<in 1981 Jeremy Isaacs came to Glasgow to spread the word about his new TV channel, the most wonderful opportunity the independent film sector had ever seen. such was the power of his evangelisism that the ever-hungry audience was converted to the belief of a glittering future at Channel 4. I dashed home and dusted off the storyboard for Orpheus which had lain in my metaphorical bottom drawer for the past year. I parcelled it up immediately and sent it to Jeremy Isaacs enclosing an envelope containing the return postage. the package fell into the hands of Naomi Sargeant who was subsequently to commission all of my C4 films. the rest is history.../>
<the myth of Orpheus has been inspiring creative works since Classical times, most notably opera, theatre and film. Channel 4 commissioned an accompanying documentary, Orpheus Through the Ages, produced by Pelicula Films, to explore how the myth has been reinterpreted down the centuries in the works of masters such as Monteverdi, Offenbach, Jean Cocteau and Tennessee Williams. the documentary and animated film won a Scottish Broadcasting Award for the best arts and music documentary in 1985. at the ceremony Robbie Coltrane described the sculpture as a post-holocaust lump of metal although I suspect we were meant to think post-Giacometti.../>
<I made an animated sequence for the documentary to illustrate the so-called Orphic cosmogony or myth explaining the creation of the universe. this was later edited out to stand in its own right as a film called Invocation.../>
<much to my amazement Orpheus and Eurydice was accepted for screening in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984. this meant I was entitled to a festival pass to see all the movies, just like all the other participating directors (such as Ingmar Begman). we stayed in an ant-infested hotel for £5 a night and spent two weeks watching films all day long. it was also entertaining to watch the internal politics of the festival at first hand. many scales fell off my eyes the last of which was during Barry Norman's coverage on Film '84. sitting before a beautiful mediterranean sunset over the bay Barry pronounced '..and here I am on the final night of the Cannes Film Festival...' except that on the real closing night the heavens opened and it never stopped raining.../>