(1996; 27 min. USA) text by H.D.

""Lily in Limbo" presents a one-woman tour-de-force by Sylvi Alli as an artist whose self-imposed isolation corrupts her senses into a state of bitterness and delusion. In her solitude, she loses herself in a series of bizarre dreams thick with haunting images and disturbing sounds (Sylvi created the film's quirky score), while the unlikely delivery of a curious birthday gift disrupts her comfortable world. A fascinating essay of a lost soul who is uncertain whether rescue is something she really wants." -- PHIL HALL for





"A (small) epic poem about a woman’s spiritual quest, the film is a collaboration between Sylvi and Antero Alli. Sylvi performs in the film as well, and it also features her music on the soundtrack. The film is set to excerpts from H.D.’s visionary poem “Trilogy.” A woman wavers back and forth between her waking life and a complex dream she is trying to recall. The dream footage, shot mostly on grainy, pulsating film, contrasts nicely with the crisp black and white video imagery of her waking life, alone in her apartment. In the haunting dream images, she wanders through an abandoned building, down a lone pier, and gazes into a mirror at an altar.

The images poetically address her quest to break out of her overly brittle, confining concept of who she is. It is her birthday, and gorgeous images of water symbolize her rebirth. (She’s a Pisces.) An uncanny event near the film’s end connects her waking life to her dream. The film ends with a stunning, poetic sequence, which depicts something I would have thought impossible to capture on film: the sensation when one lets go of preconceptions, and one is flooded with a feeling of spiritual enlightenment. This is depicted, quite accurately, through the images of flowers opening, superimposed over images of a lava flow, in which the elements of earth, fire, air and water are all intermingled."

-- from the review by DAVID FINKELSTEIN for (4 stars; 7/13/2010)


Featuring SYLVI ALLI as "Lily". Photographed & directed by
ANTERO ALLI. Story and editing by SYLVI and ANTERO ALLI.
Text by HILDA DOOLITTLE (H.D.) from "Trilogy". Additional
text by SYLVI and ANTERO ALLI. Soundtrack by SYLVI ALLI.
Produced by VERTICAL POOL (1996; 27 minutes, USA)

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