My life has always been between London and Cairo, so when the riots erupted across the UK, I wrote a couple of short pieces on the view from Cairo.
One for the Guardian (14.8.11) and one for Occupied Cairo (11.8.11)
Meanwhile, it's incredibly exciting that Lynne Ramsey is back on the scene. Her debut film, Ratcatcher, is packed full of lessons about how to make a strikingly original, artistic, socially engaged film on a tight budget. I wasn't wild about Morvern Callar but can't deny that it pulsed with style and artistic ideas.
I can't find my favourite scene from Ratcatcher on Youtube, but this sequence gives you an idea of the tone of the film, and hints at the raw emotion Ramsey is able to tap in to. She creates a deep sense of interior sensuality alongside the familiar grit of UK social realism, pulls incredible, physical performances from her child actors and even throws in moments of fantasy that don't go too heavy on whimsey. Which is not easy when you consider how overused that imagination-will-set-you-free trope is.
Ramsey wins major prizes every time she picks up a camera so get ready for We Need to Talk About Kevin. She's got some money and star force behind her, has a snappy trailer with an expensive sounding score - but it doesn't look like she's sold out. This doesn't look like a Hellboy or Harry Potter 3.