Award-winning Scottish actor and theatre director makes her debut feature

ver the last two years Alison Peebles

has made forays into the film world.

directing two shorts written by Colin Hough: Nan . with a spellbinding Una McLean and Tangerine. about a marriage lived in the shadow of the Fourth Road Bridge. Now at this year's EIFF she Wlll launch her feature debut. Afterlife. written by Andrea Gibb. and starring Keyin McKidd as a wayward son returning to Glasgow to look after his ailing mum. played by Lindsay Duncan. and Downs Syndrome sister. Paula Sage.

Sitting in her Dennistoun top floor flat. I ask Alison about the rigours of filmmaking. “It was a ridiculously last five week shoot. five week edit and all done on the tiny budget of {250.000. Everything I've done is a big challenge. I'm always thrown in at the deep end. I have no training as a filmmaker. but as an actor I understand story. character. emotion, narrative arc and humour. I understand how to make a story work.‘

At the centre of Afterlife is a knockout larger than life performance by Down's Syndrome performer Paula Sage. How responsible did Alison feel abOut how she represented this character? “Andrea. the writer. has experience of Down's Syndrome. Anyone who read the script felt it was very aCCurate in its portrayal. Paula had never acted before. She's a complete natural, so bright and Quick. and very different from the character she pOrtrays on screen.“

How hard was it attracting a cast of this calibre to a low budget film? ‘Andrea had Kevin in mind when writing the script. I met him at the Scottish BAFTAS and asked could I send him a script. Two days later he phoned me back saying: "It's brilliant. I want to do it."' (John Binnie) I Afterlife is showing at the UGC on Thu 27 Aug. 9pm. £7.50 (£5).

xx w

Kevin ' McKidd and ~ ‘~'-" Paula Sage: knockout


‘You need depression to renew yourself,’ says Rampling

' -


arginal’ is the word the French Use to

describe (‘harlotte Rampling. ‘lt

means you‘re atypical in eyerything you do.‘ she says during an interyiew to promote her latest film. .S'ii‘i'iiiiiii'iig I’iml. 'lt means you can‘t be bandied into a group or a logo or an expression. or into a way of being. You always take another track. As soon as a trap is made. you make another one. That's the only way I can proceed. the way I had to proceed.‘

When you examine her 40-year professional career. it's noticeable just how unconventional many of her film choices haye been.

.\'ow a So-year—old grandmother. Rampling still cuts a striking figure. with her feline eyes. high cheekbones and slender frame. The daughter of an army colonel. she had a peripatetic childhood. before becoming a model and finding fame in swinging (i()s London in such films as (ii'm'gy (fir! and RUIIt’H to [/16 (inc. But at 33. she headed off to Italy to work with Luchino Visconti on The Damned. playing lilisabeth 'l'hallman. the iiidtistrialist's wife sent to a .\'a/i concentration camp. ‘I was yery' young'. she says. 'I knew this was the way I wanted to carry on making films. with this kind

of integrity. this kind of class. this kind of

quality. and this kind of not adhering to the

, i».- a; ~—v- i3. tie. . - -. ,


“A w .M-v


CHARLOTTE RAMPLING is the returning queen of the Edinburgh Film Festival. But her success has come at the cost of depression and analysis.

Words: Tom Dawson

.3?” '1‘! C‘ at



marketing world. This was what was worthy of following as a lifestyle and as a film style. and l haye tried to do that all my life.‘

Rampling took on roles that other actors and their agents tnight haye dismissed as perycrse. Most notoi'iously there was Iflt’ .Vfg'lll l’nrli'i'. in which she was cast as a concentration camp suryiyor. renewing a sado—masochistic relationship with her former torturer. Later in ()shima's .lltn' .lliiii xinmur. her loye interest would be a chimpan/ee. installed by her jealous diplomat husband in their marital residence. She did appear in Various American films in the 7lls and 80s. some acclaimed ll'tll't’lt‘t'll .tly Low/y and Stun/us! .Ut’llll)l'f(‘.\ l. others quickly forgotten t('iii'k_\'. Zurilnr. ()I't'Ui. although she ney er decamped to Hollywood. preferring to remain in l‘rance where she moyed in 1972.

Yet. while Rampling deyeloped through the decades a sexually ainbigtiotis star persona. in her life off-screen she endured real suffering. .-\s a teenager she experienced the traumatic loss of her married elder sister. who died at the age of

just 33 from a brain haemorrhage. prompting

Rampling to take parts in films. which she told one journalist. punished her. 'l’eople would ask why I didn't do comedies but ljtist couldn't.~ she said. 'I went right another w ayf