TradFest Filmhouse Creative Scotland Transgressive North

Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network

Folk Fim Gathering

PLAY ME SOMETHING

 

Timothy Neat  |  Scotland, 1989  |  72 minutes  |  Rated 15

 

Featuring Hamish Henderson, Tilda Swinton, Liz Lochhead and Margaret Bennett, Play Me Something is one of the great, unsung gems of Scottish cinema. Beginning with the arrival of a mysterious stranger at Barra airport, Timothy Neat’s film stages a playful celebration of oral storytelling and international solidarity that roots Scottish folk tradition within a truly global perspective.

 

The film was preceded by When the Song Dies (Jamie Chambers / Scotland, 2013 / 15 minutes), a poetic documentary featuring Norman Maclean, Margaret Bennett, and the late Sheila Stewart MBE, about community memory and the Scottish oral tradition.

UP THE JUNCTION

 

Ken Loach  |  England, 1965  |  72 minutes  |  Rated 12

 

One of Ken Loach’s early films for the BBC, Up the Junction is a ‘breathless’ celebration of working class culture old and new, set in 60’s Clapham. Mixing cine-verite style docu-drama with Loach’s staple social commentary, Up the Junction places the lives of a group of young women within the stories of their wider community, amidst an exuberant evocation of oral culture and popular music.

 

The film was preceded by The Shutdown (Adam Stafford / Scotland, 2009 / 10 minutes), a poetic documentary focussing on Scottish playwright Alan Bissett’s memories of his father’s work at the Grangemouth Oil Refinery.

DREAM ON

 

Amber  |  England. 1991  |  115 minutes  |  Rated 15

 

Tyneside’s Amber Collective are one of the most important and under-appreciated forces in British cinema, creating images of working class and subaltern life that are startling in their rare, hard-won sense of integrity and authenticity. Dream On charts the fortunes of three women on a pub darts team in North Shields amidst the shake-up when a mysterious stranger comes to town. The screening was followed by a Q + A with members of the Amber Collective; Ellin Hare the film’s director, and Peter Roberts, its cinematographer.

 

The film was preceded by Copycat (Sumaiya Alim, Viktoria Karbowniczek, Megan Thomson / Scotland, 2014 / 14 minutes), a short film made by schoolchildren in Prestonpans.

SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS

 

Sergei Parajanov  |  Ukraine, 1965  |  97 minutes  |  Rated 12

 

Sergei Parajanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a one-of-a-kind cinematic folk rhapsody, a dizzying portrayal of the ancient people’s culture of the Carpathian mountains. The story of star-crossed lovers Ivan and Marichka accounts for only half of the film, which moves outwards to encompass the multi-layered perspective of the onlooking folk. Costume, dance, song and gossipy orality combine with some of the most spectacular imagery ever caught on camera to create an unmissable slice of pure cinema.

 

The film was preceeded by The Fisherman’s Daughter (Tom Chick / Scotland, 2011 / 7 minutes), a cine-poem based on the Scottish storyteller Duncan's story Williamson of a girl who falls in love with a selkie.

KAOS

 

Taviani Brothers  |  Italy, 1984  |  188 minutes  |  Rated 15

 

Based on the short stories of Pirandello, Kaos marries Italian cinematic neorealism with the lyricism of folk tales, among them the story of the bride who discovers her husband is a werewolf on their wedding night, and the hapless landlord who becomes stuck in an enormous clay pot. Effortlessly combining the comic, the tragic, the uncanny and the profound, Kaos is a rich, kaleidoscopic work of folk cinema.

CELESTIAL WIVES OF THE MEADOW MARI

 

Alexey Fedorchenko  |  Russia, 2012  |  106 minutes  |  Advised rating 15

 

The second feature from Alexey Fedorchenko and Denis Osokin, Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari plays as a series of cinematic folk tales, each focussing on a woman from the Mari people whose name begins with ‘O’. Equal parts absurd, hilarious, tragic and surreal, Celestial Wives is a joyous and profound celebration of the feminine as filtered through folk tale.

 

The film was preceded by Cailleach (Rosie Reed Hillman / Scotland, 2014 / 14 minutes), a short documentary about an elderly woman on the Isle of Harris who lives alone with her sheep.

A LETTER FROM MY VILLAGE

 

Safi Faye  |  Senegal, 1976  |  90 minutes  |  Advised rating PG

 

An artful fusion of the political and the poetic, Safi Faye’s first film situates the local within the global, focusing on the daily lives of community members from the director’s Senegalese hometown, Fad’jal. The first feature by a Sub-Saharan African woman to gain international distribution, Kaddu Beykat mounts a powerful critique on colonial administration, looking outwards from individual lives and livelihoods in Fad’jal to the wider issues which overshadow them.

 

The film was preceded by No Hope for Men Below (Adam Stafford / Scotland, 2014 / 11 minutes), a docu-drama about the Redding pit disaster, featuring a Scots dialect voiceover from Scottish poet Janet Paisley.

FOLK FILM GATHERING  |  2015 SCREENINGS

Play Me Something - programme notes Up The Junction - programme notes Dream On - programme notes Celestial Wives - programme notes KAOS - programme notes Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors - programme notes