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Soaring Roaring Diving

a film directed by Miriam Harris and Juliet Palmer

Year:  2008   ·  Duration:  6m

Year:  2008
Duration:  6m

Composer:   Juliet Palmer


Soaring Roaring Diving wins Best Experimental Film award at the 2009 Brooklyn International Film Festival.

Co-directed by Miriam Harris and Juliet Palmer, Soaring Roaring Diving is an animated film that intertwines drawing, Super8 footage, collage, and 2D and 3D animation, with a textured soundtrack mixing music and found sounds. Miriam Harris as animator and Juliet Palmer as composer worked closely together, aiming for a sequence in which sound and image are organically intertwined. The film swims and dives in a poetic journey through grief and, ultimately, resurfacing. The title alludes to Virginia Wolf's description of the vicissitudes of both the imagination and of life.

In communicating the perspective of a child and an adult, Harris employs a variety of drawing styles, ranging from loose sketches to more representational images. There are also two drawings by the then four year old daughter of Juliet Palmer, Miriam. A personal, almost diaristic, scrapbook aesthetic echoes the themes of time and personal journeying, and both 2D and 3D animation techniques have been utilized, so that the motifs of journeying possess a spatial dimensionality.

Palmer’s approach to sound is similarly eclectic. Recording with Toronto musician Jean Martin, she has composed a haunting mixture of found sounds, percussion, and voice. Childhood echoes with the tinny percussiveness of a toy xylophone, as well as the voices of young divers at a swimming pool. Palmer sings, mutters, breathes, whistles, and hums while the sounds of paper resonate throughout the work. Ripping, fluttering, crumpling and scribbling, they create a visceral connection between image and sound.

Soaring Roaring Diving was created with the support of the New Zealand Screen Innovation Fund.

The 2009 Brooklyn International Film Festival presented 114 films out of a record-breaking total of 2,770 submissions from 110 countries. BiFF was established in 1998 as the first international competitive film festival in New York. BiFF’s mission is to discover, expose, and promote independent filmmakers while drawing worldwide attention to Brooklyn as a center for cinema.

Performance history

Soundtrack performed by Juliet Palmer