274 Great Directors: Lynne Ramsay

“Sometimes people go, “Do you improvise a lot?” Well, you maybe improvise a lot beforehand to get to that point, but once I’m sure of what I want to do, that’s it.”


Why This Director?
: She’s always intrigued me.

My Last Experience Was…: N/A

What Did I Watch: All three: Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar, We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Where Does She Fit: Ratcatcher is a gloomy affair, but not without spots of joy like when the rat goes to the moon. Guilt and sadness and filth are everywhere, and the small details catch our eye, but on the whole we are mostly just suffocating in an atmosphere of people who have lost a lot of hope and must try and preserve the little things-a piano, the curtains, a child who messes all those things up in different ways. We can all explore a field to find something new, but the voices will remain impenetrable thanks to the thickest accents since Kes.

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Morvern Callar, astoundingly, is not on Blu-Ray and it needs it pronto. Easily one of the most weird and fascinating films I’ve ever seen, but devastating too in how this enigmatic woman reacts to people talking about their missing boyfriends at a party or just stares out at a gorgeous but bleak lake with her friend. That mixtape may be dedicated to the one her boyfriend loved, but how is she going to let him go when she is going to make her name off his success as a writer? Her future is forever at that rave, just passing through life.

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The first half hour of We Need To Talk About Kevin is its strongest moment, a collage of a mother going through the grief that comes when your child has possibly been ruined by you and there is nothing you can do to stop it even if you think you could have done better. The textures and formal rigors of the opening may fade slightly as it goes along, but her eye and ear for the frame and the weird mix of sounds that we overhear, echoing into the void, combine perfectly with Tilda’s face that could cut through marble. The final shot is some scorched earth stuff.

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Most Valuable Asset: Color and control.
Most Excited For: Her new film with Joaquin Phoenix.

Coming Up Next: Leos Carax, filthy madman.

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