Archive film screenings celebrate women

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A movie shot in and around Oban 17 years ago is part of an archive film festival touring Argyll this month in celebration of women.

Oban’s Phoenix Cinema is joining the Raised Voices event, showing two films by Scottish director, producer, writer and cinematographer Lynne Ramsay.

The Phoenix’s first offering is at 7.15pm on Sunday May 19 and sees a screening of Ratcatcher, made in 1999.

What was Ramsay’s first feature-length film, suitable for aged 15 upwards, follows a young Glaswegian boy named James after the death of his friend Ryan.

With scarce dialogue and a subtle central performance, Ramsay lets the camera communicate James’ emotions. Images in Ratcatcher often feel disconnected and dreamlike, James’ guilt and grief forming an almost hallucinatory haze. The film does not wallow in misery, with small moments of hope manifesting in forms like a housing development, a friendship with a kindred spirit, even a rat tied to a balloon, says Jen Skinner from Screen Argyll.

Next up at the Phoenix Cinema is Morvern Callar, shot in 2002, filmed in and around Oban based on the cult novel by Alan Warner.

Rated suitable for 15-year-olds, it will be screened on Sunday May 26 at 7.15pm. This was Ramsay’s second feature film and stars Samantha Morton in a gritty study of grief.

The storyline follows Morvern’s journey from her husband’s suicide in the small port town where they live.

Raised Voices is also travelling to Tiree, Campbeltown, Dunoon and the Isle of Bute.

Powering Women In Film is an event showing at Alan Stevenson House in Hynish, Tiree, on Wednesday May 29 at 7pm. It is an archive programme from the National Library of Scotland, presented and curated by Ruth Washbrook.

The Raised Voices project is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network as part of Changing Times: Women’s Histories.