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Rhythm and Poetry
The films of Margaret Tait

October-November 2018

Unravel the beauty and magic of this distinct poet-filmmaker from Orkney.

Introduction by season curator Peter Todd

Image from The films of Margaret Tait


“A unique and underrated filmmaker, nobody like her”
Ali Smith, Luxonline

Born on Armistice Day 1918 on Orkney, Margaret Tait went to school (and university) in Edinburgh, but always returned to the family home in Kirkwall. After service as a doctor in World War Two, she studied film at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. Returning to Scotland in the early 1950s she made over 30 distinctive films, most self-funded and shot on 16mm. In her 70s she made her only feature, Blue Black Permanent (produced by the BFI), the first by a woman in Scotland. She often quoted García Lorca’s phrase ‘stalking the image’ to define her philosophy and method – the idea that if you look at an object close enough it will speak its nature. On her centenary, we offer you the chance to discover and enjoy Tait’s unique mix of image, sound, rhythm and poetry.

Peter Todd


See our Experimenta strand.

Read Tait’s self-published books of poems, Origins and Elements and Legends and Lyrics, in the BFI Reuben Library.

In collaboration with

Margaret Tait 100

Coordinated by LUX Scotland, University of Stirling, and Pier Arts Centre. With special thanks to



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