#32 Dear Diary

Lindsay Anderson’s Diaries (ref. LA/6/1)

The Lindsay Anderson Archive provides a comprehensive record of the life and career of one of Britain’s most renowned filmmakers. As well as extensive production material relating to all of his films including If…. and This Sporting Life the archive also includes a range of personal memorabilia including Anderson’s diaries.

For a period of fifty years, beginning in 1942, Anderson kept a diary. He recorded his personal thoughts and feelings in a variety of formats with ninety-three separate notebooks, desk diaries and groups of loose pages being used in total. The diaries contain unique reflections on the key events and works of Anderson’s life. When writing about the value of Anderson’s diaries for researching his work as a film director Prof John Izod (author of Lindsay Anderson: Cinema Authorship) noted that:

“Access to Lindsay Anderson’s diaries, often a searing account of his private yearnings devoid of the bombast in which he indulged in public pronouncements, allowed us to understand his ambitions and fears with a fresh insight.”

The diaries were recently used by the artist Stephen Stucliffe in his new show Sex Symbols in Sandwich Signs which includes an examination of the tempestuous relationship between Anderson and the actor Richard Harris and the echoes found in David Storey’s novel Radcliffe. The exhibition (which has already received rave reviews) brings the pages of Anderson’s diaries alive in the film Casting Through and also includes a display of material from the archive curated by Sutcliffe.

The exhibition runs at the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, until the 30th September.

Watch Stephen Sutcliffe talk about the exhibition and his use of the Lindsay Anderson Archive here.

Double exposed holiday photographs taken by Anderson in 1965. Features in the exhibition Sex Symbols in Sandwich Signs at the Talbot Rice Gallery.

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