“There’s nothing wrong with here Morvern. It’s just the same crapness everywhere so stop dreaming.”
Samantha Morton responds to this comment with a look that says it all. Her character Morvern Callar is a dreamer, she seizes the opportunity for change and takes a risk. She doesn’t know what will happen but has a go anyway. Here is perfectly fine and everywhere does have the same crapness, but the point is there is not here. It’s different, new and therefore exciting.
I find it rare to see my thoughts reflected in film, but this scene really speaks to me and I cheer on Movern every time I see it. In two weeks I’ll be leaving Here, taking a risk and trying out somewhere else. I picked this film to send me off with renewed confidence.
There are many other things to love about this film. The soundtrack is a super good eclectic mix of UK electronica and other oddities (it introduced me to avant garde ‘krautrock’ band Can). Samantha Morton really shines, demonstrating that she is one of the finest actors of our time. Her emotional expression is nuanced, subtle and has great depth. We feel for Morvern despite never quite understanding her. Morton is a ballsy actor for a ballsy character.Lynne Ramsay’s direction leaves lots of quiet spaces, giving the character room and not judging her. There’s a strange quality to the film, coming from the fascination with Morvern, who is a woman that lives in her head. She can be alone in a crowd. I’ve not read the book by Alan Warner – I wonder if that is strange too.
The film was released in 2002 and it reminds me of the late 90s/Y2K era, that pre-9/11 world that was less suspicious or fearful. It was a time when I’d finally finished my formal education and was enthusiastically stepping in to adulthood, fearless and open to experience. In many ways, my leap into the unknown is probably trying to recapture this sense of possibility.
We are screening Morvern Callar at Picture House Social on Sunday 18 October at 12 midday.
I’m not abandoning Magic Lantern. Modern communications technology is a wonderful thing…