Outset Scotland supported Margaret Salmon’s first feature length film, Eglantine. The film previewed at Glasgow Film Festival 2016, before premiering at BFI London Film Festival on 9 October 2016, as part of the Experimenta programme strand.
Eglantine is an avant-garde children’s film and nature study, following a girl and her encounters in the woods over one night, having lost her way from her family campsite. Eglantine, the 8-year-old heroine, must navigate a range of real and imagined incidents and habitats on her journey back to her tent, before her mother discovers her absence. An intimate, vivid tracing of a young girl’s real and fantastical adventure, the film is realised with an intuitive, improvised approach to performance, camera and sound. Eglantine can be seen as an image driven love poem to the particular qualities and inhabitants of the natural world and to the imaginative, inventive, brave and determined character of the Universal Child.
The 70-minute film pays tribute to children’s films of the past (particularly Ray Ashley’s Little Fugitive, Jean Renoir’s The River and Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon), and celluloid nature studies such as Mary Field’s Secrets of Nature series. Shot on 35mm by Salmon, Eglantine was filmed entirely outdoors in Scotland – on the Isle of Skye, in Oban, and in various woodlands around Glasgow and Fife. The film encompasses raw woodland field recordings from these locations, as well as newly composed songs by British experimental electronic musician Matthew Herbert.
Margaret Salmon (b. 1975 in Suffern, New York) lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. She creates filmic portraits that weave together poetry and ethnography. Focusing on individuals in their everyday activities, her films capture the minutiae of daily life and infuse them with gentle grandeur, touching upon universal human themes. Adapting techniques drawn from various cinematic movements, such as Cinéma Vérité, the European Avant-Garde and Italian Neo-Realism, Salmon’s orchestrations of sound and image introduce a formal abstraction into the tradition of realist film. Salmon won the first Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2006. Her work was shown at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and the Berlin Biennale in 2010, and has been featured in exhibitions at Witte de With in Rotterdam and Whitechapel Gallery in London, amongst other places.