Lympstone Village Hall
Friday 8 October 2021 7.30pm
Doors open 6.45pm
Programme notes for Wild Rose
(UK 2018) running time 101 minutes
(Produced by Creative Scotland, Film4 and the BFI)
Directed by Tom Harper
Written by Nicole Taylor
Starring Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo, Julie Walters
Cimematography George Steel
Music arranged by Jack Arnold
The writer of this film, Nicole Taylor, grew up in Glasgow loving country music, an obsession that has transformed itself into her first feature screenplay
The first country song she remembers hearing was Mary Chapin Carpenter’s He Thinks He’ll Keep Her, and after that she bought tickets for every country show that came to Glasgow.
“This movie wasn’t some research project I undertook – this is my life,” she says. “I think I would have got into something hardcore if I didn’t have country music as an outlet. When I discovered it as an early teenager, that was it, It just released something in me, and I never stopped.
“Country music is quite popular in Glasgow. And it’s popular in Ireland as well. I think there are two reasons. One is the mass immigration of people from those places to America, and the people who stay behind are left with this longing and this sense of ownership over American culture. The music travelled. And the other thing is that in places that are quite bad at expressing their emotions, like Glasgow, they need country music.
“The character of Rose-Lynn Harlan just popped into my head about ten years ago, chatting, chatting, chatting. She was so real to me that it felt like I was just transcribing her. I had this vision — the first line I ever wrote about her was that she is ‘thrillingly, glitteringly alive, more alive than you’. That energy of the character compelled me. I wrangled with her for years.”
Rose-Lynn is portrayed in the film by Jessie Buckley, who launched her career as a contestant on the BBC’s talent show I’d Do Anything and went on to West End musicals. More recently she earned a nomination for BAFTA’s rising star award on the strength of her role in the film Beast and starred in the series Chernobyl.
“Before this film I had kind of lost my voice,” she says. “I didn’t want to do musicals, and I didn’t really know what it was. Now that music has come back into my life, I’ve got this thing that’s opened in my belly, and I loved singing with the musicians so much. Every character changes you, but some are stronger than others.”
All the songs are performed by Jessie Buckley (apart from three sung by The Bluegrass Smugglers). The soundtrack features both original songs written exclusively for the film and covers of songs by established country artists such as Emmylou Harris, Wynonna Judd, Chris Stapleton, Hank Snow, and folk artists John Prine and Patty Griffin, as well as indie rock band Primal Scream. Nicole Taylor wrote several specific songs into the script, marking pivotal moments or indicating what music would excite Rose-Lynn as a character.
One song that wasn’t in the script was the final musical number, Glasgow (No Place Like Home), which was performed live by Buckley in a real Glasgow music venue, the Old Fruitmarket. She recorded the other songs in London, Glasgow and Nashville, and worked with an eight-piece band, who appear in the film as Rose-Lynn’s backing band The Jaggy Nettles.
The director of Wild Rose, Tom Harper, is a British director best known for his film The Aeronauts, and for his television work on Peaky Blinders and the BBC TV mini-series War and Peace. He is a Quaker, and those values quietly inform his critically-acclaimed film War Book, in which government officials participate in a war-game to work out procedures in the event of a nuclear war.
Wild Rose has also received some rave reviews, particularly for the performance of Jessie Buckley, who first worked with Tom Harper on War and Peace.
Programme notes for the ‘shorts’
During the lockdown two new films of Lympstone, dating from 1936, were received in the village archive.
One is the films of Harty Tudsbery who lived at Southtown.
The other is a short film about a boy fishing with a village fisherman, dating from 1950. This will be the first time they have been shown on a large screen since they were made.