TARTAN DAY PARADE 2004
Tartan Day, April 6th, fell on a Tuesday this year and so the New York Parade was held on Saturday, April 3. Under a leaden sky, the parade marched up 6th Ave. from the 40s to Central Park with an estimated 3,000 pipers, about a third the number of the original Tartan Day. The Parade lasted about an hour with a number of pipe bands and organizations participating.
The crowds were somewhat scant since Tartan Day falls so close to many religious holidays Passover for Jews and the start of the Easter season for Christians. In addition, many of the students in New Yorks colleges, on spring break, had left for home or Miami/ The on lookers, sometimes 2 or 3 deep, watched the parade with interest, but often asked what parade it was indicating that many were simply people in the area who noticed it as they went about their shopping on the busy thoroughfare.
SALTIRE SOCIETY AND BROOKLYN COLLEGE FILM DEPARTMENT HOST AN INDEPENDENT SCOTTISH FILM FESTIVAL
by Brian Ackley
In recognition of Tartan Day, The Saltire Society of New York and The Brooklyn College Film Department hosted An Evening of Scottish Short Films on the 6th of March. Coffee, cakes, and conversation would commence the special engagement, but it would be the films themselves that would delight.
Commonly clever, often quirky, and always fun, the films included a broad range of subject matter from dancing scarecrows and flying pigs to cheating clones and troubling ids. Though stories and themes vary considerably, one mainstream tendency of these young Scottish filmmakers is their inclusion of humor. Each, staying true to its tone, uses humor efficiently and effectively in its storytelling.
One fast favorite, The Dancer, follows the crooked walk of a supposedly famous dancer from an old man with a walking disability to a curious kid in search of the dancers identity. It turns out the dancer is famous typically in costume only. But the real kicker comes when we discover the old man not only walks like the famous dancer (in character), but in fact, dances just as well too! Its this kind of irony that lends its charm to many of the other films.
The best films screened, however, were not such because of how they weaved humor in and out of their storylines, but rather, because of how they delivered the message of those stories. In a cartoonish tale about suppressing creativity, Little Big Head features a boys imagination that literally fights back. Toss in some grounded absurdity, that is, the world within the boys colossal head, and it becomes a humorous piece of psychological commentary.
As odd as they are entertaining, these Scottish shorts succeed beyond the regular duties of relaying a story; they go so far as displaying real ideas within them. In an industry of hot shots and sell-outs where its either about the fame or the fortune, its good to see some real filmmakers keeping the art form alive.