Back to selection


At the Festival Square in Edinburgh, Tilda Swinton organized and led a flash mob dance yesterday, coinciding the launch of her new charity, the 8 1/2 Foundation.

From an article in the Scotsman:

Gathering several hundred willing participants under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, she led them in a soft-shoe shuffle known as At The Ball, by the Avalon Boys, originally performed by Laurel and Hardy, in an effort to create a “flash mob dance”, where a group suddenly and spontaneously start dancing in a public place.

The instructions, disseminated online, were simple: watch the Laurel and Hardy clip, turn up at 11am and give it a whirl. The reason, declared Swinton, was “in pure unabashed celebration of doing something as a group and looking like dafties.”

Before the dance, participants were invited to go to the foundation’s website where they can download the original choreography from Laurel and Hardy’s Way Out West.

Here, from an interview with Beak in Ain’t It Cool News, is Swinton discussing the project:

I am in the process of forming this foundation for children. It’s called the 8 1/2 Foundation; we’re showing little children world cinema, and giving them a choice. We can show them thirty-second clips of a certain amount of films from all over the world, from all decades, black-and-white, subtitles, and giving them a chance to choose one for their eight-and-a-half birthday, which we will then send them in the post. And the two that come out on top always on our poll are a black-and-white film by Jacques Tati from the ’60s and a Chinese film with Mandarin subtitles called THE KING OF MASKS. And yet studio executives will tell you that children and adults will not watch foreign films and will watch not black-and-white.

Visit its website to learn more about the 8 1/2 project and how you can get involved.

© 2016 Filmmaker Magazine
All Rights Reserved
A Publication of IPF