Road Movie: Scotland in the World

David Martin-Jones

in Scotland: Global Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780748633913
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651207 | DOI:
Road Movie: Scotland in the World

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This chapter explores the place of the road movie in Scottish cinema. After providing a brief overview of existing literature on the genre, it discusses the history of road movies featuring Scotland, in particular the dominant trend in British films to depict Scotland as an end point for journeys featuring English protagonists. The chapter then charts a shift in emphasis that became apparent in the early 1990s to road movies featuring Scottish protagonists. Soft Top, Hard Shoulder (1993) follows a Scot returning to Scotland, simultaneously emphasising a rejuvenation of Scottish national identity and a nuanced appreciation of its ethnic complexities. For their part, Ken Loach's Carla's Song (1996) and his contribution to the portmanteau film Tickets (2005) depict Scots on the road in wider, global contexts. These films illustrate the similarities between certain sections of the Scottish populace (especially the working classes) and various manifestations of the growing global underclass. Like Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar (2002), Loach's films use the pretext of a journey to explore the evolving nature of Scottish identity within the broader context of globalisation.

Keywords: Scotland; Soft Top; Hard Shoulder; Carla's Song; Tickets; road movies; cinema; journeys; national identity; globalisation

Chapter.  9410 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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