Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Happy St Andrew's Day!

Today is St. Andrew's Day and although I am no longer living in Scotland, indeed perhaps because of it, St. Andrew's Day has made me remember all the things I love about my home country.  The mountains, the forests, Glasgow, Fife fishing villages, Skye, the history, the arts and culture, and of course family and friends.

I liked this wee animation on Scotland.org which gives a brief history of the story of St Andrew.

I just posted a photo on my work Twitter as well - via our Twitpic.  Zoe, the other film cataloguer I work with, set up the Twitter and we both use it to post stills from the films we're cataloguing.  It's useful if we're stuck on identifying a place or building as we can post an image and get help from other people!
The photo I've posted, of the Forth Rail Bridge, is somewhere I'll be seeing soon as we're off back up to Fife at Christmas time.

I'm in the process of writing a longer post about my new job - which I'm really enjoying! - but the dark nights are holding me back as I struggle to get the laptop out and do any work when I get home!  I'll get it finished and posted soon though.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Giving thanks

This post is a slight departure from usual in that it has nothing to do with archives and not much to do with film.

I've been reading a lot of interviews with Apichatpong Weerasethakul recently about his recently released film Uncle Boonmee who can recall his past lives.  The interviews have really struck me as, as well as coming across like a really nice guy, Weerasethakul makes some really simple but incredibly profound and meaningful statements.  I just like his simple way of wording things and some of his words came to my mind yesterday when I got the terribly sad news that a friend of a friend had recently passed away.  I knew Jose too and having seen him only a few months ago found the news very hard to take in.  He loved Thailand and was planning to return there to live and work so it seems fitting that the words of Weerasethakul gave me some comfort. 

This is the section that came to my mind when I got the sad news:

‘So, we are going to die right, you and I?’ opens Apichatpong Weerasethakul conversationally. ‘One day we are all going to turn to dust. But we will not disappear,’ he adds reassuringly.
‘We just integrate and transform into other things. In classical reincarnation you are reborn into another animal but I believe it’s more like an energy, what Buddhists call a transmigration of souls. The idea we connect with everything: with the sunlight, the Earth, the animals – we are all recycled. That’s what I’m interested in.’

It's not like I hadn't heard these ideas before, in fact it fits in with my beliefs, but I think to read it in the Metro newspaper on a crowded tube on the way to work just really hit home how powerful and how complex these simple sentiments really are.

To finish this post I though I would use a beautiful image which my mum drew, with some inspirational words from Thich Nhat Hanh which she used as the centerpiece.  She used to have it hanging on her bedroom wall so she would read the words every morning when she woke.  I don't have this up on our wall yet but I do try and remember to smile first thing when I wake up and give thanks in that way, through a quick thought and a smile.  

So I just thought that on this day of Thanksgiving in America I would take the opportunity to write a few words to give thanks for love, for friendship and for this beautiful world we live in.  Jose's energy will live on through his friends and family and all the people he has met along the way.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Rethinking Lindsay Anderson

I am really looking forward to this evening 'Rethinking Lindsay Anderson' at the BFI Southbank on Tuesday 23 November.  It will be a screening of a number of his early documentaries, including Idlers That Work (1949) (New Print), Henry (1955) (New Print) and Foot and Mouth (1955).  I'm sure it will be really interesting to see these films, some of which I haven't seen before. I'm also really looking forward to the panel discussion with Walter Lassally (cinematographer who worked with Anderson on Wakefield Express, Three Installations, Thursday's Children, A Hundred Thousand Children, Henry, Green and Pleasant Land, Foot and Mouth, The Children Upstairs and Every Day Except Christmas), Erik Hedling (film scholar who wrote 'Lindsay Anderson, Maverick Filmmaker) and Lois Smith (a lifelong friend of Lindsay Anderson's who provided his entry into filmmaking by inviting him to make a film at the factory her husband ran (this film was Meet the Pioneers 1948).