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Lynne Ramsay Starts With a Punch

Canal Plus

Clearly not afraid to speak her mind ("I just know that when I see a film, I want to come away not feeling like someone's just shat in my head"), Ramsay says she's learned some important practical lessons from her first feature. "I don't want the production running me. I don't work in the most conventional way, and I want to make the production work for me. I like longer shoots, smaller crews; I don't want so many assistants. With the production system on Ratcatcher, it was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The system's so conventional, it can seem stupid. I admire people like Michael Winterbottom, who get around it."

‘‘For me beauty and horror have always been quite close.’’
photo: Robin Holland
‘‘For me beauty and horror have always been quite close.’’

Her next movie, which will star Samantha Morton, is an adaptation of Morvern Callar, a novel by young Scottish writer Alan Warner. "It's a mental road movie about a girl who works in a supermarket in this little town on the west coast of Scotland, which is like the Midwest of America, and she gets out of that lifestyle by the most extraordinary means. It's sort of like Camus for teenagers." Ramsay says the script has been a struggle. "It's similar in structure to Ratcatcher—it starts with a punch, which you're forever trying to match." She admits to being wary of the high expectations in place for her second film. "It makes you want to lock your doors or run away," she says. "I don't want too much pressure. I'd rather remain a wee bit anonymous. You know, I still feel like a student sometimes."

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