Thursday, 20 August 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 249: Sun Sep 6

Meshes of the Afternoon (Deren/Hammid, 1943) & Morvern Callar (Ramsay, 2002)
ICA Cinema, 6.15pm

This is part of the Onwards & Outwards season, a nationwide programme of screenings, talks, and events, which aims to establish a dialogue around the conditions of production that women face when attempting to use the moving image as a means of expression.

Here is the ICA introduction to today's special screening:
Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid's experimental investigation of deeply personal psychology, combined with their self-sufficient production ethics, would serve as inspiration for Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar. Using repetitive structures and iconic imagery, they construct a hallucinatory narrative that delves into the intimate subjectivity of its characters. Meshes Of The Afternoon was one of the key films which influenced Lynne Ramsay to study filmmaking rather than still photography.

Continuing her distinctive, and personal approach to filmmaking, Ramsay followed her debut feature Ratcatcher with an adaptation based of the novel Morvern Callar written by Alan Warner. The story follows a young woman in Scotland, played by Samantha Morton, who wakes on Christmas morning to find her boyfriend has committed suicide. Discovering his bank card and the text of his first novel, she decides to take his money and publish the novel under her name.
"I was interested in [Morvern Callar] because it isn't a very straight narrative, it is original in terms of character, it's original in terms of plot in some ways as well. That's a major risk because the reason conventional narratives are liked is because they work, and they've always worked. People like to be led like that. But that doesn't mean that there isn't another way of doing it. I enjoy experimenting and taking risks with the form." Lynne Ramsay, Vertigo
Chicago Reader review of Morvern Callar:
Morvern Callar (cult fave Samantha Morton) is an inarticulate grocery store clerk in a Scottish hamlet—dead-end girl in a dead-end job in a dead-end town. She seems frozen, unable to act, but when she does it's sudden and startling. An unexpected influx of cash sends her and her best friend, Lanna, who's noisier but equally feckless, on an aimless Spanish beach trip full of joyless sex, drug taking, and drunken Brits. It's not what Morvern wants—not that she knows what she wants—and when the accidental tourist becomes an accidental celebrity, things get even more disturbing. Fans of director Lynne Ramsay's first movie, the bleak Ratcatcher, won't be surprised that this little existential exercise makes The Stranger look like a funwagon

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