The British Council in London recently had an interview with the Festival curator Mark Cousins. Please click here to read more.
The first photo on the left is taken by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
The first Scottish Film Festival in China featured 12 Scottish films at the China Film Archive and the Beijing Film Academy. Each screening was introduced in person by producer Mark Cousins and Oscar winner Tilda Swinton. Public screenings were from 20-23 March at the China Film Archive, which had been transformed into a “movie forest” to add a uniquely Scottish flavour to the cinema-goer’s experience. Please click here and book the free tickets.
Dates: 20-23, 25-27 March 2009
- China Film Archive (3 Wenhui Lu, Haidian district)
- Beijing Film Academy (Xueyuan Lu, Haidian district)
- The Scottish Government (www.scotland.cn)
- British Council (operating as the Culture and Education Section of the British Embassy Beijing)
- China Film Archive and Beijing Film Academy
With support from:
- Scottish Screen
- University of Edinburgh
- Edinburgh Napier University
- the British Film Institute
Welcome to the Scottish Cinema of Dreams in China!
What do you imagine when you think of Scotland? Tartan, perhaps, or whisky, or scenery or golf. Great! These are strong aspects of our culture. But there are other pictures of Scotland that could come to your mind’s eye. For example, film. Scotland has helped shape world cinema. It has refreshed it.
How? In 7 ways:
(1) It was an ardent Scot, John Grierson, who helped formulate the documentary genre.
(2) One of the greatest film animators - who taught in China - was the brilliant, shy, innovative pacifist Norman McLaren.
(3) One of the classic movie stars of the last half of the 20th Century, Sean Connery, was born and bred in Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh.
(4) Then there's the fact that a lovely gentle strain of comic mysticism or surrealism runs through some of the best Scottish movies, such as Whisky Galore, I Know Where I'm Going!, Gregory's Girl, Local Hero and Ratcatcher.
(5) Scotland produced two of the world's great auteur directors - Bill Douglas and Bill Forsyth. Many cinema critics now believe that Bill Douglas's films are as good as the best of Sergei Eisenstein.
(6) The Edinburgh International Film Festival, now in its 62nd year, was not only one of the first movie festivals in the world, it helped define what a maverick film festival should be.
(7) the New Scottish Cinema of the 1990s and since has been full of verve.
We're excited by this plenitude, and want to share it with you, so close your eyes and imagine this:
A while ago, we were walking through a forest at midnight. The moon was out. The air was charged with the smell of Scots pine trees. The only sound was birdsong. It was like a dream, a story book for children. Suddenly, we came across a half-buried trunk. We prised open its heavy lid and found, within, some of the great treasures of Scottish cinema, plus a few music surprises.
Imagine, now, that we have recreated that forest in the great China Film Archive and we will show the wonderful films we found. We’re delighted to be in your remarkable city, Beijing, and hope that these films will open a window on our world. You will find first love in the films in this forest, and infectious humour, tragedy and human coldness, pride and some hubris, human gentleness and the exquisite beauty of cinema. We hope that you will see something of your self in these movies, as we do in the great Chinese films.
Welcome to Scotland!
Mark Cousins and Tilda Swinton
Please click here to read the synopsis of every film.
China Film Archive Film Programme (20-23 March 2009)
Telephone inquiry: +86 010 51924225
|20 Mar 19:00
||I Know Where I’m Going! (1945)
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
|21 Mar 15:30
Director: Peter Watkins
|21 Mar 18:00
||Portrait of Ga (1955)
||Touch the Sound (2004)
Director: Thomas Riedelsheimer
|22 Mar 15:30
||Seaward the Great Ships (1960)
Director: John Grierson
Begone Dull Care (1949)
Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1993)
Director: Peter Capaldi
||The Bill Douglas Trilogy
My Childhood (1972)
My Ain Folk (1973)
My Way Home (1978)
Director: Bill Douglas
|23 Mar 19:00
||Space Travel According to John (2008)
Director: Lynne Ramsay
- Stills from ‘Culloden’ and the Bill Douglas Trilogy
Please credit ‘British Film Institute’ or ‘BFI’
- Poster photo of Tilda Swinton
Please credit any use of this photo (however manipulated) to Jean-Baptiste Mondino
- Stills from ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’, ‘Gasman’, ‘Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘Neighbours’ and ‘Space Travel’
No credit required