1stSlice SXSW 2016 Review: Black Mountain Poets

1stSlice SXSW 2016 Review: <em>Black Mountain Poets</em>

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Welsh director Jamie Adams finishes up his “Modern Romance Triology” with an understated but hilarious bang in the form of Black Mountain Poets.

The improvisation-based film explores the dynamic of two sisters, as they con their way through a weekend pretending to be a set of successful poet siblings. With Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells starring, it’s no surprise that the film has won the Student Critics’ Jury Award at their world premiere in Edinburgh and wooed crowds at SXSW 2016.

The film, which was shot in an astounding five days, lacks nothing visually, thanks to cinematographer Ryan Owen Eddleston taking the helm. The opening shots of a frantic city are calmed when the sisters enter his beautiful widescreen views of the countryside, where they’ll explore themes of family, love, and growing apart to grow together.

After they steal the car of successful poets the Wilding sisters (Hannah DanielClaire Cage) the country retreat serves as the perfect backdrop for the ditzy con artist sisters, Claire (Wells) and Lisa Walker (Lowe) to avoid their crimes and, subsequently, being arrested by police while attending the retreat where one assumes kombucha, granola, and self-centered love flow freely.

While the romance of the film does not leave one wanting, especially with the dreamy-doubtful poet, Tom Cullen, it’s the sister’s never-ending love for one another, and seemingly life-long bond that Wells and Lowe are able to portray, despite not fully fleshing out a backstory, that make the film such a hit.

Together, they are simply hilarious, but not in a cloying way, with experience stemming from Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers and the TV show Doll & Em, their partnership elicits laughter as naturally as their surroundings exude beauty.

Black Mountain Poets is currently playing at SXSW. 

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