Film

 To see 11 minutes of the film, without the 2 short sections click here.

In the film we learn how James Turrell’s Quaker grandmother used to tell him to ‘Go Inside to Greet the Light’ and how he’s still thinking about that.  The words of Yorkshire folk young and old are arranged by Fay Schlesinger and spoken by Judi Dench.  You see Skyspace in different moods, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, maritime skies, Simon Armitage, real deer and can play find the hidden haiku.  All in the 14 minute version on DVD.

Some of the Yorkshire folk freezing solid while making the film. Some of the Yorkshire folk freezing solid while making the film.

 

What’s the point of the film?  It’s so small…
The film was made to be a contemporary version of the picture post card – something you send to say ‘ look where we’ve been, it was good’ and indeed ‘don’t you wish you were here?’  Perhaps that’s how people who buy it in the Sculpture Park use it.  Perhaps it entices some to the sundown events, because unless you are in the Skyspace at dawn or dusk you miss the best bit.  (Look under the events tab)

If that’s not enough we know of at least 10 other purposes for which it has been used, and they’re listed inside the front cover.  Mainly it’s used by individuals and groups who want to settle into a period of calm reflection.  Judi Dench’s voice works wonders with this.  Though there’s a bit of a political message at the end.

Looking at the film
The more experience we get of showing the film to groups of people the more we realise how important it is to have good viewing conditions.  After 4 years the most brilliant showing was in Pickering Quaker Meeting House (perhaps the worst was in another Quaker Meeting House, we won’t say which; it was our fault because we hadn’t learnt how much it matters.)  But Pickering is set up to play host to the local film club, so there was good projector, good screen, proper dark curtains and good sound.  If you’re going to show it to more than two or three people you need all these.  But you may find them with your own dvd player or even your laptop.  This may seem like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, but many of the people who have enjoyed the film have been grandmothers and grandfathers and not very familiar with how a dvd works…

Nevertheless we have overcome our finickiness about good viewing conditions and the main section is now on the web, see link at top of page.

The words
Judi Dench speaks the words but they were written collaboratively.  After the first evening event some people went home and wrote their recollections; after the second filming event those who were not desperate for chips gathered together and the conversation was recorded on Fay Schlesinger’s hand held device.  (She was then a trainee journalist on the Barnsley Chronicle).  Fay then amalgamated all these, added a pinch of Turrell and produced a draft, honed it, timed it and then went with it to record it with Judi Dench.  We can still pick out the authors of some of the memorable phrases.

Some people write in the Skyspace. Once we were with a birthday party group at a dawn event; they each wrote a haiku and put them into a little book to present to the anniversary boy.  One of these is threaded into the script.  Listen for the 17 syllables round ‘reflection in my friend’s eye’.

Click here to see the film.