In this episode of Girls On Film, Anna Smith talks to Director Paul Sng and Producer Jen Corcoran about their new feature documentary Tish, which tells the story of working-class photographer Patricia ‘Tish’ Murtha who worked to document life in Northeast England in the 1970s and 1980s. Anna then talks to Production Designer Sarah Greenwood and Set Decorator Katie Spencer, who worked together to create the distinctive world of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.
Tish was the Opening Night Film of Sheffield Doc Fest 2023 and it is a celebration of a life devoted to exposing social inequality through art. The feature documentary is told from the perspective of Ella Murtha, both as daughter and custodian of the Tish Murtha archive. She retraces her mother’s relationship with the photographic medium, from finding her first camera in a local skip, to earning a reputation as the ‘demon snapper’ and beyond. Anna talks to Paul and Jen about the inspiration behind the project, the power of having working-class stories told from the inside, and asks about their favourite photographs in the Tish archive.
Next on Girls On Film, Anna has a lively conversation with Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, whose long time collaboration has resulted in multiple Academy Award and BAFTA nominations, and, most recently, the weird, wonderful and instantly recognisable world of Barbie. Sarah and Katie talk about working with Greta Gerwig in the early design stages of the project, following visual prompts like ‘think Gaudí in a blender’ when creating Weird Barbie’s house, and the film’s many and varied visual inspirations.
Tish by Paul Sng is being released by Modern Films in UK and Irish cinemas on 17 November 2023. On demand information: Virtual cinema 22 Dec, TVOD 5 Feb (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play).
Barbie is available on 4K, Blu-Ray™, DVD & Digital Download now
Other films mentioned in this episode include:
Singin’ in the Rain, Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952
Grease, Randal Kleiser, 1978
Playtime, Jacques Tati, 1967
The Wizard of Oz, Victor Fleming, 1939
Psycho, Alfred Hitchock, 1960
Jaws, Steven Spielberg, 1975
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960