Life through the eyes of an addict.
Life through the eyes of an addict.
If Lynne Ramsay’s debut short harked the arrival of one to watch, then her stark follow-up Kill the Day cements the Scottish image-maker as a name not to forget. Shot and released in the same year as Small Deaths and proceeding to pick up the Prix du Jury at leading international short film festival Clemont Ferrand, there’s rarely been an entrance into the movie-making conversation so swift and impossible to ignore.
Over the course of a heady 17 minutes, Ramsay captures a day in the life of James, a reformed heroin addict recently released from jail. From the offset, we can observe similarities to the directors first short and thus can begin to see where her obsessions really lie. As…
Lynne Ramsey's early shorts were so raw and real, before she apparently started making more fun movies like We Need to Talk About Kevin 😳
This brutal, scattershot narrative short of a junky and thief bounces between the crimes, the prison time and the sociopathic behavior finding its roots as a child with a heinous act.
This came out the same year as Trainspotting. Imagine that double feature.
“Waitin', watchin' the clock, it's four o'clock, it's got to stop.”
I’m not exactly sure why that Eddie Vedder lyric popped into my head while watching this short, but it did.
Minimal even for Ramsay, Kill the Day chronicles a man’s struggle with addiction and finding any sort of consultation in the rigid, imposing world surrounding him. Despite being Ramsay’s least cinematographically or narratively imposing work that I have seen thus far, it is still rather strongly visually composed and constructed, which is a true credit to Ramsay’s sheer talent as an auteur, even from such an early stage in her career.
Trainspotting saw the light of day that same year, but Ramsay's more jarring and effective approach to drug addiction conveys a stronger emotional and cathartic message than Boyle's stylized optimism. Every shot in a Ramsay film conveys a message, a connection with the viewer regardless of our status, and the intimate minimalism throughout transforms every circumstance into unbearable tension, social alienation and utmost depression. Despite being a city, nature, a reality out there, you literally see this character imprisoned in a cage that limits enjoyment of life, or more precisely, his capacity to live.
Almost wordless and completely scoreless testament that proves that Ramsay could also make films about men and, ergo, about family and relationships in the future (and so she would splendidly afterwards). Exceptional short film.
A short focusing on an ex-heroin addict’s life. He’s caught between the past and present.But it’s all presented in waves of dreams. We see rumination and struggle.
Dramatic Short - The second short in writer-director Lynne Ramsey's family/fragility trilogy brings us into the world of a Scottish junkie named James Gallagher (James Ramsey). We see him jimmy the lockers in a hospital, stealing purses, credit cards and valuables that he can fence for cash to support his habit. Much of his time is spent in a stupor or strung out, but we do get a flashback to his youth (Andrew Barton), when he and a friend (Stevan Brennan) pushed a guy into a canal where he may have drowned. We then see James in prison as an adult before another flashback to his life at age ten (Robert McEwan), romping naked by a river with his mates,…
Although this was made before Ratcatcher I watched it soon after and can't help wondering if James Gillespie here is its protagonist grown up; if his fate is to become a heroin addict struggling to get through each day. It's sad and not unlikely.
I still can't understand what the fuck they're saying.
One of Lynne Ramsay’s trio of excellent early short films. Already she has a strong voice that would go on to become one of the most distinctive in contemporary filmmaking. Kill the Day was made a few years before her brilliant feature debut, Ratcatcher, and fascinatingly it features a young man, with a similar name to the 12 year old lad in that film. He could be the same lad, now grown up, struggling with addiction, in and out of prison, remembering the rivers and wheat fields of his youth. If so, it makes for a haunting vision of the fate of that young boy, or another boy like him, and a terrible collapse of the slight hope that Ratcatcher offered.
In Kill The Day Lynne Ramsay can make a character I empathise with and care for all within 18 minutes where some features fail to do so in 90. Following a drug addict I was intrigued from the get go by the film as it chronicles his struggle, fall and rise with addiction. Ramsay seems to be a great story teller, covering a lot of ground in that 18 minutes all while having barley any dialogue.
At times it can be a bit aimless and confusing, but I think if you pay attention and make the links yourself it’s easy enough to understand what the story is trying to do. It really resonated with me, it’s well directed, edited and shot and captured my attention for its whole run time. So far, I’m a fan.
found myself kind of bored this time around. beautifully filmed, but she goes a bit too abstract (and not enough) for my liking - the weird midpoint doesn't quite work in either direction