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Our gal Tilda and her magical perambulating film festival

By Gary Meyer Co-director, Telluride Film Festival

Inspired by Les Blank’s amazing documentary "Burden of Dreams," about Werner Herzog’s "Fitzcarraldo," showing the hauling of a ship over a hill, Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton has taken her Film Festival on the road. She is hauling a 33.5-tonne portable cinema along with about 40 other cineastes through the Scottish Highlands for about a week, bringing independent film to a different village every night.

The international slate of movies Swinton has programmed includes:

* Preston Sturges's "Sullivan's Travels."

* Fridrik Thor Fridriksson's "Cold Fever."

* Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood," an adaptation of "Macbeth" (referred to by superstitious actors only as "the Scottish play").

* Les Blank's "Burden of Dreams"

* Jacques Tati's "M. Hulot's Holiday"

As well, the war drama "Culloden" will be unspooled in the village where the 1746 battle took place and the Gene Kelly romance "Brigadoon" is, you guessed it, being shown in its namesake town.

Tilda's Swinton's welcome to the film lovers of Scotland:

Welcome to the state of cinema. We think you’ll like it here. You can be whoever you want to be in this special place. You can lose yourself in great glens, or lie on your belly on heather and peat and dip your lips into crystal clear mountain streams and drink ice-cold water. You might see a stag or eat fairy cakes.

We’re going to be doing something very romantic and passionate here. Because we love this place, its mackerel skies in November and its marmalade bracken, we are going to pull a 37 tonne cinema on wheels across it, from its crashing Atlantic waves to the dolphins of the Moray Firth. We’ll get hot and sweaty, or drenched with rain, and bitten by midges, and we might get blisters on our fingers and toes, but we’ll show flickering, splendid dream movies as we go, in a cockeyed caravan, like clowns or dafties, or kids. Please join our motley crew. Become a mendicant friar with us, in your mind — in Beijing or Vancouver, or Dakar or Tampere or Canterbury — by checking in to this wee site each day between 1st and 9th August 2009 to find out how our blisters are getting on, and by watching some of the movies we are showing.

Better still, become a Fellow Traveller. Don a kilt and boots and bring a cheese sandwich and a tent, and walk this place of mountain streams and movie dreams in person.

Love from Mark Cousins and Tilda Swinton.

Here is a news video:


Read all about it:

Interview with Tilda Swinton:

Check out the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams, and last year’s festival:

And video coverage

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