Hugh MacDiarmid – A Portrait by Margaret Tait

A film by Margaret Tait
Poem by High MacDiarmid

Margaret Tait is one of my favourite filmmakers. She was a visual poet, and to me her films tell stories and convey emotions without standard linear narratives and setups. Whatever you think of the subject, this short film made in 1964 about the Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid is a warm and intimate tribute to the man and his work.

Born in Orkney in 1918, Margaret Tait originally trained in Medicine at Edinburgh University, then went on to study film in Rome. She returned to Edinburgh and set up Ancona Films on Rose Street, from where she made a number of amazing shorts. Tait made 32 films, self financing all but three of them herself, and died in Orkney in 1999

I urge you to also go on the Scottish Screen Archive website and watch Rose Street by Margaret Tait, which is a beautiful film. It’s available to watch online at the SSA but I can’t embed it.

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