Seven linked film ‘poems’, described by Margaret Tait herself as follows: A poem started in words, and referring to distant memories to do with people going or not going to the Spanish Civil war, goes on in the picture (in “Numen of the Boughs”) ; memory gets somewhat lost in the present observation, although it never disappears, and there are reverberations back, even in the brief life of the poppies in “Terra Firma”. Out of one’s own memory and thought one then finds (or arranges) the external scenes which can be filmed and made into something else again. —Scottish Screen Archive
Born in 1918 in Kirkwall on Orkney, Scotland, Margaret Tait qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University 1941. From 1950 to 1952 she studied film at the Centro Sperimentale di Photographia in Rome.
Returning to Scotland she established Ancona Films in Edinburgh’s Rose Street. In the 1960’s Tait moved back to Orkney where over the following decades she made a series of films inspired by the Orcadian landscape and culture. All but three of her thirty two films were self financed. She wrote poetry and stories and produced several books including three books of poetry.
Screenings include National Film Theatre (London), Berlin Film Festival, Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), Arsenal Kino (Berlin), Pacific Film Archives (San Francisco), Knokke le Zoute, Delhi and Riga. Tait was accorded a retrospective at the 1970 Edinburgh Film Festival and has been the subject of profiles on BBC and Channel Four.
The feature length Blue Black Permanent (1993) opened the Edinburgh… read more