Tag Archives: Maxim Gorky

Thinking Aloud About Film: The Bill Douglas Trilogy

We discuss The Bill Douglas Trilogy: My Childhood (1972), My Ain Folk (1973), and My Way Home (1978). The first with it’s echoes of Maxim Gorky must be one of the greatest films in the history of cinema, and a discovery. My Ain Folk, like My Childhood of medium length, we also claim is a great film. We have greater doubts about the third film, My Own Way Home, the only one that really qualifies as feature length. We compare the films to Turkish films we’ve been seeing recently such as A Dry Summer that describe a way of life that seems centuries old but is in fact very recent. We also compare the works to the novels of Douglas Stuart (Shuggie Bain; Young Mungo). These are works that subtly hint at the psychic effects of horrific economic conditions, families that are fractured, abusive, exploitative and lacking in love or even common decency, all rendered somewhat understandable. Lastly, we wonder to what extent class bias affected Bill Douglas’ career, a talent as is evident here with such a short filmography…

 

The podcast may be listened to here:

The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2zWZ7Egdy6xPCwHPHlOOaT

and on itunes here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/first-impressions-thinking-aloud-about-film/id1548559546

More on the class issue may be found here: “Douglas’s contemporaries remain divided by class and aesthetic (Loach and Leigh versus Jarman and Greenaway) and I don’t think it’s overstating the case to say that this division arrested – still arrests – British culture.” https://katewebb.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/bill-douglas-among-the-philistines-cineaste/

 

There also are some interesting background articles on Bill Douglas and the trilogy here:

https://www.bdcmuseum.org.uk/about/

José Arroyo