ELEANOR – Straddling the sweet spot between art and cinema

With a film like Eleanor, you never quite know what to expect. Three screens, three stories, three women played by a single actress. Will it be visually distracting? How will all three stories unfold without interfering with one another? All these questions pop into your head involuntarily, but they dissipate as soon as the screening starts cause directors Alex Warren and Tobias Ross-Southall just made it all work.


Eleanor was originally displayed at Camden’s Cob Gallery and now sees its second showing at Soho Revue Gallery on Greek street. The film, or better said, films, are quite an intense experience.


Eleanor is basically a stunning installation, so you’ve got 3 interplaying films that unfold simultaneously across individual screens and follow the story of 3 solitary characters. Each character is individually inspired by the poems of W H Auden (If I could tell you), Robert Frost (Acquainted with the night), Leonard Cohen (The Faithless Wife) and played by Golden Globe winning actress Ruth Wilson.

The film is a fuse of major art forms, with a visually striking cinematic aesthetic, music, poetry, pose and dance. Despite its focus on 3 female characters, the narrative doesn’t follow womanhood and is in no way feminist, as many would expect. In fact, it hasn’t even got a gender. It’s a genuine expression of human nature, of people, of solitude and companionship.


With UK’s top young writers on board – Polly Stenham, Anya Reis and Michael Lesslie, plus a stellar dance performance from the Royal Ballet and a haunting score from Baine Harrision of The Mystery Jets, Eleanor was created to be experienced from more than just an aesthetic viewpoint.

Words: Adina Ilie