Whichever way the vote is swayed today, there is no denying that it will be steeped in history. For many years, our Scottish kin have whispered of breaking away to thrive without the rule of our government. Whichever way you look at it, the people will speak at that roaring statement of No or Yes will ricochet through the United Kingdom with like a deafening drum best. Last night, seven independent film makers, largely thanks to Creative Scotland, presented the ideals and politics surrounding this tentative day of voting in last night’s Shorts on Tap event.
Collecting in the dark and bustling Brick Lane, inches away from the smell of fresh cooked bagels and chocolate, the wrought tense clash between a Scotland free from England’s rule and those who want to keep the union lingers in the air. Shorts on Tap, running its 15th event, is awash with thoes wanting to see impressive small movies and those with charged viewpoints they wish to express. Arguably, one of the points of tonight’s events was to discuss the Independence vote with the films serving to convert fresh talent and their own standpoint. What culminated over all was, perhaps, this; whichever way the vote lands, Scotland needs more support and to keep its heritage, culture and values.
There were seven shorts on tonight’s roster of varying standards. Homage to Scotland by Justin Webster felt more of an excerpt if a larger documentary and was empty in its presentation whilst King just didn’t hit the hilarity it wanted to and Nomad was just forgettable slides that had promise but faltered in its final product. On the other side of the case were Chappin’, a look at an absorbing teenage boy arguing for independence. His intellect and charisma would sway the most steadfast of No supporters and director Igor Slepov conveys the views earnestly. The Strange Death of Harry Stanley, though less about politics and more on a true story of the titular character is a stunning and horrific short on the without thought actions of armed police. Director Jeremiah Quinn presents the situation as cold and meaningless but juxtaposes against the warm nature of Harry, delectably weaving the facts of his cash brushed away by the authorities.
But the most innovative and awe inspiring shirt was When The Song Dies. Capturing a secular village in Scotland, director Jamie Chambers (who looks set to thrill in his new film Blackbird) has delicately told the tale of the elderly and their dying Gaelic culture. Through family songs and the most exquisite imagery, Chambers manages to wonderfully immortalise their histories.
The night ended, happily, on Tumult by Johnny Barrington. Subverting the Viking Game of Thrones epic, that, in initial seconds was yawn inducing, into a funny black comedy echoed hysterics across the room.
While the audience felt torn in the discussion of politics and the vote, a small culture of film fans that represented the nation at the moment, there is one thing that we can all be sure of; Scotland is a talented country.