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Title: Demons in the Machine: Experimental Film, Poetry and Modernism in Twentieth-Century Scotland
Author(s): Neely, Sarah
Riach, Alan
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Editor(s): Murray, Jonathan
Farley, Fidelma
Stoneman, Rod
Citation: Neely S & Riach A (2009) Demons in the Machine: Experimental Film, Poetry and Modernism in Twentieth-Century Scotland. In: Murray Jonathan, Farley Fidelma, Stoneman Rod (ed.). Scottish Cinema Now, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 1-19.
Keywords: Experimental Film
Issue Date: Mar-2009
Abstract: First paragraph: Avant-garde practices in Scotland have often been overshadowed by the dominance of a strong documentary tradition, and discussions of Scottish filmmaking are generally concerned with debates around national identity. These tendencies work to obscure the achievements of a number of important local filmmakers linked to the international avant-garde. This chapter will explore the work of two such figures: Orcadian poet, painter and filmmaker, Margaret Tait (1918-1999) and Scots-Italian writer, academic and amateur filmmaker Enrico Cocozza (1921-1997). Both attended Centro Sperimentale di Cinematographia in Rome in the early 1950s, Tait after serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Cocozza after serving as an interpreter for Italian prisoners in the Army. Their poetic approach to filmmaking was admired by artists, other filmmakers, writers and, unsurprisingly, poets. Hugh MacDiarmid, who served as a subject for one of Tait’s film portraits, published some of her written poetry and wrote about her in his article, ‘Intimate Filmmaking in Scotland’ (1960). Edwin Morgan favourably reviewed Tait’s poems and later wrote a poem in tribute to Cocozza. Both Tait and Cocozza, to varying extents, were influenced by poetry, occasionally adapting and referencing the work of well-known poets in their own films.
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this book chapter in this Repository. The chapter was first published in Scottish Cinema Now by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.; Published with the permission of Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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