Four' (five if you include Sean's absent girlfriend. Madeline) pontificate around the subjects: modern life is rubbish and sex. It could quite easily have been a gritty low-key dratna. Instead. it‘s an upbeat comedy.
‘That kind of grim low-budget thing was something we wanted to avoid.‘ says Lothian. ‘We had just made the Dogme documentary and we didn't want to make another Dogme film.‘
‘The film is very self-consciously designed and the camerawork is very controlled.‘ says Metzstein. ‘()ur film comes from a different tradition. it’s more extreme like the Coen brothers. I don‘t like certain assumptions about levels of realism. which I think are very common in Britain. What‘s real is whether the drama works between the characters.’
Lothian and Metzstein seem so much on the same wavelength. yet their influences are very different. Metzstein likes 70s European arthouse cinema: Lothian watches American teen moy ies. everything from John Hughes‘ Sixteen Candles to Francis Ford Coppola‘s Rumble/islz to Kevin Smith‘s Chasing Amy.
Lothian on collaborating: 'lt’s kind of simple. because we both like different things. We don‘t socialise together. So we just try things out on each other. going back and forth with ideas.’
Metzstein: ‘We are very actively wanting to make films that we are the audience for. So when Jack comes up with something. we both sit there and think: “Can we be arsed to make this. Or even watch it?" In a funny way. we are quite cynical and commercial.‘
Despite Lothian and Metzstein‘s global cinema influences. their debut is being pigeonholed as a Scottish film. It's an
From top left: James Lance; Metzstein and Lothian; James Lance, Heike Makatsch, Enzo
Cilenti and Shauna MacDonald; and James Lance, Enzo Cilenti, Kate Ashfield and Luke de Woolfsoon
angle that Met/stein is growing tired of. 'Some of it was shot in Glasgow] he allows. ‘Some in London. But it‘s important that the story"s not set anywhere specific. because these characters‘ jobs have all become mindless. shared jobs which are the same everywhere in the world. There’s a subtext of globalisation in this film.‘ he says. and then catches himself with a self-depreciating laugh. Then he continues: ‘American films have that nice focus where they show you a skyline so you know where it is. and then they just tell the story. But then. you get films that are very specific. such as Diner which is supposed to be Baltimore; both me and Jack have been there and neither of us have a bastard clue about where in Baltimore the film is located. Now. if Lute i’Viglit .S'ltop/n’ng‘s whole audience is in Scotland. you have to care: but it‘s not.“
Lothian and Met/stein are off to Blackpool for their next film. Northern Soul. ‘lt will be a love story set over a whole night in Blackpool. We'll have more money. so we‘re going to blow up a car.‘
'We‘ve got one called Airports. Hotel. ett'.' says Lothian. ‘lt‘s about two businessmen travelling the world. passing through the same hotels and airports; it‘s basically the globalisation theme again. And there’s another project in development [working title: Ms l’ixitl about rock bands that trash hotels and then there‘s this guy whose job it is to clean up after them. Get the tiger out of the bath. etc. It‘s a road movie set the day after. But the chance to blow up cars. that's why you want to be a filmmaker.’
Late Night Shopping opens at the GFT, Glasgow and Filmhouse, Edinburgh on Fri 22 Jun. See review, page 24.
21 Jun—:3 Jul 2901 THE LIST 13