You Have Been Watching…Where You’re Meant To Be & Hamish

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At the recent Glasgow Film Festival an unlikely hero emerged in the formidable form of Sheila Stewart, the legendary Scottish folk singer. She is the perhaps surprising link between two of the best films of the year; Ronnie Fraser’s moving and joyous Hamish, a biopic of Hamish Henderson, (more of which below) and Where You’re Meant To Be, Aidan Moffat’s travelogue of Scotland and its traditional music. Sheila Stewart appears in both, and taken together you are left in little doubt that this was a woman of substance who, in refusing to compromise her self, her traditions and her music, leaves a powerful impression onscreen and on the memory of any audience. She certainly had a lasting effect on the two men who are ostensibly the focus of these two films.

Aidan Moffat says early on that the simple idea behind Where You’re Meant To Be was to have a giggle, touring the country and performing his adaptations of Scottish traditional songs. Most of these are originally rooted in the country, part of a rural Scotland that Moffat, and much of modern Scotland, doesn’t easily identify with. At one point he asks why folk songs have to be about hills and heather? Why can’t they be about glass and neon? That’s what he tries to install to into these songs in his own style, and there is little doubt his tongue is firmly in his cheek when he does so (his filmed homages to Tom Weir and Robert The Bruce only confirm this). And then he meets Sheila. Continue reading

Sweet 16: A Preview Of Glasgow Film Festival 2016…

2p8kIQyQIf it’s February it must be raining and it must be the Glasgow Film Festival, surely a marriage made in heaven. Running from 17th – 28th February, it’s a festival which, geographical bias aside, has become one of the very best, and this year’s programme shows a swagger and confidence that befits an event moving comfortably into its second decade.

Here’s just a taste of what’s on offer:

As ever,  there are various categories to guide you to what may be your cup of tea. This year they include Dream Teams On The Silver Scream, Roads To The South: Argentinian Cinema, Window On The World, Local Heroes, Modern Familes, NerdvanaSound & Vision and the always popular FrightFest.

Add to those some very special events at appropriate venues, an opening and closing Gala, celebrations of cinematic anniversaries, a series of talks about the industry, the Glasgow Short Film Festival, the Glasgow Youth Film Festival, and you’ll begin to realise the breadth and depth of what’s on offer, and you should take time to peruse the full programme at your leisure as it offers different potential ‘must sees’ with every read. So much so that you may fear you’ll have to break the bank to enjoy yourself, but there are free showings on offer, as well as a great selection which come under the Festival for a Fiver category. Continue reading