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REBEL LANDSCAPES:  an evening of film and folklore


St Paul's Church, Leith, Edinburgh.

The Rebel Landscapes programme has been drawn from the Scottish Screen Archive's extensive collection and we have chosen to screen short films that explore themes relating specifically to folklore. Local traditions, dances, crafts, fishing, crofting and music all feature, as does the landscape. But as well as the unquestionable beauty of Scottish vistas, we wanted to represent the flip- side of the coin: the brutality of natural processes and the trials faced by the rural dwellers who struggled to draw a living from the land.
We wanted to avoid the blind reverence and nostalgia that is endemic to most archive-themed events, and have challenged our musical collaborators to create soundtracks that would not just jauntily accompany the films, but actively interact with the images to tease out a particular strand of meaning or follow a wild, unexpected tangent.
We have decided to project the programme from archival 16mm prints, believing that the aesthetic inherent in actual reels of film offers a very tangible and direct sense of connection with the people and places etched into the faded celluloid. We very much hope this dynamic fusion of ideas, themes and visuals will also provoke reflection on the part of the viewer.

The event is a 'tip of the hat' to folklore in all of its many manifestations, but crucially it is a celebration of the forgotten faces and unspoken lives of 'ordinary' people, whose existences and ways now appear alien, distant and utterly extraordinary. It is an opportunity for a contemporary audience to bring their enthusiasm to the continuation of the strong, sturdy legacy of Scottish folklore, archival film and the rebellious, rambunctious music of the people.

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