First Look At Terence Davies's Sunset Song

Shawl is lost

Any day that British filmmaking legend Terence Davies gets back behind the camera is a good one, and, as the picture below reveals, today is just such a day. His latest project is Sunset Song, a period drama based on Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 novel of the same name. The Scottish leg of its shoot has just gone underway, involving Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan and Sunshine On Leith’s Kevin Guthrie.

As the official synopsis explains, Sunset Song “is set in the early 20th Century in north-east Scotland, where Deyn plays Chris Guthrie, a young woman coming of age as her family is beset by tragedy.” With the guns of the Great War rumbling on the continent, the world is thrown into a state of flux and social turmoil. “In a final moment of grace”, continues the précis, “Chris endures with remarkable fortitude, looking to the future and drawing strength from the ancient land which she loves.” The book is considered one of the most important in the canon of 20th century Scottish literature by people with lots of letters after their names, and Davies will no doubt tap into its themes of social change, family life and local identity; all regular motifs of his own work down the years. His solidarity with strong female protagonists – The House Of Mirth’s Lily Bart and most recently Hester Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea, for instance – makes the film a resounding vote of confidence for Deyn as a leading lady.

Sunset Song’s shoot has been quietly underway in New Zealand since last month “to capture the March harvest season”, with some additional studio work undertaken in Luxembourg. The UK-Luxembourg co-production is wrapping up with scenes shot in the novel’s original setting, Scotland. More as we get it.

Images courtesy of Sunset Song Ltd/Iris Productions SA 2014