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Unimaginable Acts: Writer/Director Mark Jenkin and Actor Mary Woodvine on the 16mm-Shot “Folk Horror” Picture, Enys Men

A white woman wearing a blue cardigan and tan slacks stands on the roof of a moss-covered brick house surrounded by shrubbery.Mary Woodvine in Enys Men, courtesy of NEON

Enys Men—British filmmaker Mark Jenkin’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight-premiering follow-up to his 2019 BAFTA-winning breakthrough, Bait, for which he hand-processed the film—is set in coastal Cornwall at the extreme southwestern tip of England, amid jagged cliffs and crashing waves. On a rocky and profoundly isolated island (the Cornish title means “stone island”) is its lone human occupant (Mary Woodvine, in a spellbinding performance), a woman of obscure purpose whose daily routine the camera dutifully catalogs—the monitoring of soil temperature at a specific site and the ritual drop of a pebble into an abandoned mine shaft, along with less cryptic activities—until semblances […]

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