A Few Wee Films

I am becoming a bit of a regular at Monday night’s Trauma film screenings, as well as at their post-screening pub sessions. This means that the Trauma team have very kindly agreed to let me put on a little film season as part of next year’s line-up. πŸ™‚ At the very moment of leaving my country of origin I’ve noticed myself starting to feel ultra-patriotic about it. So, in recognition of that, I have decided to introduce the locals to 3 excellent Scottish movies (two of which are set in Glasgow) that they might not have seen. Below is a sneak preview of what I’ve written for the always enticing and soon to be in-press Trauma promo material.

Scotland on Screen: Against the Odds
Nowhere is Scotland’s masterful combination of politics, poetry, pathos and humour more apparent than in its varied β€” and often low-budget β€” film productions. A keen eye for the ironies (and the comedies) of injustice gives the nation’s cinema a particularly strong and always relevant modern identity. Even when situations and characters seem rooted in particularly “Scottish” cultural perspectives the appearance of parochialism is generally deceptive. A distinctly realist approach is typical – but so too are moments of the dream-like and the absurd. At its best, Scotland’s cinema is a provocative and lively cinema of truth: with tradition, history, and myth never far from shot.

Local Hero, with a cast of familiar Scottish faces and featuring Hollywood legend Burt Lancaster, shows how small town folk and corporate giants alike lose all sense of proportion when it comes to matters of money. With just the right lightness of touch, director Bill Forsyth keeps the audience laughing out loud with an array of wittily observed and wonderfully acted characters.

Just North of England...

Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher is a truly incredible film that quietly insists on drawing you in. Set during the 1975 binmen’s strike, we are offered a haunting, beautifully composed, and deeply lyrical account of how one 12-year old boy perceives the squalor, the tragedies, and the little glimmers of hope that fill his environment alongside the rats and the growing heaps of rubbish.

Poetry from tragedy

Peter Mullan’s NEDS, a bold take on familiar themes of masculinity, class, violence, and Catholicism, is also set in 70s Glasgow. 16-year old John is conflicted over how best to make use of his intelligence, moving swiftly and angrily from academic success and educational aspiration to the destructive spiral of gang life. With a young handpicked cast of local ‘non-actors’, there is nothing amateurish about this gritty and semi-autobiographical tale that lifts itself above clichΓ©.

Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, based on Lionel Shriver’s novel, was just released last month. Hopefully that means people will be curious to see, or re-see her astonishing debut, Ratcatcher. I was barely born when Local Hero was released (in 1983) so for me, seeing it on the big-screen will be good fun. What do you think? Any comments on the film choices – or my text – welcome! Wouldn’t any of these be a good way to spend a cold Winter Monday? I’ve added a few screenshots which I’m pretty sure come under “fair use policy“.

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19 responses to “A Few Wee Films”

  1. Helen says :

    Excellent news!

  2. Jemster says :

    Cool! But how about an East Kilbride/South Lanarkshire themed movie night next to remind you of your home town? You could show that famous Ally McCoist/Robert Duvall film ‘A Shot at Glory’, followed by any of John Hannah’s films. (And what an oscar worthy selection of those there are!) And then there’s the Liam Neeson/Billy Connolly film ‘The Big Man’ which was filmed in Coalburn, just a few miles along the road? The cinema would be packed! Well, that’s my list exhausted. Can’t think of any more but there must be some others….

  3. Jemster says :

    Oooh. I’ve just found out via google that Adam Sinclair (who was a few years above us at Claremont) was the lead in Irvine Welsh’s most recent film Ecstasy! That could be a good one to add. x

    • musingfrommanchester says :

      Adam Sinclair! Oh yeah! Will give it a look once it hits the cinemas…not convinced it’s going to be a classic from the look of the trailer though, are you?

      • Jemster says :

        Hey, just saw that Ecstacy has finally been released at the cinemas and it reminded me of this thread. The reviews aren’t great though. The review I read gave it 2 outta 5. X

    • Jemster says :

      Will your face be on the programme? ‘Kathleen Menzies Presents…’ You should email your old Film&TV lecturer from G.U – She’d be chuffed! πŸ™‚

      • musingfrommanchester says :

        Well…actually, there probably will be something like that, though not sure about my mugshot! LOL. Do you mean Karen Lury? She was great. And funnily enough since we’re showing Ratcatcher – she’s done a lot of interesting work on “The Child in Film” though not sure if she’s written on it specifically.

  4. Anne Littlewood says :

    Excellent selection there, I love Local Hero. Let me know when they’re on and I’ll come along! πŸ™‚

    • musingfrommanchester says :

      Cool, will definitely let you know! Might hire a bagpiper to play everyone into the cinema πŸ˜‰ There’ll be plenty more good films showing before then too, even if they’re not Scottish. LOL.

  5. dick hartley says :

    Need to know when Local hero is on. Our copy of the video (yep, aging old vhs) must be worn away by now….and aberdeen airport looks a little different!

  6. Kirsty says :

    this is awesome! Welldone you xxx

  7. Kirstyj says :

    Oh they look good, and surprisingly i have seen none of them! Will have to introduce beau too, maybe i should have a scottish movie night, you are an inspiration!

    • musingfrommanchester says :

      Really? You never saw Local Hero? I can’t believe it! Yes, you need to introduce him to Scottish culture, definitely!! His daughter is half-Scottish after all. Has she tried Irn-Bru yet? πŸ˜‰

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