Boys Night

****

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Boys Night
"That the skies are Glaswegian grey does not make the eyes below them any less starry, or watery, nor does that overcast overshadow the microcosm below."

It is almost impossible to explain outwith Scotland the nature of Boys Night's authenticity. To make sense of the bits and pieces of Artemesia and the sectarian violence and the [inaudible crosstalk] and the poisons of maudlin masculinity and accessible alcohol and language that finds every opportunity to slide in an obscene gerund as antisocial lubricant and lexical placeholder and the nihilistic novelty of 'Pedro Tobin' and the long underpass beneath the overpass of Dobbie's Loan.

Almost, but not quite. There are places that audiences and attendants of Glasgow Short Film Festival will know well - not just Jaconelli's but the steel flowers that garland the path between the GFT and at least one of the festival's various media centres. There is language that audiences and attendees of Glasgow Short Film Festival will know too - every -ING and 'aw. Also though a talent, James Price.

Here writing, directing - he has done both variously in films screened at GSFF, here to great reward - both on and off. Winner of the audience award at 2020's (online) festival he (as others before him) directed this year's trailer. Not quite the same landscape, but the same degree of personality, humour, presence - his is the quick cameo with Covid compliant covered countenance, a small moment that makes me smile every time I see it. Pricey done good.

Cameron Jack is Davy, all muscle and bluster and not yet enough chips. Kyle Gordon is Reece, trying to get him home after, well, Margaret (Kirsty Strain) has rightly had enough. It is a bumpy road. The adults are veterans, their CVs wandering up and down budgets and back and forth across oceans. Young Gordon has two credits, both with Price, and he carries more than one burden. In a film about fathers and family and fighting and frictions and more, his small shuffle shoulders those loads sloping homewards.

There are constructions that are common in Caledonia that embrace contradictions and progress and more. It's not "high flats" that our boys are bound for but there is a mixing of levels. So too in Price's film, not of talent or perception, both present here in obvious quality, but in scale and scope. That the skies are Glaswegian grey does not make the eyes below them any less starry, or watery, nor does that overcast overshadow the microcosm below. The maudlin, the masculine, access and alcohol. This is not epic, the locations cover a distance that could be comfortably covered in perhaps once or twice the film's running time, but its subject could be. Many's the odyssey that starts with someone trying to get someone home.

Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2021
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Boys Night packshot
Twelve-year-old Reese must brave the mean and marvellous streets of North East Glasgow to bring his drunken father safely home.

Festivals:

EIFF 2019

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