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GSFF2016 Experience 3 - Alison Piper and Stalactites

Alison here again - thanks to everyone who came down for Scottish Competition 2 last night, what a great showcase! My mum got so excited she dropped her glasses case down the back of the bleachers so i’ll have to climb under there today and find it. Mums. Love a mum. I think she tried to give my film a 6 out of 5 before she’d even seen it.

So today I feel really great about the screening, It’s something i’m enjoying more in retrospect because I was still very nervous about sitting down with friends and family, and watching something that i’d created. I'm sure that If I do this again it will be easier and I’ll feel less self conscious. Looking back I had a great time - I tried really really hard not to move a muscle during the Q&A because i’ve been told i’m a nervous fidgeter, but I think I pulled it off and remained static. Having my friends in the back row to glance at now and again was really calming, so thanks to all of my gang who turned up! Also cheers to Michael Wilson for coming to see my film in the afternoon delegate screening and making me laugh with his attempt to quietly eat a bagel and not rustle during the quiet parts (this didn’t work.) In Review - The documentaries were outstanding. I’m a bit biased because Frederik Subei and I shared a flat with a couple of artists recently and he’s a good pal, but his film is so beautiful and important, and what he went through to share Teefa’s story is incredibly brave. Mining Poems or Odes is an artwork, I love poetry, words, prose, and Callum’s film was such a gorgeous testament to the power of our lexicon. I’m not surprised that it was BAFTA nominated (and winner of the Scottish BAFTA best short film last year.) The animation was just right, humorous, short and sweet and I can’t believe they made it in 48hrs! I bet nobody slept. Finally, I know a film like this will divide an audience but I just loved Mark Cousin’s film ‘Your Eyes Flashing Solemnly With Hate.’ For me, Cousins made some really feminist choices by depicting a man’s relationship with his body in a way that was intimate but not highly sexualised out of context. I've been struggling to decide how I feel about Bryan M. Fergusson’s work and the way he depicts the nude female form, and I think that Cousin’s work really responded to the way that men’s bodies are rarely celebrated on screen in a way that isn’t corny. His vision was so refreshing because i’m just a bit sick of looking at tits. They’re just tits, alright? Most of us have got them and they’re really not that shocking. I think that Fergusson is making some really interesting work that nobody else in Scotland is making, and I think his stylisation is strong - he's definitely built an aesthetic. A lot of people are talking about his work whether they like it or not, so hats off to him for creating those conversations. It won't surprise me at all if he’s making high end features in the next few years, but I’m not 100% on board myself. In regard to 'Flamingo' his new film, Fergusson's leading lady so obviously owns her body, it’s great to see her being comfortable in her own skin, and the film is essentially about body modification, our relationship with our limbs and how we feel about them sexually, so in context the nudity is totally valid - but why is she the only one naked? Why don’t we see the male lead naked? Maybe Fergusson isn’t turned on by cocks or doesn’t think they’re shocking enough but If he continues to make work i’d like to see it become more gender balanced. Most of the nude scenes were in context, but, at one point she takes her top off in a launderette for no other reason other than to show the audience her naked breasts. It felt voyeuristic and pointless. Less tits more cock please Bryan. Today i’m going to see International 5 and the SuperLux Pitch where i’ll be cheering on Rachel McBrinn as she pitches her new work for Hidden Door Festival. Cannae wait! Here’s a photo of me trying to sit still and not talk gumph.

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