Monday, January 29, 2007

Film: Red Road

This is a film set in Glasgow… not nice Glasgow, but tower block hell Glasgow. The main character works as one of those people who look at close circuit TV images of the city, reporting any trouble to the cops. She has for unspecified reasons become very withdrawn from her fellow humans. Then she recognises someone from her past on one of the screens, and starts to track him, using the cameras to follow him around the city and then trying to insinuate herself into his actual life (oddly, he fails to recognise her, for reasons eventually explained).

The film cultivates a terrifying air of menace… when the protagonist crashes a party in the bloke's manky tower block flat, one is particularly expecting some kind of pay-off like something from a novel by De Sade. The film does however greatly misdirect the viewer, so the horrible events anticipated never quite arrive (at least not in the manner expected - I'm not completely giving away the plot here).

So yeah, if you would like to see a deeply uncomfortable yet brilliant film that will forever put you off moving to Glasgow, then this is the film for you. It also features the world's best chat up line: "I've been wondering what your cunt tastes like".

The tower blocks look pretty flash, I'm sure you agree.


jennifer said...

I think what I like best is the little Glasgow Guide guy. How cute and thrilled is he?!

Kealo said...

I lived in a tower block for over a year when I lived in Manchester. The flat was fine. However, I had to consort with working class people. Oh, the horror!

ian said...

Jennifer - I'd be thrilled too if I was living in Red Road.

Kealo - I get the impression that a higher proportion of people live in tower blocks in the UK than do here, so they don't quite have the same connotations of ye liveliest awfulnesse. Our friends on the continent, meanwhile, do not seem to have any fear of the tower block. Weirdos.

bolshy-spice said...

I enjoyed Red Road very much too, and wish it had been allowed run at the cinemas for longer, as it didn't get the notice it deserved outwith Scottish film circles.

On a vaguely related note, have you been to see The Last King of Scotland yet? You should as it is a fine film about postcolonial issues, and perhaps you can use Spy School as an excuse to see it.

ian said...

I have seen TEH LAST KING TAHT IS OF TEH SCOTLAND and will probably write about it for THE SECRET JOURNAL OF WHICH YOU AND I ARE BOTH ACQUAINTED. A report on said film may well in due course appear here, or perhaps, given its Spy School like subject matter, in my other blog, where no one will read it.