Ahead of the 20th annual Wisconsin Film Festival this April, programmers have been revisiting their best-loved features of the past two decades with the monthly Tuesday Night Movie Club screenings in Union South's Marquee Theater. February's selection is Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar, which originally screened here in 2003, and remains one of the most underseen indies of its decade. The film is a lovingly stylish adaptation of Alan Warner's novel about the titular Glasgow grocery store clerk (Samantha Morton), who passes off her boyfriend's unpublished novel as her own in the wake of his tragic death and then decides to embark on a road trip of self-discovery.
With the poetic debut Ratcatcher (1999), Ramsay established herself as a significant voice in Scottish art house cinema, flirting with spellbinding surreality while immersed in the depths of trauma, all without losing an emotionally honest focus. These elements continue to define Morvern Callar, as Ramsay visually articulates wanderlust, inner turmoil, and feelings of temporality through a lack of conversation, instead shifting the dramatic weight to Morvern's tactile sensory interaction in diverse environments like Costa del Sol in Southern Spain. This is further compounded by the film's markedly cool, atmospheric soundtrack featuring Boards Of Canada, Broadcast, Holger Czukay (of Can), Stereolab, and The Velvet Underground. Perhaps this rare 35mm public screening of the film will also build anticipation for Ramsay's new feature and her first in six years, You Were Never Really Here, which could turn up at this year's fest. —Grant Phipps