As the eleventh edition of Alchemy’s Hawick-based festival of experimental film moves online due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, its programme features 171 works of film and artists’ moving image. These span live screenings, an on demand programme, exhibitions and new commissions, plus talks and events to accompany them. Highlights include -
Charlie Chaplin Lived Here
Saturday May 1st, 3pm-4.15pm, and on demand with audio description for blind and partially sighted audiences.
Set in London in 1969, Louise S. Milne and Seán Martin’s new film focuses on the parallel lives of two great film-makers who never quite meet, as Chaplin visits his old haunts incognito, while Scottish film-maker Bill Douglas and his friend Peter Jewell makes a student film about Chaplin’s childhood and early years in the city. Douglas would go on to direct his famed trilogy of short films – My Childhood, My Ain Folk, and My Way Home- based loosely on Jewell’s life, as well as his only feature, Comrades (1986), prior to his death in 1991. Milne and Martin fuse archive footage and reimaginings of Douglas and Jewell’s film to create a piece of impressionistic visual poetry.
Jason Moyes- Attention Red
As part of Alchemy’s on demand Focus programme, Jason Moyes presents sixteen bite-size films made over the last seven years. These use the landscapes on his doorstep in Denholm in the Scottish Borders to explore its less sung corners by way of a mix of Super 8 and digital means. Stop-motion animation and home movies also feature in the mix across works ranging from the sightseeing subversions of B is for Berwick(2014) to From Scotland with Love(2020), in which choreography is slowed down and given new meaning
The Crumple Zone
Again shown on demand as part of Focus, this programme of nine artists based in the Scottish Borders and South of Scotland takes its title from a line in Unconformity, playwright Jules Horne’s elemental meditations on land and sea. Other works featured include Findhorn, Hawick based photographer Douglas McBride’s close up study of the Moray based village, while James Wyness stays indoors with Crusts, an obsessive study of leftover toast and the daily domestic routines it abstracts. Other films featured are Mist, by Sue Thomas; Rue du Dernier Adieu, by Mark Lyken; Emerge Like Wraiths, by Richard Skelton; Kashiri (가시리) 2020, by Sukjin Kim; Overturn, by Mooie Scott; and Whispers of Waiting, by Jane Houston Green.
Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2021 runs from April 21st– May 2nd, and is free to view online at www.alchemyfilmandarts.org.uk