{AK/1A MORVERN CALLAR (15) 97min 0...

If nothing else this will go down in the record books as one of the oddest choices for a film adaptation ever

Brave cerebral filmmaking

committed to celluloid. Morvern Callar the novel by Alan Warner had a lucid yet indefinable madness at its


Lynne Ramsey, is hardly the sort of filmmaker to be intimidated by literary or aesthetic limitations. Her debut film The Ratcatcher dug deep into the unfashionable furrows of Bresson, Bill Douglas, Terence

Davies and Ermanno Olmi (particularly his sacramental epic The Tree of Wooden Clogs) and scattered their

naturalistic soil across the dyspeptic Glasgow tenements of the late 703. So if anyone was going to bring modern fiction’s shallowest, weirdest character to the screen it had to be Ramsey.

Small town hedonist and check-out girl Morvern Callar (Sam Morton, excellent as ever) awakes one morning to find her boyfriend has committed suicide in the kitchen of their Oban flat. Instead of informing the emergency services she leaves his body there for a few days and continues to go to work. When she finds the finished manuscript of her boyfriend’s novel, she puts her name on it, sells it to a publisher and goes on holiday with her best friend Lanna (Kathleen McDermott), having disposed of her partner’s body in a fairly gruesome way. Initially, the vacation is supposed to be little more than a jaunt to Ibiza, but Callar soon finds her horizons and expectations of life change as her friend remains devout to her shitheel life in

a dead end town.

Ramsey, co-screenwriter Liana Dognini and Morton have done a remarkable job of transposing this quirky, distant character and her awkward strange journey to the screen. The filmmaking is fluid, emotive and intuitive. Unlike Ratcatcher Ramsey’s agenda here is to recreate the look and feel of the films made by a slim band of outre’ geek filmmakers in 703 America, noticeably Bob Rafaelson (Five Easy Pieces), Jerry Shatzberg (Scarecrow) and Hal Ashby (The Last Detail). She succeeds, kind of, in that this film succeeds, kind of, as an adaptation despite the liberties taken with the book and a particularly embarrassing homage

to Easy Rider.

In an age of saccharine, spice and all things predictable this is surprisingly, brave cerebral

filmmaking. Well worth the trip, little sister. (Paul Dale) I Se/er:.‘e<t .'(,n'(,>(1s;e ."()/7‘ I’m 7 .'."().<

ciiiiiiomo LANES (15) 99min 0...

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