Good Day For The Bad Guys is a short film about an insufferable and tyrannical actor in a pantomime. Filled to the brim with that Scottish black humour, it’s written and directed by Peter Mullan, a man I only associate with films that are bleak as fuck, a man who would read Dostoyevsky for the lols.
In Good Day For The Bad Guys, Mullan plays John, as ground down, washed up, alcoholic actor. He plays The Big Bad Wolf in a low-budget Christmas panto rendition of Red Riding Hood. The bane of the cast’s lives is the actor playing the hero, Wee Jockie. An evil gnome of a man, he delights in humiliating other actors, while revelling in the applause of the audience. The film follows as John is pushed to breaking point, between the constant abuse from Jockie, and the constant boos on stage.
Grim, funny, bleak, and brutal. Merry Christmas.
Funny, quirky animated short film about a group of women who decide to take action on King James VI for the reign of terror on the country’s women during his witch hunts. It has a really interesting animation style, with these water colour drawings leaving ghosts of the previous frames.
Based on the real, and much less humorous, witch trials of North Berwick, the protagonists are ordinary women, with maybe a touch of shine and some folk knowledge. As the rotter James makes his paranoid declarations to underlings who can’t see his problem, he spearheads a push for dooking nigh on every woman in the country, save possibly the young and pretty.
Margaret, Ina and Sandra are no having it, and decide the best defence is a good offence, so set out to do him in by sailing after him in a big sieve. What’s quite funny is, the women attempt to make the sieve seaworthy with magic without much success, but it is James, miles away, whose declaration that witches float, that causes the sieve to become buoyant. A wee hint that the problem James seeks is actually much closer to home.
A good laugh, and nice to see the history of persecution of women being turned on its head, with women themselves being the ones doing the hunting.
A romantic short film about a film archivist and a struggling actress.
Thomas works in the dingy depths of an old film archive, but the one highlight of his job is Ruby. He has worked loose a brick in the adjoining wall of her dressing room, and spies on her like a massive creep. Ruby is only an understudy and spends her time done up in full makeup, waiting for her chance to go on, but it never comes.
Upon discovering his spyhole, Ruby gives him her showcase reel, and he weeps at her overlooked talent in all these bit-parts. Then Ruby ascends into the film, disappearing, and leaving him alone.
Melancholy wee film.
A retelling of the myth of Sisyphus in Scots, with the man himself recast as a cairn builder, endlessly pushing stones uphill to mountaintop cairns. Tongue in cheek, with more than a little added humour, a great chance to see this little animated short from the 70s.
A crime noir complete with grizzled detective, femme fatale, and a missing husband. Filmed on the streets of 90s Edinburgh, the smoky black-and-white plays to the mean side of a city increasingly being whitewashed for tourists. Funny and stylistic, both the tropes and the setting filled me with satisfied nostalgia.