November 2018, arsenal cinema

The Cinema I care about is at the level of poetry

PORTRAIT OF GA, 1952

These words come from Scottish artist and filmmaker Margaret Tait (1918–1999), who would have turned 100 on November 11th. With 11 short films on 11.11 and her only feature on 17.11, we are honoring her uniquely poetic work. The unique thing about Tait’s films is their interest in the unspectacular: “Her images are accessible (a thistle is inevitably a thistle), they are of the everyday and, on this level, a representation of things as they are. But the way they are filmed, their rhythmic patterns, their duration, give the images a sense of the mysterious and ambiguity, which suffuse these so-called simple images.” (Alex Pirie) Tait’s independent spirit and her untiring nature are an inspiration for many contemporary filmmakers. She lived in the Orkney Islands, where she worked in a tiny old church – her studio – and edited her last short GARDEN PIECES (1998). (ua)