Herds and hills / Animal Geographies / Passengerfilms

A still from Herd in Iceland at the Roxy Bar and Screen 23rd January, courtesy Rupert Griffiths

Still from Herd in Iceland / Roxy Bar and Screen / 23rd January, courtesy Rupert Griffiths

The first Passengerfilms of the year set us off to a great start. Many thanks to all of those who came along, despite the wintry chill.  All three films at this screening focused on the activity of herding; a human-animal-landscape interaction with its own special rhythms and forms.

The short ‘Reindeer’, (Eva Weber, 2011)  was a brief study of the flurry of bodies and breath in the dusk of Lapland. ‘Herd in Iceland’ (Lindsay Blatt/Paul Taggart, 2012) was a charming portrait of Icelanders involved in the annual tradition of letting the horses loose to graze, then gathering them in again. The feature-length documentary ‘Sweetgrass’ (Ilisa Barbash/Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2009) really brought across the sweat and tears involved in driving a flock of sheep across the wilds of Montana; a sheer mass of animal weight and will.

Passengerfilms owes a very special thanks to Hayden Lorimer. Hayden came down from Glasgow to talk to our London audience about the effect that a summer spent with the Cairngorm reindeer herd has had on his life. Ten years down the road, new reflections had emerged. It was an evening with cinematic wind in our hair, ears ringing from mewling of animals, stories of affection, violence and co-habitation. And more than I think we anticipated, a welcome break from shuffling in and out of central-heating and slushy gutters. Coming up in February will be an exploration of sound and landscape in film. If you’re not on the mailing list- click here to sign up, and we’ll keep you posted…

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