Penelope Bartlett's all-time top 5 Scottish short films

Penelope Bartlett's all-time top 5 Scottish short films

Magic Lantern returns to Glasgow for a special event at GSFF, so we caught up with one of its founders to find out her favourite shorts films

With Glasgow Short Film Festival celebrating its 10th anniversary this year the programme has a distinct aroma of nostalgia. And we're not talking scratch and sniff here, but actual call backs to the festival's origins, including the return of The Magic Lantern and its creators Rosie Crerar and Penelope Bartlett.

Magic Lantern was a significant fixture on the Scottish film screening scene between 2006 and 2010 before morphing into Glasgow Short Film Festival when Crerar headed off to Australia and Bartlett to the USA, where she is now a programmer for Criterion. Prior to that Bartlett programmed the 2016 Palm Springs Shortfest as well as at Chicago and Tribeca film festivals.

As part of the GSFF, Bartlett is giving an 'in conversation' talk at the CCA entitled Is There Life Online?, at 1pm, Fri 17 Mar, and will be joined by Crerar presenting The Magic Lantern Returns at 7pm on the same day and venue.

We asked Bartlett to pick five of her favourite Scottish short films...

Gasman (Lynne Ramsay)
Just one of the best ever. Lynne Ramsay's training in photography is clearly evident in the beauty of each shot and striking use of colour, but it's her unique ability to portray the world from a child's point of view that makes this a true gut-wrencher. Just like every film she's made since, really.

Home (Morag McKinnon)
A borderline Lynchian tour through an Edinburgh council estate – more social surrealism than social realism – the film covers what seems like familiar ground but invents a poetic language all of its own.

Portrait of Ga (Margaret Tait)
Margaret Tait, she's so great, they (GFF) named an award after her! A deceptively simple love letter to the artist's mother and to her Orcadian home, and the inextricable connection between the two. A deeply personal 16 mm topography of a woman and the place that defines her.

Trout (Johnny Barrington)
A twisted horny tale set in a trailer in the highlands, has a touch of Ben Wheatley's Sightseers about it, and makes great use of twee Scottish tropes like bagpipe music and highland coos. Foul mouthed and foul smelling and great. In fact, all of Johnny Barrington's shorts have been great. Can't wait for him to make a feature.

Directed by Tweedie (Duncan Cowles)
This charming doc about the filmmaker's grandfather is touching, witty, and slyly formally experimental. I love the dry humour of the compositions and it brought a tear to my eye without feeling like it was trying to. I haven't seen his newer short film Isabella, but I have heard it's great too. Clearly, I really like it when filmmakers make hybrid documentary style films about their elderly relatives. (see pick #3)

Is There Life Online? Penelope Bartlett in Conversation, CCA, Fri 17 Mar at 1pm
The Magic Lantern Returns, CCA, Fri 17 Mar at 7pm

Glasgow Short Film Festival

The largest competitive short film festival in Scotland celebrates diverse forms of cinematic expression that transgress the boundaries of conventional narrative film. The online 2021 festival will feature competitions and many special programmes, alongside some new specially curated programmes, filmmaker interviews and…