Screen Bandita Presents: Rebel Landscapes

Screen Bandita Presents: Rebel Landscapes

The Rebel Landscapes programme is drawn from the National Library of Scotland's extensive archive and Screen Bandita have curated films that explore themes relating specifically to folklore. Local traditions, dances, crafts, fishing, crofting and music all feature, as does the landscape. But in addition to the unquestionable beauty of Scottish vistas, we wanted to represent the flip-side of the coin: the brutality of natural processes and the trials faced by the rural dwellers who struggled to draw a living from the land.
We wanted to avoid the blind reverence and nostalgia that is endemic to most archive-themed events, and have challenged our musical collaborators to create soundtracks that would not just jauntily accompany the films, but actively interact with the images to tease out a particular strand of meaning or follow a wild, unexpected tangent.
We project the programme from archival 16mm prints, believing that the aesthetic inherent in actual reels of film offers a very tangible and direct sense of connection with the people and places etched into the faded celluloid. We very much hope this dynamic fusion of ideas, themes and visuals will also provoke reflection on the part of the viewer.

The event is a 'tip of the hat' to folklore in all of its many manifestations, but crucially it is a celebration of the forgotten faces and unspoken lives of 'ordinary' people, whose existences and ways now appear alien, distant and utterly extraordinary. It is an opportunity for a contemporary audience to bring their enthusiasm to the continuation of the strong, sturdy legacy of Scottish folklore, archival film and the rebellious, rambunctious music of the people.

Who are Screen Bandita?

Screen Bandita have been in existence since 2008 and operate as a collective committed to promoting the regeneration and repurposing of real and found film and analogue projection methods. We strive to, through various activities, create an environment where previously abandoned film can be given new lease of life through its contextual re-imagination and exposure to a new audience, whilst also foregrounding the celebratory spectacle inherent to moving image presentation
We aim to encourage the celebration of forgotten elements of film; both in terms of the practitioners who, historically, may not have received the recognition they deserved, as well as those pieces of film that have been lost, discarded or forgotten. Through the presentation of programmes that merge documentary, fiction and experimental themes, we hope to capture and expose a few of the of the many facets of the visual image; from the beautiful to the banal, and all that exists between.

The Banditas specialise in staging thematic events showcasing various combinations of 8mm and 16mm film, slide projections and old photographs. With this source material we create expanded cinema events where these artifacts are presented through their contextual re imagination, accompanied (and variously) interrupted and questioned, by live musical collaborators or conjured from a trio of antiquated wind-up gramophone.

Through our performances we attempt to create a space where music can interweave with the visuals in an unexpected way, in order to engage reciprocally with the films and to create an all-encompassing and transformative audio / visual experience. Structurally, our events encourage audience participation, inspire reflection and capture the imagination of people of all ages. We place our projection equipment centrally to the space and cluster the audience around us in order to foster the sense of collective appreciation and to inspire reflection upon the whirr and flicker of our vintage equipment. This is cinema enacted live, of which the audience are very much a part. For this reason we have chosen to work outside of conventional cinema venues and we are very interested in the use of unusual spaces. As such we have utilised galleries, attics, theatres, churches and their halls, and even a dissection space in an ex-veterinary school.
Screen Bandita have shown their work widely in Edinburgh, Glasgow, The London Short Film Festival, The Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, and Sound Festival in Banchory. As well as upcoming events in Glasgow and Edinburgh, we will be embarking upon a ten-day tour of the west coast and Outer Hebrides of Scotland with our archival film programme ‘Rebel Landscapes’in September 2013.

rai sb 1 rl eriskay  1. A still from Eriskay: A Poem of Remote Lives, dir. Werner Kissling

rai sb 2 rl cp  2. Cath and Phil Tyler with the film Eriskay: A Poem of Remote Lives, dir. Werner Kissling

rai sb 3 rl ar  3. Alasdair Roberts with the film The Singing Street

rai sb 4 rl cp  4. Cath and Phil Tyler with the film Eriskay: A Poem of Remote Lives, dir. Werner Kissling

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Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland (RAI) since 1985, it is an itinerant festival that moves biennially from one university host to another, in association with local community and cultural organisations.

The festival will be held from Thursday 13 June to Sunday 16 June 2013 in Edinburgh, hosted by National Museums Scotland and the STAR consortium. Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) is a collaboration between the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. Over 60 new films will be screened alongside a conference 'New Observations' and a selection of special events and workshop about art & anthropology and the use of archival film.

The RAI Film Festival is held in collaboration with the Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California.

Our Sponsors

The Festival gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from:

UDDA NMS SSGS ED Unversity of Aberdeen StAndrews WILEY