Blog - New Accessions

More films for the Archive’s collection…

New Accessions / News - Posted 25-05-2011

Although many people perhaps think of the work of a film archive as a rescue mission for old and neglected (and mainly black and white) footage, the truth is that collecting ‘current’ work is just as vital to the, preservation of our film heritage. The films of Cardiff-based filmmaker Steve Sullivan have been on the Archive’s wish-list for some time, and now we have them!

… Steve turns out to be the ideal depositor, having carefully labelled and indexed his reels in preparation, making our work a great deal easier at the other end! His BAFTA-winning film, ‘A Heap of Trouble’, has already been housed in the Archive for some years, and now we are delighted to add ‘Fatted Calf’ (joint winner of the 1998 DM Davies Award), ‘The Debt’ (1998) and ‘Dreams and Desires’ (1997) – tales of the unexpected all!

We look forward also to seeing Steve’s first feature film, ‘Happy Hours’, … and eventually to preserving it, too, for posterity!

An interview with Mary Hopkin

New Accessions / News - Posted 27-01-2011

On October 29th last year, at the Gate venue Cardiff, I interviewed a great lady, great songwriter and an awesome voice. The lady’s name is Mary Hopkin, yes the lady who brought us such joy as “Those were the days”, “Knock knock who’s there”, “Aderyn Llwyd”, “Earth song” and a wonderful version of “Streets of London”. I have been a fan of hers since I heard her distinctive voice in my teens, in the early 1980’s.

This interview has been the product of careful diplomacy with Mary’s daughter, Jessica Lee Morgan, and I thank her on behalf of the Archive for her help in this. Mary is very cautious of the media and interview requests in general and so to have the chance to meet and talk to Mary was simply brilliant. I was determined to interview Mary for the Archive to have an unedited (in her own words) recorded item of her whole career.

I have to admit, whilst waiting for the right time, I was nervous and unsure, but I shouldn’t have feared. When Jessica introduced me to Mary all the pre-notions went away. Mary was very welcoming, hospitable and talkative.

The interview lasted just under half an hour, spanning her first singing experience at home  right up to the evening’s main focus – showcasing her daughter’s album release and concert. The interview was free flowing, I stayed away from asking too many questions about Opportunity Knocks, the Apple Records years and The Beatles.

Seeing Mary visibly and enthusiastically supporting her children; her son Morgan as well as daughter Jessica was very humbling. Recent re-releases of her studio albums have dominated media coverage of Mary but on this particular night it was all about Jessica’s album “I am not” and Mary and Morgan’s collaboration album “You look familiar” concentrated the mind on the here and now.

A public performance by Mary Hopkin might not be on the cards but I’m very heartened to see that the song writing, lyrics and the talented voice have not abandoned her.

The National Screen and Sound Archive is proud to collect Mary’s, Morgan’s and Jessica’s musical discography and I would like to thank Jessica, Morgan and the band for a wonderful concert and thank Mary herself for agreeing to be interviewed. This interview is now available at the Archive.

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A special week

New Accessions / News - Posted 03-06-2010

The Urdd banner above the doorway to the National Library

One of the biggest youth festivals in the world is visiting our neck of the woods this week. The Urdd National Eisteddfod is being held, in glorious sunshine, in the grounds of Llanerchaeron mansion, near Aberaeron.

“Urdd Gobaith Cymru”, or the “Urdd” as it’s known, founded by Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards, who made the first Welsh language talkie “Y Chwarelwr”, is a strong and vibrant youth movement. It runs residential activity centres in north and mid Wales, and has a base at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

The Urdd National Eisteddfod is the culmination of months of preparatory work by Urdd branches throughout Wales, and is a showcase for young talent in literature, dance,  drama, music…

The Library has a “stand” at the festival, and NSSAW is screening one of the stage highlights.

Recently we received a very interesting batch of films, some of which are early generation copies of movies made by Sir Ifan, including Urdd cruises from the thirties. The films show Urdd members and their families enjoying trips as far afield as Norway, Brittany, Spain, Portugal and north Africa.

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A blog about the work and collections of the National Library of Wales.

Due to the more personal nature of blogs it is the Library's policy to publish postings in the original language only. An equal number of blog posts are published in both Welsh and English, but they are not the same postings. For a translation of the blog readers may wish to try facilities such as Google Translate.

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