James Taylor interviewed me for his Creative Life series of podcasts. We spoke about the making of Clavel and the relationship I had with James Robert, the crofter I filmed over a year. We also talked about appreciating the beginning of something (we all want to get to the end) and the importance of encouragement (giving and receiving).
Hear it here. And have a listen through his other podcasts. He’s spoken to some fascinating folk.
I had as many questions for James as he had for me so maybe one day I’ll interview him.
Image: This is one of my favourite pictures of James Robert and myself in the house he stayed in to when he moved out of Clavel. He would never let me take my boots off when I came to see him.
I had a dream where it was raining and I was at my desk writing about the sound of it hitting the window. When the rain stopped I felt I should turn what I had written into past tense as it didn’t feel right to be writing about something happening in present tense when it wasn’t happening anymore. I changed the words. Then it started to rain again so I told myself, if I was quick, I could turn it back into present tense. As I was shifting tense I made mistakes. The rain became lighter. Then it stopped. I looked at my words. Some were behind me and some were in front of me. I realised I was awake.
Note: I am keeping an ‘ethical dilemma diary’ to document and reflect on my thinking while I explore the ethical considerations in making a film. I dream a lot about about being on the inside of a decision which means dreaming is like being awake.
I am learning Inuktitut but I am finding it very difficult. I have studied a language before (Italian) but with that, there was so many roots I could connect with, so much that I could see. This is different. I keep going back to the beginning to try to find a way to bring a visual memory to the simplest terms. Then an exchange with Mrs Breslin, a neighbour 20 years ago, came to mind and finally I have a way of remembering.
How can he be so beautiful yet so murderous?
Such is the power of these things, you can feel the earth move.
From a box of Arctic artefacts stored in her daughter’s loft.
- Bone snow goggles with caribou leather straps. To protect eyes from snow blindness.
- An ulu (plural: ulut), a woman’s knife. Used to cut and scrape skins (Gilbertson used hers for chopping onions).
- ‘Hairs from a polar bear tail’. Living or dead when sampled, we do not know.
- Miniature kamiks (seal skin boots). Sold as souvenir charms, possibly from Coral Harbour or Grise Fiord.