Glasgowist: Our city is represented in the film industry
Buried in the latest deluge of content updates from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is the news that the next Star Wars feature film will be the movie project from Shawlands scriptwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns, directed by Taika Waititi.
"We have a road map,” Kennedy said in a Vanity Fair magazine interview this week. The film from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduate and Academy Award nominated Wilson-Cairns will launch a new era for one of the biggest movie series of all time. This is significant.
It's astonishing to think of the impact that the Conservatoire, previously the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, has had as a star factory for film and television. It sits there on Renfrew Street, one of the more understated of our city's many academic institutions.
Even if we just look at the great tentpoles of popular culture, Glasgow graduates are prominently represented. Richard Madden arrived into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Eternals. Before that, there was Billy Boyd in The Lord of the Rings, James McAvoy and Alan Cumming in two different generations of X Men movies and Kate Dickie in Game of Thrones.
Soon Ncuti Gatwa will follow in the footsteps of David Tennent as the latest incarnation of Doctor Who. Both of them studied acting round the corner from the King's Theatre.
Krysty Wilson-Cairns is one of the most talked about new voices in film. Her breakthrough came when she co-wrote the World War I epic 1917 with director Sam Mendes with some scenes being filmed at Govan graving docks. She co-wrote Last Night in Soho with Edgar Wright, a horror film released last year.
As a teenager, she was a runner on TV shows like Taggart. She described her first writing class at RCS as her eureka moment, when she realised what her career could be. Now this local storyteller will be the next writer to shape the future of a galaxy far, far away in film.
In the early 2000s, all the local drama school students would hang out in Trader Joe's on Hope Street. Including a young James McAvoy who was a fan of the pub quiz. When he returned to Glasgow to star in Cyrano at the King's earlier this year, it was the first place he checked out. He found a very changed venue.
What was the student canteen of Glasgow's young Hollywood exports is now Ardnamurchan Restaurant. They source produce from the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Lochaber for a modern Scottish menu rooted in the Highlands.
Enjoy a vesper martini at the bar before going to your table and ordering grilled Tarbert landed langoustines with garlic and chive butter, Caithness lamb loin or braised wild venison stew.
Cranachan with Glayva whisky liqueur, honey and raspberries for dessert before putting on your Wayfarer sunglasses and disappearing off into your own cinematic universe.
There was a time when chronicling Finnieston bar and restaurant openings constituted the majority of posts on Glasgowist.com. Argyle Street has settled into a more sustainable pace of late. Here's your latest update. What was, briefly, Jacques, has closed. This open corner unit is now a branch of Sano, the Neopolitan pizza restaurant that started out in Dublin, Ireland, with branches in Temple Bar and Ranelagh.
From their debut menu, start with Sicilian chickpea panelle served with arrabbiata sauce and lemon wedge. The Sapori Del Sud pizza has Italian fennel sausage, n'duja, friarielli and fresh mozzarella. Caprese torta with Equi's ice cream for dessert.
Sunday afternoon amidst the shimmering, ultra-modern glass office blocks on Bothwell Street. Your view from the window booth is The Scottish Legal Life Assurance Building, built in 1927 and influenced by the steel-framed commercial buildings of the United States. It's one of the finest landmarks in the city.
Gōst, having already made their mark as a new city centre steakhouse, have just launched their Sunday roast menu. You can graze on an ex-dairy prime rib for two, cote de bouef, ribeye or any other cut of steak you can imagine, cooked over charcoal, served with Yorkshire pudding, roast carrots, vibrant beetroot, crispy duck fat roast potatoes and bone marrow gravy. Something for the weekend.