into a poetically embodied cinema where mind and body are in synchronicity. An opening. – Sarah Riggs, director