Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Morvern Callar 2002

Directed by Lynne Ramsey

Canada / UK In English
97 minutes 35mm



Lynne Ramsay, Liana Dognini. Based on the novel by Alan Warner


Alwin Kuchler


Lucia Zucchetti


Boards of Canada
Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood
Velvet Underground
Aphex Twin


Samantha Morton
Kathleen McDermott
Raife Patrick Burchell
Dan Cadan


Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight), Edinburgh, Toronto, Vancouver 2002; Rotterdam 2003


Morvern Callar definitively establishes a new personal, poetic voice in British cinema. Lynne Ramsay’s follow-up to the brilliant Ratcatcher begins with the titular 21-year-old Scottish supermarket worker (hypnotically portrayed by Samantha Morton) finding her writer boyfriend dead in their kitchen, and an unpublished manuscript on his computer. Suddenly out of balance, Morvern experiences an intense dissociative reaction… instead of telling her friends or family, Morvern parties, plunging headfirst into rave culture in the dead of winter… The film gives voice to Morvern’s reaction only through her mix tape (the soundtrack, featuring Krautrock band Can, is an instant classic). The densely layered sound design mimics the immersed sensation of listening to music on headphones – which indeed is what Morvern spends most of her time doing… Morvern heads off to party on the Spanish coast with her best friend Lanna, but soon realizes the mundaneness inherent in her usual form of flight, and heads into a
fever-dreamed nature world, before slamming the door on traditional morality once and for all.” — Mark Peranson, Vancouver Film Festival 

“This is a remarkably tactile, sensuous film… Alwin Kuchler’s richly textured photography keeps us at once in the mundane world and within Morvern’s own hazy optic. But what makes Morvern Callar really special is that this is one of those rare films made for the ears as with the eyes: quite seriously, go and see it twice, once with your eyes shut.” — Jonathan Romney, The Independent