Being in a Place – A Portrait of Margaret Tait
Drawing on a wealth of unseen archival material and unpublished notebooks, the film weaves a complex and personal portrait of Margaret Tait’s life, from the perspective of a fellow artist sensitive to the potential she envisaged for film as a poetic medium. At the centre of the work is an unrealised script for a feature film discovered amongst Margaret’s documents in Orkney titled, Heartlandscape: Being in a place – a document of a landscape, and, in Tait’s words, the ‘intimations of ephemerality’ to be found there.
Presented in collaboration with Open City Documentary Festival, London
Luke Fowler attends and attunes to Tait’s legacy with subtlety and astuteness, creating a cinematic ode to the filmmaker as much as a correspondence across time. The depth of research by Fowler and co-producer, Tait scholar Sarah Neely, comes through with precision without precluding a sense of ease and spontaneity. Intimacy abounds, especially in the moving sound composition which weaves in fragments from Tait’s tape recordings. In the same way that Tait was interested to capture the emergence of things, whether clear or imperceptible, this film illuminates the visions and processes behind her filmmaking practices. As with his other “portrait films”, Fowler creates a sketch of remarkable intensity that is also a vibrant echo, evoking at once its source and the places it touches and travels through.
~ Ilinca Vanau
Scottish artist, filmmaker and musician Luke Fowler (1978) has developed a practice that is at the same time singular and collaborative, poetic and political, structural and documentary, archival and deeply human. With an emphasis on communities of people, outward thinkers and the history of the left, his 16mm films tell the stories of alternative movements in Britain, from psychiatry to photography to music to education. Whilst some of his early films dealt with music and musicians as subjects, in later works sound itself becomes a key concern. (Maria Palacios Cruz)
Being In A Place (2022), For Dan (2021), Patrick (2020), Cézanne (2019), Enceindre (2018), Mum’s Cards (2018), Depositions (2014), To the Editor of Amateur Photographer (2014) with Mark Fell, The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the deluded followers of Joanna Southcott (2012), All Divided Selves (2011), A Grammar For Listening Parts 1-3 (2009) with Lee Patterson, Éric La Casa and Toshiya Tsunoda, Tenement Films (2009), An Abbeyview Film (2008), Bogman Palmjaguar (2008), Pilgrimage From Scattered Points (2006), The Way Out (2003) with Kosten Koper, What You See Is Where You’re At (2001)