ST. KILDA 1929

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  • Outer Hebrides


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  • Landscapes and seascapes


  • Amateur


  • 1920s

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Title: ST. KILDA 1929

Reference number: 0940

Date: 1929

Director: [filmed by Frank Lowe]

Sound: silent

Original format: 35mm

Colour: bw

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 11.50 mins

Description: Scenes of life on the island of St. Kilda, including footage of islanders catching fulmars and at door of the blackhouses.

Lowe was a Lancashire naturalist/photographer who visited St Kilda in 1929. See booklet Finlay MacQueen of St Kilda by W. R. Mitchell, pp 72 and 74.

Shotlist: No credits. Long shots of ruined village and houses with Conachair rising up in the background (.31); Long shot of sheep in meadow (.41); Shots of Levenish, an off-shore rock (.53); Highland cow (1.00); Woman, possibly not an islander, climbs down and enters an earth house in the village area, known as the "faerie house". She disappears and reappears, presumably to show the position and scale of this Bronze Age underground dwelling (1.32); A man, again not an islander, standing at entrance to "Calum Mhor's house" to show depth of entrance and scale of structure, the largest corbelled stone dwelling on Hirta, age unknown (1.51); Long shot two men standing on edge of high cliff, possibly Conachair (2.02); Blank (2.04); Shots at St. Kilda pier showing "stepped" base. Three men launch a boat. High angle shot of boat passing below [very poor quality] (3.09); Another rowing boat sets out (3.16); Group of St. Kildans seated outside cottage (no. 5) with washing on the line, little action (3.25); Fowling sequence. Dark shot of fowlers at top of cliff on rope. Fowler half-way down cliff snares a fulmar and lifts it up struggling [far and distant, but seen centre-left between two bad scratches] Second similar shot, but man now to left of bad scratches. Jump cut to man as before between the two scratches, still trapping fulmars. Three closer shots with the fulmar struggling in the noose [extreme top left of picture] 4.32); - Blank - (4.35); Man wearing cloth cap back-to-front, with dogs, near the top of Conachair, probably holding the rope for a fowler down below (4.50); Shots of seabirds, mostly puffins, in flight against sky/horizon. Shot of stacs in Soay sound, showing Stac Biorach behind with large guillemot colony on the summit, Soay stac in foreground (6.01); Shots of three puffins and single puffin on rock (6.28); Man coming up from pier with a large catch of fulmars and guillemots (6.43); - Blank - (6.45); Woman standing at her cottage door with catch of fulmars, turns and goes inside (7.12); She reapears and walks towards the camera (7.13); Small boy is enticed to approach the camera (7.17); Very long static shot [no change of angle] of old woman outside cottage spinning and carding wool, repeating the same action many times. Younger woman standing behind her tries her hand at carding too. They are then joined by a third woman, possibly a passenger (9.09); - Blank - (9.11); Woman standing outside a cottage knitting (9.48); Very dark shot of young girl standing for the camera (9.57); Group of three children (10.03); - Blank - (10.04); Highland cow (10.14); Shots of a boy on the hill running barefoot with his dog (10.20)