Television Archive

Herzog’s homage to Chatwin

If you haven’t already seen it, you still have a couple of days on BBC iPlayer to catch Nomad: In The Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, a work about a singular writer made by a singular film-maker, Werner Herzog. 

  Chatwin, who died from Aids in 1989, and Herzog were kindred spirits, both given, as Herzog has it, to crafting “mythical tales into voyages of the mind”. Their paths first crossed in 1983 in Australia, where Herzog was preparing a feature film, When the Green Ants Dream, and Chatwin was researching his book The Songlines, about the country’s aboriginal people and their relationship with the landscape. In Nomad — which includes contributions from Chatwin’s widow, Elizabeth, and his biographer, Nicholas Shakespeare — Herzog follows in his friend’s footsteps to the Australian Outback, Patagonia and the Black Mountains in Wales, carrying the rucksack Chatwin left him in his will.

  On the website of Sideways Film, you can also email the company to request a password so you can view the film online.

The Tay from source to sea

For 90 absorbing minutes last night on BBC Four, Helen (H is for Hawk) Macdonald followed the River Tay over four seasons from its source in Ben Lui, in the Highlands, to the North Sea. It was a journey in which  salmon and cutting-edge science figured large.

Gypsy Britain with Le Bas

Damian Le Bas, whose debut about Gypsy Britain, The Stopping Places (Chatto & Windus), has been short-listed for Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year, will present the first episode of a new series on on BBC 4, A Very British History, at 9pm next Monday (February 11). The programme “explores how Gypsy people in the 1960s were forced to abandon their nomadic way of life for a more settled existence”.

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