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Scotland in feature film

The country’s screen-image then and now, with focus on the City of Glasgow and the development of a Scottish film industry

©2002 Diplomarbeit 179 Seiten


At Glasgow’s University Library I discovered a book about Scotland on film, Scotch Reels. Originally, Scotch Reels is the title of a research carried out in 1982 about the depiction of Scotland on screen. It was revealed then that the predominant image of Scotland was very much engaged with stereotypes (defined as the “heather and haggis image” by one of the book’s critics) and had obviously nothing to do with the contemporary reality of Scotland. Not surprisingly, that radical view has found a lot of stern critics.
On superficial examination, when I think of all the recent films set in Scotland (ranging from the historical epos Braveheart to the contemporary fast-paced drug story Trainspotting, to mention two of the more popular examples), it seems to me that contemporary films set in Scotland show a wider spectrum of Scottish life than they apparently did before the 1980s, when the stories were mostly (with a few exceptions only) set in the Highlands or on an island, in a community far away from contemporary (modern and industrial) life. As a classic example of those films one can mention the musical Brigadoon by Vicente Minnelli from the year 1954.
However, in my thesis I want to concentrate on films set in the City of Glasgow, since there would be far too much material concerned if I considered every single available recent film set in Scotland.
I would like to find out whether the image of Glasgow has improved (or widened in its conception) through the release of recent films, compared to its depiction in older movies.
As I could not analyse all recent feature films set in Glasgow in this context, I decided to concentrate on a few examples. By taking a closer look at these films I hope to be able to demonstrate how varied (or one-sided – as will be determined) the contemporary portrayal of the city is.
I do not want to omit mentioning my awareness of the fact that my selection is very subjective. Had I selected other movies, the result would naturally have been a different one. Also, I have not taken into account television films or series set in the Glasgow area. Especially in recent years a whole range of series has been produced and broadcasted, for instance the surreal hospital-drama Psychos, starring Douglas Henshall, the controversial Tinsel Town, set in Glasgow’s lively clubbing scene, or Glasgow Kiss, which portrays the city as a modern, airy place, inhabited by sympathetic, educated middle-class people – […]


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Paperback)
844 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Universität Wien – Human- und Sozialwissenschaften, Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft
2002 (November)
image klischees mythos nostalgie vorurteile

Titel: Scotland in feature film