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The Films of Margaret Tait: Portraits, Poetry, Sound and Place

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Sarah Neely

Margaret Tait – filmmaker, photographer, poet, painter, essayist and short story writer – is one of the UK’s most unique and remarkable filmmakers. She was the first female filmmaker to create a feature-length film in Scotland (Blue Black Permanent, 1992). Although for most of her career Tait remained focused on the goal of making a feature-length film, her most notable and groundbreaking work was arguably as a producer of short films. The originality of her work, and its refusal to accept perceived barriers of genre, media and form, continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers.

This book aims to address the lack of sustained attention given to Tait’s large body of work, offering a contextualisation of Tait’s films within a general consideration of Scottish cinema and artists’ moving image. Furthermore, the book’s grounding in detailed archival research offers new insights into Scotland (and Britain) in the twentieth century, relating to a diverse range of subjects and key figures, such as John Grierson, Forsyth Hardy, Hugh MacDiarmid, Lindsay Anderson and Michael Powell.

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Studies in the History and Culture of Scotland

Valentina Bold, General Editor University of Glasgow

This series presents a new reading of Scottish culture, establishing how Scots, and non-Scots, experience this devolved nation. Within the context of a rapidly changing United Kingdom and Europe, Scotland is engaged in an ongoing process of self-definition. The series will deal with this process as well as with cultural phenomena, from debates about the relative value of Gaelic-based, Scots and Anglicised culture, to period-specific definitions of Scottish identity. Orally transmitted culture – from traditional narratives to songs, customs, beliefs and material culture – will be a key consideration, along with the reconstruction of historical periods in cultural texts (visual and musical as well as historical). Taken as a whole, the series will go some way towards achieving a new understanding of a country with potential for development into parallel treatments of locally based cultural phenomena. The series welcomes monographs as well as collected papers.

Vol. 1 Valentina Bold. James Hogg: A Bard of Nature’s Making. 376 pages. 2007. ISBN 978-3-03910-897-8

Vol. 2 James Porter (ed.). Defining Strains: The Musical Life of Scots In the Seventeenth Century. 386 pages. 2007. ISBN 978-3-03910-948-7

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