The Planets Align...

It’s now become increasingly clear that spring, summer and beyond are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For students of disaster capitalism one thing’s certain: the poor and vulnerable will suffer most, for as Warren Buffett reminds us, “it’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” In this case, as the situation worsens, it’s our politicians who will be called to account. And yet, I fear, nothing will change.

If I thought Brexit, austerity and climate catastrophe made the business of film seem trivial it’s contradictory to suggest film is more necessary than ever but having glimpsed a world devoid of culture – with venues closed, shows cancelled and film and TV production postponed or ceased it’s not a prospect to relish.

~ continue

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Tales from Europe...

Broken politics, broken society and a broken planet: a premise for a movie I don’t particularly want to see, let alone make. On TV there’s an air of unreality about the State of Things when charity ads compete with exhortations to spend and when some survive on less than a living wage while others don’t survive at all.

I’m not in the habit of making New Year resolutions but to mark 2020 my husband and I decided to give up live TV, sealed when the annual reminder for the TV Licence dropped on the mat. While debating whether or not to pay, I thought of my uncle who, when asked why he had no licence replied, “Ours works perfectly well without one.” Not that there was much threat of prosecution since he lived with his family on the fifteenth floor of a Castlemilk high-rise knowing the TV Detector Van, a harbinger of dread in every Glasgow housing scheme, couldn’t detect a device above one storey.

~ continue

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Recovery...

For almost three months I’ve been confined to our spare bedroom following my discharge from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital a.k.a. the Death Star, a foreboding construction that owes little to the study of architecture.

The reason for my admission was as random as it was prosaic – a fall caused by slipping on algae-slicked paving in my back garden. It wasn’t the fall however but the landing that did for me, having torn every ligament in my right knee, an injury that according to my surgeon, Mr. Rooney was rare enough to draw spectators to the second of my two operations.

~ continue

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Dérive, she said...

On opposite walls in my shed currently I have two projects. These take the form of mood boards with photos and quotes scribbled on Post-it notes. On one wall is my long-term project about Tom Polgar, an offshoot of Voyageuse. On the other is my current project, Tilo in Real Life which exists as a set of index cards with handwritten descriptions of each scene.

Elsewhere in the house there’s two-thirds of a script on my laptop and a growing pile of props acquired for the shoot, mainly small electrical items bought off eBay. In my edit suite there’s a set of camera tests shot over the last nine months that are encouraging. Cutting these, I try to convince myself the film’s worth making. It’s strange to be in this position because what else can a filmmaker do after making a film but make another one? I also have a scrawled quote from Kafka that expresses my feelings – You are free, that’s why you are lost.

~ continue

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