We’re like a Fife film ‘mafia’

Richard Jobson
Richard Jobson

What better way to celebrate the first day of the very first Kirkcaldy Film Festival than to have a UK film premiere and have the director introduce it and discuss it afterwards.

Richard Jobson, film director, former frontman of punk legends the Skids and Fifer, is that special guest who will be appearing at the Adam Smith Theatre tomorrow night (Friday).

And last week he took time out to speak to The Press ahead of a trip to Amsterdam for another festival.

He said he’s delighted to be involved in the event.

“I think it’s great, it’s really exciting.

“Kirkcaldy is where I was born although I’m normally associated with Dunfermline because of the past and my family lived there.

“But I was born in Kirkcaldy and a small part of my heart’s always belonged there.

“It’s ideal they have got their own film festival, it’s their own small Cannes Film Festival on the riviera of Scotland.

“I’m really genuinely excited about it.

“I’m off to Amsterdam in the morning for the European premiere.

“There’s a screening in London, one in Cambridge and one in Kirkcaldy and the one I’m looking forward to most is the Kirkcaldy one.

“I have got a sense of regard for the place.

“I always had a kind of general support of Raith Rovers because my brother used to play for them when he was young, and I always liked Stark’s Park.”

Richard’s latest film is ‘Wayland’s Song’, and, it stars a fellow Fifer.

He explained: “I cast fellow Fifer Michael Nardone in the lead and it was interesting to work with him.

“He’s from Ballingry, which is where I grew up.

“I worked with another Fifer, Dougray Scott on my film ‘New Town Killers’.

“Us Fifers seem to stick together like a small mafia.”

Ahead of its screening in the Lang Toun, the director explained the background to this new work.

“‘The Somnambulists’, one of my films, was a story which was 15 testaments of servicemen and women that had serviced in Basra in Iraq.

“As the film goes along and unravels, it’s revealed they are all dead.

“‘Wayland’s Song’ is a companion piece to that. It’s about a soldier who is back from Afghanistan and comes back to a country that doesn’t really care about him and there’s no one that understands him.

“He finds his wife in bed with another man and his daughter has disappeared.

“He goes on a quest to find his daughter. It’s a metaphor for healing his family and himself, and finding he may still have a soul.

“The thing it tells you at the end of it is it’s fairly bleak for people going to war and coming home from wars.

“I took the title from an old Norse Teutonic myth about the character Wayland who is a smithy.

“It’s about suppressing someone and trying to destroy their free spirit that’s the part that interested me.

“The art Wayland has in my story is death, he’s a sniper and precise killer. It’s about how he uses horrific skill he had and he does use it.

“There’s moments in the film that are violent but I think it’s pretty much a statement of anti-violence.

“I think it’s something that comes in all my films. They are all quite moral and I hope have clear statements against violence.”

‘Wayland’s Song’, available on DVD from September 30, is the first film to be made completely using cloud-based Adobe software, something which has seen it set an example in the film world.

Richard continued: “We didn’t realise we were doing it until nearly half way through the process because Adobe came to us and said would we be interested in using this new technology we’re developing. At the time there was something called CS6 and we thought we were working with what would be named as CS7, as we were working with software that hadn’t quite come on the market properly.

“But they changed software and created the cloud-based technology. By that time we were pretty much in production of the film and used every part of the system in that cloud.

“It was then only available in the cloud. It was kind of scary, as it was a brand new thing.

“It’s the first film ever made with that technology so it’s a big deal for Adobe, but for us we did it and had no idea we were part of something that was going to be a big fanfare.”

How important does Richard think community film festivals such as the one in Kirkcaldy are?

“I think it is incredibly important,” he said, “because otherwise local communities only get opportunity to see big movies available in Vue, Cineworld or the Odeon.

“They are always going to be programmed movies that are huge and have blockbuster qualities about them.

“Those kind of stories don’t really focus on characters, they are not very interesting and are big, noisy and shiny.

“I think the way forward for cinema is what’s happening in Kirkcaldy.

“By having a little festival in Kirkcaldy it’s a statement and it’s an important statement, as long as people respond, and hopefully people will respond positively.”