cryptogirl: (Cavan)
[personal profile] cryptogirl
Why yes, I've been busy submitting a short story to the Scottish Book Trust, starting another two and jumping on the Camp NaNoWriMo in a vain attempt to up my word count. But I got round to writing this too, at last!

I love a good documentary. I used to be glued to Arena, and BBC's Storyville series is equally magnificent. This film, as far as I can gather, will be hitting the small screens at some point, and I'm going to try and persuade you to clear your future schedule for it.


Garnet is an eccentric 58-year-old gentleman living in London with his frail mother, scraping a living on various hare-brained schemes. One day, he decides to revisit an adventure he had in his thirties. He spontaneously decided to go for a hike in the Highlands, armed only with two fruit loaves and a ton of cigarettes; on his travels he found a wooden staff, shortly before he got stuck and had to be rescued. Back home, Garnet did some research and concluded that the staff marked the spot where a cache of gold was hidden after Culloden.

A simple enough plot for a documentary, but it's not really about the gold at all. It's more about getting to know Garnet, who's a simply fascinating personality. You can't help but get swept along with his plan, even though a small part of you knows it's likely to be doomed to failure. The anecdotes from his mother, his old flame and friends paint a picture of a man who still doesn't know what he's doing with his life, constantly fearful of disappointing his loved ones because of his lack of direction.

(Yes, this really resonated with me as a starving author with more career twists than a Curly Wurly. Can you tell?)

The film is worth seeing for the scenery alone. Every shot of the Highlands is a perfect little postcard, and all the more incredible when you find out it was shot on a DSLR camera with a film mode.

The Q&A with the director had Garnet himself as a special guest! I could have listened to him all night, and he certainly had a long queue of people offering hugs and pints afterwards. I was struck by the good relationship between star and director, which really came across in the film; Garnet is treated sensitively, never mocked, and always admired.

It was just such a treat to watch. You'll laugh, you'll cry but more importantly you'll thank me for recommending it. I hope. x

Date: 2014-07-04 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] swaldman
Ooh, thanks, I might suggest this for West Side Cinema's season this winter (https://wscinema.wordpress.com/)

I'm told that high-end DSLRs have become very popular for low-budget filmmaking, because they offer much higher quality than dedicated video cameras (and lenses) of comparable price. One can buy lots of accessories now to adapt their not-designed-for-purpose ergonomics...

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