‘Ratcatcher’ Review: Lynne Ramsay’s Debut is an Unflinching Recollection of Trauma

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Lynne Ramsay’s directorial debut film is an unflinching portrait of life in Scotland, perhaps best described as a film that doesn’t ever hold back in its gritty portrait of childhood in Glasgow. But it also doesn’t ever feel like the sort of film that any other filmmaker could ever have made to the same impact on what was only their first try behind the camera, as if I couldn’t have any more reason to admire what it was that Lynne Ramsay managed to create here. Over the years, Ramsay has shown herself to be one among the most distinctive voices behind the camera in recent memory but all of that had to start somewhere and when talking about Ratcatcher, it also gives oneself an idea of what more was to come in the future. This isn’t any ordinary coming-of-age film, it’s a film all about the economy of the time period and it’s made even more haunting by the very means in which Ramsay captures the misery and suffering that made life as she recognized it the way in which it is. Driving upon the styles that were set forward by the kitchen sink dramas of the 1960’s, yet also with a dash of surrealism, Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher is a film all about a generation defined by its own messiness.

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2018: Another Year of Cinema Come and Gone

This year was a real game changer for a person like myself. To kick things off, it was the first year in which I was able to attend TIFF as a press member rather than as any other audience member. It was a defining moment for myself, though I don’t want to brag a little too much about what happened there. It was just a good year for cinema in general. That’s all I can really say, and I want to bring more attention to the many films that I absolutely loved this year – and so many of them came around this year and so forth. We’re already nearing the end of a decade, and through the good and the bad, the cinema has always been able to provide nothing but the greatest pleasures through and through. Although as we look through the films that have come to define 2018 as a whole, there were many surprises that came along the way just as there were disappointments – all of which came in between the very best and the worst in cinema through the year. So without further ado, let us begin. Continue reading →

You Were Never Really Here – Review

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I’ve always had a bit of an odd relationship with writer-director Lynne Ramsay. I remember disliking We Need to Talk About Kevin when I last watched it years ago but only recently have I found myself being grabbed by her own work, first with Morvern Callar and now this. This is a work that feels caught within the very feeling of trauma, much like the state of its main character – and builds itself slowly within that pain. To simply say that You Were Never Really Here had defied what I was expecting out of it would undersell the very experience of sitting through it, but from the very outline of such a work I don’t think that I can simply say that I would have expected anything close to what I had received on the spot. You Were Never Really Here is a film that evokes a feeling that is difficult to describe on the spot, but when you think of it – you can’t ever let it go, because we like to tell ourselves that “we were never really there.”

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