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Scotland: Global Cinema

Scotland: Global Cinema: Genres, Modes and Identities

David Martin-Jones
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Scotland: Global Cinema
    Book Description:

    What is your favourite fantasy Scotland? Perhaps you enjoyed Whisky Galore! or Brigadoon, or maybe The Wicker Man is to your taste, Local Hero or Highlander? Yet have you also considered Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Rob Roy, Dog Soldiers, Danny the Dog, Festival, The Water Horse, Carla's Song, Trainspotting and Red Road? Scotland: Global Cinema is the first book to focus exclusively on the unprecedented explosion of filmmaking in Scotland in the 1990s and 2000s. It explores the various cinematic fantasies of Scotland created by contemporary filmmakers from all over the world - including Scotland, England, France, the United States and India - who braved the weather to shoot in Scotland. _x000B_Significantly broadening the scope of previous debates, Scotland: Global Cinema provides analysis of ten different genres and modes prevalent in the 1990s/2000s: the comedy, road movie, Bollywood extravaganza, (Loch Ness) monster movie, horror film, costume drama, gangster flick, social realist melodrama, female friendship/US indie movie, and art cinema. These various chapters suggest a wealth of different histories of cinema in Scotland, and uncover the numerous identities - national, transnational, diasporic, global/local, gendered, sexual, religious - created by these approaches. Cinema in Scotland is situated in a global context through analysis of the intersection of transversal flows of filmmaking, tourism, trade and transnational fantasy typical of globalization, as they meet and mingle against the world famous cinematic landscapes of Scotland.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3393-7
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Illustrations
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-x)
  5. Introduction: Fantasy Scotlands
    (pp. 1-23)

    Contrary to what you might expect from its title, this is not a book about Sean Connery. It is, rather, a book about the range of filmmaking in Scotland in the 1990s and 2000s. It examines this extremely productive period in a global context, exploring the different identities on offer in the various fantasy Scotlands created by filmmakers from around the world. I do not directly aim to discuss any of the famous Scots to make it in Hollywood – from directors Alexander Mackendrick (Whisky Galore! (1949), Sweet Smell of Success (1957)) and Bill Forsyth (Local Hero (1983)) to actors...

  6. CHAPTER 1 Comedy: Global/Local Identities
    (pp. 24-44)

    This chapter examines film comedies made and set in Scotland. It explores why comedies are either ignored in academic debates surrounding cinema in Scotland, or their comedic aspect downplayed in favour of more ‘serious’ topics dealt with by individual filmmakers. Through indepth analysis of Gregory’s Two Girls (1999) and Festival (2005) I argue that Scottish filmmakers use comedy as a mode of film production, with certain contemporary Scottish films deploying their comedic elements to construct an ‘edgy’ comedy, designed to make audiences laugh, whilst dealing with serious issues that are perhaps more recognisable, if not more relevant, in Scotland than...

  7. CHAPTER 2 Road Movie: Scotland in the World
    (pp. 45-66)

    This chapter explores the place of the road movie in Scottish cinema. It begins with a brief introduction to existing literature on the genre. The history of road movies featuring Scotland is then discussed, in particular the dominant trend in British films to depict Scotland as an end point for journeys featuring English protagonists. The remainder of the chapter charts a shift in emphasis that became apparent in the early 1990s to road movies featuring Scottish protagonists. Soft Top, Hard Shoulder (1993) follows a Scot returning to Scotland, simultaneously emphasising a rejuvenation of Scottish national identity and a nuanced appreciation...

  8. CHAPTER 3 Bollywood: Non-Resident Indian-Scotland
    (pp. 67-88)

    This chapter analyses representations of Scotland’s Non-Resident Indian (NRI) communities in popular Indian, or ‘Bollywood’ films, and Nina’s Heavenly Delights (2006), a Scottish film influenced by Bollywood.¹ I contrast how Scotland is depicted in fantastical song and dance sequences in the international Indian hits Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000) with its more narratively integrated representation in Pyaar Ishq aur Mohabbat (2001). The latter is the first Bollywood film set entirely in Scotland, although its vision of NRI life articulates an ideological view of the diaspora propounded by the Indian filmmaking centre of Mumbai. Its ideological position...

  9. CHAPTER 4 (Loch Ness) Monster Movie: A Return to Primal Scotland
    (pp. 89-112)

    This chapter examines the Loch Ness monster movie, an incarnation of the monster genre completely ignored in academic discussions of Scotland and cinema. It begins with a brief examination of the history of Nessie, including the media coverage that accompanied the monster’s first reported sightings in the twentieth century, its relationship with tourism and the ways in which the early British Nessie movie The Secret of the Loch (1934) used the monster to examine the relationship between England and Scotland. This theme is pursued throughout the rest of the chapter, for the majority of which I focus on Loch Ness...

  10. CHAPTER 5 Horror Film: History Hydes in the Highlands
    (pp. 113-134)

    This chapter engages with horror films, with a particular emphasis on two werewolf movies, Dog Soldiers (2002) and Wild Country (2005). It begins with an introduction to the relationship between Scotland and the horror film. Dog Soldiers is then analysed with a dedicated focus on its depiction of English and Scottish masculinities, its engagement with a British tradition of war movies, the myth of Tartanry and the allegorical connotations that surround werewolves in horror movies. The ambivalence demonstrated in its treatment of Scotland as a location further illustrates the complexities raised by British films set in Scotland that aim at...

  11. CHAPTER 6 Costume Drama: From Men in Kilts to Developing Diasporas
    (pp. 135-152)

    This chapter examines the most well known of all the popular genres associated with Scotland, the costume drama (sometimes referred to as the period drama, heritage or historical film). Costume dramas with a Scottish theme have been made throughout the twentieth century, by both British and US production companies. Initially the debate surrounding costume drama is introduced – in particular the contested term ‘heritage cinema’ – and the role that costume dramas made and set in Scotland increasingly play in this debate. Because of the popularity of this particular genre, however, and as there is already so much written about...

  12. CHAPTER 7 Gangster Film: Glasgow’s Transnational Identities
    (pp. 153-174)

    This chapter focuses on two gangster films made and set in Glasgow in the 2000s, the British film (with a major Scottish creative input) American Cousins (2003) and the French/US/UK coproduction starring Chinese martial arts action superstar Jet Li, Danny the Dog (a.k.a Unleashed) (2005). These gangster films enable a discussion of immigrant, diasporic and otherwise globally dispersed identities in contemporary Scotland. The chapter begins with a discussion of the appearance in the 1990s of gangsters in films produced in Scotland, amidst the flourishing of crime as a subject within Scottish literature, television and film in the latter decades of...

  13. CHAPTER 8 Social Realist Melodrama: Middle-class Minorities and Floundering Fathers
    (pp. 175-194)

    This chapter examines two films that draw upon the social realist tradition, Ae Fond Kiss (2004) and On a Clear Day (2005). Initially it outlines the way social realism is defined in studies of cinema, and then sketches in something of its history in relation to British cinema and previous cinematic representations of Scotland. The two films are then examined to demonstrate their different cominglings of social realism with melodrama. Whilst Ae Fond Kiss draws a subtle distinction between global and local identities, in On a Clear Day the question of a specific identity that can be described as global,...

  14. CHAPTER 9 Female Friendship/US Indie: Women Talking
    (pp. 195-213)

    This chapter explores the confluence of the US independent (indie) model of filmmaking – previously seen in Shallow Grave (1994) and Trainspotting (1996) – with two films made and set in Scotland with female protagonists: Women Talking Dirty (1999) and Beautiful Creatures (2000). The chapter begins with introductions to films previously made in Scotland that feature female protagonists (of which there has been a flurry in the 1990s/2000s) and the influence of the US indie tradition on contemporary Scottish cinema. The two films are then examined to illustrate the convergence of these two styles. Both are typical of the female...

  15. CHAPTER 10 Art Cinema: The Global Limits of Cinematic Scotland
    (pp. 214-232)

    The final chapter begins with the development of art cinema in Scotland, from the painstaking first shoots of creativity in the works of home–grown director Bill Douglas in the 1970s through the flourishing of internationally recognised auteurs like Peter Mullan, Lynne Ramsay and David Mackenzie in the 1990s to the establishment of the Advance Party Initiative, a coproduction agreement between Scotland and Denmark that led to the Cannes Grand Jury Prize winning Red Road (2006). Understanding this history entails a discussion of exactly what art cinema is, which involves understanding both the art film’s aesthetic characteristics and its relationship...

  16. Conclusion
    (pp. 233-235)

    I write these concluding words in late 2008. Most likely the book will appear on the shelves of libraries and bookstores in late 2009 or early 2010. It ends as the last twenty years of dramatic change, which have seen a marked increase in film production in Scotland (indigenous production, international coproductions and location shoots), draws to a close. A new era is hopefully beginning, which could well be defined by the changes to the industry wrought by the merging of Scottish Screen into Creative Scotland, just as the previous decade’s local production was marked by the devolution of Lottery...

  17. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 236-243)
  18. Index
    (pp. 244-254)