Watching Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher
was quite an experience, one I found much more enjoyable than Green's George Washington
, a film coincidently released the same year with a similar topic (and was also a feature directorial debut, just like Ramsay). Ramsay shoots Glasgow's garbage covered, poverty stricken neighborhoods in a refreshing manner, finding compositional beauty in the mess without emphasizing, glamourizing or rubbing the film's lenses in the filth that covers the subjects. It is an odd effect, at once fully illustrating the atrocious state of the area, but it also is distancing and setting thankfully didn't seep outside the film and surround me with an atmosphere of degradation that so many films of this type do (Kids
comes to mind). I also prefer Ratcatcher
's decision to root itself in reality, for although I found George Washington
's surreal, colorful and off kilter take on the south, childhood and poverty unique, its depiction in the end did not ring as true or as meaningful as Ramsay's narrative. Strangely enough yesterday I watched Bresson's Mouchette
for the first time and I found an uneasy amount of parallels between its story and Ratcatcher
. An amazing film and Criterion put out a wonderful transfer of it on dvd, which also includes a longish interview with Ramsay and three short films of hers (all award winning).