gave to the supporting actors like John ‘Billy (.‘orkhill‘ McArdle's oafish hood. These are the people. as we‘ll discover later. who Kane finds most intriguing. What /l(' discovered was that you can't write six hours of television drama without ptittiiig something of yourself into it. ‘You take on something like l‘f/IIH’)‘ because you need to make a living arid in a sense I was quite cynical when I started.‘ says Kane. 'But the more I did. the more I wanted it to work and personal things start to come into it.‘ iiinney way of defining his violence; essentially to
struggled to find a masculinity without become a New Man. The art or aggro dilemma also tip in the forthcoming (iillics Mackinnon tanothcr art school graduate) niovie Sum/l l'iir‘r's. a personal film inspired by his childhood in a (ills (ilasgoyv housing scheme dominated by ra/or gangs. ls this something that Kane. who grew tip in West l.othian's bleak industrial towns. identifies
corridor of also wilh'.’
‘I wasn't a chib merchant but certainly a lot of my friends were.‘ he says. ‘lt was like any working class Scottish childhood — l saw a lot of violence. People I knew at school went to jail very young. A friend of mine killed a policeman and another guy stabbed his wife when she was pregnant.
“But I never thought I was going to end tip in jail myself. It wasn‘t like i had to become a writer or I would have ended tip there. I’ve heard that a million times in interviews [affects hard- boiled American accent of the l3~movie variety] “lfl hadn‘t become an actor I would have killed someone.” I was never going to kill anyone. btit I identify with the liinney character in the sense of a rejection of violence and using art as self— cxpression.‘
When he was a child. Kane's mother studied art at a night class and used to leave hooks about Kandinsky and l’ica ;so lying around. so he
‘You take on something like Finney because you need to make a living and in a sense I was quite cynical when I started but personal things start to come into it.’
remembers abstract art as ‘definitely a normal thing to he interested in‘. Although fascinated with painting. the young Kane also started writing stories. but his atrocious spelling and grammar marked him down as a poor finglish scholar at school. This. he thinks. could account for a preference for screenplays which are driven by dialogue rather than description. ‘I could jtist write the way people speak.‘ Kane says. (He now lives iti (ilasgow. where he has tapped into the long tradition of bantering humour. l
Kane‘s love of dialogue and his fascination with incidental characters. particularly in 40s Hollywood movies. have foiitid a perfect home in Ruffian llmrts. a new feature-length drama which Kane wrote and. for the first time. directed. I)escribed as a (ilasgow tenement version of La Rom/e. Arthur Schnitzler's circular tale of sexual liaisons set in 1900s Vienna. Ruffian Hearts is an interlocking story of relationships. Kane has done away with the idea of a lead role. preferring an ensemble cast of distinctive characters. It‘s a bit-part player‘s dream and Kane has proved himself to be the prince regent of patter. bringing gallus Glasgow humour to the screen with a wit that even John
Jenny McCrindle as Caitlin
Byrne. the genre‘s modern father. hasn't really improved on since 'liitti I’rirtti.
‘I find hit-part characters more interesting and i always wanted to know more about them.‘ says Kane. ‘I wanted to take characters who would normally have smaller parts in a middle class drama. It's not a political film htit the decision to write about the romantic life of working class characters is a political decision. it's about working class characters who are smart. not always doped tip or incapable of expressing themselves because that‘s not my understanding of the world I live in.’
Shot with indecent haste in (iai'nethill last year on a shoestring budget. Kane says he's finally made something he can he unequivocably proud of. So how did Kane. an incredibly softly spoken man who was almost too nervous to introduce Ruffian Harris at the Edinburgh Film Festival screening. manage to control the cast and crew of even such a modestly produced film‘.’
‘I didn't do a lot of directing — the actors just knew.‘ he says. ‘I was determined to direct
DAVID KANE FEATURE
Clive Russell as Grazetti
Vicki Masson as Marie
because I felt it was a delicate film and I was worried the tone might be wrong; I was certainly worried that the casting would be wrong. l had particular people in mind for some of the parts [his girlfriend Jenny NlcCrindle plays Caitlin] and ljust didn‘t think it would have been done properly. to be honest.
"l‘he one thing that worried me was that I wouldn‘t connect with the actors. I had a cameraman who would tell me ifl was making a mistake. so in a sense my expertise was a relationship with the actors.‘
That much is obvious from the finished film. The characters who are based most directly on Kane's experience are a couple of struggling artists (Peter Mullen and Paul Haini living in squalor and lighting over the affections of the remarkable Bronagh (iallagher. But ever the egalitarian. Kane has given each of the actors a perfect comic moment which is what makes Rid/inn Hearts such a funny. heart-warming film.
Kit/ﬁrm Hearts is the fail/ifl)! in I/I(’ Love Bites
.\‘(’(l.S'()/I on Saturday .i’U .S'r'pteni/u'r ()II [3/36'2.
The List 23 Sept-5 ()ct I‘NS 1?