Lairs – Emma Penaz Eisner – USA

Lairs, layers, liars: In this poetry film, hatred insidiously supplants a couple’s love.

Emma Penaz Eisner is an independent filmmaker and visual artist from San Francisco. She has created short films and moving image art that have screened worldwide in galleries and at over 250 international film festivals. Earning more than 60 awards, her work is in experimental filmmaking, live action combined with animation, and stop motion animation.

Director Statement

“Lairs” is an experimental stop motion animation that visually interprets a poem of the same name which first appeared in Eclectica Magazine, April/May 2019. Because the poet is my mother, I bring a rich, personal understanding to the imagery the written words evoke; I have had the opportunity to examine this piece directly with the poet. The poem is a subtle, understated work that explores how hatred can suffuse and kill a loving relationship. In my adaptation, I strive to accentuate and thus to vivify the tension and dread underpinning the domestic events in the narrative: the house becomes a toy in my rendition, the man and woman appear only as arms, and objects act as stand-ins for human beings. My aim is to reveal, expand upon, and further develop the uncanny sense of domestic danger inherent in the poem, thus creating something new and primarily image-driven from the original written work.

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