faultless reputation working on commissions from other ﬁlm companies and local authorities. It is fitting therefore that a film on his life should be made by a television company based in Glasgow and should be something of a first. Scottish Television’s documentary on Marzaroli, directed by Bill Forsyth, is the first programme to be commissioned from one of the major ITV companies by London Weekend Television for an edition of the South Bank Show.
‘We knew that Oscar was known in Scotland, but not outside,’ explains Alistair Moffat, Scottish Television’s director of programmes. ‘Because we believe strongly in his work, we went out and sought a network screen to show it on. That was my motivation when approaching Melvin Bragg— we want to do the best we can by Oscar.’
The programme brings together the talents of Moffat and Forsyth, who had previously worked on Local Hero, and Charlie Gormley, director of Heavenly Pursuits, who had worked with Forsyth in the 605. Oscar Marzaroli would no doubt have
' been pleased to see Scotland’s foremost
ﬁlmmakers coming together in this way. Part of the programme concerns the recent All
, The World’s A Village: Marzaroli’s Scotland
exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery for which the Marzaroli family found it difficult to get initial sponsorship. It is a tribute to them and their sUpporters that its run had to be extended because of public demand, evidence in itself of the importance of Marzaroli’s work and the need for a permanent archive. Those who would argue that there are much worthier charities which could benefit from a fundraising album, should remember that to put on an exhibition of any size, prints must be made from the original negatives and transparencies. To employ a printer for the Kelvingrove exhibition alone cost around £100 perday.
And that is why so many people are joining forces to ensure that Marzaroli’s photographs are preserved as part of Scotland’s artistic and social heritage. They will still have an impact next century, not as the record ofa bygone age, but visual evidence of how and why the present — and future — have come about.
The Tree and The Bird and The Fish and The Bell is released on record, cassette and CD on 21 Jan. The South Bank Show documentary on Oscar Marzaroli will be broadcast on Sun 20 Jan at 10.25pm, and an NB special on the album is due out in the Scottish Television area on Sun 27] an.
Top lett: Gorbals with the Southern Necropolis beyond (1964). Below: detail trom the Celtic end, Scottish Cup final Hampden Park(1963). Copyright: Anne Marzaroli.
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The List 1‘1—24'January 1991 15