Quarantaine | Single screen film | 43 mins | 2019
Quarantaine is Georgina Starr’s most ambitious film project to date. Its title refers to the French word for ‘forty’, and also alludes to the period of enforced isolation commonly known as quarantine. ‘Une quarantaine’ is also the subtitle of the 1976 film Duelle by the French auteur Jacques Rivette, a leading light of the New Wave who has been a regular source of inspiration for Starr, particularly in his predilection for outwardly mismatched but symbiotically connected female leads. Two young women follow each other through arboreal portal into a mysterious parallel universe. Here, within the cloistered walls of a clandestine house of instruction, they join a queue of women at different stages on the path to enlightenment—having their fortunes foretold, and their identities re-cast, as they come under the gaze of a disembodied singing oracle, called Pearl Mama One. Captivating and beguiling, Quarantaine extends Starr’s longstanding fascination with the esoteric and the uncanny. It is also a dazzling meditation on the alternate realities and grand illusions of cinema.
Quarantaine is co-commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Leeds Art Gallery and Glasgow International. With Art Fund support through the Moving Image Fund for Museums. This programme is made possible thanks to Thomas Dane Gallery and a group of private galleries and individuals. Supported by Arts Council England.