4 6 Orphans

Four orphans of varying ages attempt to come to terms with the death of their beloved mother during one dark, stormy night in Glasgow. Peter Mullan’s feature directing debut mixed emotional frankness with humour verging on the surreal to great effect. There were many impressive individual set pieces and performances and the whole thing came together remarkably.

7 Carla's Song

A more commercially viable outing for Ken Loach, without a loss of political commitment. Robert Carlyle played Glaswegian bus driver George, who gives up everything to help refugee Carla return to Nicaragua and find her boyfriend. The love story aspect of the first (Scottish) half of the film was the strongest point and Carlyle was excellent: mildly tough and totally charming.

8 Small Faces

Co-written with producer brother Billy, Gillies Mackinnon’s marvellously detailed study about the growing pains of a boy caught in the fringes of Glasgow’s gangland violence in the 605, emerged as a warm and accurate portrayal of working-class family life. Centring on three brothers, it avoided the pitfalls of the Glasgow hard man movie, instead becoming a superior rites-of—passage tale.

9 Th_at Sinking Feeling

Bill Forsyth’s debut feature, remarkable for the paucity of the resources at his disposal, used a cast from the Glasgow Youth Theatre to tell the story of unemployed youth driven by boredom into an audacious robbery of kitchen sinks. The easy- going performances and spritely wit still catch the attention and are an early indication of Forsyth’s quirky genius.

10 The Big Tease

The American Dream comes to Scotland in this tale of Crawford Mckenzie (Craig Ferguson), a Glaswegian hair-stylist cutting and crimping his way to the top of the hair hierarchy. Shot in semi-mock documentary style, the film followed his endeavours to take on all comers at the World Freestyle Hairdressing Championships in LA. The Big Tease was a premier league feelgood movie.

16 THE llST i) 19 ()<'. '2000

. A_‘ t I. 3 i 9 i ' .' l

In HOUSE OF MIRTH, Terence Davies uses Glasgow's grand Victorian architecture as a stand- in for New York. The result is superb and Gillian Anderson is a

revelation. Words: Jason Best

'WITH EDITH WHARTON THE GLOVES ARE off and there's blood on the \valls.' Director Terence Davies insists that \‘Vharton is. like Jane Austen. portraying a world that revolves around manners. matrimony and money. But as [)avies’ superb screen adaptation makes clear. beneath the \vell-bred skin of New York society at the turn of the century lurks a remorseless savagery.

Gillian Anderson's Belle lipoque socialite Bart would appear to he one of this society's natural survivors. She has beauty. charm and the expectation of a rich legacy from her aunt. Surely she can pick and chose from among her many suitors‘.’ Lavvrence Seldcn (liric Stoltl.) is clever. \vitty. elegant. she may even love him. but he could never be \vealthy enough to keep her in luxury. Sim Rosedale (Anthony Lal’aglia) has money. but he‘s too much of a parvenu. Other potential vvooers receive equally short shrill.

But doesn‘t fully understand the rules of the game she is playing. And she doesn't recognise the duplicity and hypocrisy of the people she counts as her friends. So. through a combination of naivety. folly and bad timing -- the unfortunate knack of alvvays doing the right thing at the vvrong time she is brought lovv.

Davies charts l.il_\"s tragic descent with formal rigour. framing scenes with self-consciously painterly

tableaux that evoke the era‘s fashionable artists. But. as with his other work. aesthetic control goes hand in glove with a deep compassion. L'nlike his earlier films. hovvever. with their emphasis on the random workings of memory. (see the autobiographical Distant Voices. Sir/l Lives and The Long Day (Vows. and his earlier literary adaptation. The Neon Bible). The House Of .llirl/i's narrative is distinctly linear.

But T/It’ House ()fllfl'l/l is still recognisably its director‘s film. It is far less flamboyant. for example. than Scorsese's Wharton adaptation. The Age (Ifiliilzmwu'c. though it depicts a similarly opulent \vorld. Davies” {Smillion budget. though big by his standards. vvould hardly have allovved him to match Hollywood on its terms. But he turns these limitations into a virtue. cannily deploying Glasgow‘s grand Victorian architecture as a stand- in for New York. and focusing our attention on the actors. Stoltz. Lal’aglia. Dan Aykroyd. Laura Linncy and the rest all deliver. but the lilm is dominated by .-\nderson. who gives a subtle. revelatory performance as the complex. flavved. sometimes exasperating. but alvvays sympathetic l.ilv.

The House Of Mirth (PG, 140 mins) opens at the GFT, Glasgow and the Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 13 Oct.