in Glasgow. Kevin Allen‘s hit vehicle for Craig Ferguson. The Big Tease. was an exuberantly camp affair. based in the kitschy world of celebrity hairdressing and much admired in America.
Then there was Bill Forsyth's latest. Gregory '3‘ 2 Girls. the continuation of a directing career that has had tremendous impact upon filmmaking in Scotland. Forsyth's vision — whimsical. playful. ironic — first found expression in his 1979 feature debut 'I'har Sinking
Feeling. which forms a centrepiece of
the GFT‘s Glasgow (‘onneerions season. Forsyth's irrepressible optimism injected a new energy into Scottish filmmaking and helped to reinvent the image of Scots. long portrayed as either rent-a-thugs or lovable. two-dimensional eccentrics. Glasgow-based films set to follow in the wake of The House Of Mirth provide further evidence that films set in the city don‘t have to be sponsored by Buckfast. Beautiful Creatures is a glossy thriller starring Rachel Weisz and Susan Lynch and directed by Bill Eagles. Peter Capaldi‘s l‘)5()s period
piece Strietlv Sinatra strikes a lighter
note. with Ian Hart as a romantically challenged crooner. Though both these films were made with English funding. a Glasgow-set hit could nonetheless
give the Scottish film industry a helping hand. and perhaps re-ignite the explosive confidence it enjoyed after the international acclaim that greeted 'li'ainsporting and Brave/lean.
Many in the Scottish industries of film and tourism must also be fervently hoping that the success of The House ()f'Mi'i'I/i will prompt others to consider Glasgow‘s potential as a stand—in for New York. Glasgow has made anonymous appearances before. in Danny Boyle‘s notorious tales of lidinburgh malfeasants Shallow (have and 'I’rainspolring. Paul McGuigan’s The /l('l(l House and (iillies MacKinnon‘s World War I epic Regeneration.
Both hits and misses lie ahead. What's certain is that Glasgow has proved its credentials as a film location. whether it's playing itself or going incognito. and whether it‘s peopled by shady characters or parasol- wielding society ladies.
Glasgow Connections continues at the GFT with Silent Scream on Sun 15 Oct and Orphans on Sun 19 Nov.
1 Gregory's Girl Winning comedy from Cumbernauld with John Gordon Sinclair eventually finding romance after his heart is set aflame by the latest recruit to the school football team. A seminal piece of Scottish cinema, its universal appeal demonstrated that homegrown talent could compete with Hollywood's finest in the entertainment stakes.
Seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old James Gillespie, a sensitive boy haunted by the drowning of a neighbour's son, Ratcatcher painted a bleakly realistic picture of Glasgow family life. Ramsay used meticulous framing, unusual camera angles and atmospheric images to capture the subtle textures of everyday life, as well as complex inner feelings.
3 My Name Is Joe
The blend of comedy, social drama, love interest and tense thriller made for a more accessible movie than we'd normally expect from Ken Loach. Recovering alcoholic Joe Kavanagh (Peter Mullan) meets and falls in love with health visitor Sarah (Louise Goodall), but his well-intentioned scheme to get a young friend out of the grip of a vicious drug dealer looks likely to backfire on everyone he cares for.
4 Silent Scream
Based on the writings of Barlinnie Special Unit inmate and convicted murderer Larry Winters, David Hayman’s impressive feature debut as director was an audacious and passionate attempt to get inside the head of a very complex individual. With an electric, award- winning performance by Iain Glen at its core, Silent Scream provided a massive boost for film production in Scotland.
5 Comfort And Joy
Bill Paterson, Eleanor David, Patrick Malahide and Rikki Fulton stared in this quirky Scottish comedy, along the lines of Bill Forsyth's earlier Gregory’s Girl. Paterson was in fine form as a disc jockey with more personal problems than he can handle, getting caught up in an underworld dispute over the territorial rights of ice cream vans. >
f: Op: 235: THE lIST15