Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay (1969–) has realised only a slim body of work, making three feature films since her 1999 debut, yet she has been justly celebrated as one of the most original and powerful voices working in contemporary British cinema. This program explores the “immersive and at times almost overwhelming” (Harvard Film Archive) world of Ramsay’s films, screening two of her intensely personal explorations of youth and grief.
7:00PM – RATCATCHER
Lynne Ramsay (1999) 94 mins
Unclassified 15+ Unless accompanied by an adult
Set amongst decrepit Glasgow tenements, Ramsay films this story of a troubled childhood with a transcendental attention to textures and sensations. Assisted by Alwin H. Küchler’s sensitive cinematography, the director ruminates on the fragility of life and desires against the backdrop of a garbage strike. Amidst the earthy colour palette and gloomy realism of Ramsay’s feature debut as writer and director lies a mesmerising glow that reveals a heartbreaking affection for the film’s subjects. With William Eadie and Leanne Mullen, and a powerful musical score by Rachel Portman.
8:45PM – MORVERN CALLAR
Lynne Ramsay (2002) 97 mins M
Assuming the literary identity of a recently suicided boyfriend, “Morvern Callar” sets off from small-town Scotland to the sun and parties of southern Spain with her best friend. Lauded at Cannes for its dreamy cinematography, edgy soundtrack (Can, Broadcast, Aphex Twin, Lee Hazlewood) and career-defining performance by Samantha Morton in the title role, Ramsay’s second, much-celebrated feature film is the perfect distillation of her impressionistic cinema of unsettlement. “Pure punk existentialism” (Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times).
35mm print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.