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Gasman (1998)

It's the Christmas season. With her mom's help, Lynne, a girl of perhaps eight, dresses up; her younger brother Steven plays with a toy car. The children leave with their dad, who's ... See full summary »

Director:

Lynne Ramsay

Writers:

Lynne Ramsay, Harold Manning (french adaptation)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Lynne Ramsay Jr. Lynne Ramsay Jr. ... Lynne
Martin Anderson Martin Anderson ... Steven
James Ramsay James Ramsay ... Da
Denise Flannagan Denise Flannagan ... Ma
Jackie Quinn Jackie Quinn ... Woman
Lisa Taylor ... Girl
Robert McEwan Robert McEwan ... Boy
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Storyline

It's the Christmas season. With her mom's help, Lynne, a girl of perhaps eight, dresses up; her younger brother Steven plays with a toy car. The children leave with their dad, who's affectionate with them. They walk down a railroad track where an unkempt woman waits with two children, about the same age as Lynne and Steven. The children go with them. They're all headed to a holiday party at a pub. Lynne notices that the girl acts all too familiar with her dad. What's going on? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gázos See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This short film is featured on the Criterion Collection DVD for Ratcatcher (1999). See more »

Connections

Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Merry Christmas, social realist style.
25 October 2006 | by twistedhoochSee all my reviews

It's grim up north the old saying goes; Gasman by Lynne Ramsey won't change that stereotype but it does illustrate the talent of this director. This short film shares similarities with the both work of Mike Leigh and social realist 'kitchen sink' films of the sixties, in showing a slice of life story from the lower classes. Read; bleak setting and diegetic sound.

Set in an undisclosed Scottish city at Christmas, the story concerns a day in the life of lower class father (James Ramsey), daughter Lynne (Lynne Ramsey Jr) and son Steven (Martin Anderson) as they walk the tracks. En route, they mysteriously pick up more children from a woman (Jackie Quinn), Lisa (Lisa Taylor) and Robert (Robert McEwan).

Gasman is a powerful piece, due in no small part to the performance by Lynne Ramsey Jr. It is a powerful portrait of a working class young girl and the confusion she faces. When pretending to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, you really believe that 'There's no place like home.' The supporting cast are also suitably bedraggled for their characters to be believable. There are some fine visual flourishes in this short piece; the close shots of people getting ready for their day out give the film a very intimate feel, as if you are really looking into their family life. There is appropriate use of light and dark contrast, in particular as they are in wide shot walking up the tracks. Also, the working club Christmas party is visual delight, with child POV shots, slow motion and chopped up editing.

At times the Scottish dialect is quite hard to follow with the sound quality being quite raw. My main issue with the film would be that Gasman doesn't have anything original to say. Gasman is suitably bleak according to genre convention but its essential message being that it's challenging growing up in a lower class environment has been a mainstay of social realist cinema since before Kes. Still grim it would seem.


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