BLACK MOUNTAIN POETS

BLACK MOUNTAIN POETS (2016)

Which is the greatest attraction, the hills or the man?
Which is the greatest attraction, the hills or the man?

After getting rumbled trying to steal a JCB in Cardiff, two sisters, Clare and Lisa, do a runner in the middle of the night and find themselves lost in the Black Mountains of South Wales. When they run out of petrol they steal a car from two other sisters, ‘The Wilding Sisters’ who are on their way to a poets’ retreat in the mountains. They then take on the identity of the Wilding Sisters at the retreat and pretend to be the much revered poets.

As part of the retreat, the participants go camping in the mountains for inspiration, but the whole trip seems to centre around which of the female poet wannabees will win the affections of Richard, the shy, handsome hunk poet on the retreat.

That is pretty much all you need to know about the plot, mainly because that is the plot.

Filmed over five days on a shoestring budget this is a film mainly improvised with a minimal script. This could be a recipe for disaster but luckily the cast manage to pull it off. There are no outrageous side splitting laughs, but you will be chuckling almost from start to finish, with the occasional laugh out loud.

Don’t expect any decent poetry, because there is none. Many of the chuckles come from the dreadful cringe-worthy poetry from the middle class characters, many of who are more inspired by the idea of being ‘a poet’ than actual poetry. One of the best pieces of oratory is when a till receipt from a shop is read out dramatically.

In one scene one of the Wilding Sisters has a psychedelic experience from eating mushrooms, although how this happens is not clear cos they are not actually magic mushrooms. There is beautiful scenery but disappointingly we do not get to see some of the real beauty of the Black Mountains. There always seems to be the sound of cars, so we don’t think they wandered too far off the beaten track to make the film. But hey, this is nit-picking in the extreme, because it is difficult to find any other faults with this charming home grown film. It proves that you don’t need a budget to match the gross domestic product of a small country to make a decent film.

Dir: Jamie Adams. With: Alice Lowe, Dolly Wells, Tom Cullen, Richard Elis. –

Movie official website
*currently showing in Chapter Arts until 7th April 2016

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