THE new Paul Ferris biopic The Wee Man certainly holds its own as yet another slice of Glasgow criminal life, the narrative being driven along nicely by the central character's unswerving determination to drive kitchen knives into every unprotected part of the human anatomy.
But the impact of the screen violence forces the question: can Glasgow not produce a love film? Will our cinemas ever offer more than Neds, or films featuring reforming neds such as The Angel's Share? Do film makers not consider we, as a nation would love our own boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-finds-girl trope?
Can't Glaswegians cry, except when the dug is discovered to have digested the winning bookies' line? Can't intimacy take place outside Barlinnie's D Wing? Does hand-holding always have to be a result of a joining with metal cuffs? Does every story have to have A Sense of Freedom sensibility – and be set in corporation-built dampness?
Seems so. We don't make films set in nice leafy suburbs because we don't do middle class. Our inferiority complex won't allow us to see past the remnants of Red Clydeside. We're too macho, too defensive – too Scottish – to be able to collate our real feelings. To make a Four Weddings would be our film-life funeral. As a result, our writers only want to write about crime.
Scots film-making therefore is reduced to two strands; shortbread-tin nice, such as Whisky Galore, or Trainspotting, that is, drugs galore. Yes, we're great at black comedy, wonderful at gangsters and stabbings and beatings (even in River City) but we can't even aspire to emotions. We need to be in the gutter looking up at the stars.
And it's a shame, 'cos Martin Compston would make a great romantic lead.
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