Saturday, February 19, 2011

Herzog, Margins and the Makar - a typical Friday in Glasgow!

What great Friday night in Glasgow. Started off going to see The Cave of Forgotten Dreams as part of the the rather fabulous Glasgow Film Festival. I am a big fan of Werner Herzog and for fans of his work you will not be disappointed. Beautifully shot, beautifully lit and, as usual, he manages to track down some extra ordinarily quirky interviewees. I think his skill is that he likes to operate in areas that are unique or on the edge ( or should I say Margins!) and these tend to attract people with true passion, some might say obsession, and as a result their enthusiasm comes across as engagingly quirky in an increasingly bland and homogenized world. Herzog's commentary is oddly riveting and delivered in his trademark monotone that always promises more. The music was rather dronaly fabulous even without the contribution of the late Florian Fricke, so all in all a joy to watch in a very full cinema.

But – and it is a very big but, the film is 3D and so I was double glazed with a pair of Buddy Holly specs on top of my own bins in anticipation of my first filmick experience of 3D. I can only describe it as dreadful. Its not my first experience of 3D having watched a rugby match on the TV rendered though an interface that frankly reminds me of the give away 3D pictures that would occasionally be given away in breakfast cereal packets as a kid.

Blurred at the extremity, unsettling as prominent features go out of shot but, more than anything else, really headache inducing. Now, being a glasses wearer I am familiar with the experience of collecting a new pair of glasses with a changed prescription and the somewhat unsettling drunkenness that occurs as your eyes become accustomed to the new lenses. Your eye balls ache as they strain to settle and frankly it is not an experience I like. Well watching 3D was much the same. Ultimately it was so distracting and uncomfortable I simply took them off and watched it without the 3D and you know what – it was better.

As a glasses wearer I am very comfortable with a bit of blur so the film frankly seemed entirely acceptable to me. I have actually seem 2D films badly projected look a lot worse. The maximum blurring comes on the exterior long shots and, as these were not the main revelation of the film, it really lost nothing. The cave paintings themselves looked no different, or if any change was perceptible the lighting was better without glasses.

Great film but Werner, hear me, 3D sucks - big time.

So onward and upward and after a bag of chips from the legendary Blue Lagoon on the way to my next appointment Margins festival at Stereo in Renfield Lane. Fantastic venue and great event. Margins – for those that don't know - is the brainchild of the founder of Gargo publishing Mark Buckland and he deserves a great deal of praise for his vision and persistence in making it happen.

Now we at TESCAPE can only be excited about a spoken word event and this did not disappoint. Coming in the run up to Aye Write I think of this more as a Wee Speak. I was late, well crowded and hectic schedule, and arrived too late to hear Annelliese Mackintosh but if the rest of the show was anything to go by she would have been great. I caught Alan Bissett – fantastic and finely observed reading very well received by the audience. Top of the bill the wonderful Liz Lochhead – Scotland's very own Makar. She was sensational, with the Newly Married miner being my particular favourite.

Margins is still running till Sunday and for a £1 entry its not to be missed. To really top it the bar man looked strikingly like Rufus Sewell – maybe he is resting at present – and I swear he was replaced at some point in the eventing by Juliette Binnoche. Maybe my eyes deceived me, maybe it was the effect of those darned 3D glasses, maybe I was just having too much fun.

Ans so on to a late supper with a few friends – you know with Fridays like this living in the city of Scotland with Style is pretty damned good.