Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
In her third short film, Gasman, the Scottish director Lynne Ramsay shows just how effective the use of details, rather than dialogue, can be. A young girl, Lynne (played by Ramsay’s niece, Lynne Ramsay Jr.) and her brother Steven are taken to a Christmas party by their father. On the way, their father meets a strange woman on the railway tracks who drops off two children: another boy and girl of a similar age to Lynne and Steven. Later, the party, which is aurally constructed of a mixture of energetic Christmas music, the laughter and cries of children, and the mumbling of adults talking in the background, is penetrated by Lynne’s distressed whine as she accuses the girl of ‘sitting on her daddy’s knee.’ Both the actress and director accurately portray the heartbreaking circumstance of a young child slowly realizing, but not yet fully understanding, something about her father that she’d rather not know. Gasman won Ramsay the Jury Prize at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and Best Short Film at the Scottish BAFTAs, the Atlantic Film Festival, and the Locarno International Film festival.