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  • Director

    Margaret Tait

  • Starring

    Celia Imrie, Jack Shepherd, Gerda Stevenson, James Fleet, Sean Scanlan, Hilary Maclean

  • Run Time

    86 mins

  • Release Year


  • Country of Origin


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Blue Black Permanent

Part of the Margaret Tait Centenary Season


A special screening on Margaret Tait’s birthday to mark the closing of the year-long celebrations for her centenary. Tait’s only feature and one of the last films she made, Blue Black Permanent (1992) tells the story of Barbara (Celia Imrie), a woman coming to terms with the death of her mother (Gerda Stevenson). The film will be introduced by Gerda Stevenson and followed by a post screening discussion with Stevenson, John Gray (composer), and Sarah Neely (Director of Margaret Tait 100).

‘A poet’s film about a poet’ (Philip French), Blue Black Permanent was a life-long project of Tait’s. The very first draft of the script, then titled Dark Waters, was begun when Tait was a student in Rome in the 1950s. Although the narrative changed as it developed over the years, its premise remained relatively the same, as a story about three generations of women, with a central focus on the poet, Greta, who is haunted by the memory of her mother who drowned in the sea, or the ‘Dark Waters’, many years before. Tait described the film as primarily concerned with ‘persistence of the spirit—spirit of a place, spirit of a culture, and, chiefly, the spirit of the creative person at the centre of the story.’

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