Highlands & Islands

Slow West sees Wild West 'through Scottish eyes'

Slow West Image copyright A24/lionsgate films
Image caption Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee star in Slow West

A new Western will show America's Wild West from a Scottish perspective.

Slow West stars Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee as a young Scots aristocrat who goes to America to find his lost sweetheart, a crofter's daughter.

Michael Fassbender, a star of the X-Men films and new movie adaption of Shakespeare's Macbeth, also stars.

Due for release in cinemas later this year, Slow West was written and directed by John Maclean, who was a member of Scots group The Beta Band.

Maclean said the original idea for the script came from a desire to link British costume drama of the Merchant Ivory genre with the American Western.

Into that mix he also sought to incorporate the conflicts of the 19th Century's Scottish class system between lairds and tenant crofters.

'Scottish eyes'

Smit-McPhee plays 16-year-old Jay Cavendish, who falls in love with Rose Ross a crofter's daughter played by South African-born New Zealander Caren Pistorius - as they grow up in the Scottish Highlands.

When Rose and her father are forced to flee to America, Jay leaves his privileged life to go in search of her and try to win her heart.

Maclean said the film was "mostly about young love".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Director John Maclean was a musician with The Beta Band

He added: "But it is a Western seen through Scottish eyes with an outsider's perspective.

"Through Jay, we see the reality of the Wild West at a time in America where there were Germans, Irish, Scottish and Swedish all displaced from their homelands and arriving in this new land, America."

Smit-McPhee previously appeared in the US remake of vampire tale Let Me In and in last year's box office hit Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He has also been cast in 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse.

In Slow West, Fassbender plays monosyllabic frontiersman Silas.

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