A look at some of the finest Scottish cinema

Sep 21, 2014, 06:03 IST | Shakti Shetty

With Scotland refusing to be independent on Friday, hitlist points out some of the films that might have had foreign production houses behind them but gave us a peak into Scottish milieu...

A ruthless dictator by the name of Idi Amin used to call himself the last king of Scotland. What's worth noting here is he assumed this sobriquet simply on the basis of his admiration for the aforementioned place and its people.

At least that's the conclusion one can derive from that 2006 film which won Forest Whitaker his Oscar. In any case, a cinephile can't possibly overlook Caledonian cinema although s/he might have complaints against the indiscernible accent.

Although few in number, seldom does one come across a film from this particular location that doesn't exude a hint of pride in their unique identity.

And with Scotland refusing to be independent on Friday, hitlist points out some of the films that might have had foreign production houses behind them but gave us a peak into Scottish milieu...

Late Night Shopping (2001)
Late Night Shopping
Saul Metzstein
Lowdown: If you remember The Breakfast Club (1985), all the young characters in it do very little other than talking. Something similar happens in this Scottish comedy as four friends who don't think too highly of themselves meet in the club to talk. Sensibly, sometimes.

Morvern Callar (2002)
Morvern Callar
Lynne Ramsay
Lowdown: They say a Scot can be brutally honest, even at the risk of being extremely annoying. The Scottish protagonist in this British drama is far from honest as she wants to take credit for something her dead boyfriend wrote. And thus begins a regrettable journey.

Sweet Sixteen (2002)
Sweet Sixteen
Ken Loach
Lowdown: If one were to compile a list of finest onscreen performances ever by a teenager, Martin Compston must figure somewhere in the top five. His portrayal of a Glaswegian youngster fighting against odds to maintain a crime-free life is as dramatic and convincing as it can get.

Young Adam (2003)
Young Adam
David Mackenzie
Lowdown: Adapted from a novel by the same name, this hauntingly beautiful film allows us into a world where two Scottish individuals — separated by different convictions — converge at a point. However, it doesn't last long enough, as one of them must drift away.

Red Road (2006)
Red Road
Andrea Arnold
Lowdown: Employed as a CCTV operator, the protagonist's job is restricted to observing people and their behaviour on the streets in Glasgow. This routine existence changes when she chances upon a person she's determined to meet in person as soon as possible.

Stone of Destiny (2008)
Stone of Destiny
Charles Martin Smith
Lowdown: A British-Canadian production, this adventure revolves around Scottish nationalists who succeeded in removing the fabled Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in London and successfully brought it back to Scotland — back in 1950.

The Angels' Share (2012)
The Angels' Share
Ken Loach
Lowdown: Whiskey and Scotland might be synonymous in some parts of the world but not many are aware of the art of distilling. This comedy has a yarn spun around characters who'd do anything to have the best of whiskey but without really paying the price. Okay, they'll steal it.

Brave (2012)
Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Lowdown: She's a Scottish princess but doesn't wish to lead a protected life. On the contrary, she wants to be free and wild. And to her good luck, she faces problems which makes her prove that she has what it takes to be brave in an otherwise
man's world.

Filth (2013)
Jon S Baird
Lowdown: A Scottish cop has way too many things on his mind, to the point that he can't really trust his brain cells anymore. He hates bagpipes and isn't really proud of being a Scot either but he knows the rules of the dirty game he's got himself into unfortunately.

One Day (2011)
One Day
Lone Scherfig
Lowdown: A boy and a girl meet after their graduation from the University of Edinburgh. They spend the night together but fall short of being lovers and prefer to be friends. They meet each other exactly 23 years later to notice the difference.

A worthwhile decade
Intriguingly, the '90s witnessed the rise of influential Scottish filmmakers who eventually made a mark in global cinema

Rob Roy (1995)
Rob Roy
The struggle between the British nobility and Scottish nationalists never ceases to amuse. Nor does this Michael Caton-Jones film on one such epic clash starring Liam Neeson.

Braveheart (1995)
Even though the historians were displeased with the historical inaccuracies, Mel Gibson delivered a film that ranks high on cinematic chart of Scottish jingoism.

Trainspotting (1996)
Just make sure you watch Ewan McGregor's 35-second long rant against the British Empire before shifting the blame on Scots in Danny Boyle's cult film.

Breaking the Waves (1996)
Breaking the Waves
In this Lars von Trier film, a mentally unstable Highlander marries a Norwegian man who eventually turns out to be more of a deviant than initially presumed.

My Name Is Joe (1998)
My Name Is Joe
If there's whiskey around, can Alcoholics Anonymous be far away? And if love is blind, can't it happen anywhere? Well, it does in this Ken Loach feature.

Ratcatcher (1999)
Directed by Lynne Ramsay, it walks us through the troubles of a young boy's merciless life in a tenement that has very little to offer in terms of a concrete future.

Blast from the past
Despite having relatively fewer films compared to British cinema, the Scottish counterpart has no dearth of classics...

Whisky Galore! (1949)
Whisky Galore
When a Scottish village runs out of Whiskey thanks to World War II, the inhabitants do all they can to empty a barrel-filled shipwreck before it drowns with all the alcohol on board.

High and Dry (1954)
High and Dry
Cargo, contraband and country are three important words in Scottish cinema. In this film, all the three factors are infused admirably along with a gripping story to boot.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Striking a balance between brainwashing and teaching, the film showcases a teacher who would ensure that her pupil learns about life the way only she can teach.

Macbeth (1971)
Thanks to William Shakespeare, several filmmakers have tried retelling the story of a Scottish king who ascended by virtue of deceit. However, very few directors have come close to Roman Polanski's version.

The Wicker man (1973)
The Wicker man
Dwelling heavily into Celtic paganism, this disturbing cult film has been repeatedly labelled as the 'Citizen Kane of horror movies' for years now — and rightly so.

Gregory's Girl (1981)
Gregory's Girl
Scottish fascination with football was duly portrayed in this coming-of-age film where a girl makes an eyebrow-raising entry into an all-boys football team.

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