An original kind of tribute’ is what George Mackay Brown called Tait’s 1964 documentary about one of Scotland’s greatest poets; Hugh MacDiarmid.
“A study of the poet, who was seventy-one at the time. There is straightforward material, of him in his own home, and, in addition to speaking his own poems, the poet gracefully enacts the filmmaker’s interpretation of them. The poems heard are ‘You know who I am’, ‘Somersault’, ‘Krang’ and some lines out of ‘The Kind of Poetry I want’. The music is Francis George Scott’s setting of MacDiarmid’s ‘The Eemis Stane’, sung by Duncan Robertson accompanied on the piano by Olive Ogston.” —Luxonline.org.uk
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