Glasgow Film Festival 2015: Stray Dog
Ronnie 'Stray Dog' Hall caught director Debra Granik's eye while playing a minor role in her acclaimed Winter's Bone, and it's easy to see why she kept watching. Full bearded and bellied, clad in biker gear on all occasions, Ronnie would be a terrifying image of a man if it wasn't for the friendly ease that he unfailingly exudes. Having witnessed and inflicted horrors in the Vietnam war, and spent a great deal of time and money striving to move on from them ($50,000 in assault charges by his own estimate), he's arrived at a point of real calm. Throughout the film, we hear him spinning simple wisdom, and watch him doing his best to live by it.
Granik offers a window onto his life from the welcome vantage point of a house guest, a friend's friend: the camera is never an intrusion and the fly-on-the-wall perspective never hints at voyeurism – but it's also never played to, just left to its own devices while everybody else goes about their lives.
The Skinny at Glasgow Film Festival 2015:
23 Feb, GFT, 9pm
24 Feb, GFT, 3.40pm