The Front


Crumbs in media's hotbed

eah yeah, old news darling, old news. Media gossips already know, thanks to the man behind animated movie Belleville R£’I1(l(’£',-V(Hl.¥. that

Studio Django, a new animation studio set up by cult director Sylvain Chomet, were sneaked onto the Scottish Screen website several weeks ago, along with news that Django had already secured funding to embark on Barbacoa, an animated film collaboration with Mark Cousins and his company 4-Way Pictures. Brilliant news for Scotland; yet for some reason. the Scottish media i didn’t seem in the mood to celebrate.

i But last week the news got even better, with the announcement of funding for a bigger Studio Django project, this time from Dimension Films. Bob Weinstein, chairman of the Miramax spin-off, flew Chomet out to New York to clinch the deal, and work is expected to commence on the project this summer. In effect, the studio already looks set to be a big employer for Scotland‘s animation graduates. Still not good enough for you jaded old luvvies‘.’

OK, well alongside that, another piece of good fortune for the sector came with news of a merger between Scotland’s finest independent television companies, Ideal World and Wark Clements. Bringing together their founders Kirsty Wark and Muriel Gray, the new company to be known as lWC Media (no, not Gallus Besoms) will have a turnover of £19m. making it the largest non-London production company in the UK. Go on, admit it: the prospects for the creative sector here suddenly look rather fine.

But it can’t all be good news. So here’s one for the doom-mongers and pessimists. It’s the story of an audacious bid to build a national film studio in rural Perthshire. The latest in a series of valiant attempts to build a large studio complex in Scotland, Toni Antoniou’s proposal is for a vast development in the Strathearn Valley, near Aberuthven. But without support from Scottish Screen, and with a campaign by local residents to scupper it (many claim it’s simply a ruse to acquire lucrative land for luxury housing). Antoniou's plan looks likely to bite the dust. Worse still, a Scottish Enterprise study in 2002 ruled that plans for a national film studio were not viable. There. Put that champagne away, you naive optimists: our media industry's going to the dogs . . .

cqu or THE FORTNIGHT , '

DRIED SEAHORSES With the news that the west coast of Scotland is to 2 get its very own pot bellied seahorse farms, a bid to save from extinction the little beasts. now is the time to dig out your dried seahorses. You may remember when you could buy them anywhere from the shores of Tasmania to the beaches of Turkey. These pieces of natural taxidermy would usually spend about a year knocking around before being consigned to a trinket box. Fur is, like. so over, sister. The seahorse accessory is, like. so next season. Make a brooch out of them, weave them into Jimmy Choos, lick ‘em and stick ‘em to your forehead for a Sino-Atlantis culture clash look. Say yay not nay to this top tip, my little neophytes.

10 THE LIST 15—29 Apr 2004

Scotland’s film industry is about to get a shot in the arm. Plans for .

1 Ricky Gervais

Comedy Two nights of deadpan lunacy from the man behind David Brent as he foists his political ‘views’ upon us. Albeit in a shambolic, unpolitical manner. Pavilion, Glasgow.

2 Triptych

Music Getting bigger and better (over five days this year), the country’s most eclectic musofest gives us the likes of Sons and Daughters (pictured), Bob Moog and Super Furry Animals. See feature, page 20. Various venues.

3 Carandiru

Film Hector Babenco goes to jail to tell the disturbing true story of a Séo Paulo correctional facility where 111 inmates were massacred by military police in 1992. See Film, pages 29 and 32. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

4 Richard Wright

Art His work is short-lived and site-specific, and, in his biggest solo show in Scotland to date. the Glasgow-based artist paints directly onto the walls in Dundee. See feature, page 14. Dundee Contemporary Arts.

5 Uncle Varick

Theatre John Byrne brings his own adaptive Scottish spin to Chekhov's ultimate love story with the ever excellent Brian Cox in the title role. See feature, page 26. Lyceum, Edinburgh.

6 Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

TV He’s back. And he’s fucking livid. The narked chef places his robust self into other people’s kitchens and tells it like it bloody well is. See TV, page 115 Channel 4.

7 Scottish Ballet

Dance Further evidence that Ashley Page is turning things round for Scottish Ballet with a new programme that gives his dancers the chance to shine. See Theatre, page 75. Festival Theatre, Edinburgh.

Film The second instalment of Quentin Tarantino’s epic proves worth the wait as he gives us a brilliantly plagiaristic talk-heavy Western. it’s as deadly as a crate of mambas. See Film, pages 28 and 31. General release.

9 Far Cry

Games A nerve-shredding First Person Shooter experience which manages to sidestep all the usual FPS cliches as you try to escape the clutches of a very scary enemy. See Games, page 113. UbiSoft.

1 0 Spellbound

DVD Little kids and big words. The most joyous documentary feature of last year about the nippers taking part in the US spelling bee finals finally gets a DVD release with some healthy extras. See Buy it This Fortnight, page 107. Metrodome.