An interview with CLAIRE ELIZABETH TERRY, director of “THIRTY MINUTES”

An interview with CLAIRE ELIZABETH TERRY, director of “THIRTY MINUTES”


                                                                                                  Claire Elizabeth Terry

 

I have to admit, I don’t have an intellectual ‘idea’ of cinema, as such, as for me, it’s simply a place to lose ourselves and be transported to another world

 

BIO

Claire was born in Coventry, England. She trained in stage-management at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, and has lived in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. After working for several years in British theatre (where she fought for, and won, the right to become the first female stagehand at the Royal National Theatre), she became a writer for the Rough Guides travel series. In 2008, Claire conceived and edited the book, The Art of Living: a Practical Guide to Being Alive, the profits from which are donated to Green Cross International. The book includes contributions from The Dalai Lama, Michael Douglas, Desmond Tutu, Richard Branson, and Mikhail Gorbachev. In 2015 she founded and created the Rocaberti Writers’ Retreats, held in medieval castles in Europe, where talented screenwriters seeking to break into the film business are matched with industry experts to help mentor them. She is also the writer and executive producer of the upcoming feature film, ROSES, and has recently written, directed and produced the short THIRTY MINUTES (2020), starring Lúcia Moniz (of LOVE, ACTUALLY).

 

 

 

Your film is a tender and profound portrait of solitude. In your film, sex becomes the metaphor of a desperate search for relationships, but it is evident that physical union does not always correspond to a spiritual one. How did the idea for this film come about? What types of loneliness have you been dealing with? 

 

 The idea for the film came about, after I once spent 10 days by myself, without speaking to another living person and one day, as I was walking along by the sea, the idea of exchanging sex for conversation just popped into my head. And then, I started to develop  it further…

 

Romance and delicacy seem to offer a way out for the protagonist of your film. Do you believe that love completes people? 

 

It is not only the relationship with Oliver that helps Lucy, the protagonist, as a way out from her solitude but rather, it is her increasing awareness (through the trees) of the interconnectedness of all living beings, which helps her – the fine matrix of consciousness which holds everything and everyone together: The Shimmering Beauty, as she calls it.
I don’t believe that love in itself completes people, no – though I do believe it adds a beautiful, magical dimension to life! Rather, it is our union with the Divine, which helps give us a sense of completeness – of feeling whole.
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Contemporary digital society has atomized people, isolating them in a chaos of digital communications that often do not coincide with as many human relationships. Do you think that over the years, this modernity has influenced your artistic gaze? 
 

 
That’s a very good observation, although I wouldn’t say that digital society in itself has influenced my outlook directly, but rather indirectly.  I would say, however, that it may have made me – subconsciously, at least – aware of just the very opposite: that we are in fact, profoundly interconnected and communicating with one another on deeper, more subtle levels.
 

 
Your film is incredibly refined and the aesthetic structure of the film seems to complete the narrative. Your touch is evidently mature and talented. Some directorial choices are strong and clear and a very well-defined artistic personality emerges…

 

 

Thank you very much! (I had to smile when I read that, as it is my very first film and I was literally learning as I went along, but thank you for the huge compliment!)

 

 

What was your artistic path? And what advice would you give to young directors who approach the world of cinema for the first time?

 

I began as a theatre stage-manager, then a travel writer, then wrote a few short novels, then a feature screenplay and then a short play, and then the screenplay for ‘Thirty Minutes’.  I don’t really feel hugely qualified, to be honest, to give advice to young first-time directors, seeing as it is my first film, however, I would encourage anyone with a vision to go for it, with 100% determination and to not let anyone or anything deter them — especially their own self-doubts!!