Karen and the film are just back from the brilliant Zagreb Dox in Croatia. We were very honoured to be the Opening Night film, in 4 full-capacity simultaneous screens to over 600 people - easily our biggest audience yet! Then we were at the lovely Keswick Film Festival in Cumbria on Saturday Feb. 27th, at which it was great to meet several of our Indiegogo Backers who'd made the trip.
This week we are also back in the UK at Leeds Hyde Park Picturehouse on Tuesday March 1st
Happy New Year from us all at The Closer We Get!
(Being Scottish, we say that until about June, if we feel like it..!)
After a very sleepy December and January, we are pleased to announce more screenings for you all to catch us at.
In the UK, we have coming up:
Thurs. Feb 4 @ Portsmouth (No. 6 Cinema) with Q & A
Mon. Feb 8 @ London's Somerset House with Q & A hosted by Andrew O'Hagan
Wed. Feb 17 @ Aberdeen (Belmont Filmhouse) with Q & A
Wed. Feb 24 @ Derby (Quad Cinema)
Sat. Feb 27 @ Keswick, Cumbria (Keswick Film Festival, Theatre by the Lake) with Q & A
In the USA we're part if Washington DC's Independent Film Festival - date TBC and we have several more international screenings coming up that we will share as soon as they let us!
And remember, if you fancy putting on your own screening, you only have to ask us how - we look forward to hearing from you!
Contrary to this post title, I'm in fact very thrilled to be screening at St Columba's Episcopal Church Hall in my hometown of Largs this Friday (Oct 30). It will without doubt be my proudest moment within those hallowed walls.
This very ordinary 1960's church hall lies behind a rather splendid Victorian church, a stone's throw from my childhood home - too short a throw, as we discovered when my brother Sean decided to practice his drum solos one Sunday morning instead of attending church. The unwelcome 'accompaniment' to the morning Eucharist was discreetly dealt with by the then-minister and my mum, and was never repeated.
My mum Ann knew this venue as well as she knew her own kitchen. In the 1970's & 80's she'd led the Largs Pre-School Playgroup in there (pictured above), with countless singalongs, finger-paintings and macaroni pictures - to the end of her life former 'pupils' would stop her in the streets and say hello. Countless church meetings and coffee mornings were supplied with her unforgettable shortbread, which could be carried across the road from our own house whilst still warm, often followed by one of the family cats in tow.
Most of my childhood leisure activities took place in church halls, and most often in this one. However, my own achievements there were considerably more patchy than my mother's. Once, I marched across the road after a tiff with Mum and resigned, haughtily, from Brownies in front of the whole troupe. I'm not sure how Brown Owl (our leader) kept a straight face, with this tiny, angry redhead making such a solemn declaration. I also recall a church fundraiser where myself, my sister Alison and Mum competed in a live knitting competition. Mum was awarded top prize for speed, my sister top prize for quality, and I a prize for the worst knitting presented. As a teenager I sang in the church choir and often sprinted across to the hall with a slice of toast in hand, to tussle into a musty cassock and rush through the practice of the day's music. I also remember Girl Guides evenings there, and especially the perplexing practice sessions of semaphore we endured: rows and rows of teenage girls with huge unwieldy flags and our leader shouting archaic, war-era commands that we supposedly translated into - errr - flag movements.
Also Guide-related was an evening near Christmas one year, when a local Santa Claus impersonator would join us and dole out presents to the girls. On this particular occasion, there was something familiar about the fellow behind the fake-fur beard diligently spreading jollity through the hall, and once the man concerned uttered the phrase 'You lucky people' I knew - there was only one person on planet earth that used this expression: it was my dad Ian pretending to be Santa. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me, as teenagers often do.
So this Friday it will be a great relief to be in the hall without a cassock, a flag, an unexpected Santa or knitting needles. Just a film and me and an audience, and the memory of that lovely shortbread.
Some years back I decided to write a fan-girl email to one of my favourite musician / performers - Malcolm Middleton, whose Arab Strap and solo stuff I loved. It was late at night when I emailed, I was very tired from looking after my Mum, and I definitely didn't expect to hear back from the guy when I suggested that just maybe he'd be the right kind of person to write a score for my new film. The one I hadn't made yet. I'm not sure how I was so sure he'd be on the same page as the film, that he'd get it, but somehow I knew he would. So off went the email and I waited....
The very self-effacing and very normal Malcolm got in touch quickly said he'd love to, we had a drink in Glasgow (pictured) and off we went on with our respective paths to bring the film to fruition.
Over the slow and painstaking edit of The Closer We Get, nocturnal Dropboxes full of beautiful new music came my way from Malcolm's Fife home, each one full of surprises and each one pushing a scene I'd shared with him along, or adding new resonances and even dissonances. We'll draw a veil over Malcolm's manful attempts at crafting an accordion track which we both thought - God knows why - might work....Eventually we had the finished score, which - with one additional track from James Blackshaw, and a gorgeous vintage orchestral piece chosen by our talented sound designer Doug Haywood - made the film complete.
So here we are now, planning the Oct 19 screening in Glasgow for the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival at which Malcolm isn't just joining me for the Q & A afterwards, but also doing a wee live set afterwards. I really hope you can be with us for what will be a really memorable event.
It's beyond exciting, and proves that dreams do come true, and that those late night emails sometimes get through.
It's been a superbusy month since Hot Docs, as we gear up for two screenings at Edinburgh International Film Festival AND our London premiere at Open City Documentary Film Festival in the very snazzy Regent Street Cinema in the centre of town.
Here is all the info you need to know - we'll be at all 3 events so do come along and say hello after during our Q & A's after the screenings.
Edinburgh International Film Festival (European Premiere)
Thursday 18 June 18:10
Cineworld 12 (Public Screening)
Fountain Park, 130/3 Dundee Street,
Edinburgh EH11 1AF
Saturday 20 June 13:30
Filmhouse 3 (Public Screening)
88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
Tel. +44(0)131 229 5932
Edinburgh International Film Festival Tickets / Bookings:
EIFF Box Office
88 Lothian Road
Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
Tel. +44(0)131 623 8030 / info 'at' edfilmfest.org.uk
Open City Documentary Festival (London premiere, Gala Screening)
Sunday 21 June - 18:00
Regent Street Cinema
309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW
Tel. +44(0)20 7911 5050
Open City Documentary Festival Tickets / Bookings:
Open City Box Office
Festival Hub, Robert’s Building, UCL, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE
Tel. +44(0)20 7679 4907 / info 'at' opencitylondon.com
Some of you will know that the collected art and film works of (TCWG director) Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope are the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the acclaimed gallery Kettles Yard in Cambridge, called 'Past, Present, Somewhere'. Well, as part of the gallery programme, Karen will host a very special event on Wednesday 12 Nov. at 7pm - discussing The Closer We Get in relation to the exhibition, and screening selected clips.
Tickets for this event can be booked here. The exhibition runs till Nov 23rd 2014.