JUL 26 WEDNESDAY / 7.30PM / WOLF STUDIO
Public film screening of PLAY ME SOMETHING by Timothy Neat, UK, 72 mins, 1989
"Novelist, poet, playwright, artist, critic and commentator, John Berger is something of a Renaissance man. Here he adds a couple more strings to his bow, collaborating with director Timothy Neat to bring one of his own short stories to the screen, and appearing in the film as the mysterious storyteller: wandering across the sands in black suit and hat, suggesting both an enigmatic man with no name drifted in from the Highlands and Orson Welles avuncular MC in ‘F for Fake’. A story, he says, is like an open ticket, and so it is, as a handful of men and women await the plane for Glasgow on the Hebridean isle of Barra, which boasts Britain’s only tidal runway. Amongst them are visitors, a young woman (Tilda Swinton) setting off for a job on the mainland, the locals who have charge of the airport and in their midst, Berger. Jaunty, vibrant and expansive, he makes a mesmerizing storyteller, and his tale, on the face of it a simple yarn of a peasant’s weekend trip to Venice, becomes a complex exploration of people and places, factories and farms, sex, politics, musicways of being. The film quite naturally takes on myriad textures: colour and black/white, 35mm and blown-up 16mm footage, and, for the story within the story, still photographs by the exemplary Jean Mohr. Berger and Neat have discovered that there is a useful application for post modernism after all, the better to tell a tale."
- Tom Charity, from Time Out