Kilmarnock Prison Blues


Please don’t phone me after 3pm on Friday November 3rd (tomorrow) because I’ll be in Kilmarnock Prison at the latest Deacon Blue gig and I’ve been told under no uncertain terms to leave the phone in the car..  Probably the most exciting gig I’ve ever anticipated.  I hope it lives up to its potential.  Anyway you can be sure to read the revue here first.  Let’s hope it doesn’t  rain down, rain on down. 

 Then again, there’s a roof, so who cares.

True Scottish Grit


I left the Edinburgh Film Festival Premier of Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher in the company of the Marketing Director of The Scottish Tourist Board a few years ago and he commented that “there’s another Scottish movie we’ll need to overcome.”  I feel sure he would have made the same comment on leaving Red Road. 

It’s yet another depressingly bleak mood piece that Scotland (with the help of Denmark, through Zetropa Films) does so well.  In fact one of the key characters in this movie is Glasgow; in particular the Red Road Estate and tower blocks.  The Maldives it is not.  And yet, amidst this bleak and desperately unforgiving landscape there are stolen moments of kindness, happiness and hope.

The film is filmed in a Dogmeesque style (ie true to life with little or no special effects bar the closing music I suppose; which is haunting) but it feels rich and layered.

The direction is outstanding and the cinematography gripping.  The human characters are universally excellent (Kate Dickie, Tony Curran and a remarkably savage performance from Martin Compston – Whoah, I wouldn’t like to sit next to him on a train to London.)

It is a superb exploration of the human psyche, of remorse, bitterness and in a strange sort of way, redemption via a very clever and slowly unravelling plot and extremely believable dialogue.

Yes, it’s bleak.  But, at it’s heart I think it clearly demonstrates that there is good in everything.

Well done BBC and Scottish screen for supporting this excellent piece of Scottish drama and not pulling any punches.