Stranger Than Fiction: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Documentary Maker Lou McLoughlan…

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The latest podcast has Ali talking to director and cinematographer Lou McLoughlan. We could pretend that it has been perfectly timed to coincide with the first week of this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, but in all honesty it’s an interview we’ve been trying to organise ever since watching Lou’s fantastic feature documentary 16 Years Till Summer, one of the best films of 2016.

You can read the Scots Whay Hae! review here, and see the trailer at the foot of this post, but it’s worth listening to the director talk about the making of it first as it will add to the viewing experience, and spoilers are carefully avoided.

The two also talk about the practicalities and difficulties of making documentaries, and then with getting them to an audience, particularly a Scottish one.

There is also chat about Scottish storytelling, the Highlands and Islands as a ‘seductive space’, the importance of music to a film, how filming real life will always offer up the unexpected, and much, much more. Continue reading

You Have Been Watching… 16 Years Till Summer

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I don’t normally bring anything directly personal into a review – it’s rarely relevant, but I want to make the point that sometimes a piece of art, whatever form it takes, comes along at the right time to help you make sense of the seemingly nonsensical, and help you through tough times. That’s what Lou McLoughlan’s film 16 Years Till Summer did for me. It’s an amazing piece of work made more special by the circumstances around when I watched it. As the film shows with heartbreaking clarity, sometimes timing is all.

A documentary set in the western Highlands, and filmed over four years, 16 Years Till Summer follows Uisdean who we meet caring for his ageing father. Theirs is a warm yet antagonistic relationship, with the older man raging against the dying of the light, and determined to make sure his son meets his high standards. Then comes the first major reveal when, while eating together, Uisdean says, “The soup you get in jail they can’t put meat in it because of the vegetarians.” Continue reading